As an association advocacy chick, I wouldn’t be doing my due diligence if I didn’t encourage you to vote on Tuesday November 2.  I don’t care who you support.  Just make sure you show up at the polls. Encourage your family and friends to do the same.  A lot is at stake and as we’ve seen in recent years, your one vote can make the difference.  So please don’t sit this election out.  Vote.

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There’s a tiger in the bathroom: Lessons from my Vegas weekend

Last week, I took a little break and celebrated my birthday with some friends in Las Vegas. At the same time, many of my association colleagues were there attending BlogWorld 2010, billed as the world’s largest social media conference. While I’ve enjoyed many of the conference recaps, my favorite thus far is KiKi L’Italien’s Top 10 Things You Shouldn’t Do at BlogWorld. So, in honor of KiKi’s list, here are my top 10 lessons learned during my Vegas weekend. 
1. Never agree to an extra shot of tequilla in a yard of margarita.

2. If you’re going to drink a yard of margarita, hot dogs will not help absorb the alcohol.

3. Everyone in Vegas works for tips. EVERYONE.

4. It’s always better to watch other people lose their money.

5. Dancing in fitted jeans and flat sandals > dancing in a fitted dress and heels.

6. Ladies, always bring flats and a purse large enough to carry your heels in.  Club bouncers frown upon bare feet on the dance floor. 

7. There’s nothing wrong with having clothes that will only see the light of day in Vegas.

8. Never try to reason with anyone named Ray Ray.

9. Sadly, the best deal on a Vegas show was not from Twitter, but a magazine ad.

10. Start now to plan the next trip.

So fortunate

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of getting together with some of my fellow Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP) scholars. At one point, I was looking around at the table and thought Wow, how did I get to hang out with such cool people? How often do you hear that when talking about people you met through a professional development program? However, DELP is more than just your typical professional development program. It’s about making an impact that can last a lifetime.

What I love about my class (2008-2009, aka the best DELP class ever!) is that our chemistry is undeniable. The running joke among DELP is when you see one ’08-’09 scholar, another two or three can’t be far behind. Despite the diversity of our association career paths, we’ve bonded in a way that usually only happens on playgrounds or during summer camp, not in conference rooms or coaching sessions. Even as alumni, we still update each other on our professional and personal lives. We get together when we’re in each other’s cities. We provide a helping hand when a contact is needed and a shoulder to lean on when life gets tough.

The impact this program has had on my life cannot be measured by the number of business cards acquired or certifications earned. It’s about the people who have challenged me to live beyond my expectations. My DELP classmates are not just professional colleagues. They are my friends, confidants, partners in crime and just plain good people. Everyone should be so fortunate.