President’s Message July 2015

11143580_1193564434002893_997003481013588312_nI guess you could say that one of the biggest perks of being the president of GRAVA is that, for two years at least, you get to shape the organization according to what you want and need it to be.  Frequently over the past two years, I have asked myself those very questions: What do I want? What do I need? What kind of meeting would make me think: “There’s no way I would miss this!”

As a matter of fact, we had just such a meeting last Thursday, the day of our annual conference. Driving to Capital One, I was thinking about everything going on at my work – all of the huge goals we are working toward, all of the gigantic expectations hovering over my head, all of the scary-slash-thrilling shifts that are on the horizon, and all of the deadlines that seem to be flying at me at the speed of light.

Sometimes, if I think about it too much, I can really start to feel overwhelmed and doubtful of my own ability to see it all the way through to a successful completion.

If GRAVA has taught me anything in the past six years, it is that our profession has standards, and that there’s a wrong way to do this work as well as a right way. As a member of this group and as a member of the board and especially as its president, I feel obligated every day to practice what I preach, to walk the talk, to strive for quality, and to hold myself to a higher standard.

So what I want and what I need, more than anything, are programs & speakers & strategies & tools that will equip me to reach for those big breathtaking goals but, even more important, the professional cameraderie necessary to sustain my own belief that I really can accomplish them.

Last Thursday, I left the conference feeling empowered and excited and capable and inspired and energized and eager to move forward. My brain was buzzing from Tobi’s session and my heart felt uplifted by the sense of solidarity and celebration. GRAVA gave me what I wanted & needed that day and I really hope that others who attended the conference felt the exact same way.

In her afternoon break-out session, Katie Campbell asked the group: How would your boss describe your ‘branding’ message? And my answer was, “If we are going to do this, we are going to do it right.” I hope that this is the legacy I have left GRAVA. If we are going to do this – the conference, the board, the organization, the job, the profession – let’s do it right.

Thanks for a great two years, and I’ll see you all in September!

At Your Service,
Alison Jones-Nassar, CVA
Outgoing GRAVA President

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