AGM 2015 Business Meeting II

Sunday Morning – Final Address and Board Installation

We will now move to the Installation of Officers and my closing remarks.

I call upon Sally Chamberlain, Anita Glisic, Cynthia Grguric, Rosette Adera to come forward at this time. Also Florine Swanson, Fay Weber, Geeta Desai, and Kathleen Laurila please come and stand with your counterparts. Meg Sheketoff also come forward. Meg’s replacement, Brianna Grantham, is in the UK defending her doctorate.

On January 1 of 2016 Sally and Anita will be taking the place of Florine Swanson and Fay Weber as Board Members-at-large. Cynthia Grguric will replace Geeta as Advocacy Convener, Rosette will replace Kathleen Laurila as CIR and Brianna Grantham replaces Meg as Communications Convener.

I would personally like to thank you for stepping forward to provide your interest, your expertise, your time and your commitment to OUR organization. We hope that WG-USA will meet YOUR needs as well. In addition to requiring YOUR time and efforts, the role of an organization such as ours is to also provide YOU with leadership opportunities and a chance for personal growth. For you, as our incoming board, the challenge is different. Our organization is now 8 years old and on the cusp of great things. The younger generation has different social, educational and workplace needs than mine. It is now up to you to help us learn and grow and be an organization that understands the needs of today’s woman.

Meg, Geeta, Kathleen, Florine – you have been the helpers, the mentors, the communicators, the guides, the ‘glue’ that has kept me on the path for the last three years. It has been a wonderful pleasure and a gift to have worked with you. Thank you for being the inspiration.

To the rest of the board and past board members – you have been the most understanding, hard-working, dedicated group of women to work with and have above all been kind to each other as we have walked this path together. I thank you for your friendship, your guidance, and your help.

For some of us, this moment is bitter sweet. Kathleen referred to the two of us in an e-mail early this week as WG Mothers. Some of us are going off the board having ‘birthed’ this organization in Manchester, UK at the 2007 IFUW Triennial in Manchester and have been in continuous leadership positions from the beginning. Kathleen Laurila and myself, two of the three WG mothers must now pass the leadership on to the next generation. Carolyn Cowgill, the third ‘WG mother’, will stay on the board for one more year as Membership Chair and will also serve as the ‘institutional’ memory for the new board. Such a responsibility! Florine Swanson, our first REAL MOTHER who happily took the helm as our first President is also saying goodbye.

As I said earlier to the incoming board members, the role of an organization is not always about information, education, and action. It’s also about personal growth. Any volunteer organization worth its salt should provide opportunities for its members to achieve personal satisfaction, personal growth and also to create leadership opportunities and training. The last 8 years for me have been all about personal growth. I have been given the opportunity of a lifetime to not only be on the ground floor in the creation of a brand new organizational entity with its own personality but to nurture it. Organizationally age-wise, we are still in our teen years, but your new President and her board will take up the challenge, and will succeed with your help to take us through young adulthood and beyond. We tried hard to think ‘out of the box’ way back when in 2007/2008. Over the last few years I have worked with and gotten to know personally as friends, the most dynamic women I have ever met. Women I never would have come in contact with otherwise. I have learned from them, I have listened to them, and I have been awed by them.

So, Fay Weber, I know you are up to the challenge. In January, I will leave WG-USA in more than capable hands. You have an awesome team to work with. I hope they challenge you, as much as I was challenged. I am presenting you with the President’s pin that was given to me. Wear it with pride.

Before I close this Business Meeting, Fay, would you say a few words? Ladies, I present to you Fay Weber, your next President.