Some of you may be asking yourself, “Who is Mark Reynolds and why does he want me to stand by him?” If you were at the 43rd ACUTA Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas you know the answers already. Reynolds, associate director of UNM's Information Technologies, recently assumed leadership of the association as the elected president for 2014-15.
ACUTA is an international nonprofit educational association serving colleges and universities. Reynolds has been an active participant in ACUTA for more than 25 years and has worked in the field of telecommunications for 40 years. His career includes experience as a technician, engineer, manager and director.
“We are extremely pleased to have Mark as our next President,” said Dr. Ron Kovac, immediate past president of ACUTA. “He has served diligently on the Board, and his vision for ACUTA’s future is ‘spot on.’ Although this year will require a significant commitment on Mark’s part, it will be worth it for ACUTA and for the University of New Mexico as it will provide him with highly valuable insights and enhance his strategic thinking skills.”
“ACUTA has contributed greatly to my professional and personal growth,” says Reynolds. After serving as a Director at Large, he was elected President-elect in 2012. Over the years he has served on many ACUTA committees and panels, led users groups, written white papers and journal articles, and participated in advisory functions.
“Leading the association at this time clearly has its challenges due to the rapid evolution of the campus technology landscape,” says Reynolds. “But the ACUTA network has always served us well, and we know there are hundreds of people always ready to share the information we need to succeed.”
Reynolds has been an ACUTA member since 1990 (24 years) and in the field of communications since the ’70s--handling everything from voice to data, security, infrastructure, project management, engineering, running a backhoe, and cable layers. Back in the day, he actually climbed poles to hang telephone wire.
At UNM, Reynolds serves on the Staff Council, Student Success Committee, Communications Success Committee and EOC (Emergency Operations Center for Communications). He holds BICSI RCDD (Registered Communication Distribution Designer) certification, a plant journeyman license and certifications in ITIL V3 and PMI (project management). He is a graduate of the UNM Management Academy and has hundreds of hours of continuing education in human resources and other related certification programs.
"I have been in higher education for 31 years: 20 at New Mexico Tech in Socorro and 11 at the University of New Mexico--a large institution with 20,000 phone lines, 100,000 IP connections, a number one trauma center with responsibilities for health sciences and the university hospital," Reynolds said. "I have served on many ACUTA committees and the Board and participated in other associations, such as BICSI (RCDD). I wanted to be President because I see and embrace the value that the ACUTA organization represents, the peering opportunities, and the incredible talent we have within our association, and I think my background will let me bring a uniquely informed perspective to our leadership team."
Reynolds has built his career working from the bottom up, and has done the same with ACUTA. "I want to take what I’ve learned through experience and make a difference. But I know that accolades come not from what you accomplish alone but what others accomplish with you," Reynolds said.
Each of the past ACUTA presidents developed themes to provide a foundation for ACUTA’s success. He plans to embrace and expand upon their goals, strategic directions, and inspirations.  Higher education is as complex, comprehensive, and collaborative as any vertical market in the private sector.  "Our environment changes rapidly, and we look for resources and ways to do exactly that: collaborate," Reynolds said.
In the early ’70s, ACUTA was founded for telecom professionals, with an emphasis on the face-to-face personal touch approach that makes collaboration a very powerful statement and asset.  As the organization has grown, so has its portfolio, strategic direction and focus. Reynolds plans to emphasize this through marketing this year as one of many initiatives.
"I believe in the mission, the purpose and direction of the organization and will continue in that spirit during my tenure. I am convinced that ACUTA continues to be the best value for the investment," he said.
Reynolds has chosen the theme, “Strategic Management,” as a promise to continue to provide the tools, resources, education, exposure, marketing, training, and strategies necessary for us to support the collective missions of our institutions and our organizations in line with the ACUTA strategic plan. Strategic management directs the major initiatives taken on behalf of the members and monitors resources and performance both internally and externally.
Reynolds sang “Stand By Me” at the conference because it echoes what he believes is the key to a successful leader.  "Success, respect and value are not achieved by one person. It is done with the support of all of the members working toward the common goal," he said.
ACUTA is built on volunteers who make a difference and “pay it forward.” As a member of ACUTA, individuals can always make a difference by volunteering, bringing forward the topics to discuss, and sharing knowledge acquired.
As President Ron Kovac said in his Winter 2013 ACUTA Journal column, “Chances are, your plate is full of tasks that didn’t even exist when you were hired…,” and the same applies to ACUTA. 
"We have changed. Our plate is full, and we have more opportunities to collaborate then we have ever had. The time is right for ACUTA to make a difference for higher ed technology professionals, based on the face-to-face value we bring. No other organization provides this level of interaction and communication," said Reynolds. "We continue to need to know how you think ACUTA can improve as we explore potential synergies with other organizations."