Letter from the President – September 2022

by Erin McGann, Providence
EWI of Spokane Chapter President

It feels surreal to me that this is my final President’s Message. I started to re-read my earlier letters, and what emerged was a common denominator. The natural guess would be EWI – what business we were attending to, important reminders, organizational necessities, and other timely updates. Everything that you would expect. And you would be right.

But what surfaced was the fact that each article also reflected a monthly timestamp of the current state of my personal life. Maybe it wasn’t always transparent to the outside reader, but these articles covered everything from my crazy family and health scares, to personal and professional struggles. Little did you (or I) know that the Connect gave me a way to share my unsolicited advice and thoughts on everything. Whatever I was feeling, thinking, or even experiencing at the exact moment I sat down to write my article became my content source. Inspired by life, through the lens of EWI. Looking back, I believe that this cathartic written release ultimately helped me work through and process a lot of personal and professional situations and uncertainties.  And for that, I thank you for allowing me to share what was on my heart.

When I was introduced to EWI nearly a decade ago, I couldn’t have even imagined my involvement in this Chapter would come full circle. Or that I’d be writing a President’s message. When I really start to think about it, the moment that I joined EWI is forever a part of my journey to becoming a more confident person and leader. I am truly blessed to have had this opportunity. And I wish the same kind of imprint for all of you.

As I shared before, I have always viewed EWI as a safe space to try. To grow. To experience. For anyone who has attended even just one Chapter meeting (let alone all of them) you know that my AV prowess and stoic demeanor are rarely on display—but my authentic self has always been.

That is the beauty of EWI. The Chapter, its values, and its mission have been the benchmark of a strong and stable foundation, which here in Spokane, we have come to rely on for the past 43 years. I believe that only when a foundation is strong and reliable can people feel comfortable in attempting new things. It is not only when we feel most vulnerable, but it is the first step towards something magical happening.

This past year has been marked by amazing accomplishments – all thanks to the vision and dedication of great leaders in our Chapter – the Board of Directors and Committee Chairs. They have been the true backbone for our recent successes. This group of leaders are the ultimate Chapter champions that have taken us to new heights.

As we welcome and install a new board this month, I feel inspired and hopeful.  A new infusion of ideas and skills has all the makings of an even stronger Chapter in the future. EWI has a sort of gravitation pull – leaders find a way to it. And all of you reflect that.

Cue the Oscar Awards Music…

So, for my final Presidential message in the Connect (and because my teary-eyed sentiment MAY make an appearance at the next meeting), I want to say thank you. Thank you all for the grace you’ve shown me during this time. Thank you for the energy each of you bring to the good work we’re doing in this community. Thank you for your dedication in helping us move this Chapter forward. Thank you for the amazing friendships that form when spirits align. Thank you to this year’s hard-working board and committee chairs. And thank you all for continuing to bring your authentic selves to the table each and every time. Leaning in to grow as a person and leader isn’t always easy and it definitely isn’t done in a vacuum. I appreciate the value EWI and all of you have added to my life.

I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming LUNCH meeting where we will celebrate EWI and the people who make it truly special – all of you.