While networking I have the opportunity to meet amazing people, gain knowledge from my peers, develop friendships, and broaden my referral network. On this page I hope to share events, experiences, and the comedy that can result when you have a group of strong-minded individuals serving on one board.
- President of Utah Women in Insurance & Financial Services (Utah WIFS)
- Chair of Workforce Development Committee – a part of the Salt Lake Chamber
- Vice President of Trustees for Salt Lake chapter of National Association for Women Business Owners (NAWBO–SLC)
- Committee Member for Utah Women and Education Initiative (UWEI)
- National Marketing Committee Member for Women in Insurance & Financial Services (WIFS)
- Marketing Committee for Granite & Jordan School Districts
February 9, 2013:
Who would have thought that finding a marketing person in the insurance and financial services industry to fill a position on the Board would be so hard? Okay, I knew it would be a little difficult being that I have done marketing in this particular industry for almost 12 years, but I told people I would train! I only have one month to find someone to fill my spot on the board before I finish my term, and I am slightly discouraged that even the other board members have not volunteered to be trained in the interim.
So, we will see how the next month turns out, and how the chapter will fill the gap. I am so overwhelmed with my many Board commitments that I cannot postpone my departure. I co-founded the chapter in 2009 and am not providing as much value as a new board member would because I am burned out with it. Reaching this stage is not doing any good for the chapter and I realize this.
Vice President of Marketing for Utah WIFS anyone? Anyone?
December 11, 2012:
Today Utah WIFS (http://utahwifs.wordpress.com/) held its annual Networking While Shopping event, and it was a HUGE success! I have been on the board since I co-founded the association in 2009 and this is my last December vendor event that I will be organizing. Although I have enjoyed putting on these events, I am looking forward to being only a shopper next year! With that said, I know I got a lot of holiday shopping done today, and many other attendees did too.
The 20 local Utah vendors who participated were amazing and I look forward to shopping with them for many years to come. My shopping purchases included:
- A Minky & More throw. Oh my! It is so soft and luxurious that my 11-year-old son stole it from me as soon as he found it. He is cuddling with it now. I think everyone needs one because they are washer-friendly and, dare I say it again, amazing!
- doTERRA oils! Oh wow. I am so excited to have my doTERRA oils again. I use the lavender on my pillow, lemon in my cleaning products, and peppermint for headaches and so much more. I love these essential oils, and they are a huge supporter of Utah WIFS!
- Choffy! Although I do love my coffee, this is actually a healthy, 100% premium cacao that is a superfood. Yes, cacao is spelled right but is also known as “cocoa beans.” I bought a blend and a mug that is also a coffee press! How cool is that?
- Lipstick from Glamour Connection that lasts all day long and is fantastic. I generally do not go bol because of the environment I work in, but that is going to change after consulting with Leta Greene! I must admit that I looked pretty fabulous in the new shade during the event.
- Chocolates for my neighbors and friends. I bought so much chocolate that I already feel the holiday pounds adding on, but then I realized I bought them as gifts so I see my neighbors actually with the pounds (kidding of course.) These Creamium Chocolates are not like any I have tasted before, and trust me I am a chocolate lover!
- Who knew Scentsy was more than wickless candles? I not only bought my wickless candle refills, but also bought soap, lotions, and a car freshener! So excited.
- I also, of course, donated to the Helping Kids with Cancer foundation that is very personal for me. My son’s friend, Tomas, was diagnosed at only 8 years old and lived only a couple of days after his 10th birthday. No one should experience cancer in the family; especially at an incredibly young age.
So many more vendors were present. You can view them all at: http://utahwifs.wordpress.com/december-2012-event/ and help support these amazing companies.
Again, although I am left with many positive memories of being President of Utah WIFS, I am also excited to see how the chapter grows with the amazing incoming President, Mandy Aguirre. She will be fantastic I am sure, and I can enjoy the monthly events as a spectator.
Season Greeting’s everyone!
–Amber, Utah WIFS President
November 16, 2012:
Today we, the Utah WIFS Board, met to strategize for the upcoming 2013 year. Not only were we able to come together as a new board, but we were also able to “own” our volunteered roles on the board. It is too easy to get caught up in the busyness of our own lives, and to forget that we must also work toward building our own practices and form strong relationships. This meeting accomplished all of that.
