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"Reach more to the members, reach more to the public," is the direction I've envisioned for PNAGKC at the start of the year, and this is the same vision that I shared with my son Brian who is a college sophomore. Recently, Brian was elected as the youngest ever, and the first of Asian ethnicity to be the President of the student body of the largest university in Missouri. Although his presidency is in a larger scale than mine: MU (Columbia) has about 27,000 students while PNAGKC has 62 members; the student government has a $1 million budget, salary, travel, and allowance perks while PNAGKC survives on a limited budget of less than $15,000 and volunteer works; our priority is the same- the members! Be their advocate: find out their needs, solicit their opinions, recognize their potentials and exult in their accomplishments. Be their protector: internally and externally. An offense on the group is an offense on each member, remembering that before we became presidents we are members first and foremost! Be their beacon of hope: inspire them, set example, and yet, human enough to let them know that we need support, make them understand that we care and passionate about what we do, and therefore cannot be insensitive and detached on issues that affect the group. Be their ambassador: use every opportunity to let the public know about the group and its missions. Let the public know how outstanding our members are, and what they can do for the community. And most of all, be the leader: there will always be someone or a few who will have different views, but with the majority's support and with the courage of our convictions, we should move the group forward to be successful.
  Do I practice what I preach? Through Tanglaw, e-mail, phone calls and in person,

I've been in contact with you- thanking you for being members, soliciting your advice, appealing for help, sharing with you my feelings, recognizing your potentials, and nominating Arvin for outstanding accomplishments, locally and regionally in which she was a finalist. I use every opportunity to let the public knows about us - at work, seminars, award banquet, and through different contacts: vendors, friends, other nonprofit groups. At the national convention, I was active and visible, voicing out the needs of PNAGKC. I was appointed to represent the chapter Presidents at the general assembly and was offered to chair the Presidents Circle next year.
As I plan for the rest of my term, I will incorporate your suggestions: you have given me wonderful ideas. Thank you for your overwhelming support, respect and reassurance. I am touched by your taking pride of my accomplishments.
But the success of this organization doesn't lies in me, it is due to the members, and the officers. I can only be a leader because you let me lead. I can only lead because I have members who will follow. To be successful, I aim high, I take higher risks, and I accept the chances for failure. If I can influence even one single soul to be proactive, personally and professionally, one who will challenge the status quo, then I feel successful. I know I have been - my son is a living proof!
Comes January which is named after Janus, the Roman god with two faces: one looking backward and one looking forward; let's look back at what we have accomplished and take pride in them, then let's look forward to strengthen what has worked, bridge any gap, develop new strategies. Together, we can create a stronger PNAGKC!

Tess Laoruangroch

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