From the desk of Ronnie Noize, WEO President

August 1, 2016

Hey gal,

Have you submitted your nomination for the WEO Spirit Award yet?

I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out how to narrow my nominee list down to just five, because there are so many WEO women who are so deserving of the honor and recognition!

Of course, before I was on the leadership team, nominations might have been easier. I would have simply nominated the person I thought made the biggest difference to me at the meetings.

But now, after three years of intimate involvement in WEO, I know better. There is SO much more to showing WEO spirit than just showing up!

First, there are the meetings, which may look effortless, but it takes many hands to make our meetings happen.

You may not know what goes into producing WEO meetings, so let me give you a top line look:

First, scheduling. Yes, most of our meetings are on the third Wednesday of the month, but at least once a year (usually in July for the Summer Social), we meet elsewhere. And once in a while, the Heathman needs the space so we have to scramble to find an alternate location. And, sometimes, such as this year and 2017, the third Wednesday is too close to Christmas for a meeting, so we have to negotiate for an earlier date. This all sounds simple and easy, but it takes effort, believe me!

Second, the menus. Now what could be easier and more fun than choosing something delectable off a list of options from the Heathman's wonderful kitchen? Well, for starters, since we have negotiated a very low (for the Heathman) rate per dinner, our choices are limited. So our greatest challenge is creating "new" menus from a short list of options, and trying not to repeat our menus too often. Luckily, WEOs are very gracious and eat whatever is served with a smile, but we do aim to please, so we make the effort.

Third, there are the speakers--finding, vetting, inviting, and working with them to confirm their schedule, get their topics and photos, and so on. MUCH easier said than done, because we are looking for the best speakers we can afford (and our budget is very small).

And speaking of speakers, let's not forget recruiting our Spotlight speakers, and our Centerpiece sponsors...again, not nearly as easy as it sounds.

In addition to all this, we make agendas for every table so our volunteer Table Hostesses will know what's coming and how to prepare everyone at the table for introductions, the feedback process, and the Pot O'Gold, which can confuse some folks, as much as it surprises and delights us.

I could go on and on and on, telling you about who picks up, sets up and tears down our AV equipment, what it really takes to handle all the Pot O'Gold details (you would be surprised!), how members and guests are greeted, welcomed and checked in, but I think you're getting my point: A lot of volunteers donate a lot of time, effort and expertise to make our meetings fun, pleasant and useful, and those gals deserve some recognition!

Please join me in thanking the following WEOs for their dedicated service to making WEO meetings great:

  • Amy Loudenback
  • Twila Kaye Heiselman
  • Donna Baxter
  • Nien-Wei Hsiao
  • Laura Harrington
  • Bethany Arzhanov
  • Roni Sasaki
  • Sam Mikel
  • Lynn Moses
  • Wendee Dineen
  • Pam Hunter
  • and many more!

So, if you wonder who has WEO spirit, there's one short list (and I didn't even mention some of the other gals working behind the scenes in Membership, or the Board, or our hard-working Treasurer...). Now you can see why I am having such a tough time finding just FIVE nominees--there are so many worthy women deserving of the award. Good luck to you!

Thank you for supporting women in business--we're here for YOU! #WEORocks!


Ronnie Noize

WEO President

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