We were able to set goals for the next year, create a speaker line-up calendar, learn more about each other, and define communication systems. For a few months we relied heavily on email to communicate, and we lost the “human” aspect of our roles. The emails became too frequent, and the telephone calls too few.
With our new systems we will be able to minimize the amount of time we spend communicating, and maximize our time with developing our growing chapter. It was also fantastic to learn more about each board member, and gain a deeper understanding of what makes each of us tick.
After strategizing for a few hours, we went to dinner and made the conversation more casual. This allowed us to get to know one another on a personal level. We discussed our favorite movies, funny experiences, top foods, and family stories. One of the many lessons learned during this meeting was that we cannot lose the human aspect of our roles. In order to succeed, we must further our practices through relationship building, while also creating a value for our members.
We are excited for the 2013 year, and I am personally grateful for our amazing board!
–Amber, Utah WIFS President
November 7, 2012:
My presentation regarding LinkedIn was a huge success! The room was completely filled with business
professionals, and afterward people came up to me telling me the various “take aways” they learned during the event. The hours of preparation paid off ten-fold.
It amazed me to learn that many of the tools available on LinkedIn were not being used because no one was aware of them. I was able to share my knowledge with my peers, while gaining professional acceptance and friendships. Today was a great day with the best possible outcome.
I received several inquiries for future speaking engagements on the same topic, and I look forward to each one. I enjoy training individuals and large groups, and am encouraged by the overwhelming positive responses I received.
LinkedIn is definitely a communication tool that every business professional needs to take advantage of. The fact that it is simply a “tool” should be realized though. Too many users view LinkedIn as a media, like the evening news, however it is really more like a communication gateway like the telephone. Once this is realized, the overwhelming feeling that social media can cause will most likely be lessened considerably.
Contact me if you would like me to train you or your employees on the power of LinkedIn. My talking
points are not why social media is important, but rather how to use the social media platforms specific to your business.
November 6, 2012:
A good reminder when being a part of the board is that you must have strategies and defined communication procedures. This past year has been a trying time for our board because our
number of attendees to our group have slowly decreased, and 1/2 of the board members have served beyond the usual two-year term, while the other 1/2 are relatively new. This provides an interesting dynamic because 1/2 of the board is ready to retire, while the other 1/2 is still learning the ropes.
What makes this experience even more challenging, is that prior to a few experienced board members retiring, we worked seamlessly together. It was almost like we could anticipate one another’s actions and reactions, and plan accordingly. Our events were planned so well that we all knew our tasks expected to be completed, and we understood each others communication habits and best
Unfortunately, with the new board we have not reached this level of communication. Our largest and most profitable event of the year is coming up in December and it appears that we are all at odds with the planning. A few of us tend to over communicate through email to make up for the individuals who do not communicate at all. It is tiring to say the least. It is also frustrating for everyone involved.
The solution? I decided that before I end my 4-year term I am going to reinstate our communication strategy, and promote accountability, so that the chapter’s incoming President can feel confident about the board and organization she must preside over.
I do not know the response I will receive, but things must change. With the board being made up of very busy professional women….very busy professional women VOLUNTEERS…..it is sometimes easier to say, “I’ll concentrate on this later.” It is even easier to take on too much yourself as President, and not delegate often enough because of the knowledge that everyone is a volunteer.
Written strategies and accountability are great things. I sincerely hope that the other board members understand and want this as well.
October 27, 2012:
I just returned from a National WIFS conference in Georgia where hundreds of powerful women gathered to network, learn, and share. This was my 4th year attending and I really enjoyed the speakers. I returned to Utah with many notes of things I want to implement by the end of the year , new relationships, and strengthened friendships.
The most exciting part of the trip was that I was nominated for WIFS highest honor: Woman of the Year. I was one of only three nominees and it felt amazing to get that kind of recognition. Although I was not the recipient of the award, it feels great being one of the very few women in the running. I have to thank my board of directors of Utah WIFS for this nomination. Our VP of Administration, Bonnie Evensen, wrote and submitted the nomination on behalf of the other board members, and for that I am truly grateful.
I also heard a fantastic quote while at the conference: “Saying you will ‘try’ is just setting yourself up for failure. You need to say ‘I will’.” This quote resonated true with me because I often say “I will try” and if I do not accomplish the task, I do not feel badly about it, instead I rationalize by telling myself I only said I would “try.” What a disservice we do to ourselves when we do this! We are giving ourselves permission to fail. I am not removing “try” from my vocabulary and only saying, “I will!”
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