Stylist and personal shopper Lynn Mailey Seggebruch interviewed me during her weekly segment “Live with Lynn”. Lynn Mailey has known me for over 25 years. When we first met, we were team teaching 3rd grade. I take viewers us on a “literary” journey of where I have been and what I like to do since those days way back when.
Now, I enjoy being creative and writing for others when the cat’s got your tongue or when you just need help describing what you have accomplished in a resume or a LinkedIn profile.
Watch what happens when two friends get together on our porches to talk about side hustles and small businesses.
Do I have a hobby? (Definition of hobby from Merriam-Webster: a pursuit of one’s regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation) Yes, I do. It is called VETLANTA.
My introduction to VETLANTA was through my attendance at VETLANTA’s Q2 Summit on April 12th, 2016. I truly thought, here is a free event in my somewhat new city to attend as a military spouse. The free part had me thinking- will I walk out of there with more than I “paid for”? But I am a strong networker and only had hopes of making connections in this new home city of mine.
There I heard presentations from KPMG, some great foundations and non-profits, VETLANTA’s President, and an old friend from my days as a Transition Coordinator at Wounded Warrior Battalion West… Hire Heroes USA. Everyone who took the platform, who had an exhibit table of information, who I shook hands with- were there to help veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses.
I was hooked.
Shortly after some phone calls and email exchanges, I connected with the leadership of VETLANTA, President Lloyd Knight, and met VP John Phillips, my LinkedIn connection via an introduction from a former coworker. I was asked to join the leadership team of VETLANTA to focus on communications- internal and external- and join the other 4 executive team members to grow this club and its abilities, help get local recognition, and increase our membership.
In June 2016, VETLANTA reached 750 members in our LinkedIn private group.
My first summit as VETLANTA’s Director of Communications was the Q3 Summit in August 2016 hosted by UPS at their global corporate headquarters. We had a huge crowd of 340+ attend including 25 UPS Veteran Business Resource Group (VBRG) leaders from across the country as UPS held our first ever in-person VBRG meeting in conjunction with the summit. This was significant as we hosted the Under Secretary of the Army, Patrick Murphy.
Also that month our President and Vice President met with VA Secretary Bob McDonald and the regional leadership from the VA. They discussed how we could collaborate going forward.
After much deliberation we named VETLANTA’s strategy initiative the 6 Pillars of VETLANTA- Employment, Healthcare, Housing, Education, Community and Business. We knew each of these pillars had to be led by an expert in the field, so we reached out to our membership asking for volunteers and recommendations. The leadership team conducted interviews of members who were as passionate as we were in helping veterans and military families in Atlanta get connected to the resources they needed. Each of these pillars now has at least one Director, a team of VETLANTA members to support and an executive sponsor from our leadership.
Through VETLANTA I was involved with so many other momentous events and causes in 2016. We partnered with UPS, American Corporate Partners and Hire Heroes USA on a transitioning veteran seminar; cooked Thanksgiving breakfast for 50 homeless veterans at Veterans Empowerment Organization, attended the Freedom Ball; and hosted in partnership with UPS a Veteran Owned Business Summit.
In April 2017, my hobby reached a high of 1420 LinkedIn members. Our summit registrations now continually meet max capacity. These quarterly meetings grew from 300+, to 400+, to November 2017’s final summit of the year registering 540+.
In May 2017, VETLANTA hosted our very first annual Hiring and Resource Fair at the Kennesaw National Guard Armory. In July, we hosted the inaugural VETLANTA Golf Tournament. It was free for Veteran Business Owners and its intent was to help these entrepreneurs network with each other, get introduced to VETLANTA, and get connected to resources to help support their businesses. My hobby connects people to what they need.
At our August 2017 Q3 Summit VETLANTA had the pleasure of announcing the VA finalized a new Community Veterans Engagement Board (CVEB) partnership in Atlanta- VETLANTA.
This. Is. Huge.
As I write this article, we reached 1700 LinkedIn members. Are YOU one of them? Is VETLANTA your hobby? If not- please find us, join the group, introduce yourself and let us know how you can help veterans and their families or what VETLANTA and our membership can do to help you. Spend your free time meeting with us, attending summits, hiring conferences, volunteer opportunities… networking, connecting, and making Atlanta THE destination location for veterans and their families.
VETLANTA is my hobby. I am amazed at how much we can do… since this is just a club and all executive team and pillar leaders have full-time jobs. We’re only able to do so much because of our passion to help veterans, service members, and military families, our active membership, and our strategic alliances.
I had the fun opportunity to interview stylist and personal shopper Lynn Mailey Seggebruch during her weekly segment “Live with Lynn”. I have known Lynn Mailey for almost 3 decades. She has cleaned out my closet twice, taken me on numerous shopping trips, has shopped for me, and gives me virtual shopping tips and deals.
Watch what happens when two friends get together on our porches to talk about side hustles and small businesses. Lookout #QVC, Lynn Mailey is coming to get you!
During Covidity* (k), I am grateful for days like yesterday. I called it “Driving Miss Daisies”. I got to spend this weekday morning and afternoon with these awesome women, introducing them to boutiques and shops in Dunwoody, a nearby town.
Covidity* is the term I have (k) trade marked “the time you are not working, due to the negative impact on business”.
