Looking Back and Forging Ahead: A Message from the District 18 Director

Posted: July 8, 2014

As Rick Kauffman, District 18 director, approaches his July 31 retirement, he shares insights on his Penn State Extension career.
Rick Kauffman, director, District 18

Rick Kauffman, director, District 18

For a position that was only to last 18 months, it is hard to conceive how that opportunity turned into a wonderful career. It has been a privilege, first serving Berks County for 34 years and then the past two as the director for our four counties in District 18.

As my career winds down, from the beginning as a team member of a great 4-H program in Berks County to leading an outstanding and dynamic group of staff and volunteers across the district, I am humbled to have been lucky enough to be part of so many people’s lives.

The changes in procedures, delivery, technology, demographics, practices, staffing, etc., have been dramatic. However, the constants have been the commitment of the professional staff, the dedication of volunteers and support from county government. Those factors have enabled us to positively impact our local community.

It was truly an honor working in partnership with all those wonderful people to make a difference. I am confident that the spirit and cooperation will continue.

Looking ahead, we are not only in the process of establishing new leadership, but also shifting our district. It will be split into two units: Berks/Schuylkill, which will remain District 18, and Lehigh/Northampton, which will become District 20.

This positive change will not affect program delivery, but will allow the two new directors more dedicated time to build relationships, increase office efficiency and maximize resources. The change will begin Aug. 1.

I would like to extend my best wishes to everyone for continued success. I also ask for continued support for Extension efforts of the staff, volunteers and new leadership to continue a tradition of service and impact to our community.

Thanks to all for a great Penn State Extension career!