President's Blog

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  • 15 Apr 2016 4:56 AM | Lane Fabby (Administrator)

    What a great joint WEDC/WID Truth #3 leadership training series meeting, Values Drive Commitment! It was a perfect combination of learning and fun, and the energy in the room was contagious.  We learned from the third chapter of The Truth About Leadership that you have to understand who you are, where you come from, where you’re going, and the values that drive you.  People want to know what you stand for and believe in – what you value and what you’re like as a person (character).  In our book we are reminded that “Leaders need to know what others value if they are going to be able to forge alignments between personal values and organizational demands.”

    Our Meeting: We kicked off the meeting with a brief description of who we are and what we do.  Ms. Corby Dellarocco, President of WID, did the same so we could learn about the synergy of the two organizations. Ms. Leah Hess then conducted the Reflection about friendship, support, and lifting each other up.  And as a special treat, Ms. Dawn Pumpelly (Chair of Women Honoring Women) and Ms. Beth Brooks (Executive Director of the WEDC Foundation) entertained us with a skit from the movie, Thelma & Louise.  This was a great way to encourage folks to come out for next month’s WEDC meeting and participate in the Woody Anderson Drive to raise money for the Foundation scholars.   

    Our speaker, Ms. Patti Martin, explained the correlation between leadership and values.  She shared the Army Leadership Model (BE – Values; KNOW – Skills; & DO – Actions).  Your ultimate success in life and in business depends on how well you know yourself, what you value, and why you value it.  The better you know who you are, what you believe in, the better you are at making sense of daily demands.  Patti discussed the importance of the alignment between personal values and organizational values and gave us a homework assignment surrounding this topic so we can ensure we are living our values in every aspect of our lives.  Patti’s impactful presentation ended with a standing ovation!

    Final thoughts are that if you want to have followers, you must be known as someone who stands by principles.  Values represent the core of who you are – your moral judgments, the people you trust, the appeals you respond to, and the way you invest your time and energy.  Clarity of values gives you the confidence to take the right turns, to make the tough decisions, to act with determination, and take charge of your life.  It’s time we take charge of our destiny!

    Know Anyone Who Wants to Be a Member?:  To review the 2016 membership criteria, please visit our website at http://wedchsv.org/want-to-be-a-member. Please let others know that membership is an 8 month process which begins when two current members make a joint commitment to sponsor and co-sponsor one (1) woman they know to become a member for that calendar year.  In 2016, we will only accept 20 new members. 

    Our 2016 Leadership Conference: Registration for the 2016 WEDC Leadership Conference is now OPEN!  We are pleased to announce that our keynote speaker is nationally renowned leadership speaker and bestselling author, Jim Kouzes.   Mr. Kouzes is the co-author of various books such as “The Leadership Challenge,” “The Truth About Leadership,” and “The Leader’s Legacy.”  You can find all the info you need on our website at http://wedchsv.org/Leadership-Conference.  Register now to insure that you are among the first 150 registered attendees who will receive a FREE Insights Discovery Personal Profile!

    Also, please consider becoming a Corporate Partner and check out the corporate partner options at Conference Corporate Partnership form 030716.pdf.   

    Our Foundation’s Women Honoring Women Event: This year’s WHW event "When Perseverance Meets Passion" will be held on September 15th, 2016 at the VBC - North Hall from 5:30-8:00pm.  Due to the WEDC members’ contributions, our Foundation has received approximately $20K for the past two years…..let’s do it again AND THEN SOME!

    Next Leadership Training Meeting: Looking ahead, our next meeting will be held on Thursday, April 14th at the Huntsville Marriott and we will have Mr. Dennis Madsen, THEBIGPICTUREHUNTSVILLE, as our guest speaker.  Our topic for next month is Truth #4, Focusing on the Future Sets Leaders Apart.  We will also highlight our Milestones and future leaders of WEDC.  I want to encourage everyone to bring a guest.  After the meeting, we can go next door to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and drive a Ford in order to raise money that will be used to assist ladies who aren’t as fortunate as us and need a helping hand.

    I look forward to providing education, mentoring, andnetworking opportunities for one another throughout the rest of the year!  Thank you to our Program Coordinator, our Board, our Committee Chairs/Co-chairs, and ALL Members for your commitment, engagement, and dedication to this amazing organization!

    All the best,

    Lane Fabby

  • 25 Mar 2016 4:05 PM | Lane Fabby (Administrator)

    To have 140 members/guests attend the Truth #2 leadership training series meeting, Credibility is the Foundation of Leadership, was inspirational.  I loved the energy in the room and the caliber of ladies who attended reminded me of the importance of why successful women need to rally together and have each other’s back.  We learned from the second chapter of The Truth About Leadership that credibility matters.  When people see their leader exhibit high credibility, they’re significantly more likely to be proud to tell others they’re part of the organization.  They feel a strong sense of team spirit, feel attached, committed and have a sense of ownership of the organization.  In our book we learned that “Only credible leaders earn commitment, and only commitment builds and regenerates great teams and organizations.” Therefore, credibility is the foundation of leadership!

