The 1st annual District Four Leadership Conference was a success on so many levels! Five of us (Andrea, Emily, Nate, Jon, and I) traveled to Nashville for a weekend that was full of laughs, learning, leadership- and a looooong drive. Emily, our President-elect and the D4 Secretary, met us in Nashville; she flew in early to prepare for our weekend and the arrival of about 70 students from other D4 schools. Also in attendance were Sohaib Soliman, our current National ASDA President, and LaJoi Wiggins and Jeremy Jordan, past District 4 trustees.
Un(fortunately) for Emily, that meant she missed out on a spur-of-the-moment canoeing trip on our way to the city. S/O to Foggy Bottom canoeing for an awesome trip! Any and every day with President Jon Fryml is an adventure. After canoeing the Harpeth River for around three hours, we arrived at our hotel for check in. We stayed at the Vanderbilt Marriott, overlooking the Vandy football stadium- looking at you, Jordan Rodgers.
Saturday was the first full day of our conference, and it was a serious treat. We heard from a dynamic speaker, Darryl Harris, from the Carroll-Keller group. He was a South African man with an awesome accent, enough energy for all of us in the room, and a seminar so riveting the day flew past! The following idea he presented is one that really stuck: On our team of ASDA members, we will have students who are great at a wide range of things. Take the individual talents each person possesses and use them to your organization’s advantage. For example, you would not put your defensive tackle in the game to kick the winning field goal for your football team with 3 seconds left in the 4th quarter. You would choose your veteran placekicker! In other words, help your members choose positions and committees based on the strengths and talents they already possess. Allow them to thrive on doing what they were born to do well.
Saturday night, we enjoyed a night out in Nashville on Heartland Dental! Thanks to those guys for a fun time. Having the chance to get to know other students outside of the conference was wonderful. You can’t have too many friends in the dental world.
#ASDANashBash was a weekend to remember. We wrapped up the conference on Sunday morning chatting about ways to strengthen our chapters by breaking into focus groups and discussing major ASDA topics with other schools. Hearing about the ways they run ASDA at their campuses was helpful and insightful. Finally, we concluded with a presentation about Gold Crown Awards and how to become an “Ideal ASDA” Chapter.
Stay tuned on that last one… we’re coming for you in Orlando, Ideal ASDA Chapter Award.