August eNews Guest Editor – Corrie Melton, LT 9

Like many, if not all, of you, Leadership Tallahassee impacted my life in ways I never could have foretold. Back in 1991, newly married and having had started a new job the week before Class IX Orientation, I walked into an intimidating room of soon-to-be great friends. I don’t remember many of the details from our year, but I do remember Mark Mustian carefully explaining the details of an initiative that would up for vote soon, BluePrint 2000. 2000? That seemed so far away. I remember hearing about a new project to lift education…World Class Schools. I remember catching a TalTran bus to enroll in Adult and Community Ed to finally earn my GED with my, “husband,” Terry Lewis, who later became famous for overseeing the recount during the 2000 US Presidential election. Who knew?

Twenty-eight classes later, I am fortunate enough to work closely with Leadership Tallahassee not only in the field, but in the office. As a staff member for the Chamber, I experience LT every day. I work alongside your brilliant leaders who work tirelessly not only for LT, but for the Chamber and our programs, public education, our city and county governments and boards of directors at the local, state and national level. Leadership Tallahassee affects us all.

As staff at the Chamber, I work most closely with LT grads each year during our Total Resource Campaign, aka TRC. Our campaign leadership this year includes Jay Smith, LT 22, Beth Corum, LT 26, Todd Sperry, LT 7 and Diana O’Bryant. Of the 40+ volunteers, 22 are also graduates of LT. Your LT alumni drive the one campaign each year that supports not only Chamber programming, but also Access Tallahassee, World Class Schools and your very own Leadership Tallahassee.

This is the sixth year of the Total Resource Campaign. After researching Chamber development models around the country, we believed the TRC to be the most comprehensive model and to best support all participating parties. Each year, during an eight-week period, roughly 50 volunteers call on Chamber members and LT alumni to support our programming by purchasing sponsorships and advertising opportunities for the following calendar year. This year’s campaign kicks off on September 17th, at which time they will sell opportunities for the Chamber, Leadership Tallahassee, Access Tallahassee and World Class Schools for all of 2020.

The beauty of this model is three-fold.

  • As a sponsor, you can look at your year months in advance and make purchasing decisions based on what fits your marketing needs. Volunteers will help make selections based on your criteria including the time of year that is important to you, the audience you want to reach, the goal of your marketing and your budget. Sign now, pay later. Your dollars are set and… no one will be calling you at the last minute to support their latest event.
  • As a volunteer, you get to help members strategically use our events to reach their audience. You also develop great relationships with your fellow volunteers, staff and the businesses you are working with. Because most volunteers return each year, they are truly able to build a rapport with businesses outside of their “day job,” relationships.
  • Leadership Tallahassee, the Chamber and our other programs all benefit in multiple ways. For those of you that have served on the LT Board of Directors, you know the value of having sponsorship dollars committed before the year begins. You also appreciate volunteers taking the burden of fundraising off of your plate. It is a win-win-win for us all!

As a Leadership Tallahassee class member, alumni or affiliate, how can you help? Easy.

  • Volunteer on a campaign team
  • Sponsor an event
  • Advertise in our print or digital media
  • Make an introduction for a volunteer to someone who is interested in a sponsorship
  • Donate items to use as incentives for our volunteers
  • Other ideas are welcome!

Leadership Tallahassee is important to our community and region. As you reflect on the impact LT has on your life, consider supporting the TRC to further the program and grow our community.

Corrie Melton, Class IX
Best Class Ever

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