It’s all about YOU!
So, who am I? I guess the answer to that may depend on who you ask! Yes, I currently am serving as the PCMA Chair, but that doesn’t really define me or tell you who I am. From the generational standpoint, I was born one year and one day after John F. Kennedy was assassinated – some of you may have to look that date up. Depending on what source you use, this puts me on the bleeding edge of Gen X, so I’ll go with that! I think it’s better than being called as a “cusper”…
2012 will be my 15th year involved with this great organization. This means that I have seen 14 other Chairpeople come and go, each of them contributing the extra time and effort this volunteer role takes, in addition to a paying job. My thanks go out to those that have served before me and positioned PCMA so well for the future! I vividly remember sitting in the audience and listening to the Chairman speak at my first large PCMA meeting, at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, and thinking, “All of this is good information, but what does it have to do with ME?”
Now we have come full circle, I will tell you that it’s no longer about me, but it is all about YOU. I really have the easier job now, a large part of which is to represent your board of directors, who are doing all of the hard work. Sure, I have some ideas, but the staff and volunteers that make this great association go forward are the people that deserve the credit. Be sure to thank those people that serve on and lead committees, task forces, and boards at both the headquarters and chapter levels – I would not be writing this blog were it not for them.
I must confess to you all (I hope there at least several of you reading this!) that this is my first blog post anywhere. This venture is but one of the many new things I have tried on and embraced recently, including Twitter and Facebook. I have had a Twitter account for well over a year, but recently learned at a Greater Philadelphia Chapter event that I was considered a “Lurker,” since I was not actively sending out tweets. I found that to be a slightly disturbing label and pictured a dark alley with someone in a trench coat – I immediately sent out a tweet! I have come a fair distance from that time and plan to continue to expand my horizons in the social media world.
Facebook is quite new to me, as of this writing I have about three days experience with it, because I felt that if I really wanted to stay in touch with those people from high school, I would know their phone numbers. So, all of you that received my flurry of friend requests now know why! I started this based upon an experience that I had at Convening Leaders: almost every student that I talked to let me know that they did not have a Twitter account. What? As a Gen X’r, I just naturally assumed that everyone younger than I was so wired into social media that they used all of it and it all worked together. It took a Gen Y on my staff to clue me into the fact that students through their mid/late 20’s used Facebook almost exclusively. I believe that this is a critical audience for PCMA, and that PCMA must go to YOU, not the other way around. So, off I went to set up my page and download the app. Let’s be friends! LOL.
As I told those of you that were at the closing session at Convening Leaders, I am an association person. I have worked at Produce Marketing Association for over fourteen years. I started as the most junior planner and have learned a few things about governance along the way. This experience, coupled with my time as a chapter volunteer and president, has shown me that a board can’t govern an association without the voices and input from its membership and the extended community. This is not some stuffed shirt talking head making empty statements from the stage; this is really what I believe. The twenty awesome volunteers that make up your board of directors can’t possibly know all the ways that membership could potentially benefit you. Yes, we have lots to offer and we can tell you most of them, but what else is out there, what is on the horizon for you and how can PCMA help you do your job better, faster and easier?
I urge YOU to get in touch with PCMA headquarters and chapter board members, committee chairs and staff, or contact me directly at KAllaway@pma.com or find me on Twitter @kentallaway or @pcmahq and let us all know what’s on your mind and how PCMA can help. No, I can’t guarantee that we will be able to fill every need or want, but we may start to see a critical mass form around certain issues and ideas. We won’t know until the conversations start to happen.
I plan to use this blog, and my ever-progressing social media arsenal, regularly to stay in touch with YOU and I really hope that you will do the same. Thanks for tuning in!