July 18th, 2009-It was a sizzling hot Saturday morning when I walked into the Wilsonville’s Frog Pond chapel. This would be the first D7 meeting of the year 2009-2010. As I entered the almost filled room, my “private eye nose” noticed that the D7 Top Three Leaders, aka, STAFF, seemed to be holding the D7 members captive; they were dressed alike. They wore black except for the large bold white letters spelling out the word STAFF on the front of their T-shirts. You could tell they had planned this for some time. Being a new person in this district, I had heard various times that the district had no small intentions with their captive audiences. 

The whole room seemed delightfully cheery considering they were being held hostage as they mingled about talking among themselves while eating breakfast food. As a professional snoop, I noticed a few individuals purchasing items from “the bookstore.” As I moseyed in that direction I was delightfully pleased to find two items of interest, then purchased for my own evaluation. I didn’t want to be obvious or seem to stand out while checking the whole sitution out.

Then a man’s voice called out, almost in a commanding way. “Please make your way to the next room!”  I couldn’t believe how obedient the crowd was.

Yes, the crowd became more silent yet chattering was heard now throughout both rooms as many individuals slowly moved toward the next room. The “next” room was large open space that held many seats that were arranged in a theatre setting. When most everyone was seated the leader opened the meeting with zestful a round of applause.

To my surprise many of the capture audience seemed to know this leader and like him. Scott Stevenson, Distinguished Toastmaster spoke, the audience quieted listening to every word.

Scott was tall, handsomely dressed though casual dressed.  He introduced his STAFF which I know had names with code titles as both had unique names to say the least. Cathey Armillas, the Lt. Governor of Education & Training. The somewhat slender young woman walked quickly to the front to stand next to the tall, distinguished Scott. Then Scott introduced, Deveny Bywaters, the Lt. Governor of Marketing. Deveny too was slender but much smaller in size.  She took her stand on the other side of Scott. The audience applauded. Wow! Strangely, I smiled as the STAFF stood before all as I felt safe and rewarded for being captivated by the STAFF.

I had to cheer the STAFF as they led all into networking exercise. We had to introduce ourselves to each other. The social networking was called, “Didn’t your Mother tell you NOT to talk to strangers? The exercise was great introduction. I found many new individuals that seemed very happy and enjoyed this exercise. We were to ask each individual with: Name, Club, and what our passion was. One man even asked me regarding my passion, “Are you looking for a man?” This statement from a stranger made me laugh! Why would he ask that? Maybe he saw that I wasn’t wearing a ring on my left finger; or, maybe he just wanted me to smile, or was this a test as my professional snoop was blown? Hmm, I might have to do a background check on this stranger. One problem though, I don’t remember his name but I do remember he was visiting from Colorado.

To end the exercise the STAFF held the audience to answer the question. What unique question/answer did you find when introducing yourself? When several answered the question the STAFF gave the D7 2009-2010 theme pin to the individuals. I found myself receiving one of the cherished items while the audience laughed when I stated, “I was asked, and do I have a passion to find a man.”

For the next hour and half the captivated audience listened intently to all that was said. I was pleased to hear the message(s) from each presenter as they were friendly and well prepared. Later that day I wrote in my journal the following from each presenter as they indeed left me in awe with their professionalism along with their sincere desire to teach us some of their knowledge. Indeed, we were captivated to their words, teachings, and instruction.

 As Cathey stated, “Networking is all about people… it is not about me, it’s about YOU! We are in the new age of social networking. The “business card” is now online that can be accessible world-wide.

 LINKEDIN: Cleon Cox presented – Social networking – He showed us the capabilities of Linkedin.

  • Faster communication throughout the world connections
  • Networking is meeting and sharing of information
  • Cleon overview his own website page
  • PING interfaces with Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and other social networks
  • “Notes” provides you to make notes for reminders where you met that individual or other remember able notations
  • Recommendation: Referrals are needed: Give = Receive
  • You can have more than one account. Make new account in the “settings” ie., address name
  • Linkedin is Touching people throughout the world
  • It is time to become involved in the new technology of today – do it now.

FACEBOOK: Rose Wellman,a woman that encourages all to try it. She also showed us on screen “how-to.” With her employer’s encouragement ALL staff to work on Facebook each Friday. Why?

  • The new networking changes the thoughts of technology as it becomes global
  • You have a competitive edge when you understand the “new” marketing skill
  • You no longer live in your own little world, you become international network
  • We think differently of software
  • Enhanced abilities within the workplace (i.e. one hour each Friday)
  • It is a free marketing world on Facebook

Also, Rose brought up ANYONE CAN JOIN. You connect with friends, find new business connections. Through social networking Facebook was successful with 250 million users in three years time. The organization is now a $10 Billion business.  Rose also stated:

  • You need to brand yourself on FB
  • Be consistent with all social networks sites
  • Update your profile often
  • Be careful with personal identification information
  • Use more than one email address [i.e., spam]
  • PING can update other social networks too
  • FB has a limit of 5000 “friends” then you have to become a FAN

 TWITTER:  John Goalby, a knowledgeable man gave us his insights as he has 16,000+ followers on Twitter.

  • It is a Love vs. Hate situation. Some love Twitter as others don’t
  • Twitter is a problem solver – a “how to”
  • District 7 has a Twitter Account
  • Check out, http://search.twitter.com
  • It’s great to have a business account
  • It magnifies sales
  • Great for travel and insurance industry
  • Networking on business level – clients referrals
  • Not slow as Linkedin
  • Check out: Zoom.com

The educational session ended with an open question and answer period that all presenters participated in.

 Then Scott introduced Cathey and Deveny as they reminded us of various dates and notable events to happen.

1.    Triple Crown Award – All previous individuals that had not received their recognition will be recognized on August 8th at the next TLI. Twenty-five (25) will be recognized.

2.    Smedley Award, 1924 – August 1 through September 30th, each person that has secured 5 new members will receive a ribbon for their club. IF you have an Open House during this time and have three (3) new members you will received and banner OR a stand with bag.

3.    Remember 80% current base dues are needed by September 15; if accomplished the district will give the club $50.00 in D7 Dollars.

4.    FALL CONFERENCE: Mark your calendars for November 7 (Saturday) – more information will be given later.

 Scott Stevenson, District Governor then took the stage again. This time he honored the Immediate Past District Governor, Ann Snelling, DTM. In this district they have the Cape & Crown Ceremony. Through her year of service as DG, she gained many thoughtful respects from various individuals. As she sat on her throne, she received her sparkling jeweled crown along with a one-of-a-kind robe. The tradition was to give the outgoing governor a robe that was most beautiful; it was like unto the “Wonder Woman’s Cap.” As she listened to various individuals giving her honor, she received from each a beautiful flower to plant in her garden. She also received her District Governor’s Award with the audience giving her applause.

As I mingled with the crowd after the meeting, I was joyful knowing this was a most delight way to spend the morning hours. The crowd was dismissed to go home with several officers to be trained in the upstairs chamber. I was no longer under the impression that this situation was of my concern. My private eye attitude was rewarded with knowledge and new friendship. I would go home write in my journal the many wonderful things of this day. Happiness is a choice which I made attending this meeting.

Submitted by Rose Johnson-Tsosie