    Our Meeting:  Our speaker, Ms. Jody Singer, shared her beliefs of the two reasons why folks lead…because of PEOPLE and PURPOSE.  When people and purpose are the motivation, then RELATIONSHIPS and RESULTS are the outcome.  She shared the story about the space shuttle, Columbia, and how that mission was a product of people and purpose.  Jody explained that when building human space exploration, people look for leaders who are: (1) Honest; (2) Forward Looking; (3) Inspiring; and (4) Competent.  If people don’t believe in you, they won’t willingly follow you.

    We also had the pleasure of welcoming our new Milestone members.  These ladies are the future of our organization and we know they have great things to add to our membership.  We proudly inducted the following Milestones: (1) Leilani Banaszak; (2) Caroline Bivens; (3) Jennifer Buckner; (4) Amber Finley; (5) Crystal Green; (6) Camillia King-Stanley; (7) Anna McDonald; (8) Katherine McGuire; (9) Madelin Miles; (10) Audra Morris; (11) Ashley Ryals; (12) Rebekah Schmidt; and (13) Lauren Smith.  Members, please take the initiative to get to know these young professionals and cultivate a mentoring culture within our organization.

    Want to Be a Member?: Membership is an 8 month process which begins when two current members make a joint commitment to sponsor and co-sponsor one (1) woman they know to become a member for that calendar year.  In 2016, we will only accept 20 new members.  To review the 2016 membership criteria, please visit our website at http://wedchsv.org/want-to-be-a-member.

    Our 2016 Leadership Conference: Registration for the 2016 WEDC Leadership Conference is now OPEN!  We are pleased to announce that our keynote speaker is nationally renowned leadership speaker and bestselling author, Jim Kouzes.   Mr. Kouzes is the co-author of various books such as “The Leadership Challenge,” “The Truth About Leadership,” and “The Leader’s Legacy.”  You can find all the info you need on our website at http://wedchsv.org/Leadership-Conference.  Register now to insure that you are among the first 150 registered attendees who will receive a FREE Insights Discovery Personal Profile!

    Please consider becoming a Corporate Partner and check out the corporate partner options at Conference Corporate Partnership form 030716.pdf.   

    Our Foundation’s Women Honoring Women Event: The nomination window for Women Honoring Women opened Tuesday, March 1st and closes Friday, April 15th, 2016. Nomination forms can be found at www.wedcfoundation.org/women-honoring-women/.  This year’s WHW event "When Perseverance Meets Passion" will be held on September 15th, 2016 at the VBC - North Hall from 5:30-8:00pm.  WEDC members/guests are encouraged to nominate and reach out to those with potential nominations.  Please help us get the word out and disseminate this information accordingly.

    Next Leadership Training Meeting: Looking ahead, our next meeting will be held on Thursday, April 14th at the Jackson Center and we will have Ms. Patti Martin, President of Martin Strategic Solutions as our guest speaker.  Our topic for next month is Truth #3, Values Drive Commitment.  Patti will remind us how important it is that we know who we are, where we came from, and the values that guide us in our lives.  Remember that this is a JOINT Women’s Economic Development Council (WEDC) & Women in Defense (WID) meeting so spread the word to others who may be interested in learning more about who we are and what we do as an organization.  

    We will also promote our Foundation’s upcoming Women Honoring Women event at our next meeting.  It is important that we support our Foundation and the great things it does to help women make their dreams of economic independence come true.   

    Our next Leadership Training Meeting that is OPEN to the public will be held on Thursday, July 14th at Burritt on the Mountain from 11:30am-1:00pm.  Guests will not need a member invitation or password to register for this event.

    I look forward to providing education, mentoring, andnetworking opportunities for one another throughout the rest of the year!  Thank you to our Program Coordinator, our Board, our Committee Chairs/Co-chairs, and ALL Members for your commitment, engagement, and dedication to this amazing organization!

    It is awesome that we have each other’s back!

    All the best,

    Lane Fabby 

  • 18 Feb 2016 2:22 AM | Lane Fabby (Administrator)

    I appreciate the attendance we had for the Truth #1 leadership training series meeting, You Make a Difference.  We learned from the first chapter of The Truth About Leadership that knowing you can make a difference is the most fundamental truth of all.  Leadership is within all of us – you just have to be willing to act!  On page 14 of our book, it says “By believing in yourself and the capacity to lead, you open yourself to hearing the call – you open yourself to making a difference in the world.” Therefore, we must challenge ourselves to believe, be open, hear the call, and make a difference!

    Our Meeting:  Our speaker, Ms. Tara Furlough, shared her story of how she had the passion and purpose to change the way things were and was willing to act on behalf of generational poverty.  She believed that she could have a positive impact on others and believed in herself to make a difference.  Tara portrayed the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership by: (1) Modeling the Way; (2) Inspiring a Shared Vision; (3) Challenging the Process; (4) Enabling Others to Act; and (5) Encouraging the Heart.  A big part of leadership is about WHAT YOU DO.

