Friday, August 21, 2015

Didn't we Have a Lovely Time!

WOW members didn’t we have a great time …I hope you are all home safe and sound or enjoying the delights of our Country as you extend your holiday.
Thank you to all that attended convention for helping to make “feel the spirit” a fabulous event..
Now that the excitement has passed, I hope you all have wonderful memories to treasure.
I also wish to thank the wonderful efficient convention committee that worked tirelessly to see you all had a wonderful convention, they are an amazing group of women.
 I especially wish to thank Aletta Lamprecht and Janet Andrews from the Taupo Club in NZ that that made the beautiful Korowai Cloak for President Val.
The beautiful Korowai cloak was commissioned by the Convention Committee 2015 and was lovingly stitched and designed by Aletta who captured the very essence of “Feel the Spirit” and embraced our fern logo. Janet Andrews added the beautiful fine silver stitched ferns around the neck line to give the cloak our very own touch.
Korowai cloaks are made for the individual and kept as family heirlooms, given as gifts for special events, graduations, weddings and important positions. They are given to many different people of importance who visit our country.
The Queen of England, Prince William, Prime Ministers from around the World, and many visiting dignitaries, have all been gifted one of these beautiful Korowai garments. We were so proud to honour our POWERtalk President with such a special gift.
I hope you all got the chance to sign the Presidents memory book that was also sponsored by Waimea Club in NZ, so our President could have lasting memories of the feel the spirit convention. If you didn’t, send her a note that she can paste into her beautiful memory book.
I wish to also thank the hard working and talented Blog Team, led by Mary Wong who have given a real overview of convention for us to relive the moment and for  the members who missed the grand event to follow the fun times.
Until we all meet again in Seattle 
Warmest regards

 Linda Bergman Convention Coordinator 2015.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

INSTALLATION SPEECH Shifting Winds, Changing Tides, Oceans of Opportunity

When I walked into my first ITC meeting 26 years ago, I knew only 2 people in a room of about 25; and I hadn’t a clue what ITC stood for.  I certainly didn’t know there was anything beyond that Club, nor that there were other clubs doing the same kind of training.   The one thing I did know was that I did not like to stand before a group of people I didn’t know and have to say something..…even if it was only to say my name.
Who would have guessed that as a result of the evaluation, support, and encouragement I received at those early meetings, the benefits would find me standing here tonight, no longer afraid to say my name, and to thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve as your 2015-2017 International Training in Communication President.  This is an honor and a privilege humbly accepted.
I know that being International President is not an easy job.  However, please know that I, and your incoming Board members, will always try our hardest to do the very best job we can.
Before we set sail on this voyage, there are some things I should explain.  First, I know the Kiwi’s love to sail . . . and, so do I.  Therefore, sailing is the general theme I’ve chosen for the ensuing term. 
If you imagine that all one needs to do to sail a boat is raise the sails and a gentle breeze will push you through the water, let me assure you that vision is far from true.  Skippering a sailboat and being skipper of an organization like ITC are very much alike.  Both require a lot of hard work.
Before we cast off on our next ITC voyage, your officers will spend the next couple of days taking an intense look at our vessel and determining the challenges of a two-year-long voyage.  As we chart our course, we must think about sailing into ports where we can pick up crew members and finish our voyage with more crew than we started with.  We will sail forward with increased enthusiasm and, more importantly, have our returning crew members step forward to say, “Hey, I could do that … again.”
Our organization isn’t the size of an aircraft carrier; but, it isn’t a dinghy either.  No matter the size, it takes a whole crew to sail a boat or an organization; and, it takes the whole crew, working together as a team, to achieve goals and to win a race.  
It is not just the officers who will establish ITC’s goals for this term - the goals also need to come from you, the crew members.  Therefore, you all have tablets of paper on your table please write down your goals, your ideas, and your suggestions and put them in the Goals & Suggestions box, which you will find on the President’s table as you pass through the reception line following the close of the Installation.  (Or, email your ideas and suggestions to me.)

I mentioned earlier that I love to sail.  In part, it is an inherited characteristic.  My father was a boat designer and builder—of mostly sailboats … so sailing is in my blood. 
 Perhaps I love to sail because I am also competitive.  I started my sailboat racing career at the age of 7 in an 8-foot, or 2.3 metre, El Toro - a dinghy.

By the time I was a teenager, I raced an international one-design 23-foot, or 7 metre racing sloop.

