Chapter Welcome Message by Jamelia Smith

Chapter Welcome Message by Jamelia Smith


Hello there! 

It’s hard to believe we are already well into 2023. Where has the time gone … I hope that each of you had a safe and restful holiday season and are embracing 2023 refreshed and ready to make waves!

As I sat down to pen this message as your 2023 WICT Network: Southeast President, I’ve pinched myself several times and often wondered how I got here.  My professional journey and my WICT journey have taken a non-traditional path. I’ve been a WICT member since joining the industry in 2004 and a board member for many years before I took some time to step back to focus on a new job and my family. Then, just over a year ago, I stepped into the role of Vice President wondering what in the world I had gotten myself into. 

When Gimette DeLaughter and team approached me about the VP opportunity I was excited and nervous at the same time … the one thing I did know was that I was going to say yes. Yes, to them believing in me, yes, to believing in myself and yes, to the opportunities this would bring.  I knew I had women (and men) around me who wouldn’t let me fail – people who believed in me. 

As I start 2023 as your WICT Network: Southeast President, I am excited about this yearlong journey and so very grateful I knew what I needed, where I wanted to go and had the courage to say ‘yes.’

It is with that in mind that I chose this year’s touchstone – Know Yourself, What You Stand for and Where you are Headed.

You must understand who you are before you can decide who you want to be. Take stock of your strengths and weaknesses and understand your limitations. Set realistic goals for yourself, keeping in mind that a balance between work and life makes for a healthy leader. Maintain your own morals, values, and ethics, so you can hold yourself to the high standards you set. Unleash the leader within you, taking control of your career and steering it in the precise direction you want to go.

We have all been through so much in the past three years. Now as we return to our “new normal,” we need to refocus our energy, know who we are and what we want out of life.  We must try new things, embrace the unknown and step out on faith.

In 2023 The WICT Network Southeast will try lots of new things:

  • We will offer ways to keep our WICT members going through job transitions connected to our chapter.
  • We will expand and offer more creative partnerships to support our members.
  • We will create special programming for those new to our industry and explore new ways to connect with our most senior WICT advocates.
  • And we have a few more fun things in store that we can’t share just yet!

We have some great programming opportunities available in February and March – you won’t want to miss these!

  • On Feb. 15 we will kick off our first of four Touchstones of Leadership event series: Know Yourself – Life on Purpose. Register now!
  • Mark your calendars for the Taste of WICT @ the Battery, for March 15 – more details will be available soon!

Be sure to follow us on social media! Join the conversation on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram – and don’t forget to tag us and use the hashtag #WICTSE! You can also find up-to-date information on all of our programs and events at our website, – book mark it for easy access! Last, our events are a great way to up your development game, learn something new and network with others in our industry. All events are FREE for members… we can’t wait to see you there!

Jamelia Smith

The WICT Network: Southeast President