BPW TRIANGLE – What a Ride!
Written by Mikki A Kline, Co-President BPW Triangle 2016-2018
In March 2016, in the wee early hours of a Saturday morning, Marcy Stahl and I gathered a few hardy souls to discuss ways that we could energize and build-up & out this chapter. Some of ladies were familiar with BPW, and some had never heard of our organization. It took several of these meetings, over the course of many months to assemble enough women to say “I’m in”. With complete optimism, hopefulness and a blurry vision where we wanted to go, we began to lay out a plan.
We determined fairly quickly that we wanted “FUN,” and this needed to be intertwined with learning, professional & personal growth, and that we had welcomed everyone. In laymen terms, we wanted cupcakes & champagne, but it had to come with high-level, high-quality speakers & learning. Plus, we wanted all members and guests to feel like they belonged; so much so, that they joined our chapter immediately and knew that their participation was vital in helping us grow.
Now, I’m not sure if it was the three tiered dessert table at Prestonwood Country Club, the various social events, or just our pure perseverance of our leadership team & members, but BPW Triangle has experienced fantastic results over the past two years. We have more members than ever, membership engagement is up, we have added additional programming (yes, some has worked and some has not), many of our members have stepped into leadership positions or found various ways to enhance our chapter, and our meeting attendance has soared; plus, each year we have increased the amount of money we have given out in educational scholarships. The results in just two years has been incredible… however, all of this pales in comparison to the connections and relationships that have been built between our members.
During the past two years, we have experienced so much together. Our members have welcomed babies and some have faced an empty nest; we have said goodbye to Dr. Lois Frazier, our longest and dearest member, and some of us have said our farewells to parents or loved ones; we have celebrated professional and personal successes, and we have wiped the tears of those that have experienced job loss, divorce and disappointments… The list goes on and on.
What has emerged is much more than a group of professional women who gather to hear speakers. Our chapter extends way past professional aspirations and has blended into our personal lives. I particularly love the picture from our last Holiday party, as it encompasses who we are - obviously we are very serious about Star Wars (or at least support the members that are); we want to have good time & connect with each other, and it is important that we include our family and friends.
What started as a few women with a vague vision of energizing our chapter, has become so much more than we ever dreamed or anticipated…. We are a community, a force… a TRIBE. It is with some sadness, but with tremendous gratitude that our two year journey as Co-Presidents is coming to close. However, there are a lot of amazing women ready to take the torch and run with it. Marcy and I will be next to you and behind you, cheering and supporting you, as you continue to grow, refine and alter the vision of our chapter to meet the needs of our membership…. Our community.
Next week, Marcy and I will thank our TRIBE leaders and members for being on this crazy, exhausting, amazing adventure with us, please know that we left nothing on the table as we slide into home screaming…. WOW!! What a Ride! Now keep running….