By: Pamela Nulman, APR, CPRC

Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go…

It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

– Green Day

As I write my final President’s Word and look back on my year as president of the Southwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association I can’t help but get a little emotional when I think about everything our chapter has accomplished in the past 12 months. I can’t thank our leadership team enough for its dedication and passion, as well as our membership as a whole which continues to remain strong and dedicated to giving back to our community and strengthening our profession.

As this chapter in my life closes and another begins, I thought I’d share my top 10 favorite FPRA memories and “takeaways” as president.

1. During our leadership team kick-off retreat trying to guess which baby pictures belonged to our new leadership team members. It’s amazing how many of us were clearly destined to be “PR stars” even in our earliest years. Takeaway: Success starts with a strong foundation.

2. Attending our first state association board meeting and getting to share the excitement and stress of beginning our year with other presidents from around the state. We found out we all shared an equal amount of fear, but were there for each other. Takeaway: A strong, supportive network is critical to success.

3. We held our first board meetings ever via conference call this year. Takeaway: Technology can be our friend and make our lives easier.

4. While in the hospital over the Christmas holiday many of my “FPRA” friends stopped in to visit, sent flowers and one even brought me a Christmas outfit to wear – Santa socks! Takeaway: You can never have enough friends and they will always exceed your expectations and surprise you.

5. Incoming President-Elect Carla Ulakovic stepped up to the plate and coordinated the January mixer and led the February business meeting when I was ill and couldn’t attend the events. Takeaway: Always have a wing man (or woman in this case). Trust them – they have your back.

6. Our annual community PR Pro Bono Day is still one of my favorite FPRA events and our special projects team did a phenomenal job on this year’s event, with some 75 community leaders in attendance. Takeaway: We have a responsibility to always give back.

7. If you want things to run by the book, involve Kate Gooderham, APR, CPRC; if you want them to run on time (or even finish early) seek out Jennifer Moss, APR, CPRC; and if you want to put on an elegant event with just a dash of spice, call Ginny Cooper. Takeway: Know where talent lies and embrace it.

8. Compiling the Chapter notebook to document our Chapter’s history this past year was a painful and time consuming process, but when completed I couldn’t help but be proud of everything we accomplished. Takeaway: Measurement always matters! Just do it!

9. Watching my husband put together “thank you” and “fundraising” baskets, chauffeuring me to meetings when I couldn’t drive, attending FPRA events and repeatedly loading my car with FPRA meeting materials. Takeaway: Never forget your family is in this with you. Take care of them and thank them often for their support.

10. Being recognized as “Chapter of the Year” at this year’s state conference was definitely a highlight of my career. Thanks to every one of our FPRA members for making it happen. Takeaway: FPRA rocks!

Thank you for allowing me to serve as your president and for a terrific FPRA year. I have had the time of my life.