What comes to mind when you think about SDA? For me, it's education programs, conferences, networking, and people. Mostly people. Do you know how many people I have met through SDA? More than I ever thought when I joined. I figured I’d go to my first chapter program, sit in the back, hide and take notes (if it was worth it). I laugh now at how naïve I was back then, thinking that I could be invisible in this organization. First program ever, and everyone in the room came over and introduced themselves to me. Really, the nicest group of people I’d ever met. Never in my dealings with SDA have I felt awkward, or invisible. Each of you, whether you were in my chapter or a member that I met during my membership have made an impact on my career. I’ve been invited to other meetings, through work, and also through my personal life, and have never gotten the same reaction. I love it. As for my first program, it was so enticing and informative, that I never once questioned going to another one. Oh, don’t get me wrong, sometimes I’ve wondered whether a program or convention really applied to me and my career, but I went even with that little nagging doubt that I could be wasting my time, and my firm’s money. However, that little nagging doubt has ALWAYS been wrong. I’ve very fortunately been able to bring something back to my firm, no matter the subject. LOL, which is great, because it means that my boss keeps sending me!
I’m grateful to SDA for providing me with the tools to stay current in my profession, and the individuals I can call up and ask for help when I’m stumped. (Which has happened more than I’d like to admit at times!!) The most wonderful thing though – everyone that I have ever called or emailed, has made themselves available to me and if for any reason they haven’t been able to answer my question, they just pointed me to someone who could. What a great gift. So really, what does SDA mean to me? Our members. Because really, there’s no way any other organization has members as awesome as ours!!! (I mean, I guess they can, but I doubt it!) Thanks to everyone for making this an organization that I truly feel that I belong to, and for allowing me to express my thoughts on it.
Sooooo…….how about yall?? What does SDA mean to you?? I’d love to know! Plus, your input would be a great way to help start conversations with non-members! Lol, yes, I’m always needing topics to start, so help a member out and let me know what SDA means to you in the comment box below!
Susan Lankey, CDFA, is the Office Manager for DJG, Inc. in Williamsburg, Virginia.
She currently serves as the SDA National President-Elect for the 2017-2018 term.