A Year in Review – Reflecting Back & Looking Forward

Posted by: Pulse Young Professionals on Wednesday, December 3, 2014
The time has come to close the chapter on another incredible year for PULSE, for our young professionals and our amazing community.  It seems just like yesterday that the proverbial torch was passed to me and I began this journey in leadership.  As I look back on my past year leading PULSE, I am overcome with pride in all that we have accomplished and filled with enthusiasm about the doors that were opened and new relationships that were built within our community.  One of the great attributes of PULSE is that its leadership has the freedom to make changes, try new ideas & think outside the box every year.  It’s almost like we press the refresh button every January.  The beauty of changing leadership on an annual basis is that we each bring new passions and new abilities to the table and yet, still honor the passions and goals of our predecessors who worked so hard before us. While reaching our goals does not mean that our work is done, it does provide great measure and direction as to how we’ve done and where we go from here.  Here are just a few highlights of our year:

1. GOAL: Strive toward having a more diverse population of young professionals and provide quality inclusive programming that meets the needs and desires of our members, which is more reflective of the Greenville community.

UPDATE: We created PULSE Capacity, which is designed to help foster communication with diverse young professional populations and open the dialogue to meaningful and eye opening conversation.  PULSE Capacity had a great inaugural year and created some very dynamic and powerful events, many of which will continue into 2015.  Topics of discussion have included food & culture, and racial identity.  Including Capacity, PULSE provided over 56 organized events, which appealed to a variety of passions and interests.  Those are a lot of options!

2. GOAL: Increase collaboration with other Chamber organizations in a concerted effort to provide a better voice for all young professionals.

UPDATE: We served the homeless alongside the Upstate Network, had PULSE members speak with Youth Leadership during their class days, and opened dialogue with the GHS YPs regarding collaboration on future events.

3. GOAL: Plant some roots…leave a legacy.  Promote broader philanthropic collaboration with our community partners throughout all of our programming.

UPDATE: Our committees have really jumped on board and found ways to serve the community very creatively.  Many of the projects we chose will have a lasting effect on our neighbors in this community.  Collectively PULSE members spent over 340 personal hours working with the community and giving back.  Additionally, we packaged enough food to feed over 1100 people in the Upstate.

While we must never be complacent, I am extremely pleased with how robust and engaging PULSE has been this year.  Considering that this organization is completely run and managed by volunteers, I’d say we had a pretty dedicated group of young professionals.  I hold each and every one of them in the highest regard and owe our success to them. When I started leading PULSE this year I was keenly aware that my name would be somewhat irrelevant in 2015 and even more so with every passing year.  What people will hopefully remember is the effect that my leadership and that of the PULSE Advisory Council have long after we’re gone.  Truly effective and lasting leadership is not necessarily being able to stand in front of a crowd and give an influential speech or organize a group of people.  That’s great public speaking, but not the only quality of a leader.  A great leader can actually be the quietest person in the room but the one with the most influence.  Stepping into the community, learning more about what’s going well and what is not, asking questions, challenging the norm, taking a stand, leading by example, listening, following when necessary…are all examples of great leadership. After reading through the registration information for nearly 800 of our PULSE members, I was humbled but not at all surprised to see how many true young leaders are really out there and affiliated with PULSE.  Among you are over 450 volunteers, board members, board presidents, and chapter presidents who are voluntarily serving non-profits, for-profits, and government.  You are all leaders and I am honored to be in your presence. As I conclude my 2014 year as PULSE Chair, I’d like to pass on a quote from Vision 2025.  “Greenville is the vibrant community it is today because it had a vision for the future; with people willing to unselfishly step up and make a difference”.  Keep up the great work everyone and thank you for allowing me to serve.  I look forward to seeing what Mike Pennington brings to the table in 2015! About the Author: Berri Hicks is a Buyer and Team Leader for the Greenville Health System.  She and her husband, Colin, relocated from Texas to Greenville five and a half years ago to be closer to family.  Berri is the outgoing 2014 Chair for PULSE and enjoys spending her spare time volunteering in the community and traveling with her husband.

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