New York State Women, Inc. welcomed its board of directors and members to the annual fall board and member meeting, in scenic Lake Placid, during the weekend of September 23-25. It was productive, successful and enjoyable – a great package. Much was accomplished as several committees presented proposals for changes that would challenge our organization’s structural history.
The members present voted on changes to our bylaws and manual of instruction, allowing for greater efficiency and clarification of the policies and procedures that guide our actions. We were greeted by the mayor of Lake Placid and enjoyed hearing about the successes and challenges faced by Lake Placid and surrounding communities. Sylvie Nelson, executive director of the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, discussed public relations. Clare Sullivan, NYS Women, Inc. parliamentarian, conducted a workshop on Robert’s Rules of Order and their application to conducting successful and efficient meetings.
Our keynote speaker was Monica Florian Slaunwhite, a woman of extraordinary courage and strength, who talked about domestic violence. She shared a story which, in many ways, is told repeatedly by the victims of domestic violence. She told us of a quilting project, started by her and others, that raised money to facilitate the opening of a safe house in the Tri-Lakes area, an example of political involvement.
All of our speakers demonstrated the power of public speaking, the most effective means of sharing information in a personal and personable manner. All of our speakers demonstrated enthusiasm and confidence, emotions that are hard to read in any form of printed word.
For those of you who are members of other organizations, the three P’s would serve you well, if they haven’t already facilitated your organization’s success. Belonging to any organization implies responsibility and commitment to a purpose or cause. Membership means action. It means leadership and meaningful relationships that help to define an organization’s culture and life span. It means having the courage and conviction that allows for growth and change. It means having pride in the part you take in giving life to a group with a mission. So “Loud and Proud” is a motto that should not be unique to NYS Women, Inc. As we continue to advocate for the women of New York State, personally, professionally and politically, we do so with pride and voices that can be heard. We provide resources and education to women in all phases of their lives and careers. We offer networking opportunities, support and information designed to help women improve their professional status.
Our advocacy extends to the political arena as we support legislation that will enhance, not hurt, any women’s status in life, work and community. As we continue to benefit from the legacy of untold numbers of women who have served us well by example and accomplishments, our mission is compatible with the goal of making the world a better place, one that enables all women to achieve and realize their dreams of fairness, equality and respect.
I am looking forward to our winter board and member meeting, which will present more opportunities to fulfill our goals and reinforce the key elements of this year’s theme. We will welcome another group of young women to our youth leadership program, a program designed to provide high school students with knowledge and experiences that will expose them to opportunities and challenges that they may face in their future.
These events will be held at the Radisson Hotel, in Corning, NY, the weekend of March 2-4, 2012. This meeting will feature workshops on legislative process and procedures, life planning for women of all ages, more on communication and public relations, and elements of membership building. We invite you to join us in fulfilling our vision and achieving our mission. It’s an old adage, but strength still lies in numbers. We are Proud and Powerful, no matter how few or how many. We welcome your knowledge and experience, your professionalism and ideas, your strengths and skills.