As the Holiday season begins, may you and your family be blessed with health, friendship, happiness, and peace of mind. I hope the dawn of the New Year brings fresh possibilities for your future. Take time to reflect on the positive things and people in your life and look for an opportunity to pass something positive onto others.
Archive for President’s Message
As a rule, I don’t look forward to the end of the year. The march of time, the coming of winter, the closing out on the opportunity to accomplish yet another year’s goals, these things are not comforting to me.
However, the Barnes & Noble book fair and the excitement that surrounds that day is warm and welcoming. The feeling is like a big, fleece blanket wrapping around you. Kids are at the mall, anticipating some time with Santa to relay their secret wishes, people are shopping for gifts, and books, and special items for their loved ones that can take them out of their everyday world. Shoppers are contemplative and happy, thinking about surprising that special someone. The smell coming from the coffee bar fills the whole store. And smiles are everywhere; there is no sign of the stress that sometimes comes with the last couple of days before Christmas.
Our goal of $10,000 in sales for the duration of the book fair is reachable. That’s just an average of $35 per person for the number of people who have participated in the past—286 buying units. We can talk to everyone we know to make that happen because any sale, at any B&N, or online, using our book fair # of 11195823 will get the job done.
Now the cold, hard numbers is a pretty sterile way of looking at it, but a much better way to realize what this book fair is really about, is to think of the students at Northview schools seeing the play The Miracle Worker and understanding a little better what their deaf peers go through. And what about the deaf students knowing that they are not alone in the world with their disadvantage and it REALLY isn’t a disadvantage after all! It’s the young man going to school to be a pharmacist and who is working part- time as a pharmacy assistant who needs good hearing aids to continue learning and get instructions right at work—so many people are counting on him and we can provide the funds for those oh so expensive aids that insurance doesn’t cover. It’s the business owner who had a health issue that treatment of caused hearing loss, now he’s concerned he may lose his business and have to displace his employees if he can’t get hearing aids. And affording them after losing so much business already due to time away treating the other health issue is a burden but not so much, with the help from Quota International of Grand Rapids.
These are just a couple of examples of the impact we make with our efforts and it’s a really fun and enjoyable day. What a blessing!
In August, we had a Special Guest at our Membership Meeting–District 20 Yvonne Babe. In 2014, District 20 will become Region 4, and Yvonne will be the first Region 4 Director.
Quota International is a dynamic group with years of history behind us, and also a great future in front of us. Barbara Schreiber is the new Executive Director of Quota International and is a forward thinking leader.
Quota International President Laura Layman and President Elect/Treasurer Karen Murphy will both be at the Central Area Meeting in Kenosha WI on October 11-13 to expand on the impactful service projects of Quota. Karen Murphy will visit Grand Rapids on Thursday, October 10. Call Kim at 616-443-6138 for information.
Mark Your Calendars for these fun times: International Convention from July 18-21, 2014 in Cincinnati, OH, and the District 20 Conference from May 16-18, 2014, in Port Huron at the Hilton Double Tree Inn.
Yvonne, and Lisa Kent, the President Elect of the Region, put together The Leap Pad, District 20’s newsletter , sent every two months, sharing what is happening in our District. Recent items include: Quota Cares Walk to End Silence: Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo on Sept. 15; Trivia Night in Flint Sept 21 and Iosco County Sept 28; Festival of Cakes in November in Traverse City visit www.festivalofcakes.com; Younkers Community Days in Traverse City on Nov 15-16; and Port Huron sponsored a Fishing Tournament that netted $10,000.
These are Quota Stats: worldwide members: 5,514, District 20: 179 members, Flint: 35, Grand Rapids: 30, Kalamazoo: 15, Iosco County: 51, Port Huron: 37, & Traverse City: 11.
Yvonne encouraged us to “rev up” our club with these actions:
- Spice up our service or fund raising projects. Here are some examples from other clubs:
- Change projects every five years. (Netherlands)
- Each year have a one-time project (Make comfort blankets for stroke patients)
- Build a hearing exhibit at the Children’s Museum
- Sponsor a Tennis Tournament
- Create a more flexible and simplified club structure. Look at our mission statement and see if it can be simplified. Some examples of simplification include:
- Simplify operations, such as one meeting a month, as Grand Rapids has done.
- Reduce the size of the Board to make meetings easier.
- Make better use of technology. There are some cyber clubs that communicate over the internet and only meet for service or fundraisers.
You may know that I’ve been out of commission for a while and am working hard to play catch up. So, rather than come up with my own message for August, I will use the words of one of the Influencers that I follow on LinkedIn–Sallie Krawcheck. I hope you get as much from it as I did. Kim
My (New) Third Very Simple Rule of Networking
August 05, 2013
I recently wrote a post on My Two Very Simple Rules for Networking. They are:
1) Meet one new person in my area of interest every month, or significantly deepen an existing relationship.
