A Message from 2022 Chapter President Lisa Tilt
How many times in December did you say: “I’ll work on that after the holidays?” I said it and heard it often – a likely symptom of the past couple of years. The procrastination was a temporary, needed relief and I welcomed the down time to clear my head. Now, “after the holidays” has arrived as it often does with a mix of anticipation, apprehension and optimism. I think that’s a healthy view of things at the turn of any new year.
It is a good approach for our Chapter as well. There is work to do, not completely sure how we’re going to do it, but excited to try. Assuming the role of PRSA Georgia President has felt like an “after the holidays” thing for years as I’ve worked through the Chapter ranks. And even though a lot of planning and transitioning already has taken place, to some degree it still feels surreal that it’s here and now. The awe and anticipation of leading this magnificent Chapter is no less inspiring now than in the expectation of the last few years. I’m excited to bring my ideas – and more importantly, your ideas – on how to move this Chapter forward to life.
So, what should you as a Chapter member expect in the New Year?
My presidential term isn’t the beginning of the road, but more of an amped-up continuation of the great path outgoing president Karen Cole and all our previous Chapter leaders set forth. And it undoubtedly will continue with Caroline Huston’s vision in 2023. Leadership for an organization of our size and active membership isn’t a one-and-done year. It is part of a broader multi-year plan, and why the alignment of the executive committee and Board is so important.
For fear of stating the obvious, 2022 will look different – not just in the world around us, but specifically for our Chapter. While we’ve been exploring potential operational and organizational changes for a while now, the pandemic created a unique – and potentially advantageous – opportunity to shake things up. Some of these changes will be more noticeable, while others will occur behind the scenes. In both cases, I’m confident that anything we do won’t simply be change for the sake of change, but rather change that better enables us to grow our Chapter and serve our members.
The word atop our organizational “vision board” for 2022 is Integration. In planning discussions with our new Chapter admin, Victoria Stanton (be sure to say hi to her at our next event if you haven’t yet!) and organizational leaders, one of the loudest and most resonating themes was the need to reevaluate our objectives and zero in on how we can increase membership value and begin our financial recovery from the pandemic. As we reimagine PRSA Georgia, we want everything we do to tie back to building cohesion, increasing alignment, creating efficiencies and reducing redundancies.
2022 also marks our Chapter’s 70 th anniversary, and we plan to celebrate our legacy of welcoming communicators of all backgrounds who represent every sector of business, nonprofit, government and education (among others) that our state has to offer. This includes seven planned anchor events in 2022, ranging from the Annual Conference and Awards Celebration to periodic get-togethers that reflect our commitment to integration (more to come soon). At the moment, we’re aiming to hold as many of these events in person as possible but will remain flexible and offer virtual or hybrid options as needed to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
On a broader scale, I’m proud to report that our relationship with PRSA National is on a rejuvenated path. Karen and I had the wonderful opportunity to meet with Linda Thomas Brooks, CEO of PRSA, late last year during her visit to Atlanta, and Linda likewise is evaluating where change might prove most beneficial for the National Chapter and its members. I’m excited to continue collaborating with her and identifying how we can better align our Chapter’s membership and history with the resources and perspectives of the National ecosystem.
One of the main reasons I’ve continued so long in my PRSA journey is the opportunity to see and work alongside old and new friends, colleagues and mentors. This year, that includes a group of 52 extraordinarily smart, fun and diverse Board members, committee co-chairs and Assembly Delegates who I know will challenge me professionally as much as they enrich me personally. Our leadership team includes a mix of longtime volunteers and emerging leaders who someday will be Chapter Presidents themselves, and I know from experience the humility, hustle, sensibility and citizenry that these individuals bring to the table.
With that said, our Chapter can always benefit from new ideas, and we have plenty of opportunities to get involved. If you are interested in potentially serving on a committee or just learning more about what PRSA Georgia has to offer, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
My job right now and for the next 365 days is to listen and lead in the best interest of our entire membership. Please share an idea, thought, constructive comment, celebratory moment, worry or curiosity with me anytime. I hope to see each of you in person very soon.
Here’s to our Chapter’s next chapter!
With kindest regards,
Lisa Bigazzi Tilt
2022 Chapter President