    We had great table discussion by sharing stories of someone we know who has taken a stand and stepped up to create change and make a difference.  When we are able to believe in ourselves, great things follow.  I am proud to be a part of this organization because WEDC is a group of women leaders who truly make a difference, not only in one another’s lives, but also in the lives of others.

    Our Events: To find all of our great events planned for the year, please visit our website at http://wedc-online.wildapricot.org/.  Under Education, Mentoring, and Networking, you will find the 2016 Leadership Training Series schedule with dates/topics/speakers/etc.  Additionally, you will find the Internal Networking and Mentoring scheduled events with dates/times/information for the upcoming year.  

    Our Book: Our book to study throughout the year is The Truth About Leadership, by James Kouzes (our upcoming Leadership Conference keynote speaker) and Barry Posner.  Please see the below 2016 Topics/Goals below.

     WEDC 2016 SPEAKER TOPICS

     WEDC 2016 ORGANIZATIONAL GOALS

    Truth # 1
    YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE

     We make a difference in each other’s lives.

     Truth # 2
    CREDIBILITY IS THE FOUNDATION OF LEADERSHIP

     We are perceived as credible in the community.

     Truth # 3
    VALUES DRIVE COMMITMENT

     We live by our values.

     Truth # 4
    FOCUSING ON THE FUTURE SETS LEADERS APART

     We focus on the future of our organization.

     Truth # 5
    YOU CAN'T DO IT ALONE

     We come together to do great things.

     Truth # 6
    TRUST RULES

     We trust one another and increase our influence in the community.

     Truth # 7
    CHALLENGE IS OF CRUCIBLE OF GREATNESS

     We challenge ourselves to take this organization to a higher level.

     Truth # 8
    YOU EITHER LEAD BY EXAMPLE OR

    YOU DON'T LEAD AT ALL

     We lead the way for all women and other organizations.  

     Truth # 9
    THE BEST LEADERS ARE THE BEST LEARNERS

     We focus on continuous learning.

     Truth # 10
    LEADERSHIP IS AN AFFAIR OF THE HEART

     We have the heart to care for one another, share stories, and make one another feel important.

    Our Future: Looking ahead, our next meeting will be held on Thursday, March 10th at the Jackson Center and we will have Ms. Jody Singer, Program Manager for the Flight Programs and Partnership Office (FPPO) at NASA’s Marshall Space and Flight Center (MSFC) as our guest speaker.  Our topic for next month is Truth #2, Credibility is the Foundation of Leadership.  Jody will remind us how important it is that we DO what we say we are going to do.  Remember that this is an OPEN meeting (no invitation necessary) so spread the word to others who may be interested in learning more about who we are and what we do as an organization.  

    We will also induct our new Milestones at our next meeting.  It is important that we support our Milestones and take the initiative to get to know them and welcome them to the WEDC. 

    I look forward to providing education, mentoring, and networking opportunities for one another throughout the rest of the year!  Thank you to our Program Coordinator, our Board, our Chairs/Co-chairs, and all Members for your commitment, engagement, and dedication to this amazing organization!

    All the best,

    Lane Fabby

  • 19 Jan 2016 9:07 PM | Lane Fabby (Administrator)


    I want to let you know that I am honored to be the 2016 President of the WEDC.  We have a fabulous year planned!

    Thursday, January 14th was our Annual Business Meeting for members only and we covered lots of items.   Again, I would like to thank Past President, Leigh Christian, for her dedication, passion, and love for WEDC.  Leigh wrapped up 2015 with a heartfelt video of everything we did throughout the year.  I was amazed looking back at how active our members truly are.  Typically, there are the same folks who participate within an organization, but that is not how we operate.  Most of us have taken the initiative to come to meetings, attend events, serve when needed, and take our membership to heart.   

    We all took an important oath as a member of WEDC: 

    "As a member of the Women's Economic Development Council, I will work in my appointed committee for 2016 by actively participating in the organization and my committee obligations to obtain the goals set for this year. My efforts will consistently preserve the mission, values, and purpose of the WEDC as defined by its founders."

    I expect our members to uphold this oath and add value to our respective committees, activities, and meetings.

    Looking ahead, here are a couple of things to expect in upcoming meetings: (1) Introductions – I think this is a valuable portion of our meetings because we learn a little bit about who we all are and make connections; and (2) Provide a Topic of Discussion during Lunch – I think this is of value because it provides us a common purpose for conversation, gives everyone a voice at the table, and helps us get to know each other better.

    We have an amazing year planned so please mark your calendar now for all these great events!  March, July, and November are our ‘OPEN’ meetings, which means that anyone who would like to attend is welcome without a sponsor. 

    Our book to study throughout the year is The Truth About Leadership, by James Kouzes (our upcoming Leadership Conference keynote speaker) and Barry Posner.  I love the topics in the book and think we will build on our existing leadership skills by learning from this material.  Additionally, I have set goals for us as an organization in 2016 associated to the chapter topics.  Please see the 2016 Topics/Goals below.

