By Lori Graber
When I was invited to write an article on my ACW membership, I was nervous. I’m not a blogger, and occasionally, I struggle to put words down on paper. However, I accepted this challenge because I’m passionate about my ACW membership. I knew this was a safe place for me to push outside of my comfort zone.
When I originally signed up to be an ACW member, I jumped all in and joined the Membership Committee as a volunteer. Some of you may recognize my name as I have likely had the pleasure of connecting with you on your initial onboarding call. I’ve been an ACW member and a part of the Membership Committee for more than five years. During that time, ACW has given me a platform to test myself in ways that I never thought possible.
To be 100 percent transparent, the reason I joined the Membership Committee, in the beginning, was to face a fear. Public speaking and talking to new people was not something I was comfortable doing. I knew that because I wanted to grow personally and professionally, it was something I needed to become more comfortable doing. This decision was one of the smartest I ever made in my life. I have become more comfortable talking to new people and public speaking, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t occasionally get some butterflies here and there.
In my role as Membership Committee Chair, I’ve continued to step out of my shell and build confidence in a safe environment. Plus, I have met some truly amazing individuals through ACW. Early on in my career, I was fortunate to sit at a table with a lot of tenured individuals who provided me guidance and insight that was pivotal for my career. I’ve truly built a tribe of absolutely amazing women; if not for ACW, our paths never would have crossed. Through member onboarding calls and meetings in person at our ACWConnect Live! events, I’ve built a network of truly amazing people.
I can tell you from experience that being an ACW Committee member is one of the easiest ways for you to get more involved in the organization and truly expand your skillset. I would encourage you to join a committee that involves activities not currently in your skillset. I can’t think of a better way to add new skills and programs to your resume than in a safe, fun new way with ACW.
As if that isn’t enough, I’ve had the honor of going through our Mentoring Program too. I was paired with such a fantastic mentor. I owe her the world and can’t thank her enough for all the help and guidance she’s provided to me.
ACW members have offered me so much and are truly an extension of my tribe. I’ve received check-in emails and pick me ups as we’ve shifted into quarantine and even more personal notes showing love and support. I can’t say enough about every single individual I’ve interacted with over the last five years.
I encourage you to join and engage in ACW. If you’re on the fence, just do it! Jump in and get involved; it will be one of the best decisions you ever made.
About the Author
Lori Graber is a seasoned industry executive with more than 12 years of experience in client services, operations, and sales management. She currently works as a manager of sales operations at Telesystem. Before that, she worked at NetCarrier in several different capacities, quickly rising through the ranks from staff accountant to client services coordinator and eventually director of sales operations. Graber has been an active member of ACW for five years, serving on the Events Planning and Membership Committees. She chairs the Membership Committee in 2020.