OIAA needs your help. Most of the Board of Directors – some of whom are the original founders – will need to step down in 2022, leaving the association at a critical juncture. Without a Board to run the organization, OIAA will cease to be, including the annual MSHA training sessions so many of you attend. But besides the annual training, there is much more we all enjoy through OIAA:
- A group of peers and professionals who can offer insight and shared experience;
- A source of unity and strength for independent operators;
- A platform to provide important news and developments in the industry;
- Associate members with expertise to help operators navigate difficult permits, compliance, and negotiations;
- Other training opportunities to help you run your business and understand its complex relationship with overseeing agencies.
The frustrations leading to the association’s formation in 2008 may seem to have subsided, but it would not take much to change things. While MSHA may be foremost in the minds of many members, recall that the governor nearly removed DOGAMI as an agency this year. With every change of administration, there is an opportunity for reinterpretation of regulations or introduction of new policies. That is when industry associations show their greatest value. But building OIAA took a lot of effort. It would be a
shame to lose this association to atrophy.
The need for industry representation and advocacy is still important. The permitting and regulatory environment for mining will continue to become more complex. It takes associations like OIAA to communicate those changing rules to members so they can prepare themselves.
New, inspired leaders are needed to carry on the mission. As we look to the future of the industry and the organization, we welcome the opportunity for similarly inspired members to join the Board. Your ideas, perceptions, and experiences help us guide our activities for the betterment of all members.
I encourage you to please reach out to myself or any other Board member and volunteer to add your voice and experience to OIAA.
OIAA Executive Chairman