On Monday, September 21, I had the pleasure of being in Kansas City at IAAP Headquarters to recognize staff for their contributions to IAAP. I arrived shortly after 8 a.m. and did a quick tour through the office to say hello to everyone before I dropped my bags of cashews and chocolates in the kitchen. There I found two tables groaning under the weight of all the food staff had brought in for the potluck luncheon.
Don and I then had time to chat and get caught up before the 10 a.m. dedication ceremony. A bench, which had been purchased by the Past International Presidents who had worked with Shirley, was dedicated in her honor. Shirley started working for IAAP on July 5, 1957 and retired on July 31, 1996. She was the Publications Manager when she retired, and The Secretary (now OfficePro) Editor. What a thrill it was to meet Shirley. I had heard many stories about her but until now had not met her. She is one feisty lady!
This is the top of the bench, displaying the brass plaque: In Honor of Shirley S. Englund. She is highly regarded by all who knew and worked with her. Shirley, as well as Headquarters staff, regaled us with stories, some of which included her son's contributions at IAAP events! She shared other stories with us during the short time she was able to be with us, as well as some fond memories of The Secretary cover pages! The ideas for which often were created in her own living room! Or maybe they resided in her living room after creation! When Shirley left later that morning I walked away with the memory of an individual dedicated to the association and its members, as well as a very talented lady.
In this second picture is, from right to left, Executive Director Don Bretthauer CAE, Shirley Englund, her son Eric and I.
And we had to have a picture of just Shirley proudly showing off her bench!
Many thanks to Fran Barr, who was instrumental in working with the many Past International Presidents who served on the Board during Shirley's tenure with IAAP, to make this happen!
Shortly thereafter, we were off to the second floor for lunch where the Staff Activities Committee had decorated the room and tables in fall colors. Lots of tempting dishes and the desserts. . . I think I put on five pounds just walking by them! I had the opportunity to get to know some of the staff better during lunch. Discussions revolved around kids, body building contests, pets, husbands/significant others, college courses and the like and then, of course, came the statement on which was the best barbeque spot to eat at! It was a privilege to be in the midst of such camaraderie and enthusiasm! IAAP is truly fortunate to have such an outstanding group of employees!
While significant anniversaries were recognized (guess who's been with IAAP the longest), I also took the opportunity to recognize everyone for their contributions. On behalf of the Board, I thanked each of them for the role they played in the success of IAAP over the past year. Further, that the Board appreciates what they do each and every day because without them, IAAP would not be where it is today!
There were many Kodak moments (which I hope to share with you over the coming months) and plenty of laughs! It was humbling to be with a group of people who not only love what they do, they love where they work, AND they are passionate about IAAP!
I'm sure you understand, that given the current economic conditions, Staff finds themselves doing more with less, just like you and I in our own positions with firms who are taking a hard look at trimming expenses. So, for the month of October, let's make an effort to thank everyone we come in contact with. Whether we thank them for being our friend, or whether they assisted us with work, or whether it's staff at Headquarters working on your behalf or at your request, let's develop an Attitude of Gratitude this month. Let's focus on the positives and acknowledge what others do for us and for IAAP. And while you're at it, copy your chapter/division president, district director or Headquarters manager. Multiply that Attitude of Gratitude!