Chapter News

September 2020 Letter from the President

Welcome to September GMC!

This fall will be very different than what our typical fall event season, but 2020 is not a typical year. My head spins daily with all that happens in our business and in the world. As someone who focuses on well-being personally and professionally, I find that I am having to really tap into my resiliency bucket now more than ever.

I use the word “bucket” as it comes from one of my all-time favorite children’s books “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids” by Carol McCloud. A very simple read that I loved to read to my 2 daughters when they were young. They still reference it today when talking about their emotions. I have also given it to friends when they are feeling down. I highly recommend it to all ages. It is a simple reminder on how human relationships work especially in difficult times.

For many of us in today’s world, tapping into our resiliency bucket varies day to day. For me, I feel lucky as I had a powerful mentor in my life that taught me so much about being resilient…my dad. He was diagnosed with MS when I was 4. His life was filled with ups and downs, however, he taught me to stay positive and keep moving forward no matter what life brings you. Lately, I find that I need to really remind myself of my dad’s words and it centers me.

Through this COVID-19 craziness, we are all learning that our resiliency buckets are much larger than we thought. The longer this goes on the more we rely on each other to help fill that resiliency bucket both personally and professionally. That is the beauty of GMC.

Thank you to all our volunteers who are keeping the diverse educational offerings rolling in these strange times and to all of you that are attending our virtual programs. It shows the power of GMC.

In August, we added 2 very important conversation series to our educational offerings. We are so proud of the teams that took these tasks on and provided very meaningful and thought-provoking conversations within our community.

These included:
1) Student Insight Series – we hosted Part 1 on August 26th. Students and members with a dynamic panel discussing business recovery and how students can learn from past business interruptions. Here is the link to the session if you missed it. It is a great session for all members. The Student Committee led by Lindsay Williams and Colleen Bingle did an amazing job pulling this all Chapter event on behalf of GMC. Thanks to you ladies and all PCMA Chapters are invited to learn from GMC. Look for future dates on our website.

2) Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Taskforce’s – Be Bold and Brave Series – with over 80 people attending this session, our taskforce knocked it out of the park. Here you will find the link to the session. I urge all members to watch this and understand that we need to be brave and bold as an industry to stop systematic racism. Thanks to Yolanda Simmons-Battle the Taskforce leader and the Session Lead, Cherai Lewis for taking the lead for the Chapter. We can’t wait for more!

Both groups were under the direction of Tamara Jones on our Board of Directors. Amazing work everyone!

As we look forward to September, there are several great opportunities to learn from your fellow GMC members including:
1) September 10th, 2:00pm – 4:00pm CST – Quarterly Education Webinar – Our Education Committee lead by Joe Wilush and supported by the Board Liaison, Dawn Amaskane, has pulled together a phenomenal panel of professionals to discuss what we are all doing to keep business moving forward and key takeaways to help you navigate virtual events and how we go forward. Thanks, Carol McGury, for moderating this panel. Register here.

Please know that the Chapter is charging a small fee for the Quarterly Education Webinars starting in September. We are needing to keep some revenue coming in to help support our budget. If you are a planner looking to be hosted by one of our sponsors, please complete the form here and we will be in touch. If you are a PCMA member who has been impacted by layoff or furlough, please contact us at for assistance registering.

2) September 22 @ Noon – 1:00pm – Reskilling Workshop with Searchwide Global – this free community conversation is designed to support our members in this time of transition for so many. Come listen to industry recruiting experts Kellie Henderson and Nicole Newman to learn what you can do during this time to determine your next step. Thanks to our Lunch ‘n Learn Taskforce Leader, Angie Silberhorn for her steadfast leadership with this peer to peer learning session. Register here.

3) September 24 @ Noon – 1:00pm – Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Taskforce Session #2 – Be Brave and Bold – this free community conversation brought to you by our IDE team lead by Yolanda Simmons will bring more tough conversations to the forefront. Register here.

For our educational opportunities for the rest of the year, please watch our website as we are determining what our next few months will be. Our goal is to take our events to a hybrid model.

Finally, if you would like to get involved with GMC or honor someone for their GMC involvement, please consider the following opportunities:

  • Committee Chair Applications
  • Call for Volunteers
    • September 15 – October 15
    • Look for the form on the GMC website under “Get Involved” starting on September 15.
    • NOTE: All volunteers will need to complete this form even if you are a returning volunteer.
  • Annual Award Nominations

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or any of our Board of Directors. We are here to help and be of service to our members.

Thank you for your time and dedication to the Greater Midwest Chapter.

Be Well,
Rachael Riggs – 2020 GMC PCMA Chapter President

Jena VonderhaarSeptember 2020 Letter from the President