Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Letter from Mid-West Tennessee Executive Director, David Hicks - June 2017

Hello Mid- West TN chapter volunteers!

I hope that each of you had a good start to the summer and are looking forward to vacations, cook outs, trips to the lake, etc. As each of you determine your family plans and community events, we want to thank those of you who stay invested in our Red Cross programming and disaster response. As each of you are aware, disasters can occur during any month and do not take breaks for the summer (as many of us do!).

I wanted to take this time to share with each of you the opportunity I was given last month to visit Washington, D.C. and attend the national training for Executive Directors. I participated in the course from Tuesday, May 23rd through Thursday, May 25th. It proved to be a very meaningful and beneficial time for me and the other Executive Directors from chapters all across the nation. There were attendees in the class from states such as Arkansas, California, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Florida, Texas and I was the only representative from Tennessee.

While there, we had the opportunity to hear from each of the respective departments that comprise the American Red Cross National Headquarters (Blood Services, Communications, Disaster, Finances, International Services and Services to the Armed Forces).  I’m proud to say that each of those who presented to our class were very impressive. Every presenter was willing to answer any and all questions that we had as Directors trying to learn even more about our roles and our capacity to lead our respective chapters to even greater successes. Most impressive of all was the President and CEO of our organization- Gail McGovern. Gail was not only an inspiring and motivating speaker, but she also shared some valuable insights in regard to cultivating leadership in our chapters through “you”- the volunteers. One valuable takeaway that she shared was her recommendation that in leadership roles we should always recruit people around us that have the primary qualities of being intelligent AND nice. I can honestly say the national staff members we met during our training had both of those qualities without exception!

I also want to take this opportunity to thank our leadership for giving me the privilege to attend the training and learn even more about the role I play in the leadership of our local chapter. It was time well spent and I look forward to implementing much of my new knowledge into my leadership of our chapter. I hope that each of you have a fantastic summer and I look forward to seeing you around the chapter office and out in the community!

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