It takes some bravery to get involved, especially when an organization is new and processes aren't quite as defined as in an organization that has been around awhile. And yet somehow, you get these magical people who just step up to the plate and help because they see a place where they can add value. This is true leadership - leadership that occurs not because you are in a certain position, but because of who you are and what you do.
This quarter, we'd like to recognize an amazing woman for her leadership at HBA Austin. When this woman first began to amaze us, she wasn't even a member of the HBA, but she saw a place where she could help and then did. She has enabled the growth of HBA Austin and has really jumped in to help us set the groundwork to make this an incredible and fluid organization.
At one of our first events, this particular woman reached out to her contacts and helped us secure our restaurant sponsor. She was so quiet and humble about it it took us a long time to realize who even did it - simply giving credit to the "events" team. And then she did it a second time, for tonight's event, with our introduction to Modern Market.
Securing our vendors for these events is a tough task - it requires bravery and an intense amount of organization and communication. Moreover, at our initial events, it also required a lot trust and commitment. This woman put her name on the line for HBA Austin, trusting that we would have great attendance, and trusting that HBA Austin would attract a group of women that would reach out and be incredibly kind and thankful to our sponsors. She led by example and continues to do so.
And finally, this same woman saw that we needed a little help managing our events. "Short-staffed" was (and still is in many ways) an understatement because our organization is so new. So she offered to help us manage our events, and ultimately became chair of the events committee. She orchestrated so much of tonight's event specifically, and continues to lead us toward greater and more fluid orchestration of our events. And she would probably love a little help, so after I announce her name, if you're feeling drawn, please introduce yourself to her and see how you too can help - whether for one event or on the committee helping us plan great things.
So to a woman who has a passion for helping, sees needs and fills them through her servant leadership - we would like to recognize Sally Birmingham.