By Liz Richards, MHEDA Executive Vice President
We are all so excited to kick off the year with the theme “Culture that Rocks” and really hope to see you at the MHEDA Convention this April in the beautiful San Antonio Hill Country. Several board members suggested we consider the JW Marriott for this year’s conference and I promise you, the hotel, the property and the Convention program will blow you away.
Our keynote speaker this year, Jim Knight, spent many years as a corporate trainer for Hard Rock International and when a couple of us had a chance to hear his presentation, we knew he was the perfect opener for this year’s Convention program. A little unconventional and edgy – just like our world today! He will share insight about how to build a world class culture in your organization based on years of research with some of the world’s most successful companies. One comment he made during his presentation resonated with me, “Successful businesses have a shared mindset.”
How would you describe the culture in your organization? I’ve been reflecting on this subject for the purpose of my column and don’t purport to be an expert, but we definitely have a formula at MHEDA that works. Unconventional – most definitely. Focused on service – without a doubt. Inclusive – completely. At MHEDA we work with one another (as opposed to working for someone) and definitely share a mindset – to be a “Member Obsessed” organization.
It was never planned to be an all-female office here at MHEDA but that’s what we have. Working in a mostly male industry (more on that in a bit) it’s an odd arrangement, but it works. At any given time, if you walk in our office you’ll hear multiple conversations taking place simultaneously, everyone looking over the work we are individually or collectively producing, adding their two cents, modifying, challenging, and changing…until we get the finished product just right. Granted, this method doesn’t work for everyone. We are casual and fun here but with a razor sharp focus on planning and delivering the best products and services that provide you the most value for the time and money you spend with MHEDA. Everything we do, we do as a team.
About a year ago, an association director friend of mine named “Bob” called and asked me if I would ever consider joining a Women in Industry group. Bob was considering the establishment of this program within his association. I was emphatic in my response that no, I would not want to be separated by gender in the business world. Their association went forward with this initiative and so far, they’ve had a huge amount of interest and great success. So what do I know?! I called Bob and his people to find out more about their newly established group and subsequently, began talking with some of our female members. I stand corrected! There is a lot of interest and because of this, we will also be starting a Women in Industry MHEDA group. A breakfast for industry women is being planned at Convention to begin the process of determining levels of interest, suggested content and the best way to move forward. If you are interested in being part of this initiative and/or know of someone who might want to be involved, please contact me.
Finally, I want to give special recognition to our outgoing board members who have given so much of their time and talent to this association. Many, many thanks to Bill Ryan, President of LiftOne, Bob Giberson of PeakLogix and Chuck Frank, AHS, Inc. who served as MHEDA’s President in 2011. We are so grateful to each of you and to all the members who have served and currently serve on our board.
Best wishes to all of you for a happy, healthy and successful year ahead!