By Janice Sutton
I cannot tell you how delighted I was on Friday afternoon when I received a text from Phil Russo, former CEO of NAFA Fleet Management Association, telling me he had landed a new job. Showing his usual exuberance, Phil wrote:
“I am thrilled, overjoyed, and down-on-my-knees grateful to announce that I have a new job!
“On November 11, I start working for Professional Management Associates (PMA), an association management firm in Hillsborough, NJ (like 6 miles from home). I’ll be the Executive Director of the National Association of Veterinary Medical Technicians of America and the Executive Director of the NJ Veterinary Medical Association.
“Thank you for all your help and support during this crazy, stressful, time. I hope we can stay in touch!”
Of course, I had to call Phil to congratulate him personally. It was immediately clear from the bounce in his voice that he was back to his usual ebullient, warm self. Phil said, “These past two months have been stressful, no doubt. But I am pleased that NAFA agreed to let me leave so soon after telling me they weren’t going to renew my contract.
“I used that time over the summer to mourn my mom’s death in June, which was unexpected and really difficult for me. This time has been a gift from God.”
Phil continued: “And importantly, the hiatus gave me the opportunity to seriously spend some time thinking about what I would like my career to look like in five years, ten years. I have held some interesting positions over the years and it was constructive to reflect on the aspects I enjoyed and found most fulfilling within each of them.”
Our conversation meandered around the excitement, determination, trepidation, and surprises one experiences during the odyssey, the search for the right job. Then I asked Phil, “Why PMA?”
“This new job is perfect,” Phil said. “In a sense, PMA tailored this job for me. After the managing partners and I met a few times, the clearer our shared vision for the position became.
“I am thrilled about getting busy and learning all about PMA and meeting the professionals with whom I will be working. These are vibrant professional associations with rich histories. It’s exciting.”
We closed the call on that happy note, but I know so many of you will join me in congratulating Phil and wishing him nothing but the best. Please feel free to reach out to Phil directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. He said he would love to hear from all of us.