Eric Toenjes

Message from the SBC Board President: An Opportunity to Serve and to Grow  

Posted on June 23, 2021

We are all called to contribute in a variety of ways.  It is important to contribute to the success of our employers and of course our families, but also to the general welfare of society.  With the Safer Buildings Coalition there are many opportunities to serve, but also many rewards for doing so. 

As I look back at my personal journey with SBC, I first became involved as a member of the Advancement Work Group where I started to gain an understanding of how the organization functions and the goals being pursued.  From there I stepped up to be co-chair and eventually chaired the Advancement Work Group.  While gaining more exposure with the executive team and a desire to influence the goals, initiatives and growth of the coalition, those roles prepared me for my eventual run for Vice-President of the Board of Directors, and I now serve as President of the Board.

What has this all meant to me?  To borrow one of SBC’s core tenets: it has given me the opportunity to “Do well while doing good”. 

No doubt that my various positions have given Graybar an influential seat at the table and an opportunity to bring a different perspective to many of our goals.  I’ve had the opportunity to be an advisor to the executive team, to help guide the Board, to learn about organizational dynamics, and to grow in leadership.  Being able to add “President of the Board of Directors” to my resume also helps.  It shows the leadership in my own company that I have earned recognition as a leader by my peers, and it has helped advance my career by positively influencing the way they view me.  I believe it has had the same effect within the wireless industry.  It is all about building your personal brand, and doing this in a volunteer role with an organization contributing to public safety, and the public’s safety, is very rewarding.

This month nominations for open board seats are due and we will hold elections in July 15 – August 15.  Perhaps you aren’t ready to take the leap to the board, so consider a leadership role in one of the work groups first.  We have 5 different work groups, Public Safety Technology, Codes and Standards, Government Affairs, Advancement, and Community Affairs.  Each of those groups gives you the opportunity to be a contributing member where you can be on the front lines to gain first-hand knowledge about what is happening while also influencing the direction of the coalition and the many initiatives we pursue.  These work groups also offer you the opportunity to grow in leadership by stepping into the role of chair or co-chair. 

If you have already led an SBC Work Group, or if you have previous Board-level experience, I invite you to run for one of two At-Large seats, for Secretary or, as I did, for Vice-President.   It will be a great way to advance your career, your knowledge, your influence, your leadership experience, and your personal brand – you’ll be doing well while doing good.

Good Luck!
Eric Toenjes

Related Article: 2021 Safer Buildings Coalition Board of Directors Election