     2016 TOPICS

     2016 GOALS

    Truth # 1
    YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE

     We make a difference in each other’s lives.

     Truth # 2
    CREDIBILITY IS THE FOUNDATION OF LEADERSHIP

     We are perceived as credible

    in the community.

     Truth # 3
    VALUES DRIVE COMMITMENT

     We live by our values.

     Truth # 4
    FOCUSING ON THE FUTURE SETS LEADERS APART

     We focus on the future of our organization.

     Truth # 5
    YOU CAN'T DO IT ALONE

     We come together to do great things.

     Truth # 6
    TRUST RULES

     We trust one another and increase our influence in the community.

     Truth # 7
    CHALLENGE IS OF CRUCIBLE OF GREATNESS

     We challenge ourselves to take this organization to a higher level.

     Truth # 8
    YOU EITHER LEAD BY EXAMPLE OR

    YOU DON'T LEAD AT ALL

     We lead the way for all women and other organizations.  

     Truth # 9
    THE BEST LEADERS ARE THE BEST LEARNERS

     We focus on continuous learning.

     Truth # 10
    LEADERSHIP IS AN AFFAIR OF THE HEART

     We have the heart to care for one another, share stories, and make one another feel important.

    We are off to a good start with GREAT things to come….I look forward to serving the WEDC members and this outstanding organization!  Thank you for all you do to help make WEDC the impressive organization it is!!

    All the best,

    Lane Fabby

       

  • 30 Nov 2015 6:57 PM | Leigh Christian (Administrator)
    So once again, I have not posted as often as I would have liked; but these last few months have been a blur.  Work, personal, health have all had great demands on me. I haven’t managed any of them very well!  I know you can relate and I have seen so many of you juggling all of these things lately too!   I admire you!

    Our WEDC Theme this year is Connections and we are guided by the Book – “Everyone Communicates – Few Connect” by John Maxwell.  I want to recap a few of our last meetings.  Our September Meeting was sponsored by our WEDC Mentoring Committee.  Leigh Thigpen and Michelle McGough and their committee planned such a fun meeting. There is only so much I can say about our WEDC Members doing the “Whip and Nae Nae” dance - Keeps me smiling just thinking about it! Lee Marshall, Executive Director of Kids to Love, shared about her organization and called our BINGO game.   It was great to learn key phrases from our book by playing BINGO.  I really enjoyed the conversations and the time to network and share with each other.  I don’t think there is any better way to CONNECT.  The meeting was closed with our own WEDC Member Janice Sanders to wrap up the main points of Chapter 8 “Connectors Create an Experience Everyone Enjoys.”  We learned to take responsibility for our listeners; Communicate in their world; Capture People’s Attention from the Start; Activate your Audience; Say it so it Sticks; Be Visual; Tell Stories; Be the Communicator you want to hear; and Be the person with whom you want to connect.

    Our October Meeting took us back to our roots to help us CONNECT to our organization and really learn why we started and a little about our Founders.  Our WEDC Past President’s led this effort and planned a great event for us.  Gail Wall provided us with such an inspiring Reflection to start the meeting.  Leigh recognized all past presidents with a WEDC Coin and then the President’s thanked all the members for all of the support.  Our membership committee led by Elizabeth Houssain and Beverly Boylan recognized our new WEDC Members.  It was really nice to see our new members and how fantastic our organization is growing.  I want to thank Elizabeth Morard for her contributions of flowers and certificates for our new members.  We watched our WEDC video featuring past members, events and our history.  Melissa Musgrove introduced a video – a TED Talk from Sheryl Sandburg of Facebook.  https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=sheryl+sandberg+ted+video&ei=UTF-8&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-001

    Our WEDC Milestones sold sponsorships for the Semicolon Project - Suicide Awareness.  They raise over $2,500 just at our meeting.  Thank you to our members for reaching out and supporting this effort.  I am amazed at our new and younger Milestone Leaders.  They are going to keep WEDC strong through the years and even better than ever!  I am so excited.  This meeting featured our Past, our Present and our Future.  It was great seeing it all CONNECTED together!  Thank you for such a great meeting!

    Our November meeting covered the last chapter – Chapter 10, “Connectors Live what they Communicate”.  Jim Owens, President of First Bank shared that you have to live what you are saying.  He was funny, warm and just made us stop and think.  He reminded us to focus on trust; look in the mirror; relationships are an investment; and trust is the foundation for everything.  Patty Popour shared a heartfelt Reflection that made us think about our own integrity.  Sandy shared about the Communications committee and all the ways that we communicate! 

