Letter from the President – June 2024

by Collette Leland, Winston & Cashatt, Lawyers
EWI of Spokane Chapter President

This month, I would like each of you to consider stepping into a leadership role on our board of directors—or just taking a more active role in one or more committees. In considering ways to inspire you to do so, I went to the internet—the source of all knowledge and wisdom. Amongst the hundreds of “best” leadership quotes and tips from leadership experts, was this nugget:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
– Margaret Mead

Mead’s quote stood out because it is not just about the how of being a leader, it is about the why: changing the world. Unlike the hundreds of other quotes focusing on a single individual leader who inspires others, Mead is talking about a group of leaders working together. In an increasingly polarized and individualistic culture, it can feel like groups of thoughtful, concerned citizens are in short supply. Not at EWI.

EWI’s corporate motto this year is: Work. Grow. Succeed. Together.  A longer-standing motto is: EWI grows leaders. It’s on our websites and brochures. We tout this at our meetings and in our official communications. Our annual corporate meeting is the EWI Leadership Conference and Annual Meeting—LCAM. The theme of our Chapter’s anniversary this year was Legacy of Leadership. We invite speakers to talk about leadership nearly every month. Last month, we awarded five scholarships to future leaders outside our organizations. In March (and last October), we planted the seeds for even younger scholars, as they interacted with a young local author, Tayla Tollefson.

In each of these activities, we are working, growing, and succeeding together to change our spheres within the larger world. While doing so, we develop leadership skills that help us grow as individuals. We become more effective servant leaders—part of a group that shoulders the load together, having a common purpose of improving and investing in our careers, our connections, and our communities.

If you’ve ever held back from volunteering to be part of our board or from joining a committee, thinking that you do not have the necessary skills or that you are just not comfortable being in charge, think again. Because we are a community of leaders, we have each other’s backs. We collaborate. We extend each other grace, knowing that we are all learning and that no one individual has all the resources necessary for us to be an effective organization. Even if you aren’t sure that you are ready, take a chance. Step up. Throw your hat in the ring. Click on the link and nominate yourself to be on the slate of officers for 2024-2025: EWI Straw Ballot Form

Our board meets the second Monday of each month from 4-6 p.m. The duties and time commitment of each board member vary by position, and by our ability to delegate to the many talented professionals attending each Chapter and committee meeting. If you’re already involved in a committee, think about chairing it this following year. If chairing a committee is not your cup of tea, think about volunteering to be an assistant chair or serving as secretary, sergeant of arms, treasurer, or assistant treasurer. Serving on the board is a way to learn more about EWI if you are new, and to deepen your knowledge and relationships if you’ve been around for a while.

If you just can’t commit to board service this year, think about upping your involvement with the other thoughtful, concerned citizens at EWI of Spokane. Our committees provide opportunities to contribute to our programming, mentor new representatives, plan Reading Rallies, help award scholarships, raise funds, meet new people, work with budgets, master social media, dabble in public speaking, organize events, and form friendships with other professionals who want to make the world a better place.

Let’s grow, work, and succeed together.