By Beth Ann Kenny, CAE
Blessings in Disguise
No one said this would be easy.
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.
There are times when you must refrain from reacting to the current situation. There are days when you must focus on the present, reject the negativity and concentrate on solutions and a better future.
Let me concentrate now on blessings.
I was blessed having my name drawn during CSAE-TC’s Annual General Meeting/Exhibit Hall/PDX to win a trip to Quebec City, courtesy of Marc Bédard of ViaRail, Suzanne Roy of Quebec City Tourism, and the Andrée Gilbert of the Chateau Bonne Entente. I celebrated a milestone birthday and enjoyed an incredible trip, thanks to these generous CSAE members and the hard work of our Chapter volunteers and staff to put together that event.
Incredibly, during a brief stop in Montreal, on the way from Toronto to Quebec City, I was – no kidding – reading the latest issue of Association™ magazine, and, who did I run into? It was none other than James Knight, CSAE’s Chair of the Board. The trip was truly incredible, relaxing and wonderful. As I hadn’t been able to do in years, I focused on the present, had no negativity in my mind and I was concentrating on the future. I returned rested, relaxed and rejuvenated.
I related my experience with many Chapter colleagues and Paulette Vinette recommended that this article be entitled, “The blessings of participating in CSAE and Trillium.” She wanted me to include the following:
"We come together for professional development and networking. Sometimes we leave with exactly what we needed that came to us from a business member we never met before. When you volunteer, you get more than you give. It’s a universal law.”
Paulette is a volunteer extraordinaire, a pioneer in our industry, and, on a personal note, a genuinely valued colleague. As many of our members have already heard, she has left her role as our Executive Director. Our volunteers received the following announcement in December:
Resignation Received from AssociationsFirst as the Trillium Chapter's Management Company
Regretfully, I must write to inform you that our relationship with AssociationsFirst as the management company for the Trillium Chapter is coming to an end. Paulette Vinette, the Chapter’s Executive Director, will be leaving us as of January 11th, and AssociationsFirst will conclude its service at our fiscal year end, April 30, 2008. Wayne Glover, owner of AssociationsFirst, has offered to assist us through our transition. We all know that Paulette will continue to be involved with CSAE in a variety of volunteer capacities in the years to come.
In a letter to CSAE’s President and CEO, Michael Anderson, under whose signature the Chapter’s agreement rests, Wayne stated, “It has been a pleasure to be able to assist the Trillium Chapter over the past two years. We wish the Chapter every success in the future.”
On behalf of the Board, volunteers and members of the Trillium Chapter, I want to take this opportunity to thank Paulette and the team at AssociationsFirst for their hard work over the last 18 months. Rest assured that the Chapter will keep you informed as we transition into a new management relationship and continue to volunteer on your behalf to help put a face to the name CSAE with a focus on continuing to improve our member services.
The Chapter has begun to transition into this new relationship with AssociationsFirst, and acting Executive Director Becky Harris has stepped up to the plate to ensure your expectations continue to be met.
So, as I return to a focus on blessings, it was a blessing to spend six months working with Paulette in our respective leadership roles. It was blessing to enjoy a remarkable time of revitalization in Quebec City, thanks to tremendously generous CSAE-TC members and volunteers. It was a blessing to be appointed Chapter President.
As Paulette said, “When you volunteer, you get more than you give.” I couldn’t agree more.
In your association experience, do you have an example of a blessing in disguise that you would like to share? I encourage you to send your story to me at email@example.com. In your email, please let me know if I have permission to share your experience with other association executives through CSAE-TC’s Forum.