by Gayle Fitzpatrick, Alpha Rho (Oregon State U), International President
I had the opportunity to attend Leadership Academy in early February with our Collegiate Chapter Presidents, Vice Presidents of Communication, Chapter Advisers, AOII’s Education Committee, AOII’s Headquarters Staff and our guest speaker, Dr. Ann Marie Klotz. Dr. Klotz is an AOII from Lambda Eta Chapter (Grand Valley State U). Leadership Academy is one of my favorite events to attend as International President as it is inspiring to connect with the awesome leaders in our chapters.
There were more than 450 attendees from all across North America who gathered at the Marriott Cool Springs for a weekend of learning about our new brand and how we embrace it and communicate it within our chapters and to the outside world. Our new tagline of ‘Inspire Ambition’ is more than just a tagline as it comes to life in how we, as members of AOII, speak it, act it and live it.
To kick off Friday night, we started with AOII Brand 101. This session provided everyone an overview of our new brand. All of the attendees had the chance to learn how we collectively worked to build our new brand, and the importance of implementing our new brand consistently across AOII. Our guest speaker for the evening was Dr. Ann Marie Klotz. Her message focused on building your personal brand. She inspired our women to believe in who are, to know what you stand for, to be able to tell your story, and be strong. We ended the evening with a philanthropy project of writing inspirational notes to the kids attending the juvenile arthritis camps this summer. These notes will be attached to the pandas donated to each camp! It was a great way to start the weekend.
Saturday was a jam-packed day of learning and sharing of best practices for all the attendees. Each group had the chance to visit AOII HQ for a tour and Emporium shopping. The learning paths for each of the groups included sessions on our brand and how it represents our values, living Ritual everyday, and specific training tailored for each group. After dinner there was a network mix and mingle which gave everyone a chance to meet and make connections within their Network. We ended the day with an awesome Jazzercise session led by Lori Goede! She had us up and moving after a full day of training!
Sunday morning’s session brought our like teams back together where they talked about What? So What and Now What? There was great energy and discussion on how they could take what they learned during Leadership Academy back to their chapters!
It was an awesome AOII weekend full of education, collaboration and networking. I was impressed by the chapter leaders and their commitment to inspire ambition in their chapters!
If you haven’t seen it yet check out the video recap of Leadership Academy.