Well, this is it, my last day as Chapter President of SMPS New York!
Okay, trying not to cry. I’m verklempt…Talk amongst yourselves!
As I sit at my desk typing these words to you—my fabulous volunteers, members, sponsors, and friends—I can’t help but wonder, “Was this all a dream?” It’s funny, but I almost have to pinch myself.
I’ll tell you one thing, if this last year was a dream, it was definitely the craziest, “PURPLE-est” and most rewarding dream I’ve ever had.
As my emotions coast up and down, from elation to sadness to relief, my excitement takes over when I realize that I get to pass the gavel to the incomparable Kourtenay Mott, who I know will lead our chapter with grace, kindness, and her signature dry humor. I can’t wait for you to get to know Kourtenay and our amazing Board of Directors, if you haven’t already. I hope you’re ready for a wild ride, because Kourtenay is IN IT TO WIN IT!
As the 2017-2018 chapter year draws to a close, I guess it’s about time I shared with you what I learned as your President.
In the spirit of the ball drop in Times Square, which is where I happen to be sitting right now, why not end this chapter year with a good old New Year’s Eve countdown? So, here goes…
Top 10 Lessons I Learned as SMPS-NY Chapter President, Times Square Style
(Disclaimer: I am still trying to follow my own advice on some of these!):
TEN…Never be afraid to be yourself. If you’re a little goofy, a little obsessed with organization and color-coding, a little cheesy, a little overzealous with the party decorations (yes, I am describing myself), just don’t be afraid to be all of those things. Always respect others and the environment you are in, but as often as possible, wear your personality with pride. Not everyone will always like the things you do or say, but plenty of people will appreciate you for being YOU!
NINE…In the words of Kit DeLuca and Vivian Ward in Pretty Woman, always remember to Take Care of You. Unfortunately, I learned this the hard way, but you are of no use to anyone if you are lying on a floor sick as a dog because you decided to take care of everyone EXCEPT for yourself. Give yourself a break, leave work and other issues at the office at the end of the day, and make time to focus on your health and well-being.
EIGHT…Bug with love. Leading a volunteer organization is a huge undertaking, and motivating volunteers to execute 1,000+ tasks on a consistent basis is especially difficult, given that they have extremely busy day jobs that actually pay them a salary! Remember that we are all sacrificing and giving for the sake of our organization, so if you need someone to get something done, ask first, be patient and kind, and then bug with love!
SEVEN…Listen, wayyyyyyy more than speaking. The best leaders are the best listeners.
SIX…Before you hit “Send” on that lengthy email, pick up the phone instead.
FIVE…Knowledge is useless if it is stuck in your head. Share your knowledge with those around you and keep organized records of everything so your successors know what worked and what didn’t! It is never too early to start succession planning and training.
FOUR…You can’t be everything to everyone. Be mindful of taking on too many things, and learn how to prioritize and say “No” sometimes. More importantly, don’t underestimate the power of asking for help. I am always surprised by how supportive my SMPS peers are.
THREE…Nurture your relationships. One of the best things about SMPS is the incredible nationwide network of 7,000+ members, available at your fingertips. Take advantage of that network of peers as much as possible. You’ll spin a ‘world wide web’ of contacts and will gain a whole lot of new friends!
TWO…Be positive and be present, because nothing lasts forever. Try to take a second to appreciate the good in each moment.
ONE…Find your purple power. This blog post is the last time you will hear this phrase from me, I promise, but really, figure out what makes you a remarkable marketer. Find that purple power that helps you stand out from the crowd and kill it in your job. We all want fulfillment in our professional and personal lives, so don’t wait to take that first step. Let SMPS help you Enhance Your Career.
HAPPY 2018-2019 NEW YEAR, SMPS NEW YORK! Start spreadin’ the news…
Okay, there you have it. I hope at least one of these lessons resonates with our future SMPS leaders. Speaking of leadership (shameless plug alert), what better time than now to Join a Committee and start your journey to becoming a Chapter Leader?
