The Sometimes Unsung Leaders of TAPPI

I have to be one of the most blessed people on the face of the earth.

I get to go to work each day in an industry where I always wanted to work, at an association that I have always respected, with a team second to none. Many times you do not get to hear their personal stories.
Folks, I am the one who gets to be in front of you at most of our events and the one who ends up with more photo-ops than an old Polaroid camera. However, I’d like you to know a bit about those behind the scenes at Team TAPPI.

This association world where we reside has more moving parts that you can imagine. The TAPPI staff is one of the most dedicated groups of professionals that I have ever worked with. They work long hours with a smile (most of the time) on their faces. They take our members’ requests very seriously.
You may, or may not, know there is an association for associations! The ASAE (American Society of Association Executives) is based in Washington, D.C. and their tag line is The Center for Association Leadership. These folks are at the top of their game in training and development of personnel in the association world.
One of their development groups is known as The ASAE Diversity & Inclusion Committee.  In this committee, they offer a Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP). The process to be accepted into this program is extremely competitive with other association executives around the country. The DELP is designed to provide individuals in underrepresented segments of the association community the opportunity to enhance their careers in the profession.
I am very proud to inform you that TAPPI’s own Director of Marketing Simona Marcellus has been selected as a 2015-2017 scholar for the DELP program. I asked her to give me a bit of the genesis of this journey.

In her own words:
"When you think of TAPPI Staff, you probably picture a bunch of people running around at a conference, or maybe that voice on the committee call always asking ‘who just joined the call?’ You don’t always hear their personal stories, but this is one of many I’d like to share with you. For two years, Eric Fletty (our VP of operations) had been leaving a postcard on my desk encouraging me to apply for the ASAE Diversity Executive Leadership Program.  Like many of us, I thought I was too busy with "real work" to focus on the continuing education side of my career.  He’s pretty persistent (keep that between us), so I finally decided to apply this past March and got accepted!
This education and leadership program has helped many of its scholars expand their knowledge and become better leaders for their organizations. We like to practice what we preach at TAPPI and we know firsthand that the best investment an association or company can make is in their people. We have a great team of folks at TAPPI who support and encourage each other and this is just one example of that teamwork in action."
We are proud of this distinction for Simona and wish her the best in this new journey.
More information about TAPPI is available online.
Remember, there are two types of people in our industry, TAPPI members and those who should be.
Until next time...Larry