    Our next WEDC meeting will be December 10, 2015 at the Westin, where we see "The Other Side of the Coin.”  It’s that time of year. Instead of sugar plums and puppy dog tails, our heads are full of giving…who is on my list? Who have I forgotten? What do they want? Almost every other piece of mail we open is a solicitation for support. Our attention and resources are pulled in many directions. This time of year can be exhausting. During this month, more than any other, we are focused on Giving with a capital G!! The good news is that human beings are hard-wired to give. When mammals first appeared on this planet, about 2 hundred million years ago, they had to develop their capacity for bonding, emotion, and generosity in order to survive. Our social abilities continued to evolve and now our brains have tripled in size to make room for necessary interpersonal skills: language, empathy, attachment, romance, cooperation, altruism. Giving comes naturally to us human beings. However, there is another side to giving that is often not discussed. We hope you will join us as we explore "The Other Side of the Coin.”

    Also – please remember to renew your membership, sign up and get involved in a committee, complete your WEDC Profile so we can get connected to you better – these are all ways that you can become CONNECTED to WEDC and our members! 

    I can’t believe this year is slowly coming to an end and I am so proud of the CONNECTIONS we have made – both personally and professionally.  We have CONNECTED to Ourselves, Our Organization and to Others.  I am so very thankful for you all and am beyond proud to serve as your President this year!

    Leigh Christian          2015 WEDC President   256-509-1580       Leigh.christian@aetossystems.com

  • 01 Sep 2015 10:18 AM | Leigh Christian (Administrator)
    WOW!  It has been a crazy summer - I know we are all so busy and I certainly have been busy both professionally and personally.  I realized I had not sent my July or August President’s Blog – so please forgive me! 

    Our WEDC Theme this year is Connections and we are guided by the Book – “Everyone Communicates – Few Connect”.  Our July Speaker was Cindy Nafus, Director, Production Operations, and Decatur Site Lead at United Launch Alliance (ULA) and she spoke from Chapter 6, “Always Find Some Common Ground.” She really is responsible for rockets that go into space – how cool is that?  She manages over 800 people that are at all different skills levels, diverse backgrounds and she does have to find common ground with them in order to communicate. She tries to go when they are in hospital, have family crisis– she really goes that extra mile.  She was down to earth and funny as she shared about herself and how she finds common ground with her employees.  A quote from that chapter that I found interesting:  Listening requires giving up our favorite human pastime- involvement in ourselves and our own self-interest.”    Mary Ramsey with The Phocaz Group, LLC, shared a heartfelt reflection and touched us with her personal story.  Our Spotlight Committee was the mentoring committee. Sandy Edwards shared about the many mentoring events planned for the remainder of the year including the morning Coffee & Conversations which was a success for all those who attended, the Book Club which is Sept 28th and the book is Daring Greatly by Brene Brown – an excellent author and speaker!  AND our September meeting – one you won’t want to miss! We had a special Coin Presentation to Melissa Musgrove, for her support and activity in WEDC since the beginning.  Melissa also hosted the Past Presidents’ Meeting at her lovely home.  Dedication like Melissa’s has made WEDC what it is!  Thank you!   Our member spotlight was Sandy Edwards and her business, S & B Financial Consultants.  S&B provides accounting solutions to small businesses and nonprofits.

    Our August speaker was Rev. Kerry Holder Joffrion, President/CEO of Turning Point Consultants, LLC. She spoke on Chapter 9, “Connectors Inspire People.”  She encouraged us to say Things Which Inspire the Listener.  (Inspiration: What people know, what people see, what people feel).  The Reflection was shared by Shannon Drake, Director of Community Relations & Outreach for Still Serving Veterans.  She shared a reflection that inspired us and I felt patriotic and proud when she finished!  Our Spotlight Committee was our Milestone Group – these are younger professionals that we are mentoring and have identified as to have high success potential.  As part of their program they have been tasked to do a service project and career maps and several other hurdles to become full-fledged WEDC members.  They have amazed us with their passion and commitment for their service project.  Their project is the #SEMICOLONPAINTPROJECT to raise suicide awareness. The goal is to promote the idea of the semicolon, which represents a sentence the author could’ve ended, but chose not to.  The author is you and the sentence is your life.   We are hoping the community will help spread the word; Know the Signs; Know the Solutions! The event will be from 12p-3p on October 24th.  The community will be invited to reclaim an item they would have otherwise thrown away.  The paint party that will culminate with all of the reclaimed pieces of art being put together into a beautiful sculpture for display downtown.   The location is still TBD.  Tickets will go on sale in a few weeks, so be watching! We will update you with details as they come!  Our Member Spotlight was Claudia Bucher, Director of Resource Development, United Way of Madison County, a great non-profit that allows us to Live United!

    Our next WEDC meeting will be September 10, 2015 at the Westin, where we learn that Connectors Create an Experience Everyone Enjoys!  Our Mentoring Committee is working hard to make this a fun meeting where you will definitely connect!  I can’t wait!

    Mark your Calendars for our Founder’s celebratory Evening meeting October 20, 2015 at the Westin where we will connect to our organization.  If you have an interesting story you would like to share on what WEDC means to you or has provided for you – please contact me.  Hope to see everyone at Women Honoring Women and the Small Business Awards! We are in for a busy September! Many blessings…lots of love.  Hope to CONNECT soon!

