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August President’s Message

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Since the announcement of the start of my term as President of the MPI Ottawa Chapter I have had a great response from people in my various networks. They always seem a bit taken aback by the thought of stepping out and doing something so big as volunteering. To be honest so was I. I remember talking with David Dugas, Past President, and his words of advice were “great things happen when you step outside the box”. This box is different for everyone. Maybe you are looking at joining a new group or maybe you want to expand your professional skill set, or you are new to MPI Ottawa and don’t know where to start. Whatever the case it can be hard to face something that is unknown, and the unknown can be scary. But if you can work up the courage to put yourself out there and go for it great things can happen.

Volunteering is that safe space where you can try new things and see if they “fit”. With MPI Ottawa volunteers have a wide array of opportunities for personal and professional growth, it may be something you want to consider as we start this new program year. I should be honest, I am a little bit of a volunteer junkie. Those who know me know I just can’t seem to say no, which could be how I ended up managing my son’s hockey team this past year and supply teaching ballet classes at my daughter’s studio. When there is silence in the room after a call for volunteers I feel the need to just put up my hand to end the awkwardness. I may not always realize what I am getting myself in.

I hate to say that Fall is just ahead of us since we haven’t had that much of a summer up until now but, with the new season steadily approaching it may be a great time to consider joining one of the committees that make our MPI Chapter so vibrant and highly regarded. Over 38% of our Ottawa membership volunteers and gives back generously to this chapter, which is a pretty incredible statistic. These people have found the secret, the more you put in to MPI the more you get out of it—a stronger professional network, a more visible personal brand, enhanced hands on skills, increased business opportunities, and the list could go on and on. If you are willing to get involved, even if it is just a few hours here and there, you will not only help make the meetings and events community stronger but you will also benefit in the long run.

If, after reading this you are thinking, well maybe I will give it a shot, it sounds interesting and not too horrible, then I encourage you to look at the opportunities we have available and get involved. Take that first step and you never know where the path will lead you. Visit our website for more information on the MPI Ottawa Volunteer Committees and our Volunteer Now page to sign up.

I hope to see you out an event very soon. I will be giving rock climbing a try at Altitude Gym on August 14 as part of this year’s golf day alternative event option. If you can’t make it then, mark September 14 in your calendar for our September Kick-off and AGM.

Enjoy the rest of the summer, fingers crossed for lots of sunshine!

Jennifer McAndrew Article Written By Jennifer McAndrew, Ottawa Chapter President, Mastermind Event Rentals

Article edited by Cynthia Beaudin, Canada Foundation for Innovation

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