Hi, TOPS Nation!
I’ll start with a quirky aside — I had a question come in recently re: the phrase “TOPS Nation,” probably because I used it on our Official Facebook page, and yes, I do realize we’re an international organization. 🙂 Anyway, I view “TOPS Nation” kind of like a sports team or a club (which, I mean, we are! A club, that is.) Have you ever heard of a fan base call itself “(So-and-so) Nation” … Spartan Nation, for example? I probably talk about Michigan State sports too often, but I am a proud member of Spartan Nation. And it doesn’t so much refer to “nation” literally, in a geographical sense, but more so, all the people who make up the fan base. Does that make any sense? I’ve been a part of Spartan Nation, so to speak, in Grand Rapids, MI; Sacramento, CA; and now Milwaukee, WI. It’s metaphorical.
So, you all make up TOPS Nation. No matter where in the world you’re located!
Moving right along, I cannot believe how quickly 2023 is progressing. Can you believe we’re almost halfway in? It just occurred to me that June is the sixth month of the year, therefore … Q2 will be over before we know it.
Now that I’ve been at TOPS for almost a year, I feel smarter than ever. (You can giggle at this, it’s halfway true. Some days I feel *so* on top of things and looped in, other days, it’s the opposite – “there’s still so much to learn! How will I ever get it?”)
But I’ve lovvvvvved seeing your photos and stories from SRD! How neat that we can all come together annually and honor our regional winners. You guys are so inspiring and innovative.
Did you realize Florida’s SRD was held on a cruise ship this year? Spoiler alert: You can read all about it in the upcoming issue of TOPS News! The story of how this came to be is pretty cool.
I also gave a presentation at Wisconsin’s SRD earlier this month. It was slightly intimidating; I agreed to it quickly, and then spaced on the fact that I haven’t done any public speaking since probably high school, lol. But it was really fun! The event was held at a gorgeous hotel in Appleton, WI, about an hour and a half north of TOPS HQ, and all of you members in attendance who I met seemed very responsive to my message. And you approved of my bright red outfit, which was the feedback I needed!
The presentation was all about getting more out of your TOPS membership, how to grow as a chapter and how to attract new members — all questions I’ve received a bunch since I’ve been here.
I’m debating hosting a Zoom, by the way, so that more of you can hear the message, so if that sounds at all intriguing, please let me know and we can try to get something on the books!
Finally, if you’re in New York state, I’ll see you this weekend. I’m looking forward to delivering a keynote address in Niagara Falls on Friday night. I’m not quite done preparing everything yet, but that’s just me — I have to be up against a deadline a bit for the ideas to really solidify and come together. I assume there will be quite a few elements that are similar to my Wisconsin presentation, so wish me luck! I’ll have Bridget and my husband with me, too. For anyone who really follows this blog, doesn’t it seem surreal that Bridget is traveling age already? She’ll be 7 months old in a few weeks. 🥺
Anyway, keep sending in those photos (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org) and telling me all about your state and provincial events. I love flipping through your pics, seeing your winners up on the stage, hearing about what inspired you, and what we could be doing differently. It’s simply the best.
Again, only having been in this Communications Director role for one year now (well, it’ll be my year anniversary in mid-June), I’m still pretty green. I hope you’ll keep showing me the ropes, friends!