A Message From Outgoing President Barb Duran
At the 2015-16 Board Induction on October 14, 2015, Barb Duran, outgoing President, had some great words and praise to her board, the members and the community. Read her outgoing message below.
Good evening fellow EWI members, executives, and esteemed guests,
Thank you for being here this evening.
Today is a bittersweet day for me, in that, I will be ending my year as president of this chapter, but also I am excited to get started with the new EWI year and to assist our incoming president in her goals to grow our chapter and be a more valuable asset, not only to our member firms and reps, but to the community at large.
I want to first and foremost thank the incredible board of directors, and committee members for their hard work and diligence in planning and coordinating great meetings and fundraisers during the past year, like our 1st annual Leon & Lulu event last November, our fun and wild Elvis fundraiser in April, and the incredible scholarship awards dinner that we held last month at DTE Energy, just to name a few.
I’d like to take a moment to recognize our past presidents who are here today. These women have forged ahead and paved the road with their leadership, mentorship and dedication and have helped me immensely this past year. Thank you ladies for your ongoing support and passion for the success of this chapter.
My theme this past year was “Steering EWI Forward” and I worked with the board to focus on the 3 M’s: Membership, Marketing and Meetings, to get the chapter back on track to continue to strengthen us in the 3 C’s: community, careers and connections.
In the area of Membership, we initiated a membership drive, offering the “15 for 12” plan to give more value to our member firms and representatives, and to attract firms and entrepreneurs to take a closer look at what EWI has to offer and how they could get involved.
I am happy to say that since last October, we have brought in 2 new firms with 3 new representatives, and have added replacement reps for both Aon Risk Services, and Blue Cross Blue Shield and a new rep for DTE Energy. This is a great start but we need to keep moving and growing. I think I can speak for Cindy as well, but I was quite re-energized after coming back from LCAM and have renewed my commitment to make EWI no longer the “Best Kept Secret” in Detroit, but to get the word out about what a great organization EWI is.
We accomplished a lot during the last year, such as our ongoing commitment to the ASIST scholarship program, and with DTE Energy’s sponsorship this past year, we were able to present a scholarship to a well-deserving woman who has overcome many obstacles and is pursuing her dreams to become a forensic biologist.
Another area that has been expanded this past year, is our literacy initiatives with Brick by Book and Authors Under Construction. I’m sure you are aware by now that our chapter was instrumental in the publication of a book by the students at Harms Elementary School in SW Detroit. These kids are now published authors and the year-long commitment to see this project through was extremely rewarding, not only for our chapter, but more importantly, we made a DIFFERENCE in those students’ lives. Looking 10 or 15 years down the road, I know these students will have fond memories of their thoughts and dreams, and will be able to hold up this book where their thoughts and feelings were captured, which will allow them to leave a legacy for their kids and grandkids that they can be proud of.
We as a chapter should be proud of supporting these projects as well and MUST share the good news with our friends, family, co-workers and everyone we speak to, about what we are doing in the community and for women across Metro Detroit.
This past year our Marketing strategy has grown by leaps and bounds. Our new and improved website is up and running, with great features like the calendar of events and an improved registration process for our monthly meetings. Cindy has done an outstanding job in keeping the website updated and running smoothly. Our online Connect has been streamlined and can now be subscribed to by anyone who wants to know more about EWI of Detroit-Windsor. This will give us a great outreach into the business community and assist us in attracting quality firms into our organization.
The last area of my focus this year was our meetings. I believe that we made great strides in the area of Professional Development, bringing in great speakers and providing value-added programs for all our members and guests, from the solo-preneur to the large corporation and everyone in between.
The board focused on providing the best great speakers at a variety of locations in and around the Metro Detroit area, that were accessible and affordable, and I think we did an awesome job providing diverse and interesting topics and knowledgeable presenters.
Kudos to the professional development team for their hard work in finding great venues and speakers. This job is not an easy task and takes a lot of consistent follow up and phone calls to ensure that EWI of Detroit-Windsor is providing the best value to its members and guests each month at our meetings & fundraisers.
In closing, I would like to take a moment to thank each executive and member of this chapter for all the hard work and dedication to EWI this past year. I look forward to working with Cindy and her board of directors to continue to Steer EWI Forward in the areas of membership growth, increased community involvement, and providing interesting and relevant professional development topics and speakers this coming year.
Chapter President 2014-15
Chapter Advisor 2015-16