Board President Pete Warner
For La Plaza, 2001 has been a year of challenges, both external and internal.
Externally, we have faced competition from an increasing number of service providers, some based locally and some from out of town. In particular Kit Carson, with its extremely strong capital base to draw on, has been a tough competitor. In addition, due in part to our previous success, the local market is becoming mature and new-user sign ups are harder to come by. In the face of all this our user numbers have held up well, which we believe reflects positively on the excellent service provided by our dedicated staff, and on our reputation in the community. But we are very mindful of the fact that we operate in a highly competitive marketplace, and our ongoing success will depend on our ability to continue to provide quality service at a competitive price.
Internally, we had to deal with the loss of two key employees during the year. Mike Ortiz, System Administrator, left early in the year for a consulting position. Fortunately Alex Chavez, Webmaster, was willing and able to step up to Mike’s spot, and Nancy Montano then took over as Webmaster. Both have done fine work in their new positions, and we were able to make this transition without loss of capability.
More seriously, Loretta Suazo, our long time Accounting Manager/Assistant Director resigned in June, which necessitated a complete reorganization of our accounting function and changes to many internal procedures. Thankfully Jane McFarland, our Bookkeeper, was willing to increase her hours to full time and take on many new duties. With considerable help from Judith and wonderful support from all the staff she has nearly completed the project. A positive result of the change is that our internal controls are now much stronger and financial reporting is more accurate and timely.
Numerous other significant accomplishments were achieved during the year. Among the most notable:
-A generous grant was received from the Healey Foundation to assist with the establishment of a dedicated training center. This will allow us to expand our present training programs to address the needs expressed by our users in last year’s Education Survey.