Chair’s Corner: Winning Well

Welcome to Spring,

Even with the weather not cooperating, spring is in the air as we celebrate lots of activities with both the Chamber of Commerce and Women’s Network.  Banquets, Showcase and naming of the Small Business and ATHENA Young Professional finalists are now complete, and I realize as we work our way through budget and nomination committees, my term as your Women’s Network Chair is winding down.  It truly has been a wonderful and humbling opportunity to get to represent such a remarkable organization at this level.  Leadership is simple when you have a strong team and a clear vision.  I’m so proud of our organization and the fact that no matter what obstacle is placed in front of our volunteers you lead through the change without hesitation or fear. Our passion and common goals are a true recipe for success, and it is with great pride I get to tell our story over and over to those who want to know more about our group.  For this month’s newsletter I thought I would share one of those recent conversations with you. Because sometimes as a group I think we forget how impressive our organization really is to outsiders.  How easy everyone makes their hard work, dedication and passion for this group look as we orchestrate through activities and lift each other up through celebrations and friendships.

I had the opportunity to visit with Karin Hurt, our April presenter, before our program last week.  Karin travels the globe giving keynote speeches on leadership to groups and companies and after reading her book I had so many questions for her, but it just so happened she had a few for me.  “How often do you have events?” she asked as we grabbed our lunch and walked to one of the seating areas.  I gave her a quick rundown of our monthly luncheons, new member welcomes, mixers, flash networking, mentoring and outreach programs, followed by the fact that we are a volunteer organization so each committee meets at least once a month to coordinate and plan events.  We sat down at a table and as she began visiting with others she asked everyone to share their experiences with the network, each of you gave your own unique perspective offering her your involvement and reasoning why Women’s Network worked.

As we made our way back to the auditorium she asked “how do you do it?” Weaving through the crowd I wasn’t sure I had heard the question and asked for her to clarify.  She asked again, “how do you get so many people to come together mid-day on a random Thursday each month?”  I took a moment to explain about our change in venue for this event and familiarize her with our normal monthly luncheon; I boasted on how our Program’s Committee along with the help of other members had worked to ensure our success amidst all the change this month. Then, I gave away our secret by explaining to her our large membership numbers, clear mission statement and dedication of our leadership team to stand behind our strategic plan to ensure we are always heading in the right direction.  She was clearly impressed as we made our way to the stage she smiled watching members confidently directing people to the front of the auditorium.  “And the men,” she asked in her final question, “they join the Women’s Network too?”  I had to laugh and give her my standard reply of “Well the smart men do,” but I followed it up with the facts, that our male membership know the importance in our mission to empower leadership, they know their target market is here to engage and they see the value in our presentations, that the content isn’t just for women.  She nodded in agreement and noted that the audience looked like it was definitely a group that could get things done and with that she began her Winning Well presentation and I couldn’t help but think that as an organization we are doing just that!


Keep up the great work,

Michele Batye

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