Wow, it just hit me that this is the last time I get the honor of speaking directly to you as Chapter President. Even though I’m sad to be experiencing a bunch of “lasts” (e.g., last time leading a Board meeting, last time proofing our fabulous communications, last time writing a President’s Platform blog post, etc.), I’m also proud to say that our chapter experienced a ton of “firsts” this year! Forgive the length of this post, but we just have so much to celebrate. Let’s kvell a little! Here are just a few of our “firsts”:
- We had our first New Member Mixers this year. Doing away with the quarterly breakfasts and combining the new member orientations with our Spirits events opened up broader networking opportunities for our members, new and seasoned.
- For the first time during CPSM Week, our chapter won two out of three of the Society’s CPSM Week chapter challenges, as we dared to Up Our Game. Check out the 2018 challenge winners here!
- At Build Business 2018 in San Diego, our chapter won a Striving for Excellence Award for Outstanding Social Media for our 2016-2017 year, and yes, this was also a New York chapter first! A special thank you to Olivia Farquharson and the dazzling Public Relations committee for this well-deserved recognition. And thank you to Kourtenay, Olivia, and our Immediate Past-President, Robin Carathanasis, for your hard work putting together the submissions.
- (This one is a double “first”) Not only was this the first year that the Society rolled out the first ever SMPS MCA Chapter Award, but New York was the first extra-large chapter to win it! Congratulations to our New York members who submitted so many award-winning MCA entries!
- Following the Society’s rebrand teaser, “The Big Reveal,” at Build Business 2018, our chapter was the first to launch our own rebrand, utilizing the fresh, new logo and modern color palette.
- And finally, you’re actually looking at our biggest—and, frankly, my favorite—“first” from this year, our brand spanking new, mobile-responsive, sleek and cool Website! This labor of love was only possible with the help of a small country. To be more specific, thank you to our 2017-2018 Board of Directors, our website visioning committee, our content editor, and our creative partners, Hoffhaus Creative, LLC and Pixel Parlor, for this wonderful “first.”
Almost 50 chapter events took place, over 100 speakers presented, countless connections were made, over 40 AIA / CPSM CEUs were provided, a ton of money was raised for several charities, and an immeasurable amount of industry knowledge was shared. Unbelievably, through all of this year’s challenges and triumphs, we made it to today, a little tired, but with so much to be proud of. You Go, SMPS New York!
How do you really feel about the color purple? I love that my Board surprised me with this video at the Liberty Ball…
As I wrap up this post, I would like to say a few final thank you’s. Thank you to my wonderful Board of Directors for your support, guidance, hard work, and, most importantly, for putting up with my group photos and cheesy antics all year. I couldn’t have done this without you. To my trusted advisors and dear friends, Carrie, Cheryl, Connie, Dave, Erika, Jana, Julie, Kourt, Laura, Lucy, the Divine Miss O, Robin, Sean, and Tyla, thank you for caring enough to endure my 1,001 venting sessions this past year, and beyond. To my SMPS family across the country, thank you for liking my posts and giving me huge virtual hugs every day. To my loving family, thank you for supporting me through everything, and for inspiring me to strive for excellence in everything I do. And to my bashert, Anders, thank you for loving me anyway, no matter what.
And finally, I want to thank you, our valued members, volunteers, and partners for all that you do to help SMPS New York be the best chapter we can be. You have all played a role in getting us to where we are today.
As I retire the color purple on September 1st, I hope you all know that I am humbled to have had the honor of serving as your Purple President, and to have been able to witness so many of you discover your own purple power. Now that I’ve reached the end of this colorful journey, I can finally reveal to you what I consider to be my purple power. Any guesses? Well, you may not get it if you think it has anything to do with me, because my true purple power is YOU. Your greatness helped me stand out as a leader and as a happy, proud, purple president. I will never forget you for that. So, thank you, from the bottom of my purple heart.
Your Purple Prez,
Alexis M. Newman, MBA
SMPS New York