By: Melisa Galasso
The Charlotte Chapter’s Women’s Initiative recognizes that summer vacation might not always equate to the most scholarly reading. So, the steering committee thought about how they wanted to run their September event long and hard. Typically we try for a format where we pick a topic and then the steering committee selects a book about that topic. However, with summer vacation and busy CPAs who needed some less complex summer reading for vacation, we decided to mix it up!
With the help of Dixon Hughes Goodman, the Initiative had a sponsorship for September, so in lieu of a book discussion, we decided to invite a speaker. Our steering committee was very familiar with this particular speaker and several of the committee members just raved about her as an option. We eagerly contacted Stacey Randall and asked if she was available. Stacey is known for topics on efficiency, so we offered her to choose a topic she thought the crowd would enjoy. Seriously, what female wouldn’t appreciate some helpful hips to be more efficient? But Stacey had an even better idea… she recommended we poll the participants to see what topics they were interested in. So we did! In our marketing emails, we offered six topics that Stacey suggested and included a quick survey.
“If you could change, tweak, or overhaul one area in your work life that creates feelings of overload and stress—which would you pick?
- Master your calendar once and for all?
- Control your inbox with ease?
- Finally create a system for keeping up with all of your to dos, tasks, and more?
- Become a master delegator in which delegating means less work, not more questions?
- Use your most valuable hours of the day the right way?
- Shift your thinking about priorities and create a system for doing what matters, not what is yelling at you the loudest?
For our worlds to look different we have to DO something different—but not all at once. We need to be willing to take the first step which is, sometimes, just understanding how our worlds could look different.”
Based on the survey, the clear winner was creating a system for managing the to-do list. And seriously, who doesn’t have more to dos than time in the day to do them?
So on September 1st, we had a sold out crowd at Roosters in South Park. The event was so well attended that I had the “opportunity” to sit at the bar because there wasn’t an open seat to be found. Apparently there were a lot of ladies who wanted to tackle their to-do list!
Stacey then spoke for almost an hour on actually managing the to-do list. She brought example planners and addressed both analog and digital methods. But, Stacey didn’t just lecture, she asked for participation from the crowd. She allowed people to talk about their current method and the issues they were having, and she offered really great advice. I’m about 3 weeks into her suggestions and I’m really happy to say that it is working great! The group actively participated and asked questions. Stacey stood up and shared her advice. The post survey results included positive feedback from respondents who really raved about the event.
Donna Taylor, Chair-Elect of NCACPA, attended and offered these thoughts on the event. “The Women’s Initiative lunch was a great way to connect with energized women who are leaders in their organizations, businesses, and firms. We had meaningful dialogue, heard an interesting and helpful speaker, and took away ideas and made connections for the future. I hope these types of events can be held throughout other areas in NC!”
For those of you who could use some advice on managing your time, Stacey has kindly agreed to speak at the NCACPA Professional Women’s Conference in Cary on October 22nd. Her topic is “Busyness ≠ Productivity.” She’ll also be joined by some really amazing speakers, including several panelists who are the epitome of female success in the profession. On behalf of the conference planning committee, I hope to see many of you there!
If you are interested in joining the Charlotte Women‘s Initiative Steering Committee, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Melisa is a Senior Manager in the Professional Practices Department at Cherry Bekaert LLP, in Charlotte. She currently serves on NCACPA’s Accounting & Attestation Committee and is immediate past-president of the Charlotte Chapter. Melisa can be reached at email@example.com.