Transition Time at CAST–a Message from New EVP Linda M. Chimenti

February 8, 2013

Think of the word “change.” What does the word bring to mind? Images of disruption, loss of familiar things, a feeling of unease, or even a sense of fear?

Now think of the word “transition.” Does this word bring different images to mind? The word itself seems smoother, less jarring: tran-si-tion slides off the tongue more gently than change. The two words are synonyms, yet we often react differently to them. Personally, I prefer transition.

Dictionaries define transition as a movement or passage from one position, state, stage, style, subject, or concept to another. In its nominative form, the word is a noun of action. So, applying the term to CAST, it is clear that CAST has experienced transition in several forms during recent months.

Organizational transition occurred last November when ten new Board of Representatives members took their seats at the Annual Meeting and began contributing to the work group discussions, hallway conversations, and exchange of ideas. Although they are new to CAST, these people bring their collective professional expertise and experiences, which means a continuation of ideas for CAST publications and projects.

Leadership transition took place as Phil Stahlman became CAST President, Nat Tablante transitioned to immediate Past President, and Lowell Midla moved into the role of President-Elect. Each of these officers will carry out new duties this year, but all of them are strongly committed to keeping this organization vital and growing.

Management transition happened recently when John Bonner retired after seven and a half active, productive years as the Executive Vice President/CEO of CAST. During his tenure, a number of important transitions occurred that moved CAST into the areas of video production, a presence on SchoolTube and YouTube, social media connections, and an Education Program that reaches students and faculty members at land-grant universities. John is now transitioning to retirement, but everyone who knows him expects he will find many ways to remain involved with agriculture.

Personnel transitions are taking place in the CAST office. Each member of the permanent staff has accepted new responsibilities and schedules. Their transitions are shown in their new job descriptions and position titles:

My own transition:  As I begin my thirteenth year with this organization, I have been given the opportunity to serve in a new role, so I have transitioned from Chief Operating Officer to Executive Vice President. Of course I look forward to new challenges and opportunities, but I also want to bring my acquired knowledge of CAST’s history and background to help the organization move smoothly through this time of transition. I will welcome your thoughts, suggestions, and comments. Oh yes, two things that did not undergo transition are my office phone number (515-292-2125, ext. 231) and my e-mail ( so please call or write and let’s talk about what you see for the future of CAST. Thank you for your continuing support.

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