Go outside your comfort zone

Writing this as your new chapter president seems a bit surreal. Only a few weeks ago one of our chapter’s former presidents addressed me as “Madame President.” It was over the phone, but it was one of those moments we often see on TV or film when the person would turn to look over their shoulder to see if they were the one who was being spoken to.

Agreeing to serve as chapter president seemed a natural progression for me, but at the same time, a little scary. Scary in the fact that I wasn’t sure I was leader material and I was asking myself if I really wanted to add more responsibilities to my already hectic schedule. I decided that the next year was going to be one where I faced and conquered my fears rather than trying to just keep on doing the same thing because it was safe and easy. This next year, I challenge each one of you to do the same – even if it’s baby steps – to do one thing outside of your comfort zone. Playwright and novelist George Bernard Shaw said, “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” I like that and believe the members of our chapter agree that we cannot grow and improve without change.

I have to say that I am thrilled with this year’s team of board members who will work with me to help make your membership one you truly value. One of the primary goals of the chapter this year is focusing on professional development – where you can walk away from the meeting you attended and put what you’ve learned to good use once you step foot in your office again. I would like for it to be a fun-filled year where everyone gets to know one another better, and we engage and embrace new members and encourage and empower longtime members to lend their knowledge to the group in different ways. I look forward to getting to know each one of you better in the coming year, and encourage you to contact me on any IABC-related issue or otherwise. Whether you are on the IABC board, serving on a committee, or as a chapter member, I sincerely hope that you have an enjoyable and progressive 2014-15 year with IABC/Topeka.

Rock on,
IABC/Topeka President