Summing up the NAOC

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National Advisory Organizations Conference 2007

Sally Harris reflects on conference highlights.


In thinking of words to describe the NAOC in Dallas, one comes to mind—perfect! The conference was perfect, right down to the weather. What impressed me was how balanced and integrated it was. The keynote speakers of the many general sessions did not confer on their remarks, yet Jerry Jones, Jim Collins, Rick Warren and Commissioner Israel L. Gaither created a unified and integrated message. First Lady Laura Bush came to honor the work she has seen everywhere she goes.

In the workshops, the National Advisory Board (NAB) took a leadership role. Delegates got to see who we are and hear how we think about our roles with The Salvation Army. Our incoming Chairman Rob Pace presented a workshop on Strategic Planning; later he announced the new website for advisory organizations. This is my 11th year on the NAB and this is a really big deal, a historic moment for advisory organizations.

Dale Jones, a professional executive recruiter, gave a workshop on recruiting advisory board members. Mary Theroux told “The San Francisco Story” about the phoenix-like rising of San Francisco’s advisory board from its darkest hour. We also had the expertise of Bobby Lyle, Sheila Tate, Bill Raduchel, Bob Byers and Margot Perot.

In New York City, where I have served on the Manhattan board, we have struggled to have a young professionals’ group. I spoke about this in my workshop, “A Youth Movement.” I believed this to be unique to Manhattan—only to find that Seattle had one underway and Cincinnati was starting one soon. The NAOC did its work as we had lively discussions of shared mistakes. We also shared our successes. I look forward to this new effort having a presence or a chat room on the website.



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