2) Do something nice for someone in my network every week.
Based on the comments from LinkedIn readers, I am adding a third rule:
3) Make sure that I am spending time with professionals who are different from me.
At an extreme, if my network is made up solely of female financial services professionals of my generation, who all hail from the south, I will likely feel very comfortable with them. And I will likely enjoy my time with them. And I will no doubt learn from them.
But at some point, this will become an echo chamber of similar-enough experiences and perspectives.
Some of my most meaningful new connections over the past few years have been with professionals from different industries and different parts of the country from me. And my most valuable may have been with entrepreneurs who are a couple of decades younger than me, who possess a significantly different perspective.
Research shows that we are all most comfortable networking with (and working with) people who are like us. But just as the most successful management teams bring complementary strengths to the table, so the most meaningful professional networks do as well….even if it takes a bit more effort.
Better late than never…
Recently I was reminded of the powerful impact of small kindnesses. Truly, we have only a cursory awareness of the lasting impact and potential influence of our words and actions.
Today, take that extra five minutes to write a note of appreciation to the person who expressed encouraging thoughts when you were going through a hard time. Try to tamp down your natural impatience when you have to change your plans to give someone a ride or pick up something because the other person is unable to deliver it.
Spend some time talking to a young person about their plans for the future. Express your faith in their abilities. When an older person talks about the way things used to be, agree that maybe there are some good qualities lacking in today’s world, namely an overall ability to recognize blessings.
Hold off getting right to your agenda in order to compliment the other party on their look or a character trait. When you’re pushing the shopping cart through the grocery store, look everyone you pass in the eye and give them a smile. Spend the time to call someone you haven’t seen at church, work, a meeting, book club, or exercise class for a while, just to say you’re thinking about them. It’ll take about 10-15 minutes, but makes a lifetime of difference.
You know what? I guarantee that these things you give out will come back to you multiplied.
June is Commencement Month. I thought I’d pass on some of the wisdom that was shared with this year’s graduates. Sometimes in life, a reminder of an earlier lesson is refreshing and just what is needed to give you perspective.
Charlene Li–Founder Partner at Altimeter Group—(Altimeter Group provides research and advisory for companies challenged by business disruptions, enabling them to pursue new opportunities and business models.)
Never be so faithful to your plan that you are unwilling to consider the unexpected. Never be so faithful to your plan that you are unwilling to entertain the improbable opportunity that comes looking for you. And never be so faithful to your plan that when you hit a bump in the road – or when the bumps hit you – you don’t have the fortitude, grace, and resiliency to rethink and regroup.
But for everyone, plans or no plans, keep a little space in your heart for the improbable. You won’t regret it.
Ben S. Bernanke, Chairman, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System At Bard College at Simon’s Rock, Great Barrington, Massachusetts
The history of technological innovation and economic development teaches us that change is the only constant. During your working lives, you will have to reinvent yourselves many times. Success and satisfaction will not come from mastering a fixed body of knowledge but from constant adaptation and creativity in a rapidly changing world. Engaging with and applying new technologies will be a crucial part of that adaptation. Your work here at Simon’s Rock, and the intellectual skills, creativity, and imagination that that work has fostered, are the best possible preparation for these challenges. And while I have emphasized technological and scientific advances today, it is important to remember that the arts and humanities facilitate new and creative thinking as well, while helping us to draw meaning that goes beyond the purely material aspects of our lives.
Quota International is all about you. Yes, it’s about service for the deaf and hard-of-hearing and disadvantaged women and children, but you are the instrument Quota uses to accomplish that mission.
Knowing how important you are to the big picture, Quota has developed so many resources you can use to see what we do, see how you fit, and see the result. If you’ve never gone to the Quota International website, here is the address for members: http://www.quota.org/member-center/.
While you’re there you can check your membership record; update your address, change your email address, sign up to receive the Quota Quick Update in your inbox, or just get general information about Quota. What if you’re not getting email updates? Maybe they don’t have your email address. At the very least, you can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know you don’t receive anything. You’ll find that contact information on the website.
There are development manuals, training resources, tools for your committee, awards that our club can compete in and receive recognition for, and usually a poll (a fun, fast, and easy way to voice your opinion).
The International President, Laura Lahman, has a message posted here. Currently, she is introducing our new executive director, Barbara Schreiber.
