The way forward
When asked if he had any advice for his successor, Adkins implores the future executive director to continue the culture of members helping others to succeed.
“I think that the culture of NACCU will be particularly important in the years ahead, as the major sea change in transactions approaches,” he adds. “I think there will still be a role for transaction management on campuses, but handing out cards with a photo is going to be a less important piece of what we do than managing the transactions themselves.”
Handing out cards with a photo is going to be a less important piece of what we do than managing the transaction themselves.
Professional development and the establishment of a defined career path for campus card professionals were primary focuses for Adkins when he assumed the role of executive director some 12-years ago. Going forward, he sees the association’s role in these areas growing in importance. “We are always going to have the 101 workshops, but we are implementing more professional development,” he says.
He is always proud to see folks who started as card office admins move up the ranks and assume leadership roles in auxiliary services. Previously these positions would to go to bookstore or food service managers who had been on campus in higher profile positions. “It is great affirmation that our card programs are high profile,” he says.
As for the Association, Adkins insists that the new executive director will be in great company from day one. “We have a very dedicated and professional staff, and they do amazing work,” he says. “All of them have grown to be a part of this culture of ‘how can we serve our membership and make life easier for them.”
“It’s been lots of give and take, but my time in this industry has been wonderful for me,” says Adkins. “I have learned a lot and experienced a lot.”
With his time as executive director – and a professional career spanning every facet of the campus card industry – behind him, Adkins has a new question to answer: what’s next?
Fittingly, there are no plans to slow down. “I anticipate being busier after retirement than I was while I was working,” Adkins says. “My faith has been very important throughout my entire life, and I will continue to be very involved with my church.”
Adkins sees the church as a natural springboard into community service opportunities around his home in Phoenix. “I would like to get involved with a part of our society that is not well served, in particular the homeless population,” he says.
In a matter-of-factly tone of voice, he also makes mention of a little vacation as well – a pending trip around the world. Stops in Hong Kong, Victoria Falls, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa for a safari are all on the docket. The global tour will be capped off with some time in Abu Dhabi – a part of the world Adkins says he has yet to see.
Everyone here at CR80News would like to thank Lowell for his 12-years of dedicated service to NACCU, as well as his contributions to the campus card industry as a whole. We wish him the best in all future endeavors, and of course, safe travels.