Roetman challenges Iowa Central grads to 'make an impact'
by Iowa Central Information
Posted on 5/21/2021
As James Roetman stood in a nearly empty room and delivered his commencement speech virtually for Iowa Central, the former Triton couldn’t help but reflect.
Like those he was addressing, Roetman had to overcome many hurdles in the past year through his role as the CEO and Administrator of Pocahontas Community Hospital.
He reflected on that during his speech, which was given virtually.
“I know many of the graduates are not going into the healthcare field, but you are all lucky, you still have the same ability to do what we try to do every single day,” Roetman said. “I challenge all of you to try to make an impact in the lives of the people you work with or live with, every single day.
“This happens many times when we don’t even try to do it, but in some situations, it also takes an effort for us to do things differently or for different reasons.
“As you leave this great college and move on to bigger and better things, go look for opportunities that may sometimes be disguised as challenges and use those opportunities to make yourself and everyone around you better.”
An Iowa Central graduate himself, Roetman continues to look to the school for employees because he knows exactly the kind of people he is getting in return.
All three of Roetman’s siblings also attended and graduated from Iowa Central.
“Iowa Central has a special place in my heart because as an employer, I see the benefits that this college has had to our workforce in our region,” Roetman said. “Our hospital in Pocahontas is filled with graduates from Iowa Central and we are proud of the relationship we have built with the school.
“It was a great honor to speak before the graduates.”
And while he admits being in front of a live audience would have “helped to hear some laughter for a couple of my jokes,” Roetman was impressed with the way Iowa Central put everything together virtually.
“The staff did a great job and the entire program was special,” he said. “In a time when many colleges decided not to have ceremonies, I congratulate and thank the administration for making it a priority this year.”
Diversity is important to me. For people to learn and grow, there must be diversity in the workplace, schools, and sports. That is another reason I wanted to go to Iowa Central; there are so many people here from across the world, all with different backgrounds and life experiences. I saw Iowa Central as an opportunity not only to grow in both academics and in athletics, but also to become a stronger person.