I remember that period of time as if it were yesterday.  There was a fellow who won every race in the class;  no one seemed to be able to beat Jake.  Jake became my challenge. What did I have to do to beat him? 
The challenge was that there had to be a better way to sail my boat so that I could cross the finish line ahead of him.  To do that, I had to change the way I was sailing. 
I kept trying new things, until the day the race outcome finally changed and 45-year-old Jake finally had to shake the hand of this 19-year-old sea-gal who had finally beat him. 
Why did I tell you this story?  Because, as I said earlier, ITC is like a sail-boat.  Our ITC has been drifting along; and as we’ve been drifting, the winds have shifted and the tides have changed. But have we? 
  Our ITC now needs to handle strong winds and rough seas ahead.  Our boat is certainly seaworthy and the seasoned members of our crew are well-trained.   Our boat is not a cruise ship; it’s a training vessel; and everyone must help sail.  The harder jobs will be asked of the more experienced members of the crew.   However, we also need new,   less experienced crew members who we can train as you and I have been trained. 
Our goals for increasing membership have been like trying to win a race without making any changes to the way we sail.  It’s time to come about and set sail on a new tack.  One way to do this might be to stop trying to re-rig existing boats; it’s time to start launching new ones - that means new clubs; new clubs in places we’ve never had clubs before.
I agree, that may not be easy...and, as I said earlier, sailing is hard work.  But unless we change course, we won’t have clubs to sail or crews to sail them.
As we chart our course over the next few days and set our sails on new horizons, be sure to read the next issue of From the Boardroom when it comes out (the end of August) to see what some of our course plans will look like.
By your presence here tonight, I know you can be counted on as dedicated crew members.  And, I thank you for that. 
Which brings to mind; I mentioned earlier that the general theme for this term is sailing.  More specifically:  “Leading the way . . . through Shifting Winds, Changing Tides, and . . . the Oceans of Opportunities our POWERtalk training programs provide.”

Before concluding, I want to recognize some very special crew members.  The crew skippered by Val who have all said they will continue to help us sail . . . Anita, Maria, Judy, Sue, Akemi, and Marilyn.   . . .    And your new ITC crew officers . . . Mary Flentge, Marilyn Robinson, Maria Trujillo-Tough, Mary Remson , Marijke Slager, Akemi Kosuge, and Wyn Bowler, who have already demonstrated they are very capable of leading the way.
Thank you.
A special thanks goes to my installing officer, Irene Johnson for her creative and fun installation.
There are many more of you to thank; however, I fear any attempt to name you all would only leave somebody out.  You know who you are; so, give yourselves a pat on the back and please accept my “international” thank you’s.  Merci! Grazie! Xie Xie! Domo Arigato!  Many, many, thanks to all of you.
There’s one more member of the crew who is not here but needs special recognition for his support…and, for taking over the galley chores at home…that’s my husband Elliot. 
I thought about launching this venture just as one launches a boat——by christening it with a bottle of champagne——but I knew the hotel wouldn’t be too pleased if I broke a bottle of champagne over the floor, so that leaves us with two alternatives for a launching celebration…to have you meet and greet each of the officers in the receiving line following the close of this convention; and to invite you all up to the Royal Suite once members are through the receiving line. 
 With this picture, you’ll just have to imagine that bottle of champagne breaking by this sea-gal who is not quite ready to outgrow childhood.

Let’s continue to sail forward. 

 Thanks for crewing with me and “leading the way” through shifting winds, changing tides, and oceans of opportunity  that our outstanding training programs provide to help us improve our communication  and leadership skills throughout the world.

 Welcome Aboard!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

PREM Awards

During convention, PREM chairman Chris Endo acknowledged the following clubs for Target 20//20 awards:

2013-2014 Term

Club receiving 100% or better membership increase went to Waitaha Circle (Northwest Region).

Clubs receiving 20% increase or better in membership were the following clubs:

Korpa (Iceland Region)
POWERtalk Taupo (New Zealand Region)
T&G POWERtalk (New Zealand Region)
POWERtalk Waimea (New Zealand Region)

Korpa Club won the draw.

2014-2015 Term

Club receiving 100% or better membership increase was POWERtalk Brisbane South (Australian Region).