Did you know that we have a Friendship Club? What is that, you ask? The Friendship Club Program matches your club with another club in Quota’s worldwide network so that your members may benefit by linking with another community, sharing ideas, and making friends across the globe. Grand Rapids’ friendship club is Opotiki, New Zealand. When I was at the International Convention in July 2012, the women in this club specifically sought me out. I had sisters in New Zealand and didn’t even know it!! Here are our smiling faces.
There are neat things for sale that have Q’s on them. Click here to check it out.
I would suggest you visit the site often. The first time, just explore. Quota is International, after all. Consider it traveling the world as you look over all the special events and opportunities that are there. It’s a good feeling to know that you’re part of something bigger, but that without you, it just wouldn’t happen.
We didn’t have any Quotarian birthdays in February, but we sure made up for it in March! The people who had March birthdays are:
Pam G March 4
Kim March 9
Diana March 19
Peggy March 20
Rachael March 30
Barbara March 31
Pam H March 31
My birthday wish every year is to have spring weather on my birthday. Well, it was in the upper 40s for my birthday, but after that things fell apart again. If your birthday was before and after mine, I’m sorry. Next year I’ll include you in my spring weather birthday wish!
For April, we only have two Quotarians with birthdays: Joyce’s is April 5 and Carolyn’s is the 23rd.
Did you know that you can look on our blog under Quota Documents to see the birthday list? The list now includes our newest member, Sandi. Be sure to check it out so you can wish her a happy birthday (hint, it’s not for a few months).
I hope to see many of you at the District Conference in Traverse City on April 26 through 28. The conference is good fun and with the changes in structure happening at the International level, it’s an interesting time. If you need another copy of the invitation, please let me know.
I’m excited about some upcoming events at Quota.
First, I’m looking forward to this month’s membership meeting. It’s Quota Cares Month and the Grand Rapids club has decided to provide gift bags to the clients of Sisters In Support through DA Blodgett Homes. Last year we had a fun time creating bags for Kids Food Basket and I think the Program/Hospitality Team has chosen well to continue our hands-on service at the regular membership meeting and they’ve identified a project that we can relate to and have fun with.
Even if you can’t contribute to the items we’re collecting, be sure to come to the meeting to help put together the gift bags. It’ll be a great time for a great cause!
I’m also looking forward to the District 20 Conference. For all we know, this will be the last District 20 Conference in history. Does that have significance? I think it does. The District Conferences help us to know that we are not isolated. That there are others outside of our community who feel the same way we do; who see the same needs in their community that we do, and who know that although they are just one, they can come together with others and make a difference.
The District Conference is in Traverse City this year. It’s a great way to meet new people and re-visit with those you haven’t seen in a while. And it’s a good way to recharge your batteries. The last time we were in Traverse City, they were great hosts, we had a good time and learned helpful tips to bring back to GR.
Sharing and Caring. That’s what Quota is all about. I’ll see you at these two events!
It’s February…in my opinion, the longest month of the year (I don’t care what the calendar says).
I find myself losing focus and, despite my good intentions, just not sticking to the activities I know are productive and that will help me accomplish what I need to get done. I can blame it on the weather, the lack of sunshine, the let down from the end-of-year busyness, or whatever, but if I don’t kick myself in the butt and do something about it, it’ll go on until April or longer!
I found an article on the internet about pulling yourself out of a slump and I thought I’d share some of the tips with you. I’m hoping that by helping others, I can help myself.
Sometimes life is traveling along quite nicely, then – BANG – for some reason you fall into a slump. You know the signs: low energy, lack of motivation, a don’t-care attitude. Of course one option is to roll with it and hope it wears off. A better option, however, is to implement some strategies that will boost your mood and hopefully get you back on track.
Ditch the Routine–A daily routine is normally good, but every so often it might need to go out the window for the sake of sanity. Sometimes a little shake-up can be psychologically beneficial.
Exercise–Exercise is a fantastic way to get out of a slump. It is well known that exercise stimulates various brain chemicals, leaving you happier and more relaxed. And by making you look and feel better, exercise will also help increase your confidence and improve your self-esteem.
Do a Good Deed–It’s a win-win!
Clear Your Mind of Clutter–Mental clutter is a major cause of falling into a rut. Over time all those things that keep getting pushed back, can build up and cause you stress. You don’t need to necessary do all those tasks to clear your mind. The key is to get them out of your head by writing them down, and then you can take on just one task from the list.
Completely Change Direction–Sometimes a slump can be brought on by stress related to one particular project. These can hijack your thoughts, making it seemingly impossible to think about anything else. When this happens, it might be time to put the project aside for a while, maybe even a few days, and do something completely different. Returning with a new, fresh mindset will allow you to get done what seemed daunting before.
Here’s to the longest month of the year! Stay sane!