I’m sitting in a pitch-black ballroom with 150 strangers, trying to make an origami diamond and the directions are coming from a man who is trying to read the instructions while wearing a miner’s headlamp. What have I gotten myself into?!
As the newest member of the Board of the South Carolina Chapter, I was lucky enough to have the chance to attend this year’s Leadership Summit. Leadership traditionally takes place for a day and a half before the convention starts and is comprised mostly of chapter board members and volunteer leaders of the local HFTP chapters.
First order of business: introductions. Rosemarie Gilchrist chaired the Leadership Summit Council and asked each of us to stand, tell our name, how many years we’ve been involved in HFTP and answer an individual ice breaker that we each received. Remember that I mentioned there were 150+ people in the room? Yes, it took over an hour to do this. What surprised me most was the collective years of membership in the room. It was the exception to have less than five years of being active in HFTP. 10, 15 and 20 year members were the norm.
Motivational speaker Denise Ryan (@deniseryan) spent an hour with us at the end of day one. Denise is a very shy and reserved person. HA! Not quite. Who needs that afternoon coffee break when you have Denise in the room? Some of the gems I took away from her session were “Enthusiasm Vampire”, “Question Sacred Cows” and “Minister of Culture”. If you were not able to attend Leadership and hear her speak, make sure you come see her speak at the Mid-South Atlantic Regional Conference in February of 2013.
As the rest of the attendees started to arrive at the opening reception in the Exhibition Hall on Wednesday, I turned the corner and saw this:
Fellow convention attendee @siouxzycue posted this photo to Twitter:
The packet I picked up at registration did not mention anything about completely insane golf pants. In case you don’t recognize them, this is a photo of the Executive Committee. Yes folks, these are our leaders…
On a serious note, when you stop to think about it, this photo embodies what this organization is all about. Daniel, Tom, Lisa, Jerry and R.P. didn’t have to wear these pants. I’m sure it was no easy feat even finding these pants and who wants to waste valuable space in their luggage on something that will only get a few hours use. It may seem silly but this is just one example of the little details that make this event so special.
In the first two days, I’ve heard Denise Ryan, Daniel Conti and Jerry Trieber all talk how unique this organization is. They’ve all made a point of telling us that this is our peer group. Attendees look forward to coming to the convention because it’s about the friendship, the fellowship, and most importantly, the feeling that these people truly understand where you are coming from.
Joe Young is the staff accountant at the Wexford Plantation Homeowners Association in Hilton Head, S.C. Follow him on Twitter @joejoeyoung
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