Convention 2023: To Learn, To Lead, To Serve

Lacey Bowman
Lacey Bowman, International Vice President of Finance, Chi Delta (U of Colorado)

By Lacey Bowman, International Vice President of Finance, Chi Delta (U of Colorado)

As I return home from Dallas, I remember all the energy around the special moments at Convention that can only be felt when we are together in person. From the excitement of our new philanthropy video, and the announcement of our $1M donation to the Arthritis Foundation, to when our Rho Omicron sisters realized they were receiving the JWH Cup at Rose Banquet, there is an energy that is infectious and fills my cup. I met many members and am constantly amazed at their accomplishments, goals, and ambitions. I saw friends that I’ve known for a long time, and that have contributed to my growth as a person and a leader over the years.

I try to keep up the momentum of Convention by taking note of what I’ve learned over the week, how I can incorporate that into the areas and teams I lead, and how our members can contribute “to meaningful service to the Fraternity and their communities”, which is our End of Service. After all, the learning and experience of Convention isn’t meant to end when we all return to our respective homes on Sunday!

First, we can learn a lot from our award winners and what makes them successful. A common theme among both chapter and individual award winners is that they foster the sense of belonging among their chapter members. They look for ways to include and encourage their sisters and prioritize the collective goals of the group. Our members are doing great things serving our communities, and AOII can provide them opportunities to make a difference and develop their own skills.

During our AOII Goes Blue luncheon on Saturday, Steve Taylor detailed the work that the Arthritis Foundation is doing to support kids with Juvenile Arthritis and find effective treatments for the disease. I gained such a greater understanding of how our philanthropy dollars are used and can better articulate the “why” behind our fundraising efforts to support both the AOII and Arthritis Foundations.

Finally, I am constantly reminded of the idea that growth only happens outside of your comfort zone. During my first term on the board, I’ve had several occasions where I’ve had to try something new or do something where I didn’t have prior experience. When I encounter these situations, I remind myself to see the discomfort as an opportunity for growth, learning, and building of experience. I find that my sisters can be great resources in these situations for advice, a sounding board, or an additional perspective that maybe I haven’t thought of before.

For those who attended Convention, I encourage you all to make your own notes now of what you learned and how you can use these skills to lead, both in AOII and your personal lives. Then refer back to these notes once you return to school or start the year to refocus on how you can transfer this learning to others in your circle.

Many thanks to all our AOII professional staff for their work planning and executing the event. It was the homecoming that our members were looking for after four years apart. And now to look forward to 2025 in Palm Desert!

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