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From a Grateful President

The clock is ticking and at midnight tonight, my role as president of the National Speakers Association of Illinois officially ends. No, I won't turn into a pumpkin--but I will become the new "immediate past president" of our chapter, a role I look forward to because it allows me to stay engaged with all of you while supporting the leadership of our new incoming president, Jill Morgenthaler, and our superlative new board of directors. 
So if you'll indulge me for a moment, I'd like to share some thoughts with you as I pass the baton to the ever-capable Colonel Jill...

What I've Learned as President of NSA-IL

I've learned so much this year about leadership, about the camaraderie of our members and about what it takes to support a non-profit, [mostly] volunteer-run professional association. Here are just a few of my take-aways:

  • * No one in their right mind volunteers for something like an NSA chapter for the "glory." It's hard work and we do it out of our commitment to our profession, our commitment to our own businesses and careers and most of all, based on an abiding respect and commitment to each other.

  • * We cannot create a future without honoring the past. This chapter is a robust, thriving chapter because of all the many people who came before us. Some of them are still involved in NSA and others have gone on to other endeavors. Whatever their choices, they made indelible contributions and if you're one of those past leaders, you know who you are and we thank you. (Smooch.)

We can never say "thank you" enough to the folks who contribute their time and talent to the chapter. Whether you served on the board, shared your gifts as faculty of NSA-IL Speakers Academy, hosted our Speakers Lab or mentored a new speaker formally or informally, your generosity did not go unnoticed. Maybe your contribution was as a member, welcoming a guest at one of our chapter meetings. Whatever your gift to us, we thank you.

Our Future is in Capable Hands

And now, my personal thanks to the 2016-2017 NSA-IL Board of Directors, pictured here: Sima Dahl, Jill Morgenthaler, Conor Cunneen, Amy Segami, Lynne Franklin, Haydn Shaw and Bob Roitblat, as well as Bill Guertin, Wayne Messmer and Maria Malayter. Special thanks to Conor Cunneen who steps off the board after many years of service--we won't let you go too far, Conor. 

One Last Round of Thank-Yous

One last round of thank-yous: to Jill Morgenthaler, our "Member of the Year" who agreed to step in a wee bit early as incoming president; to Jill and Bob Roitblat for their tireless devotion to our NSA-IL Speakers Academy; to Bill Guertin, winner of the Arnold "Nick" Carter Award, for his contribution to our new member on-boarding proess; to Lynne Franklin for her courageous leadership on our website project (stay tuned--it's going to be fabulous); to Amy Segami for connecting us to the Chicago Alliance; to Haydn Shaw for working with Jill on our great programs; to Cyndi Maxey and Kevin O'Connor for their long-term devotion to the chapter and their leadership in hosting two Speaker Labs; to Sima Dahl, winner of the "President's Award," for her spirited and tenacious follow-through in creating new experiences for our members' professional development; and to Brigid Duffield and John Blumberg, both past presidents, who have served as my behind-the-scenes mentors and advisors.

This letter would not be complete without a shout-out to Christy Moore, our indefatigable executive director. Christy serves our chapter with a grace and aplomb that would put a foreign dignitary to shame. Many thanks, Christy, for all your support to our chapter, our members, guests and prospective members and to the board (and me!).

And Now, Where Do YOU Fit in?

The new NSA-IL year begins July 1, 2017. Where will you serve? What would you like to contribute? If you're a member, may we invite you to serve on a committee? If you're a Speakers Academy graduate, how can we help you grow your business? If you've been a guest and are thinking of joining our tribe, how can we help you meet the NSA membership requirements? 

There is a place for you among this extraordinary, generous and exuberant group of speaking professionals. Let us know how we can serve you.



Click here to view Vickie's January 2017 President's Letter


Vickie Austin
Founder, CHOICES Worldwide
Business & Career Coach
President, NSA-IL 2016-2017 Board of Directors


As a group, we are unified in our dedication to speaking excellence! Our members tell us they build truly long lasting relationships with some of the most professional, knowledgeable, sharing and interesting people they have ever met!

If you are interested in joining NSA-IL, you also are required to be a member of the National Speakers Association. Click on the NSA link below to find out whether you already qualify. We look forward to meeting you.