Contributed by Michelle Gilstrap

Before I can truly enjoy the holiday season and think about how my sweater is going to be uglier than everyone else’s, I’ve got finish my self-review. It’s due next week. It should be so easy. Right? Wrong.

After I sit and stare at a blank Word document for a few minutes, I look at my work emails for inspiration. It seems like nothing pops up until an email about renewing my WICT membership presents itself. And then, it hit me! Eureka! I finally know what I’m going to write.

I started thinking about my involvement in organizations like WICT over the past year. Then, I started to think about all of the women who encouraged me to get more involved. At the beginning of the year, I was thrilled when I saw a few of the women from my 2017 WICT mentoring circle. Shelley Hoffmann was a part of my circle and is the current Senior Director of WICT Programming. She enjoyed her involvement with WICT, and it was infectious. I too wanted to help the organization thrive.

While volunteering, I’ve crossed paths with some amazing women and men. They have inspired me to follow their lead and assist WICT whenever I can. They inspired me to read powerful books like Daring Greatly by Brené Brown. I’ve also blogged and helped them plan the 2018 Red Letter Award Ceremony.

We can all celebrate the many accomplishments that we’ve made in our careers and organizations. But thinking about the people who lit that fire and the others that feel it’s warmth, made it celebration more meaningful to me. Sometimes when you are inspired, others will follow.


Michelle Gilstrap works for CNN Tours at the world headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. Her hobbies include traveling, video production, finding fashion trends and hanging out with her friends and family. She has been a member of WICT since 2016 when fellow Turner colleagues like Torrae Lawerence and Eunice Reger (past WICT SE Senior Director of Membership) encouraged her to join.