Justin Loss is a candidate for treasurer on the Student Assembly Board of Directors.
In complete honesty, my qualifications, when compared to other applicants, may be slightly less traditional. I wasn’t valedictorian, student body president, or any other extracurricular extraordinaire in undergrad. Keep in mind, this was almost 10 years ago. However, as I have matured both personally and professionally, I am doing things differently this time around. Why? Because I can confidently say, I am more passionate about physical therapy than anything else in the past. The proof: I actually left a successful family business, one I was groomed my entire life to inherit, to become a physical therapist!
Now, my focus is harnessing this passion in a manner having the greatest potential impact. One great opportunity is serving on the Student Assembly Board of Directors as treasurer. In my previous life, working as a self-employed financial advisor and as an assistant project manager for a financial advisory firm, I helped numerous individuals and businesses optimize their finances for present and future success. I believe these roles equipped me with the necessary skills to do the same serving as our organization's treasurer.
In addition to performing the duties of my elected position, my goal is to help develop a campaign that targets our skeptical nonmember students. This is not the first time I’ve encountered large groups of cynics who might not see the "bigger picture" or feel they can always get involved later. As a financial advisor, I constantly met the challenge of convincing new teachers that now was the best time to start planning for the future, not tomorrow or the next day. Often, their focus was on finally making money and ways to spend it, not on developing a budget or planning for retirement. However, I found educating someone in a way that was meaningful to them could actually bring about action and involvement.
That’s exactly what I intend to do for our nonmembers. Like new teachers, a disconnect exists between them and the big picture. I’m sure we all know at least one student who joined APTA just for a conference registration discount. To me, this indicates a lack of perceived value in our membership benefits. But, if we find the right message, maybe students will stop viewing APTA membership like a textbook, only buying it when it's required.
Consequently, part of our job becomes facilitating a shift in perception, not just increasing membership numbers. If successful, nonmember students will join and actively participate in our association. I believe my previous professional experiences will bring a unique perspective to the Student Assembly, one acquired outside of higher education, which will aid in accomplishing this important task.
For me, this journey has been a culmination of my life experiences, all of which have led me to this point. So, it is with sincere and heartfelt desire that I ask you to allow me to serve as your treasurer and do my part in advancing our profession.