Are you looking to take your career to the next level? Do you want to network and collaborate with the best and brightest in the cable and telecommunications industry? Are you an active member of WICT Southeast? Well then perhaps joining the WICT SE board is what you’re looking for. The CALL FOR CANDIDATES for the WICT Southeast 2020 Board is officially open and we need some great candidates to run for the open positions.
For those of you who are thinking about running and want to know what it takes to run and serve, we’ve asked 3 current board members, LaShaun Solomon (President), Jamie Miller (Immediate Past President), and Renita Griskel, (Vice President) some key questions that may help guide your decision making.
What made you decide to make a run for a position on the WICT board?
Lashaun Solomon (LS): My WICT Board experience began in 2012 when I joined the Greater Texas Chapter Board as Sponsorship Chair. In 2014, I experienced a career change and was seeking to reconnect and build my network in Atlanta. Given my previous years of WICT Board experience, I found it more than applicable to pursue an opportunity on the WICT Southeast Board.
Renita Griskel (RG): I’ve always enjoyed attending WICT events and helping out behind the scenes. At the time when I submitted my nomination, it was after talking with friends who were on the board. Those conversations nudged me out of my comfort zone and into a board position.
Jamie Miller (JM): At the encouragement of my supervisor, I joined WICT in 2007 and had been attending local events, then started volunteering to help with them (rounding up door prizes, helping with event sign-in, selecting the catering, and working up to co-chairing events). I believe in WICT’s mission and the impact that this organization has on women in the industry, so I decided to step up and run for Director of Membership for Tennessee for the 2013 board. That led to a couple of years on the Programming team, then running for Vice President (which is a 3-year commitment for VP, President, and Immediate Past President roles).
How did you prepare for the campaign?
LS: I sought out to volunteer at local WICT events and get to know the existing Board members. The connections I made were instrumental in my joining of the WICT Southeast Board in 2015 as the Senior Director of Partnerships. I served in this role for two years and was elected Vice President in 2018, which led to me serving as President for 2019.
RG: I did some research about the position and then determined what I would do in that role to add to the success of the chapter if I were to be elected.
JM: Being involved as a volunteer and participating in event organization calls, I already had a feel for the kind of commitment that was required, but if you’re interested in running and not sure, please reach out to Renita Griskel and have that discussion. I worked with a couple of close friends to prepare a personal statement that incorporated my previous WICT volunteer work.
After you were elected, what was your commitment (meetings, conference calls, events, etc.) on top of your day job?
LS: WICT Southeast is a working Board of dedicated professionals. Each role is critical to our success as a multi-state chapter. My commitments have consisted of several weekly committee calls, monthly Board meetings and attending WICT SE events across GA, TN, and AL.
RG: The commitment ebbs and flows. There are times when I’m on call’s multiple times a day and multiple days a week. There are also times when I may not have a WICT call during the week. There are always emails or slack messages daily, but there is also help available when needed for an event or program. The board is very supportive and understanding that there is work, WICT, and life balance.
JM: This is my 7th year on the Southeast board, and the time commitment has varied, depending on the position I’ve held. Membership positions have a heavier commitment in the first quarter, as that is when the annual renewal period is. That said, you are always looking to have a touchpoint with your membership via mixers. Positions in Programming require more time when you are organizing an event, up through the day of the event. As Senior Director of Programming, I was leading a four-member team that was providing in-person and virtual leadership development content in 3 states. The previous 3 years were my busiest on the board, with chapter-wide travel and responsibilities that sometimes include lunchtime calls or staying late at work to make sure those duties are completed by their deadlines. I’m lucky my work schedule was flexible and, more importantly, that my supervisor was very supportive of my board service, which allowed me to make the most of my board position and my job.
What impact has the WICT Southeast board had on your career?
LS: Serving on the WICT Board has been one of the most rewarding opportunities for me! My involvement in WICT has inspired me to pursue new challenges and has provided me the opportunity to develop and grow my leadership skills, formulate a robust and diverse network, and expand my scope of the complex industry we work in.
RG: I have had an opportunity to connect one on one with executives at my own company and other companies which has been helpful from a networking standpoint.
JM: WICT has had a very positive effect on my career. I’ve gained a broader knowledge of the cable industry. I’ve enhanced skills, like public speaking, marketing, and creating PowerPoint slides, as well as leading 32 talented and hard-working board members. What is most rewarding, though, is having an impact on our members. Whether it’s hearing how someone was able to use a takeaway from a panel discussion or a workshop we just held for their own benefit, or that someone was glad that you encouraged them to participate in our mentoring program, it reminds me that the time and energy we put into our board service matters.
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to run for the board?
LS: Simply put, just go for it! If elected, serving on the Board is an opportunity for you to learn a new skill in a safe and supportive space or master a current one. If possible, start volunteering at events and meeting other Board members – this will help you gain more insight on the responsibilities. Lastly, be honest with yourself about the commitment your willing to make to serve on the Board.
RG: If you have a passion for WICT and what it stands for and want to channel that passion to help continue the successful impact that WICTSE has had on its members for nearly 40 years, then the board is for you! It is hard work, it takes up some of your time and some of your energy, but the tradeoff is what you’ll remember the most. The work you do on the board is rewarding, far-reaching and allows you to offer the membership base multiple developmental and professional growth opportunities.
JM: Talk to your supervisor about your desire to run for a board position, including what’s in it for them/your company. Whether it’s learning new skills, forging beneficial connections or leadership growth, make sure they understand the commitment of your time & resources, as their support is beneficial in your success as a board member.
WICT Southeast is currently looking for enthusiastic, organized, and dedicated members who would like to run for the 2020 Board of Directors! Serving on the Board is a great way to expand your leadership skills, connect with a diverse group of professionals, and make a positive impact on the industry. Click here for more information.
Kenya Brock is a WICT volunteer and the Director of Digital Operations and Marketing for The Katz Networks/The E.W. Scripps Company. She is a marketing, partnership, media and e-commerce professional with over 15 years of experience in developing and executing multi-platform marketing campaigns and B2B/B2C partnerships for national and local brands.