July 17, 2019
ACCE Conference a Success!
6:41 pm cdt
Since I announced my resignation as Chamber President/CEO in February (by the way, I don’t recommend
6-month notices in case you are wondering), life has been a whirlwind of activity and emotions. Time spent during the day
focused on chamber succession planning, while evenings have been spent focusing on my new business. Preparing for the ACCE
Conference in Long Beach, which took place this week, became priority as I was honored to facilitate a break-out session as
my first official outing representing Girl Twin Solutions. I made valuable connections and met even more amazing Chamber professionals,
so overall a great investment of time and resources.
One aspect I regret not having time to focus
on these past few months is updating this website. As you can tell from the archives, I have blogged since 2009. That simple
action was a small step toward preparing for the large leap of creating my own business. In the weeks ahead, this website
will morph to represent the next phase of my professional career and personal aspirations. I welcome you to join me in this
journey of discovery and development.
February 16, 2019
Why Girl Twin Solutions?
10:42 pm cst
If I run into anyone who knows of my hometown of Healy, Kan., I will refer to myself as the girl twin. Instead of sharing
I was Gary Brooks' daughter (he had two) or his child (he had three), I simply say I'm the girl twin. In a community of less
than 300, my twin brother and I were one of few twin sets who lived there all of our 18 years of childhood. I believe the
next set closest in age were still decades apart from us. Thus begins my most unique claim to fame.
I love being a twin
- while we never experienced those "twin moments" some people share, I do find it interesting that I had to learn
to refer to myself in the singular form. Even today, I slip into "we" or "us" when referring to my childhood.
the most impactful part of sharing my childhood with another was the continuous training of teamwork. Sibling interaction
plays a huge role in development, and I would argue being a twin, especially when growing up in such a small town, helped
me be more effective when working with others.
Stay tune for more updates on this new venture!
December 1, 2018
A new journey
10:15 pm cst
For the past two summers, I taught at the "Chamber Institute;" this is training I completed in 2014, and so I'm
very proud to continue to be a part of this educational experience.
While in Madison, I met a presenter and publisher
Tremendous Tracey Jones. I've always wanted to write a book (and sing on Broadway and win the lottery and...) so I bombarded
her with many questions. Turns out, Tracey specializes in helping first-time writers get organized. This initial conversation
lead to a half-hour phone call almost 6 months later and we have a game plan. A plan that will eventually lead to a book (I
Since then, my excitement and energy levels have skyrocketed. I haven't felt this euphoric since my dating days
(to my husband, of course). It's good to feel so purposeful while fulfilling a lifelong passion.
February 7, 2018
Please pass the brakes
10:46 pm cst
Early in my career, I attended a management seminar that helped me control my own emotional responses during stressful
situations. One strategy I have implemented often is to monitor the tone of my voice so that I don't come across as too intense
or sharp. In order to do this, our instructor told us to imagine the tone we use when asking someone to "please pass
the butter." This advice registered with me, because this tone was firm, clear and professional without adding unnecessary,
conflictual or emotional undertones.
I never would have dreamed this advice would come in handy with my license-in-hand,
ready-to-drive-at-every-possible-moment son. Tonight, while driving through the patchy snow-packed city roads, I heard myself
say calmly and quite blandly, "Honey, if you don't start to break soon, you will crash into the car in front of us."
to management training, I may actually survive my teenage son's learning permit stage.
February 4, 2018
Gordon's Big Adventure
12:56 pm cst
Yesterday, Gordon, the smallest of our two dogs, escaped from our backyard. Twice.
Picture if you will a mutt that
looks like Disney's The Tramp crossed with the Wizard of Oz's Toto and you have our seven-pound, rust-colored, highly-spirited
Because Gordon is smaller than most rabbits, he is like the Houdini of dogs, and his artistry at escaping numerous
challenges is quite admirable. We still have no idea where he escaped from our yard yesterday; this would explain the hodgepodge
of rocks, bricks and chicken wire scattered all around our fence.
When I think of this tiny, scrappy and fearless dog
enjoying his times of freedom yesterday, I cannot help but smile. While many details will never be known (I mean, did he get
to chase a rabbit or not?), I do know he got to meet a very nice lady who kindly brought him home after the first escape.
I'm sure it was a thrill for him to drive around in the police car, although my guess is the fun was hampered when he realized
the joy-ride ended at the vet's office.
Either way, the day ended with Gordon happily snuggled into his mommy's
lap, pooped after a day filled with such adventure. And his mommy was happy to have him home.