The week of our National Annual Meeting is always important for Scouting, and it’s a time of year I very much look forward to. It’s so nice to reconnect with so many friends and colleagues together in one place. And usually there is a significant amount of news announced in conjunction with the meeting, particularly when we have a leadership change, as we do this year.
Over the past week, you have seen my blog posts thanking outgoing National Commissioner Tico Perez and outgoing National President Dr. Robert M. Gates for their service to Scouting. Today, I would like officially to welcome Randall Stephenson as Dr. Gates’ successor, our 36th President of the BSA.
A long-time friend of Scouting, Randall currently serves as a member of the BSA’s National Executive Board and Executive Committee. He also chaired our 100th anniversary celebration. He began his service to the BSA in 2005 when he joined the BSA Executive Board.
Randall’s accomplishments in the business world are impressive. Since being named Chairman and CEO of AT&T in 2007, he has helped the company invest to become a global leader in providing integrated communications services to businesses and consumers. He has helped transform AT&T into one of the world’s largest communications companies, with more than $147 billion in 2015 revenues and 32 consecutive years of dividend growth.
He also has led AT&T’s breakthrough “It Can Wait” campaign — an education and awareness program encouraging drivers to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phone. The program has amassed more than 7 million pledges of support, thousands of which are from the Boy Scouts of America.
Randall has been a valuable counselor to me since I became Chief Scout Executive. I place considerable value on his business acumen and his character, both of which have guided him to notable successes in his life — and no doubt will help guide our movement during the next two years while he serves as our National President.
I would be remiss to not thank Dr. Gates once again for his service as our 35th National President. Under his leadership, we strengthened our organization and improved our ability to bring fresh, relevant and high-impact experiences to youth and families. It’s a wonderful legacy and gives Randall a tremendous amount of momentum to continue leading the Boy Scouts of America into the future with the unmistakable character and distinction for which he is known.
Please join me in thanking both of these gentlemen for their commitment to our movement, and in welcoming Randall aboard.