Volume 1, Issue 11
By Angel Zobel-Rodriguez
I attended a wedding Sunday afternoon. The groom wore a top hat, and the bride wore a veil and carried a bouquet of carnations. There wasn't a dry eye as this ceremony proceeded, but not from crying, rather it came giggling that turned into laughter. You see, the groom was the secretary of our local WIBC association and the bride was the incoming president.
The installing officer made a point to "unite" these two, and ask for the support of the line officers and the directors. The other directors being installed and I each said we would do our best to make this "union" work. And the new "couple" listened to the words of wisdom about the difficulties of being the head of a family. By the time the mock wedding was over, I realized that we are like a family in more ways that one.
Just like a family, we have to love the volunteers--warts and all. We all come with different ideas. We will debate and, no doubt, disagree. Some ideas are not going to mesh within the "family" ideal, but everyone should listen and see if there's a bone of truth to be found. Great ideas have been known to come from outside the fray, so even if we don't agree with the idea, we still have to respect the speaker no matter what. There's always the feeling that there is no right and wrong, just different visions. The words I fear the most, "But we've always done it this way." Or worse, "We tried it that way and it didn't work." I guess they were a little surprised when I brought in two ads from local pro shops that I was told would "never" advertise in the average book. When they said that, I had to try. Maybe they'd never advertised before, but now they were willing to try a spot.
As a family we all have jobs to do, and we all will go about them differently. We nurture people in their strengths and acknowledge their weaknesses. I wouldn't think that my love of bowling was enough to be a director, but honestly it is. With enough mentoring, I can be taught almost anything. The highlight of my term on the board so far has been learning lane certification. I'm not the only one that can be at a bowling center at 7:30 am, but I'm flexible enough (and probably dumb enough) to spend several hours a week crawling around on my hands and knees learning all I can. Boy, did all the lane certification veterans have a laugh when I returned the next week. And the next week, I listened when they suggested different ways to NOT bend so many times.
Our new president is retired, but thankfully, she comes from a business/management background. She will not fear that some of us have jobs that might take us away from devoting 24/7 to the association, knowing that we may have connections and areas of expertise that contribute to the association. I can't wait until they let me have a chance at doing something with marketing or public relations. Or just let me write. They've already allowed me to forge ahead with a web page, and I'm still trying to figure out what a leap that was for some of them. While I fumbled to explain how cool it would be to be online--posting tournament results, linking our directors, and providing after-hours information--one of the other women kindly salvaged my pitch by saying: "Look how much money we'll save with e-mail over stamps and phone calls. Our state officials are already online."
Since I was asked to join the board in February, I had a bit of perspective, but make no mistake I'm still a newbie. In an ideal family, we'd come in all ages, shapes, and sizes. We're still a little skewed on ages. If this were Thanksgiving, I'd still be at the kiddy table--alone. As I looked at this family, I saw that I'm the youngest person by 5 years. And the next closest woman has kids darn near my age. My friends fondly nicknamed me the "Baby Blue Hair" as a joke referring to the stereotype of board members who use that blue rinse when they reach a certain age (is it 70? 80?). I'm going to spend the next year finding someone to displace me as the "baby." As for blue hair, my contribution will have to be cobalt.