Catherine Smith, President
I’m sitting at my desk and looking at a list of our new members. Their addresses send me on a small and temporary road trip to travel coast-to-coast and border-to-border. They are in: Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina; Charleston, South Carolina; Gainesville, Florida; Columbus, Ohio; Cincinnati, Ohio; Lansing, Michigan; Golden and Boulder, Colorado; Scottsdale, Arizona; Beaverton and Portland, Oregon; and Seattle, Washington.
This organization and its values are forces that truly unite us across our country.
These new members, along with our existing ones, have found a home here. For the past five years that home has been taken care of by Amelia Shaw, our Executive Manager. Most days, my email inbox shows a message sent from her at 5:30 am or so from her desk, which is in the middle of a beautiful place that she shares with husband, Drew, on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. That 5:30 am email lets me know that she’s there among the forest and flowers doing the work of the organization to make it a welcoming home for each and everyone one of us.
But in just two short months, Amelia will be leaving this position. She’s giving herself a new role, as well as giving the opportunity for the organization to welcome a new member of the team she has been leading with a new Executive Manager.
Although it’s true that Amelia is leaving on a 30-day cruise to Australia 8 weeks from now, it’s also true that she’s returning to us in January, 2020 in a role of supporting our revenue-generating programs: the national conference, symposium, certification and webinars.
But before any bon voyages are said, before she gets on that oceanliner for a good long float to see the world, before we welcome the next Executive Manager, let’s highlight what those 5:30 am emails from Amelia have been about. Amelia’s worked with our board members, chapters, members, and partners around the world and across the country on our behalf. With her help, the organization has accomplished more than a little:
- We’ve launched new services like the annual symposium, monthly webinars and taster series.
- We’ve defined professional standards through the certification program
- We’ve welcomed more than a 1,000 new members and new chapters across the country
- We’ve made a commitment to ensure what we do lives up to our core values with a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion
- We’ve made it easier to talk about “p2” with direct messaging of “pursuing the greater good: good decisions made together,” and we’ve shared that with our regions where they have made it their own, such as Canada’s “inspiring better decisions together.”
- We’ve launched the “greater good award” for long-time and emerging leaders
- We’ve created a National Dialogue, where each year chapters around the country tackle an issue we all share, have personal stake in, and have ideas where the organization could make a difference
- And, just last month we added a new way to give via a Charitable Giving Agreement with IAP2 International, so that those of us who want to financially contribute through annual contributions, planned giving, and impromptu giving drives with family and friends have a tax-deductible way to do so, and so that we can pursue and secure resources from funders, foundations, and grantors to more fully realize the mission of the organization
It’s not a short list and those are just some of the highlights. Amelia would say the credit is with all of us who are giving our time and talent each day. But for this one newsletter with this one column with its few words, we’d like to say thank you to Amelia.
If you know her, you know she loves karaoke and fresh flowers cut from her own garden. You know she’s got an opinion and also a hearty laugh to share. You know she’s kind with her words and if there’s a harsh one, it’s a sign there’s some more consideration to give. You know she is passionate about P2, so much so, that she won a Core Values Award for Innovation in 2010 for TransLink’s “It’s Your Move” engagement process on their 10-year plan and is a licensed IAP2 trainer, so she knows professional needs of our members from all points of view.
Mostly, you’d know, like I do, that every day she’s thinking about how can she help this house become a home for more and more of our members.
Amelia, we thank you. We can hear the karaoke on that cruise, even though you haven’t left shore yet. Enjoy and we’ll see you back in 2020.