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Home > About > eConnect Archive > December 2020 > President Farewell

The Contagious Culture That Endures at Women’s Council

by Brenda Lee Szlachta, 2020 National President

A visit to the Women’s Council national headquarters is always an experience, and viewing the photos and archives, one can always see how the organization has endured, persevered and prospered over the past 82 years.  

We've made it through our first year of the organization’s first pandemic. But if you look at our history, our organization has endured through many historical events before. We've persevered through wars, civil unrest, and economic turmoil. Additionally, it was only 60 years ago, the last REALTOR® associations in the country, Chicago and Columbus (OH), admitted women. It was less than 30 years ago that we finally broke the glass ceiling at NAR and they elected the first woman president, Dorcas Helfant-Browning. And internally, we've had our own recent technological changes and network transformations, yet Women's Council is constantly surviving and thriving through it all!

How does our organization endure, persevere, and prosper? It is the contagious culture that flexes those leadership muscles throughout the real estate industry and the communities we serve. Beyond all of the statistics, there is something intangible -  that feeling you get when you walk into a room of a Women’s Council meeting. There is a special electricity in the air that is not found anywhere else, and it is the contagious culture and “feeling” we create. This live culture shifted in 2020, and it was hard at first, but we quickly adapted and found new virtual ways of replicating that contagious culture online. Nationally, over one hundred virtual events brought in 5,000 attendees or roughly half of our membership. National meetings virtually got 30% more engagement than live ones. A record number of you obtained your PMN Designation to fill those long “stay at home” days. We forged ahead with the state network model, rolled out new communication methods such as podcasts, and continued technology enhancements.

Most importantly, our contagious culture, which moved from in-person to online, provided a personal and professional lifeline to so many members who needed that camaraderie and feeling they get from Women’s Council. In November, our typical “business leadership” theme and topics shifted to our overall well-being and our associated wealth, health and self. They were not traditional and typical topics to cover, but they followed the theme of Women’s Council in the face of a global pandemic – we care about you as a person and your overall well-being.

It's not time to say goodbye to you all, because 2020 is not over just yet! Please join us one last time this year nationally for WonderFest, a virtual holiday gathering on Thursday, December 17th. It will be a day full of laughter, fun and a good ol' holiday cheer! Following the theme of you, your well-being, and being part of the Women’s Council's extended family, we're inviting you to join us for a full day of holiday fun in the comfort of your own home.

A closing thought about 2020. I don’t know about you, but I thought this was going to be the year that everything finally falls into place and we would get everything we wanted; we now know that 2020 is actually the year that we appreciate everything we have. It has been a pleasure to serve Women’s Council and I look forward to seeing you all live and in-person again soon!

Brenda Lee Szlachta
2020 National President