Professional Bail Agents of the United States
"The National Voice of the Bail Agent"
Introducing the Council of Presidents
One of the most dynamic and informative events at any PBUS Winter Conference or Midyear Meeting is the gathering of the Council of Presidents (COP). This very special group of executives comes together much like a current-day Senate to share and exchange information, debate and discuss trends and threats to the profession, develop solutions to modern day challenges and to communicate pending issues that are pertinent to the profession. Although only the State Association Presidents are recognized at the round table discussion, this meeting is an open meeting and all registered attendees are welcome to sit in and absorb this valuable information.
Randy Parton, Past Chair of the Council of President
The Council of Presidents was created more than 20 years ago through the innovative thinking of two PBUS members. Buffi Osti (CA) and Glenn Strickland (TX) were attending a PBUS meeting in Washington DC when they had an epiphany. Glenn and Buffi were inspired by the then current news story about the State governors coming to Washington for a meeting. These two PBUS members discussed this governmental meeting at length and aspired to get all of the State Association Presidents to come together for the same reasons and share information and historical data on different efforts and issues.
Starting this task long before the age of the internet and a centralized PBUS Home Office, Glenn and Buffi had to manually populate the list of State Associations. They then had to make contact; get names, addresses and phone numbers in order to build upon this vision that they had begun. They had to take the time with every President to discuss and advance their theory and encourage each state’s participation.
With the help and support of then PBUS President Celes King and then PBUS executive director Jerry Monks, Buffi and Glenn formed the autonomous group that became known as the Council of Presidents . Glenn and Buffi were the first “Co-Chairs" and the idea of the Council grew in popularity from there.
The idea from inception was a forum for sitting state association Presidents and their Vice President to have seats at the table in order to discuss issue of importance to the Bail industry. Any state association president was given a permanent seat because of their unique leadership perspective. The experience that each of these presidents can bring to the table includes often having to be the spokesperson for all bondsmen in their state and dealing with the individual legislatures of their area and different issues particularly affecting their state, be they through societal, political or economic pressures. Each President could learn about trends across the nation and contemplate successful and non-successful endeavors from around the country. This forum approach to bail across the nation further complemented the arrangement of PBUS focusing on national issues and concerns and working with states on state-wide developments.
At that time, the PBUS only had one meeting a year but after the first few COP meetings, the members decided that once a year was not enough and set the wheels in motion for a second annual meeting. A conference was put together for a two day COP meeting in New Orleans and with that participation and interest; Celes and Jerry decided to start the annual PBUS midyear meeting that we have had ever since.
The Council of Presidents did a little reorganization around this time, as Buffi had decided to take a "Senior Status" position. From thereon in the COP members decided to elect only one chair and a vice chair. Glenn Strickland held the chair position for the next 14 years. During that time, then PBUS Executive Vice President Armando Roche promoted the idea of creating a seat on the PBUS board for the sitting COP chair so there was an official input for ideas from the COP. Through the years, many ideas and motions have been conveyed to PBUS from the COP.
After 14 years Glenn elected to take "Senior Status" and over the next four years, Dudley Goolsby (OK), followed by Ronnie Long (TX), were the elected Chairs. Following their tenures, Glenn became active again and was elected to the chair, holding that position for another eight years before taking “Senior Status” once again in February 2010.
It is the unanimous opinion, from an overwhelming amount of comments and conversations over the years from both participants and audience members, that the COP became one of the most valued meetings to attend at the PBUS conferences. Randy Parton (FL) is serving as the newly elected Chair of the Council of Presidents and Ed Shepherd (FL) is the newly elected Vice Chair of the COP. Be certain to add the Council of Presidents meeting on your “to do" agenda the next time you are at a PBUS conference. Please consider yourself invited to another informative Council of Presidents meeting at the 2011 PBUS Winter Conference, February 21-24, 2011.
PBUS thanks Glenn Strickland as the principle author for this article and for his contributions over the years as the Chair of Council of Presidents. PBUS would also like to thank Randy Parton for his input regarding this article and congratulate him on his Chairmanship.