ChickTech 2017 Leadership Summit
I was very excited to represent ChickTech RDU at Portland State University where 16 chapters of ChickTech gathered last weekend for the 2017 Leadership Summit. We came from many different states, with 7 chapters celebrating their start with ChickTech. We started off with introductions and quickly descended into giggles and laughter with a session on Laughing Yoga and a bit of bollywood dancing. There were videos taken that should never see the light of day!
After breaking down some of the barriers, we quickly got to work. The goal is to bring in 13 new chapters during the upcoming year. We wanted to give them a head start by developing an event plan for for them. The good part is, we all found something useful in what was created to take back to our own chapters. The best part of this experience was having new and established chapters working side by side. Both bring in great value – either through experience or through new eyes. We did have to break in the middle of all this for the biggest donut any of us had experienced.
There was some good strategic planning discussions as we all are looking ahead for growth opportunities for #ChickTechNation. We discussed several interesting initiatives that we hope to be working on during this upcoming year: continuing the push to a tech careers, metrics, ChickTech@college, national partnerships, LGBTQ, and bringing ChickTech to rural areas. In between all this, we got advice from each other on successes and lessons learned, we helped solution each others’ problems, and shared our passion for this organization and the girls we serve. My fingers were typing as fast as possible as I tried to collect all the juicy nuggets to bring back to the rest of RDU’s leadership team.
Finally, the break for dinner. We broke into groups so that we could focus on multiple areas: developing an elevator pitch, marketing 101, building an open source community, or focusing on volunteers. The food was amazing, the company even better and then back to the hotel for a bit of sleep before we were at it again!
Day 2 started with sharing thoughts and best practices, recapping the first day and then launching into some discussions on finance. We also had a great session on running ACT-W events. Something new for the Raleigh-Durham chapter to consider in the upcoming year! Also, we will be hosting our first National ACT-W in April 2018 – hope to see everyone there!
As a final sprint to the finish, we started discussions around most chapter’s biggest event of the year – the High School Program. Raleigh is gearing up for its event December 2nd and 3rd at Meredith College. I am grateful for all the good advice and history from all the established chapters as well as many great new ideas from the newly formed chapters. RDU is excited to really dig in and start planning for ours!
I’d like to thank headquarters and our regional directors for putting together such a great event, for those who participated and came up with creative ideas for sharing and breaking down barriers, and for everyone who came and shared their stories, their passion, and their fears, and their support. I am grateful to be a part of such a passionate and dedicated organization!