Clubs receiving 20% or better in membership were the following clubs:

North Bay (Northeast Region)
New Directions (Northeast Region)
Fredericton (Northeast Region)
Vegas Valley (Golden West Rgion)

Vegas Valley won the draw.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Installation and Honour Dinner – a Red Carpet Affair

Written by Adrienne Payton

What a festive final evening for the close of a very successful Convention.  The red carpet was out, the dry ice was lending atmosphere to everyone who entered the dining room, and every attention to detail was given to the magnificent table decorations.

President Val Harper, wearing her beautiful Maori cloak, opened the evening and introduced Irvin Walker to recognise former Presidents present at Convention:  Geraldine Lightfoot, Anita Henzler, Suzanne Shiflet, Jean Turner, Irene Johnson, Hilary Brown, Mary Marshall, Margaret Sutherland and Carol Preiss.

The toast to ITC was given by Kiyoko Takagi of Japan Region and the loyal toast by Nissa Elsey of New Zealand region.  As everyone was finishing their delicious three-course meal, we were surprised by a wonderful rendition of ‘Summertime’ sung by Gwenetta Brooks. 

Anita Henzler compered the formal part of the evening, introducing the installing officer, Irene Johnson. 

Irene took the incoming President’s love of sailing as her installation theme, suggesting that the spinach which gave Popeye his strength was a metaphor for confidence.  She presented each of the incoming Board members with a personalised sailor’s cap, as well as the incoming Parliamentarian, Wyn Bowler. Admiral/President Christine Endo was appropriately endowed with a captain’s hat.

The incoming President’s acceptance speech continued with the nautical theme and likened skippering a boat to leading ITC, both requiring a lot of hard work. Christine said it takes a whole crew to sail a boat, working together to achieve goals and win a race.  Her motto is ‘Leading the Way’ and she issued the invitation to us all: ‘Welcome aboard!’

Helen Wilson led the retirement of the flags, and with grace and heartfelt emotion, outgoing President Val Harper adjourned the gathering. 

Everyone filed out of the room to wish the incoming Board well, listening to the beautiful melody ‘Now is the Hour’ (when we must say Goodbye.)

Gwenetta Brooks, Sierra Pacific Region, entertained us with an impromptu version of Summertime.

Programme with Passion, Purpose, Substance and Style

Written by Adrienne Payton

What a treat those of us who attended Karen Horbach’s workshop had.  Her warm enthusiasm was so contagious as she explained her aim for all participants to return to their clubs with a bag full of ideas to improve their programmes.  As she said, innovative ideas for programmes full of education and fun are the key to retaining members and attracting new members.

After a fun warm-up exercise, everyone was encouraged to contribute ideas for the groundwork for successful programmes; what constitutes a programme; and themes and their aims.  The scribe was kept busy as suggestions and ideas came thick and fast from around the room.

Then we were all divided into seven groups, according to the colour of the hand-out cover page to come up with ideas for a meeting on various themes and aims, e.g. Pink group theme:  Anything French, Aim: To challenge our research skills; Blue group theme:  Body Language Speaks a Thousand Words, Aim: to enhance our use of gestures; Red group theme – Not Much Time, Aim: To develop our skills of speaking with minimum preparation.

The feedback result was amazing – every person in the room learned many new ways to change up programmes and give them some extra zing.  As Karen summed up, 15 minutes of work produced at least two years of programming ideas!

This workshop was full of enthusiasm, laughter and at the end, every participant left with bags full of ideas to take back to their clubs.

Awards Lunch 12.30pm Tuesday 21 July

 There was a mixture of excitement and sadness at the final lunch for Convention 2015.  We all continued to enjoy good food and company, but with the realisation that we would all soon be going our separate ways.

After a delicious meal, President-Elect Christine Endo announced awards for PREM and 20/20.  Although a number of clubs increased membership (8 by 100%), very few submitted the 20/20 paperwork – a reminder to us all that we’ve got to be in to win!

Many groups were celebrated for their hard work before and at Convention and Linda Bergman, Convention Coordinator, gave a very moving tribute to her team of 9, presenting them with silver fern pins, while President Val Harper thanked Linda for her sterling efforts.  Linda also brought forward three key hotel staff who have made such a difference to the efficient running of our Convention to thank them, and presented them with gifts.  Two more staff will be celebrated this evening.

The Blog team was also thanked and presented with gifts.

Many groups of people were celebrated and I lost count of the standing ovations!

Vicki Lamb closed the lunch with some wonderful pearls of wisdom.