A Message from the President

Here we are in September; it is a new year and there’s a new captain at the helm. Hurricane Dorian added an extra element to the long holiday weekend and according to the chapter’s communications team, people are interested in hearing…err…reading what I have to say. No pressure to come up with something profound or anything. I suggest you get comfortable with your beverage of choice to read the following leisurely.

First and foremost, this past year as president-elect flew by. It was a whirlwind of wonderful things – mostly, personally I had to deal with a surgery but don’t pull out the tiny violins. I survived and it is all good. Then there was a planning retreat for the upcoming year in July. At that point, September was on the horizon but there still seemed to be plenty of time. But overall, one minute I was deciding to step onto this path and the next, it’s go time in what literally seemed like a blink of an eye.

Speaking of the planning retreat, it was a fantastic launching point for the incoming board of directors and committee leads. Under the leadership of Michelle Casele, the programs committee has planning for some great events well underway. In addition to our popular annual transportation and healthcare programs, there are a couple of more market sector-focused programs in the works. I’m not going to give away any spoilers (yet).

Director at large overseeing membership, Katie Batill-Bigler and her committee members are singularly focused on their purpose to ensure you gain the most from your membership. Coming out of port strong, there’s an SMPS Mornings in a couple of weeks. If you haven’t attended one of these before, definitely go! Super casual, it is a nice way to strengthen your network and pick up hints, tips and even a new teaming partner or two. It’s also a way for you to get your fabulous SMPS Tampa Bay tumbler. You’ll have a chance to pick up your tumbler at any of the upcoming events over the next couple of months.

This year Michelle L’ Italien is leading the chapter’s communications team. They have some great ideas for keeping the membership in the know regarding all things SMPS-related. Communications is also looking to help shine the spotlight on members. We want to help you celebrate career achievements, big and small. Let us know what’s going on and we will help spread the word. It’s part of the “grow” part of the chapter’s local focus, “Navigate Success: Learn, Connect, Grow.”

I also want to give a shout out to the executive board members. Kathryn Pankow is joining the illustrious group of past presidents. Kristin Downer is president-elect and preparing for her turn at the helm for the 2020-2021 year. As Treasurer, Theresa Greene, and Secretary, Karen Roan, will keep the whole group organized. Last but certainly not least is Ann Schiola volunteering as board advisor and overall president cheerleader and hair-patter. Without these and the slew of members already volunteering on the many different committees, the stellar quality of programming you have come to know and expect would not happen. There is still room at the oars for you! Volunteering on a committee is an opportunity to sharpen a skill, learn a new skill and expand your network. It truly takes a village to make the magic happen and volunteering ups your membership experience to a whole new level.

Exciting for us, Tampa Bay is the host chapter for the 2020 Southeast Regional Conference. Several of your fellow members have dived right into planning this regional conference for the society. I am sure the sessions will be thought-provoking, the networking amazing and the whole experience energizing. Get ready to Chart Your Course at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina March 16 – 18. Also, if you didn’t see – the call for speakers just went out. Submissions are due October 15.

As a way for the membership to get to know me a little bit better, I am borrowing from my friend and coach, Beth Shaw, who used to do a monthly stats blog post. No one reading this cares about my mileage. Don’t worry you’re not missing much (see below) but in addition to training stats, she would do some miscellaneous check-ins. Here are a few random status updates for September.

What I Need: A few more hours in the day!

Current (Personal) Goal: Get my training and intentional movement (i.e. exercise) back to a consistent level.

What I’m Reading: I’m an avid reader. Remember the Bookit Program? Don’t know it? You missed out! Back in the day, it was a giant button and you received a star sticker for every book you read. When your button was filled up, you could turn it in for a personal pan pizza at Pizza Hut. My younger siblings appreciated how much I read, they got to tag along on those Pizza Hut outings. But I digress, which I will do often to be sure. The best thing about my commute (it isn’t that bad), is that my non-fiction reading has increased significantly thanks to Audible and the drive across the bridge. I just wrapped up Amy Cuddy’s Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges this morning. I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it to be so interesting and engaging. I came away with some tips and ideas for me personally and to share with my team. I am giving it three ducks on my reading scale. (It is wicked hard to get four and five ducks on my scale.) You’re probably scratching your head at my duck scale, but clarification will have to wait. I can’t put everything in my first message.

What I am Obsessed with: September means the start of a new fiscal year for the chapter, but it also means all things fall y’all! I have lived in Florida for over two decades and I still profoundly miss real fall – crisper weather, the glorious colors of the leaves changing, etc. HOWEVER, I can still enjoy fall flavors in Florida and trust when I say, I let my apple and pumpkin-obsessed flag fly.

Call to Action: Join a committee! Now’s the time to take full advantage of your membership and get involved. There is something for everyone’s interest and schedule. It will really elevate your membership experience.

Somehow this first “From the Crow’s Nest” became quite the tome. To wrap it up, I am very excited to see what this year brings, as you read there’s a lot in store. My proverbial door is always open, feel free to send me an email or give me a call. I am also happy to meet up for coffee, lunch or happy hour!

Until Next Time,


P.S. Have we connected on LinkedIn yet? Are you following the chapter on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter? It’s the quickest way to stay up to date!

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