Last night, I celebrated my final Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Volleyball Banquet as (GCAC) President. Reflecting on my 12 years with the conference, I remember attending my first meeting in 2006. I was the only woman in the room. During that meeting I was asked to take the minutes. I thought to myself "why should I have to take the minutes?" "There are other capable men who can take the minutes." As I pondered the question, I observed my colleagues become uneasy as they were keenly aware of my thoughts. In that moment I had to determine an appropriate response. Would I lecture my colleagues on Title IX or sexism in the workplace, demanding an apology and their respect? I opted to accept the call to serve while making a personal vow to one day become the GCAC President. In Fall 2009, I was elected as the first, African-American female President of the GCAC.
I believe there are several lessons that can be learned from my experience. However, the most important lesson is that you never go wrong when serving others. The opportunity to take those minutes was the pathway to the Presidency. I learned about the inner workings of the conference and when six of the 10 members communicated their decision to leave the conference at the end of the 09-10 year, I was poised and ready to lead the conference through one of the toughest times in its history. I led the recruitment and induction of 4 new members that same year ensuring that the GCAC would have the number needed to still operate as an affiliated conference in the NAIA.
Here we are nine years later - thriving. In April 2018 I will pass the GCAC President torch on to another colleague as I take on the next torch of service as the 2nd VP of NAIA Athletic Director's Association Board of Directors. In the meantime, I will celebrate and enjoy this last year as President. I took plenty of pics at the banquet. Click on the link below to check them out.
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