Charting the Course

By Jessica Ciccarelli, GPI Southeast

My socks are folded and sorted by color. My desk is orderly with everything labeled. It's just the kind of person I am. Organized. Orderly. Analytical. Sometimes these are good qualities for a leader to have, sometimes, they are not. They can help a leader to manage all the details, but over-analysis can also cause initiatives to stall.

When the idea of a re-imaging campaign was brought up, the analytical part of me took over. Did we need this? How much work is this going to entail? But the more I thought about it... what better than a common thread to tie together all the disparate pieces of our mission? A way to weave together the look and feel of our chapter and all the things we do, and to have them coalesce around a single theme.

It was no small undertaking, the committee that was formed to pu this together dedicated a lot of time to the endeavor. But what came out of all that work is masterful. The new image was launched just before my term as president began. As I began my transition to take over the helm, I thought of the new campaign. It was something I could use to organize my thoughts and ideas about where I wanted the chapter to go during the course of the next year. As a start, I organized all of the committees under our call to action message: learn, connect and grow as a way to reinforce the primary purpose of the chapter.

I showed up to the chapter's annual strategic planning session with a captain's hat as a nod to the nautical look of the new image. It was meant to be whimsical, but really it represented how I felt. As the ship's new captain, I needed to chart the course and incorporate all the great ideas coming from the planning session. And the new image gave me a platform to launch a cohesive plan and a way to propel it forward. For someone with a need for order, it's like looking at a well-organized sock drawer: it's calming and reassuring.

Our chapter's course is holding steady and looks to be smooth sailing from here on out. As my term at the helm as president comes to a close, I am proud of what our team has accomplished and look forward to ushering in the new president, Shirley Dimon, who will surely continue to guide our ship in the right direction.

Jessica Ciccarelli is Director of Marketing for Greenman-Pedersen, Inc. (GPI). GPI is a multi-discipline engineering firm that has been providing professional design, planning, and construction inspection services to all levels of government and industry throughout the United States for over 50 years. Jessica is currently the President of the Tampa Bay chapter of SMPS.

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