Guest Editor – Sondra Timpson (LT 31)

LT-SondraTimpsonDue to a job promotion, I moved to Tallahassee in 2009. I wanted to cry. I was excited about the promotion, but devastated that I had to move. At that point, my view of Tallahassee was not exactly one of splendor and glamour. I was a “big city girl” and wanted to continue to live that city style life. Fast forward – 6 years later, I am proud to call Tallahassee my home. Despite my initial discomfort of relocating, I made the commitment to invest into the community. I am thankful that I made that decision. Tallahassee has become my home. With the help of Leadership Tallahassee, I have a new and improved opinion and outlook. Through my year long process with Class 31, my concept of leadership was transformed and I became enlightened to the different perspectives that come with the concept of leadership and community involvement.

I am a proud member of LT Class 31 and honored to be the class Big Cheese. I have developed and fostered friendships that would have never came to fruition if it was not for a chance meeting with Christy Chatmon (LT 30) at Chili’s, who invited me to Leadership Tallahassee Preview Day. Membership recruitment is not just about inviting your friends to join, it is about reaching outside of your comfort zone and extending an opportunity to a stranger that will bring a type of diversity. That is exactly what Christy did for me. No net casting, no fish. In other words, potential members need to know that not only does Leadership Tallahassee exists, but the hundreds of people who see the name, “Leadership Tallahassee” should get the impression that it would be a vital accomplishment to be a part of such an amazing organization.

Membership recruitment is only as strong as the organization’s membership retention. Fortunately, Leadership Tallahassee has various programs in place to keep alumni involved and provides opportunities for Leadership Tallahassee to expand throughout the community. As the saying goes, ‘A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’; you cannot recruit new members without attracting them. Recruiting quality members is crucial to the mission of LT. The future of this organization depends on us working with each other and our ability to continue to make this organization meaningful, relevant, and attractive to the next set of members. This cannot be accomplished with boring programs, traditionalism and a negative attitude against people who are different. The reason I choose to invest in LT is because it continues to invest in me and it strives to promote a positive impact on the community. As this year’s Membership Committee chair, I encourage each of you to participate in the upcoming events: LT Social Hours, LT quarterly luncheons, Legislative Wrap-Up, and LT 2.0 program days. I also encourage you to step out and show Leon County how great Leadership Tallahassee is and how awesome it is to be a part of an organization that invests in its leaders. An organization is only as good as its members; which means that Leadership Tallahassee is one of the best organizations not only in the nation but possibly internationally. With that being said, I will conclude with the LT Class 31 slogan, that can apply LT as a whole, “#followthis”.

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