I sure do hope to be working full time again soon, but I’m taking advantage of every extra weekday moment I have to chose whom I want to spend my time with and what I want to be doing until this happens!
When I am not networking, researching places where I can make a difference, I am helping others through my writing services. Please head to the “Services” tab to see what types of writing I can do for you!
The answer is YES. This is one additional opportunity for the hiring manager to get to know you and hear what you can bring to the role or the organization. This is the most personalized voice you will have in the beginning of the process- until you get to that interview.
J.T. O’Donnell gives the best career search advice and I love this new approach to cover letters. Storytelling- get good at it!
Many people are using Zoom for the first time and are grateful for the connectivity it is giving us professionally and personally.
I remember “my first time” with Zoom clearly- July 26, 2018 with two former coworkers, one in Southern California, and one in New York City. It was great sitting in my home outside of Atlanta, seeing these two beautiful people, and sharing information about customer experience. They were both Zoomers, and they were teaching me.
Grateful to have such inspiring, influential, and empowering women as my professional contacts and personal friends.
Thank you, Alissa Whiteley and Sheri Levinsky-Raskin for keeping me on my toes, learning, teaching, and being the best me I can be! I sure hope you have people around you who can get you up to speed with this great tool for staying connected.
I just got “checked in on” this morning. This contact – professional turned personal – is one I admire for many reasons, and I am lucky to learn from her often. I’m looking forward to taking my lesson and implementing it.
Found this list on Facebook and thought to share it here, too, as clearly my friend is checking off her list!
For all the women, cooks, bakers, writers, readers, and entrepreneurs in my life! I am excited to dig into this YA novel written by my friend, neighbor, and author Mayra Cuevas. More to come after the book panel tomorrow for International Women’s Day. I got to MC the event.
It was my absolute privilege to introduce a panel of wonder women:
Panelist Mayra Cuevas. Mayra is the author of the teen foodie romance Salty, Bitter, Sweet. She was born and raised in Puerto Rico and now lives in my sweet little town of Norcross. She is a special projects producer for CNN and serves on the Board of Directors of Kadampa Meditation Center Georgia. Mayra is taking her book tour on the road as well as partnering with educators and donors to make copies of her book available to students with limited income.
Panelist Dr. Marie Marquardt. Marie is an author of three young adult novels, a college professor, and immigration advocate. Her critically acclaimed novels reflect the experiences of undocumented immigrant teens. She is a Scholar-in-Residence at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology and the founding board chair of El Refugio, a Georgia non-profit that serves detained immigrants and their families.
Moderator Christi Paul. Christi is the weekend anchor for CNN New Day and HLN’s The Daily Share. She is the author of Love Isn’t Supposed to Hurt, a memoir about overcoming an abusive marriage. She serves on the National Advisory Council for the One Love Foundation and is involved with Girl Talk Inc., an organization where high school girls mentor middle school girls to help build self-esteem and combat bullying.
The room was full of Norcross neighbors as well as those who traveled in from South Atlanta, Cobb County, ITP and other neighboring cities to hear what these women had to say.
Afterward, true networking took place, books were purchased and copies signed and copies of Salty, Bitter, Sweet by Mayra Cuevas were purchased for donation to Title 1 schools. It was a great way to celebrate International Women’s Day, and I am already looking forward to what opportunities next year will bring for us to celebrate.
Remember in 2nd grade when you had an “accountability partner” – you always had to know where they were, and you had to go to the nurse or main office together?
Or a reading buddy who came in from another grade to read to you- or for you to read to?
How about when you were on a class trip and you had to hold hands with so-and-so?
Or later on in life when you were a freshman touring the campus on orientation weekend, being led by an upperclassman?
Or that new job where you are paired up with someone to show you how to do this… or that?
Or that trainer at the gym. Forget you paid her money, you just know she is going to make sure you do what you need to do, then some. And you better be ready for that.
Or maybe you were fortunate like me and was given the opportunity to participate in a mentoring program… and you were matched with someone who had some skills set you were working on, the personality that matched yours to push you, or the experience in the field you were working in- in order to stretch you?
I find resorting back to an accountability partner, having a buddy who is in the entrepreneur business, getting guidance from someone who has been in your shoes and having a person you trust to confide in and be pushed by are all roles I have had in my life- and need now in my business.
When I attend workshops and seminars on the weekends and at night, I love being surrounded with like people- solopreneurs who are working towards their passion. Entrepreneurs who are sharing their lessons learned- because it is energizing.
I love having access to 4 awesome women who all started their journey before me and are in different places in their business (and different businesses) but I can reach out to them and ask questions. They actually answer me quickly- even though they are the midst of 1-2 jobs, family business, life events, day to day “stuff”.
And what is even better is how we get to share. Two of these #womentreprenuers share sites with me to learn from, online or in person classes to take, blogs to read for info or check out for ideas.
I am thinking of starting a small group of these womentreprenuers that has scheduled informal meetings where we are accountable to each other which in turn makes us accountable to our businesses. Here we share the ideas we have, the mistakes we have made, the goals we have reached, and the goals we are setting for ourselves. Would love to hear your stories of accountability tricks… as well as ideas like this that help motivate you and move you towards your goals.