Executive Director’s Remarks

Exceptional Leadership

in Challenging Times

It was a time of high demands and limited resources for all of us.

Spring is a time of transition and that’s true at the American Jail Association as well.

During our conference on Sunday, we hold our Opening Luncheon & Business Meeting. This is when the new officers on the board are installed. The current Immediate Past President transitions off the board, the current AJA President rotates to Immediate Past President, and the President-Elect becomes the new AJA President.

Darren Sieger, MS, CJM, is our new AJA President, and we look forward to his leadership in what will certainly be a year of tremendous growth for AJA. He is a seasoned professional and an innovative thinker, and his enthusiasm for AJA runs deep.

He is fortunate to have Mandy Lambert, CJM, handing him the reins at the end of her term. President Lambert and her predecessor, Marsha Travis, CJM, CCM, CBHC-CO, were exactly the kind of leaders that AJA needed during a very challenging two years brought on by the pandemic.

The significant impact that the pandemic had on our nation’s jails carried through to all areas of the AJA. It was a time of high demands and limited resources for all of us. Therefore, it will come as no surprise that the association suffered serious hardships as a result of needing to cancel its 2020 Conference & Jail Expo.

Scheduled for April 2020 in Aurora, Colorado, it was to be held at the very beginning of the pandemic when everything was shutting down. In-person trainings had to be significantly curtailed for the next two years, and the 2021 Conference & Jail Expo was a virtual-only event.

During this time, President Lambert and Immediate Past President Travis provided strong leadership and a dedication to AJA that was beyond reproach. They unselfishly dedicated their time and expertise to ensure that AJA remained on solid ground and was well-positioned to thrive as we turned the corner on the pandemic. Their tenacity and drive are commendable and reflective of why they rose in the ranks among other jail executives throughout their careers.

On a personal note, President Lambert and Immediate Past President Travis were pivotal to my success during my first year as executive director. I will always be grateful to them for their mentorship and support as I became oriented to all things AJA. So, thank you to two great leaders who stepped up just when they were needed the most. AJA is grateful for your service to our association and the profession.

CHRIS D. DANIELS, MPA, CAE Executive Director American Jail Association

Chris D. Daniels