By Kate Martin, Florida í94, National Communications Director
On a hot Friday, with bags packed and ideas in tow, alumnae members, Educational Leadership Consultants and Alpha Xi Delta staff members headed to Nashville, Tennessee for the Volunteer Leadership Conference (VLC). In one amaXIng weekend, we reconnected with friends, made new relationships, celebrated Alpha Xi Delta successes and planned how we will help Alpha Xi Delta and her Sisters, both collegians and alumnae alike, to reach their potential in the coming year.
I wasnít sure what to expect, but I had a blast living Alpha Xi Delta all weekend! As an alumnae volunteer, I donít get that chance everyday! It started the moment I was waiting for the shuttle to the Gaylord Opryland while chatting with a lady who happens to have a daughter going to college in the fall, who happens to want to join a sorority. I talked with her about sorority life and Alpha Xi Delta (even alumnae MAX it out!), and on the shuttle I bumped into Foundation Trustee, Michelle Hartnett, who I had not seen since last year's Convention in Atlanta, Georgia.
Alpha Xi Delta Foundation Trustees at this year's VLC.
Arriving at the beautiful Gaylord Opryland, I hiked (literally Ė the place is huge!) to my room, settled in and attended our first event: dinner and a fun review of Alpha Xi Delta successes. After meeting new people and happily greeting old friends who serve on National Council, The Foundation, the National Directors Network and staff, we sang Grace and had a delicious southern barbecue and chicken dinner. We then paired in groups and did a rousing chorus of songs that we thought of when certain words were said, like ring, love and friends. After we settled down, we learned about Alpha Xi Delta successes: new chapters, recolonizations of chapters, scholarships granted, increases in the number of Alpha Xi Deltas nationwide and much more! With our hearts full of sunshine from all the good news, we recited the Ritual to remind ourselves of our purpose there (after the wait staff was removed and the doors were shut and guarded, of course). It certainly brought it all home for me.
The next morning, my roommate, Julie Lyndsey (National Alumnae Director), and I were up early to start our meetings (and in search of coffee). We attended the National Directors meeting; I am the new National Communications Director. We talked about how the National Directors Network works together in a million ways to help Alpha Xi Delta reach its potential, got to know the various and amaXIng staff members that we will work with for the next two years and goal set! I was lucky to sit with Sue Mamber, National Philanthropy Director, who is simply awesome with all of her ideas and love for Alpha Xi Delta. It makes being a new Director a little less daunting having Sisters like her to help guide the way!
Nealy Wheat (National Vice President), Jennifer Lee (Foundation Trustee) and Kate Martin (National Communications Director) at this year's Volunteer Leadership Conference.
After working hard all day, we headed out to the Wildhorse Saloon for dinner and a little bit of line dancing! Nothing says Sisterhood like figuring out new line dances with your Sisters after a yummy dinner.
Line dancing at the Wildhorse Saloon.
Early the next day, we were back to work, meeting with our National Team leaders to further develop our goals and ideas. Alpha Xi Delta is always looking for volunteers, ladies, so if you are an alumnae and would like to work with collegians or other alumnae, donít be afraid to reach out either through another Alpha Xi Delta volunteer you know or through www.alphaxidelta.org! I strongly recommend you give volunteering a try. It gives you the chance to do something new while making friends and giving back!
At the end of our meetings, and now days after, I am energized and looking forward to working with my national team to make this another amaXing year in Alpha Xi Delta history!