The President's Theme and Sayings

Mary Klucas
UNOPA President

Hello!   I am honored and humbled to be your next President.  My theme this year will be Stepping Up and Stepping Out… making UNL a friendlier place.  I have come to be a collector of quotes.  I have them taped to my monitors and on my overhead bins.  Because I find them so inspiring I decided to incorporate them into my installation. My hope is that you gain inspiration from them as well. You’ll be seeing more of them from me in the coming year.

 So much went into settling on the theme Stepping Up and Stepping Out… making UNL a friendlier place.  I found inspiration in reading our mission statement which is:

Education is the birthright of every person. We as members of the University of Nebraska Office Professionals Association pledge ourselves to safeguard that right. We acknowledge the unique role of educational office professionals and the importance of their contributions to the university and the community.

The purpose of UNOPA is to provide professional growth and promote high professional standards for educational office professionals with the University of Nebraska, as partners upholding the quality of service to the university educational system and the community.

 My theme focuses in part on “… the unique role of educational office professionals and the importance of their contributions to the university and their community. …” and “…as partners upholding the quality of service to the university educational system and community.”

I was inspired by one of our speakers last fall, Dr. Donald Costello.  He struck a chord when he told us that with all of the changes in technology it is up to us, UNOPA members, to make UNL a friendlier place.  Technology really does have us zooming along.  I remember when I arrived at my first job at UNL in 1990, we were excited because we had just received new computers with 30 MB hard drives.  Today, a flash drive is much larger than that at a fairly minimal cost.  I recall when I was given my first email account by UNL. In discussing with my co-worker, we thought it was pretty silly and agreed we didn’t really see a need for it.  Today, my work world seems to grind to a halt if email is down.

 I was also very inspired at the Rose Frolik luncheon in April where we honored and recognized our past presidents and retirees.  Our past presidents have worked long and hard for UNOPA. They have been our voice, taken a stand for us and have lead us to where we are today.  I didn’t know until that meeting but Sue Drammeh as UNOPA President had a hand in the change in my salary from the offer made to me and my actual starting pay after July 1 that year.

Dr. Costello’s comment really got me to thinking, “What can we do to accomplish this?”  “What would it look like?”  “What do we need to make it happen?”  Just recently it occurred to me that to start it really is simple.  It doesn’t even cost anything.  What is it that I am talking about?  Of course, it is a smile. What is more friendly than a smile?    One of my favorite quotes from is “Smiling is where pleasantness begins.  It costs nothing, makes you more approachable, and improves your looks (really!).” J has provided many inspirational moments for me so I purchased one of their books titled Smile and Move: a reminder to happily serve.   I want to provide you with just a sketch of the book and I will expand on it more in my messages to you in UNOPA Notes in the coming year.

How to smile….
               Wake up.  Show others you care by giving attention to their needs.
               Be Thankful. The opportunity to serve is a gift…. not an entitlement.
               Be approachable. We’re at each other’s service and contact is where it starts.
               Complain less.  Being positive is more fun.
               Smile. Really.  It is where pleasantness begins.     

How to move…

               Start early & go long.  Get lost in your service to others.
               Exceed Expectations.  Dismiss mediocrity. Expect more from yourself.
               Have a sense of Urgency.  Everyone’s time is valuable.
               Be resourceful & resilient. Results are what we’re all after.


I want to read a message from the author of Smile & Move, Sam Parker.

 “Smile & Move is a call to go deep within your verse (your work… to the way you contribute) and practice as Martin Luther King, Jr. suggested, “After one has discovered what he is called for, he should set out to do it with all the power that he has in his system.  Do it as if God almighty ordained you at this particular moment in history to do it.”

 Anything less and we miss out.

It’s about attitude and action. It’s about being positive and having a sense of urgency.  Being pleased to serve. Having effect.

 Mattering to the world, all with a smile.

 Not a smile with unchanged eyes … a forced smile.  But a smile born of a dramatic, heartfelt understanding that the opportunity to move, to act, to serve someone else in some way is the most wonderful giving-life-meaning change (yes, chance) that all of us have (although not all of us use).

 You’re at my service and I’m at yours.

 Given a few moments to really consider our personal value proposition in life, how can we come up with it being anything other than service to others?

 (Invest those few moments … consider it.)

 We want to matter. We want to be relevant.

 We also want to be happy.  But sometimes we forget where this happiness comes from.  And when that happens, we start thinking and acting in ways that are all about what we can get rather than what we give.

 And that attitude keeps us from enjoying so much more.

 Big responsibility, big trust, big opportunity, and big money are all earned by creating tremendous value for others,  (Certainly there are exceptions, but they’re exceptions because they’re’ not the rule.)

 If we want to matter and to be happy, if we want more freedom, more flexibility, more responsibility, or more money, we need to give more to those we’re supposed to be serving.

 We need to get over ourselves.


 (Smile & Move: a reminder to happily serve, Sam Parker, pp 72-74.)

My challenge to you is to
Wake Up
Be Thankful
Be Approachable
Complain Less
Smile, Really
Start Early & Go Long
Go Beyond Expectations
Have a Sense of Urgency
Be Resourceful & Resilient with No Excuses

We are here to make good things happen for other people…do something!