Letter from the President, June 2022

There are a ton of “And that’s a wrap!” posts on LinkedIn about BPC Dallas, and I figured I would hop on the bandwagon. I attended BPC Denver last year – it was a very small group and it seemed that everyone was trying to get back into the groove of attending in-person events. BPC Dallas was different. There were SO many proposal and bid professionals in attendance ready to mix and mingle. It was refreshing after the last few years of virtual conferences. GMC typically hosts a breakfast event to meet our members; we decided to do things a little different this year by hosting a booth in the exhibit hall. We thought it would be a great way to reach more members and showcase some of the cool things our chapter is doing. Heather Finch, Kati Stutsman, and Karin Olson Held set up the Shortlisted podcast mic and asked booth attendees questions ranging from what their family thinks they do for work to how they got into the profession. We had a ton of great answers and met a lot of new people! A special Shortlisted episode will be posted shortly. Thank you to all the volunteers who made sure the booth was set up and staffed during the conference: Tony Des Chenes, Alexa Ramsey, Lindsay Lange, Kaitlin Kousaie, Alexa Ramsey, Danielle Boyce, Marcus Hammond, Jennifer Dunlap, Silke Cole, and Karen Hansel.  

One thing is for sure: every GMC member I talked with or met asked if we are bringing back the in-person Annual Symposium. YES! We are excited to announce we are planning an in-person day and a half of learning. We’re currently identifying a date in the fall. In response to our member survey results earlier this year, our Symposium Planner, Andrea Milakis (Boger), is hard at researching and securing bids for different locations. We are so excited to get together again and have some new and fun ideas planned for this year! If anyone is interested in helping plan the Symposium, being a presenter, or helping in any other capacity, we will take the extra hands. Please reach out to me and Andrea Milakis (Boger). Stay tuned for a save the date and more information about our 2022 Annual Symposium!  

After attending BPC, I always take the opportunity to present to management or recap with my team about our top takeaways from the conference. Here are some of the key takeaways I shared with my team. If you attended BPC Dallas, we want to hear from you! Contact Kati Stutsman if you want to share your experience on our podcast, Shortlisted. Or, if you presented an abstract and it wasn’t submitted, contact Tony Des Chenes to host a monthly Lunch and Learn. You can also comment on our blog or email us at info@gmcapmp.org so we can share with the chapter.  

What was your favorite takeaway from the conference? 

At the beginning of each day, the conference invited keynote speakers to kick off the day of sessions. I walked away with a few key nuggets of wisdom from each speaker:  

  1. Jackie Freiberg is a best-selling author, culture coach, and keynote speaker dedicated to helping organizations practice the art of leadership and innovation. She asked the group, “What kind of an impact do you want to make that outlasts you?” This got me thinking about my career, the progression and growth of our marketing team, and what legacy we want to leave. I sometimes feel like I’m on the hamster wheel, going around and around and getting caught up in the daily grind. I don’t allow enough time to think about my career, where I want to grow, and how that provides an opportunity for our team. It got me thinking about my talents and strengths and how I use them to better our team and advance my career. Jackie told a story about some friends who climbed Mount Everest. She showed a picture of the proud climbers and how they looked like heroes at the top of the mountain. What the hikers talked about were the true heroes of the excursion: the sherpas. They keep the team healthy and safe and strategize the path and pace based on the team’s strengths and characteristics. They lead teams multiple times throughout the year and are responsible for keeping everyone alive and across the finish line. It got me thinking about my management style. Am I a sherpa? Am I keeping our team improving, progressing, and adjusting the pace to keep our climbers on track and climbing the mountain? Am I breezing past the checkpoints, or am I taking time to check on the team’s health and progression? As a manager, this session was a great reminder to make sure I’m stopping to check the team’s pace. Develop a plan and stick to it so we can actually get to the top of the mountain. It was a great reminder to ask for help, especially within my professional (and personal) network, for advice and inspiration. 
  1. Gary McKechnie was the second keynote speaker of the conference. He’s a speaker, author, and motojournalist who talked about how he shifted gears in his career through personal stories and experiences. One story that stuck with me was an episode of Candid Camera he was watching. In the episode, the cashier had a sign that read “no change.” When customers purchased something from the bakery, they wouldn’t give them change and would point to the sign. One customer was about to go ballistic when he suddenly stopped and said, “You know what? You can’t rent space in my head,” and walked out the door. Sure, it’s a silly show, but what the man said was powerful. Never let anyone rent space in your head. There will always be those encounters that will do or say something to affect you. It may even be your inner thoughts holding you back or taking you down. The takeaway is to keep moving and not dwell on the negative experience. I know I have a habit of letting people rent space in my head, and this session was a great reminder that every storm passes. It’s important to acknowledge the negative thought, learn from it, and let it go.   

Hope everyone has a great summer! 

Best wishes, 


One thought on “Letter from the President, June 2022

  1. Thanks for the update, Kat! If I was able to charge rent for space in my head, I could probably retire early 🙂
    Anxious to see everyone again at the symposium!

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