    Leigh Christian          2015 WEDC President   256-509-1580       Leigh.christian@aetossystems.com

  • 24 Jun 2015 2:05 PM | Leigh Christian (Administrator)

    I am just so honored and blessed to be a part of such an amazing group!  I am thankful for our diversity, our power, and our connections to each other!  We shared at our WEDC Training meeting about a great Milestone Meet and Greet.  Milestones are younger professionals that may not fully meet the criteria of a WEDC member however they are mentored, do their own projects and participate in most WEDC activities.  We want to ensure that we continue to grow our organization and rely on these professionals to help us stay current and alive!  NMR Consulting hosted a lovely event on the roof of their Belk Hudson Loft and the Mentoring Committee did an outstanding job with appetizers and drinks.  Our WEDC Member Spotlight was Amy McBroom representing Trinity United Methodist Church Adult Daycare program.  She had guests Jill Gardner and Liz Collins promoting this effort. 

    Our WEDC Theme this year is Connections and we are guided by the Book – “Everyone Communicates – Few Connect”.  This month was an awesome topic – “Connecting is more skill than natural talent” - Book Quote from Charlie Wetzel:  “To connect with people, be yourself at your best!”  I truly loved this chapter and the points it made – hope you are reading along!  Our speaker Meaghan Chitwood, the BNI of North Alabama, LLC Executive Director shared her story and explained that trust is a process, not a destination.  Meaghan is widely recognized as a Word-of-Mouth Marketing and Business Networking Expert. In addition to her expertise in these areas, she’s also a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and holds a Civil Engineering degree from Auburn University. All this means that she has a knack for taking complex issues and reducing them down to the simplest, most teachable processes while gaining buy-in from key stakeholders and decision makers.

    Our Spotlight Committee was the Westin Hotel – Nancy Sessler, General Manager shared their appreciation for WEDC Group and apologized for some issues we have had recently. Leigh thanked her and awarded her a WEDC Coin – we hope they will display proudly!   Reflection – Melissa Bullard with BRTRC Federal Solutions, shared a wonderful reflection and I heard several people wanted a copy – I want one too! We do all try to be SUPERWOMEN!!!   Thank you for inspiring us!  At “Lunch with Leigh” I am excited to go with the June winner – Nora Hickman (New Beginnings Family Law)

     Our next WEDC meeting will be July 9, 2015 at the Westin, where we learn about the Intro to 5 Practices of Well Connected Leaders  starting with #1 - “Always Find Some Common Ground.”  I am looking forward to hearing Cindy Nafus, Director, Production Operations, and Decatur Site Lead at United Launch Alliance (ULA) as she shares with us her insights on this topic.  Wow – I can’t wait to hear her stories…she does really build rockets!  We will also introduce the Milestones. 

    Thank you for the hard work of our Membership committee this month as we accept new members.  These are tough decisions and we want to ensure the quality and diversity of our membership!  Thank you! 

    Mark your Calendars for an Evening meeting October 20, 2015 at the Westin where we will connect to our organization.  If you have an interesting story you would like to share on what WEDC means to you or has provided for you – please contact me. 

    Many blessings…lots of love.  Hope to CONNECT soon!

    Leigh Christian

    2015 WEDC President   256-509-1580       Leigh.christian@aetossystems.com

  • 29 May 2015 8:26 AM | Leigh Christian (Administrator)

    I heard the May 14 WEDC Meeting was amazing and full of energy!  Thank you Lane Fabby for covering for me.  I missed you all so much!  I want to congratulate and share my appreciation to the Internal Networking Committee for planning a great retreat.  I had such a great time! Here are a few things that I will share that only those who attended will understand. (Crinoline, the Local Product, those tasty apples at Mrs. Mary Bobos, 5’11”, Surrounded by 8 police cars, Cooter Brown and his cousin Hooch, Mountain pose, chair people, pocket knife haircut, Norman, Huzzah, Bombula, Asserole…) I am telling you the experience is priceless!  You can’t connect any better than that event.  We have another fun event planned on June 12 at the Night at the Burritt on the Mountain.  On June 12th, members will get together at the Trillium room at 6:30 pm. Appetizers and wine will be served and you will have an opportunity to network with fellow members.  Register today! The actual concert is from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm, Burritt’s City Lights and Stars Concert Series will feature acclaimed jazz and swing group, Karen Johns and Company.  Karen Johns has been called a true “triple-threat” who is sure to captivate as she sings original swing-jazz and American standards.  If you love jazz, you’re sure to enjoy the evening.

    Our focus book for this year is John C. Maxwell’s, “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect.” Chapter 4 is “Connecting Always Requires Energy” and I talked to several about what they learned at the May meeting.  One commented that their biggest take away from the speaker is to stop and take a deep breath once and awhile. And we all process events different. Some things that energizes one person may drain another. We need to recognize that.  Another mentioned that every relationship requires energy – some bring out the best energy in you and others deflate your energy. For me – I get energized every time that I am around all of our WEDC Members.  Many thanks to the Marriott for accommodating us for this meeting and thank you to all the WEDC Members that supported the Foundation in the Drive4Community sponsored by Woody Anderson Ford.  They raised $6,000 for the WEDC Foundation! 

