Are You Saying Thank You?

It’s Award and Award Nomination season in CSI.  This is the time of year that we are preparing to recognize members at a chapter, regional and Institute level.  Some of us do a better job of this than others.

Award nominations, especially at the regional or Institute level, can take some time and effort to prepare.  I have seen this effort fall victim to the ever present ‘I don’t have time’ or ‘I’m too busy’.  Oh, how I hate those words.  What those words say to me is ‘It’s not a priority’ or ‘You are not important’.

Our hard working leaders and volunteers ARE important, invaluable and the key to our progress and success.  This effort should be a number one priority.

I have heard some say that it is just another certificate that is thrown in a box.  I have also seen many beam with pride when the recognition of their accomplishments and hard work is shared and acknowledged.

I am lucky enough to be on both sides of this fence.

I am currently winding down my last quarter in a two year term as the President of Portland CSI.  Considering I will be celebrating only my 5th anniversary in October, I am pretty proud of this and a little nostalgic and sad to be passing the baton and moving on to other things.

Portland CSI is one of the largest in the country but it suffered like many others after the economy tanked.  I have been very lucky to have a group of vibrant, passionate and forward thinking leaders to turn our Chapter back around.  And turn it around they have.   I digress, that is another blog.

It is my job to not only accept nominations recognizing notable accomplishments but to also give my own set of awards in June recognizing the hard work of some of these great people.  I take this very seriously and will put a good amount of effort into doing it right.

On the flip side of that coin, I have been honored to receive a number of Chapter Awards, two Institute awards and a DJC AEC Woman of Vision award.  For me, those are definitely not another certificate to throw in a box.  They are meaningful and I am proud of them.

While honored to receive all of them, I think the one that impacted me the most was the President’s award that I received at CONSTRUCT from Casey Robb in Baltimore in 2014.  This award is given at the discretion of the outgoing Institute President, it is not announced in advance and is typically issued to members that President recognizes as making notable contributions to the advancement of the Institute.  There is no application or forms to fill out.

Since I had not even been in CSI 3 years at that point, I certainly wouldn’t have even imagined that I might be considered.  Honestly, I was tweeting when Casey started talking about my award at CONSTRUCT and not really paying attention.  He was halfway through the intro of the award when I heard the word “Kraken” and realized he was talking about me.  Dang, I wasn’t even in a cute outfit and now I had to go up on stage.

To say that I was moved would be an understatement.  It made me cry.  The surprise of being acknowledged for my efforts in Portland and at the Institute level from the very top leadership in CSI was overwhelming.  To be called inspiring touched my heart.  I will admit it – I still get the warm fuzzies thinking about it.  I am damned proud of that award.

Normally, I don’t even talk about these recognitions.  It feels a bit awkward.  On the other hand, I think it is vitally important for our leadership and members to know how it makes a person feel to be recognized.

It is a number one priority that we say thank you.  It should be the first thing on your chapters to-do list to express our gratitude.

Our leaders and volunteers are giving their time and energy, some in a very big way, to move forward and help get what CSI has to offer out to the rest of the AEC world.  That needs a spotlight.

I don’t care what it is that you do in your life, gratitude is essential.

Our members bust their butts and give up a lot of personal time.  Without a thank you, kind words or recognition – they start to feel unappreciated.  We start to look ungrateful.  Motivation and passion to continue starts to fall away.  I mean really, someone does all that work and nobody notices? How does that make you feel?

Institute Award nominations are open now and due soon  Your Chapters should be preparing for your own Awards event.  Do not let this fall to the wayside, it is too important.  The people in CSI are incredible and their efforts need to be a priority right now.  I urge all of our CSI Leaders to put this at the top of the list.

While all of our chapters should be finding ways to recognize and acknowledge their member’s year around, right now is the opportunity to do it big.  To make it notable.  To make somebody cry.

It is time to say THANK YOU!



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