January 2011 Meeting Notes

Hi everyone!

Albert Schweitzer once said, “we should all be thankful for those people who rekindle our inner spirit,” and he’s right because they are such a gift!  This is why I want to start by saying ‘thank you’ to all those who rekindled my inner spirit last Friday by helping to make the meeting so special.  Ron George single-handedly invited 6 of our 7 newcomers to our group, bringing our total group on Friday to eighteen!  New at the table were:

  • Diena Thompson, President, Somer Thompson Foundation, http://somerthompsonfoundation.com/: provides education, resources, and help to victims of violent crimes against children.
  • Teri Hellard, Board Director, Somer Thompson Foundation
  • Kimberly Robinson, Director, Northeast Florida Camp Cadet: a residential camp dedicated to the personal and physical development of children, ages 12-15, and to promoting a better understanding between youth and law enforcement
  • Debra Grant, Florida Youth Challenge Academy, http://www.ngycp.org/site/state/fl/: provides a highly disciplined and motivational environment, free from outside distractions, which fosters leadership, academics, personal growth for at-risk youth.
  • Willie Lees, Executive Director, YMCA First Coast, http://www.firstcoastymca.org/: promotes youth development, healthy living, & social responsibility
  • Candace Bridgewater, Guest of Beth Eifert
  • John Hartmangruber, Guest of Ron George

Organizational Development Consultant, Jennifer Connell inspired us all to look within to identify our strengths and become more conscious leaders. This activity prompted one of our members to say: 

“I can gauge the value of a speaker by whether I have an ‘aha’ moment, and I had one during Jennifer’s presentation.  I realized that one person’s energizer is another’s drainer, and I started to think more creatively about utilizing outside resources to help minimize the tasks I find draining.”  This comment will be the focus of our March meeting, in fact!

The grace, dignity, and strength exhibited by everyone in our group served as a powerful reminder as to why I do this each month, and I am so grateful for – and to – each and every one of you! 

The attached notes hold much more detail, including the prompts Jennifer used with our group, which are also attached in PDF format.  If any of you would like to continue the exercises via email, let me know.  We could each create our responses in Microsoft Word, then I can compile them in one document and send them out to everyone – with identifying names, or without.  I think it could be very helpful to learn from others how they plan to minimize their energy-drainers and maximize their strengths!  No pressure, though.  Just send me an email by Friday if you’d like to participate and we’ll set next steps from there…

Looking ahead, here are the topics for our next 3 meetings:

  • Friday, February 25th, 2011: Dr. Judith Smith of HandsOn Jacksonville:
    • HandsOn Jacksonville inspires, equips, and mobilizes people to take action to change the world.  Dr. Smith will help us understand how to find the right volunteers whose strengths will help to advance our organizations.
    • Friday, March 25th, 2011: Energizers and Drainers: A group brainstorming session on identifying tasks that drain us, and creatively finding ways to minimize them in our lives.
    • Friday, April 29th, 2011: FIELD TRIP!!!  Details to be announced soon…

Till next time, peace and joy –

Beth Eifert
Organization Development Consultant
Coordinator, Shaping Clay Helping Professionals’ Group