    Our Membership Committee was the Spotlight Committee and they shared how membership sponsorship works and the timeline for sponsoring new members this year.  Reflection – Cindy Hill with Beason & Nalley, Inc. shared a wonderful reflection and I heard several people wanted a copy – I want one too!  Thank you for inspiring us!  At “Lunch with Leigh” I am excited to go with the May winner - Pat Smith with Aviation & Missile Solutions!

     The  Member Spotlight member was Elizabeth Smith with Smith Infiniti of Huntsville (I was hoping that an Infiniti could be a door prize…haha)  I am excited to see her career grow and am looking forward to getting to know her better as a WEDC Milestone Member.  I hope you will join me at Meet the Milestones on June 2nd  5:30 pm at The Lofts @ 110 Washington Street   Downtown Huntsville hosted by our Mentoring Committee!  Please join us as we network and welcome our Milestone members. 

     Our next WEDC meeting will be June 11, 2015 back at the Westin in the upstairs room,  where we learn about “Connecting is more skill than Natural Talent.”  I am looking forward to hearing Meaghan Chitwood, Mom, Wife, Engineer, Networking Expert, as she shares with us her insights on this topic.

    Many blessings…lots of love.  Hope to CONNECT soon!

    Leigh Christian

    2015 WEDC President   256-509-1580       Leigh.christian@aetossystems.com

  • 14 Apr 2015 9:35 AM | Leigh Christian (Administrator)

    What an amazing meeting we had on April 9, 2015.  Our focus book for the year is John C. Maxwell’s “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect.”  In Chapter 3 we find “Connecting Goes beyond Words” and it was the theme for the April meeting. The key concept is “The more you do to go beyond words, the greater the chance you will connect with people.”   I thought I would share a few things from the book.  One of the headings is “Your actions speak so loudly, I can’t hear your words!”  That makes me reflect on how we show people we care; how we inspire people to dream and how we reach out to those we have a hard time communicating with… Sometimes a smile is the best way to communicate and connect – to me it is one of the most special ways to show interest and concern.  Our speaker and very own member, Linda DeLuca, Executive Coach and creator of presentationYou.com encouraged us to share our thoughts on how people connect with their actions such as leaning into conversation or nodding, or possibly crossing arms and leaning back – all of these nonverbal signs can communicate and even help determine whether you are CONNECTING with someone or not.  Through Linda’s skillful guidance we were made aware of connecting beyond words.   For our Reflection, Dawn Pumpelly share the most touching video of two softball players carrying their opponent around the field when she hurt her leg running during a winning homerun. This connected way more than words!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttkBP2XDZvE&feature=youtu.be

    Our WEDC Foundation’s President – Beth Brooks reminded us to nominate for the WEDC Foundation Women Honoring Women and also shared about an exciting event on May 14, 2015. Woody Anderson Ford is hosting DRIVE 4 UR COMMUNITY!  For Every person (only one per household) who comes to the Space and Rocket Center and test drives a ford vehicle, the dealership will donate $20 to the WEDC Foundation!!  We need 300 people to raise our goal of $6000. We can do this.... but we need you.  At WEDC’s Leadership Training meeting Caroline Myers, Owner of Foreign Language Services, made the announcement at her table that she is going to have her entire office sign up to go.......so the challenge is made...what office/organization can bring the most! Are you ready for some competition? And for the office who sends the most people, we will bring Donuts to your office! Let's show this town what a group of women with passion can do!  To sign up, go to:  www.SignUpGenius.com/go/20F0B45A5AB28A4FA7-wedc/18642493  (in the comment section next to your name place please enter your place of business/organization you want to represent).  WEDC – this is your way to CONNECT and support our WEDC Foundation! 

     At “Lunch with Leigh” I am going to lunch with Ann Anderson with CASA!  I have known Ann for a very long time.  I served on my first board of directors for HELPline and Ann worked there.  So excited about catching up with her this month!  Next month our member spotlight is one of our Milestone members – Elizabeth Smith with Smith Infiniti of Huntsville.  (Hope she gives free samples...haha)   Can’t wait to hear about her! 

    Our April Member Spotlight member Janice Sanders– as the Executive Director of the WEDC Foundation, she is the mother to all of our mentees.  She has such a passion for others and she is incredible at connecting our awesome scholars with mentors.  Janice’s guidance and motherly instincts have provided so many the love and connection that they have needed.  Our kindest regards to Janice and our own organization the WEDC Foundation.  Janice did share a great door prize – make your own spaghetti sauce garden – it included fresh herbs to plant such as basil, oregano, tomato plants, etc.  Yummy way to start our spring!  One of Melissa Musgrove’s guests won this awesome prize. 

     Don’t forget to CONNECT to each other on Linked In.   Find a member that you do not know very well and CONNECT this month!  Thanks!

    So excited to be able to participate and CONNECT with those going on the Retreat!  I know this will be an amazing weekend with members! 

