President's Corner

Please join me today in welcoming Michael Stack to the President’s Corner.  As a long-time volunteer, Mike has taken on a wide variety of roles  —  some of you may know him best as part of the team that delivers the ever-popular Assembler Boot Camp. Through his varied experiences, Mike has developed some special insight into what we value about SHARE.

Michael Stack, SHARE Director of Marketing

See, it all started innocently enough.  We were sitting around, trying to come up with ways to improve SHARE.  “Why do people come to SHARE?,” someone asked, knowing the answer but trying to stimulate discussion.  “Well, first of all, they come for the content - we already know that,” someone else said.  Boy, that’s sure true.  I can still remember my first SHARE meeting all those years ago; I came to learn what I could about HASP because I was maintaining it, and I mostly didn’t have a clue.

So, “they come for the content.” And that reminded me of an old marketing slogan: “Come for the content, stay for the _____.”  And I was stopped - I could not for the life of me think how to fill in the blank.  Why do we keep coming to SHARE?  It isn’t only for the content, as many of us have moved on to positions where the wonderful technical sessions just aren’t as relevant to us as they once were.

Is it because of the network of friends we’ve built?  Our careers might never have survived without their help, so that’s definitely one of the most important reasons we keep coming.  But is that it?  “Come for the content, stay for the friends?” I don’t think that covers it. What else?

In my case, one of the most important things I learned at SHARE was public speaking, which was a key to my second career in teaching.  How the heck do I turn that into a slogan?  And managing!  SHARE’s volunteer structure needs multiple levels of management to keep it going, from project managers to program managers to Board members.  What a great way to learn skills that can be used to move up the ladder at work.  (And maybe even to be paid more!)

So, I thought, how can I find a word that incorporates all these characteristics, some less tangible than others?  I just couldn’t think of one, so I proposed to the group: “Come for the content, stay for the _____.”  I’d scarcely spoken the words when Jim piped up: Community!” Wow! I’m not sure it covers everything I was considering, but it’s far better than anything I was able to think of.

Anne was paying attention.  I later found this slogan in one of her slides in her Orientation for New Attendees session: “Come for the content, stay for the community.”  I guess the slogan works.

Now it’s up to you.  You’ve come to SHARE for the content.  We invite you to stay for the community.

See you next time!

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