Community is like family; and like all families, we may not always get along or see eye to eye. But just like my grandmother used to say, ‘family sticks together and helps one another.” Community is about people who care about one another and are willing to be united for the betterment of the greater good. Over a quarter of a century ago, I had the idea to start a company that would help community-based organizations, nonprofits and small businesses with their event and meeting needs. Although my formal education was not in that field (I graduated from UCLA with a degree in Political Science), I’ve always had a heart for community and many of my talents and skill sets were in line with this type of work. What I didn’t know, I was willing to learn.
With most things, time brings change. I learned that if I wanted to stay relevant, I had to continue to grow and increase what I could offer to my clients. My commitment and love for the community has never wavered and I know that whatever I do and no matter where I may go, my home is with the community. We must never forget from where we’ve come and the people who have helped us as we are going and growing. I also remember the core values my grandmother taught me as a child: to be kind to others and to always try to find a way to help others. Don’t ever make something just about you.
As I’ve evolved and grown over the years with my business, I’ve taken classes to stay sharp and on the cutting edge of my industry. While I was heavily involved with the meetings and events business, I realized that clients needed someone that could also help them with things like soliciting sponsorships, developing collateral materials, putting together auctions, writing press releases and serving as an ambassador in the community on their behalf. Everything I was learning helped me better serve the community.
Some of my clients over the years also became friends. The more we spent time together the more I became a part of their inner circle and sometimes even a confidant. As these relationships developed, they began to also ask my advice for certain things pertaining to either their personal or professional lives. This trust caused me to consider once again upping my game to be in a better position to serve. I went back to school to become a Certified Coach (Life, Legacy and Leadership). Most recently I graduated from the Protocol School of Washington (PSOW) where I am certified as an Intercultural Etiquette and Protocol Trainer. This provides me with the intellectual and practical information to again help community understand etiquette, diversity, protocol and diplomacy and how it can help in everyday life.
I am truly grateful for my love relationship with the community. I believe when we lift others we rise together. More than ever we must remember to help others. We are all where we are because someone helped us along our journey. April is National Card and Letter Writing Month and I wanted to share a letter of thanks to the community for all you’ve done and meant to me. When all is said and done, I hope I will have done more than I said. #CommunityForever
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