    Our next meeting will be May 14, 2015 where we learn about “Connecting always requires energy”.  Ms. Michelle Belcher, Director of Communications and Marketing with Frew & Associates will be our guest speaker.  For more details on this meeting, http://www.wedc-online.net/event-1844324?CalendarViewType=1&SelectedDate=5/14/2015

    CONNECT through our Newsflash sent monthly, our website, or our Facebook or Linked In pages.  Congratulations to all of our many members who have received promotions, opened new business or locations, been recognized, and participated in major events...  We encourage you to post your information on our FACEBOOK page so we can connect with you better! 

    Many thanks to Lane Fabby, our WEDC Vice President for closing the meeting for me!  It is so great to have such an awesome Board and Committee Chairs and Program Coordinator that just handle everything – I owe you all a great debt of gratitude!  THANK YOU! 

    Many blessings…lots of love.  Hope to CONNECT soon!

    Leigh Christian

    2015 WEDC President


  • 16 Mar 2015 1:38 PM | Leigh Christian (Administrator)

    What an awesome WEDC Meeting we had on March 12, 2015.  Our focus book for this year is John C. Maxwell’s, “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect.” Chapter 2 is “Connecting is all about others” and I found several points that made me stop and think.  One is:  “John Maxwell shared…When I counseled people who were experiencing difficulties, my attitude was, Hurry up and finish telling me your problem so I can give you my solution.”  That hit me hard because so often I just want to react and go with my first instinct and try to solve a problem.  Sometimes we just need to listen, or maybe guide the other person to act.  Maxwell quotes Zig Ziglar…”If you will first help people get what they want, they will help you get what you want.”  I find that to be so true also.  I volunteer to give my time, talent or treasures and when I do – I get twicefold back in blessings.  When you CONNECT to others, there are three questions those people are asking about you:  Do you care for me; Can you help me; Can I trust you?  The key concept in the chapter is – CONNECTING begins when the other person feels valued. 

    Our Community Outreach committee had us discuss ways we volunteer and how we serve.  We shared great table discussions about volunteering and CONNECTING with others.  This discussion was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Karen Mockensturm and Claudia Bucher represented United Way and Allison Dillon-Jauken represented the Arts Council – both of these organizations serve as umbrella organizations for health and human services and Arts and entertainment, respectively.  They shared about the great impact that these organizations have in our community and how it is such an important part of our quality of life.  We were encouraged to participate and support these organizations through attendance, through financial support, volunteer support, helping with resources, publicity, etc.  If you were unable to attend – please contact our Community Outreach Committee to CONNECT with others in our community!  Cindi Branham did a great “MIND MAP” that showed all of the organizations just represented by the staff of the organizations that are involved in WEDC and it was unbelievable.  I am sure that if we included all the ones that we as WEDC members represent – it would show we have a touch on every aspect of our community.  I encourage you in this month of March – to reach out and CONNECT to others. 

     Our Community Outreach Committee was the Spotlight Committee and they shared how they encourage WEDC Members to be involved and supportive of our community.  They have really focused on planning the March meeting but they have been busy with the new Investment Club, the Women on Board Initiative, involvement in the community, support of political events, etc.  WOW!  I love that WEDC reaches out to our community!  We started the WEDC Foundation, support so many amazing groups and our members are a real part of the community. Introductions - THANK you to everyone who did a great job sharing only your name, company and committee!   Reflection - Our own Janice Migliore, CEO of Palco shared an inspirational video  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EUEg7kd6Cg  This video shows a teacher that is able to CONNECT to his entire school through the upbeat song, “Uptown Funk”.  Janice shared that the teacher learned how to CONNECT with others through music.  We can always find something to help us to Connect with others – what is your best way to connect?

    At “Lunch with Leigh” I am going to lunch with Paul and Julie Finley – the winners of the February meeting; however we have not been able to go yet!  Looking forward to having lunch with Katie Theuer – the winner of the March “Lunch with Leigh”.  She is one of my favorites and I have been friends with her since she moved to town.  I adore her and am so proud of her.  I even sponsored her in WEDC.  We never get to meet anymore so this is perfect. 

    Our Member Spotlight member Rhonda Hunt Sells Homes– As a Real Estate Agent in Huntsville, AL, Rhonda Hunts works with both home buyers and home sellers to make the home buying experience as smooth as possible.  This gives her a chance to share some of the lessons she has learned over her 30+ years of experience in working with home buyers and home sellers. http://rhondahuntsellshomes.com/

     Don’t forget to CONNECT to each other on Linked In. 

    Our next meeting will be April 9, 2015 where we learn about “Connecting goes beyond words”.  Our very own WEDC Member – Linda DeLuca, azione scopo LLC/presentationYOU http://www.presentationyou.com/     I think this meeting will be a perfect way for us to learn about all the other ways that we communicate – can’t wait!!!

    Many blessings…lots of love.  Hope to CONNECT soon!

    Leigh Christian

    2015 WEDC President

    256-509-1580

    Leigh.christian@aetossystems.com

     


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