- December 18th, 2011
- Write comment
Posts Tagged ‘community based organization’
Julie Martinez, Texas Citizen Corps Manager, Annual Texas Unites Conference
“I had seen you speak at another conference and personally asked to get you to our conference. I wanted my attendees to experience firsthand what a true professional presenter was about. You sir, have set the bar way high for future conferences.
I only wish I could have personally stayed in the room to see what all the hoopla was about. I kid you not, attendees took every opportunity to tell me about how your session was by far the best they had been to at any conference. I would definitely love to have you come to every conference and wow them all the same.”
After my personal experience volunteering in Joplin recently and realizing the enormity of the situation and the organization it takes to coordinate the total effort during an emergency response, I had a new perspective for speaking at the 2011 Texas Unites Conference in Austin, Texas. During my time there, I met people both volunteer and paid staff leaders. There is no doubt that these individuals are passionate to help others prepare for any type of emergency, but the challenge is for citizens to head to the education being provided.
Our time together was spent talking about effective communication to support their efforts in leadership. The reality of there work is comprised of individuals and teams coming together. But also, most of their effort is communicating preparation and not always first response to disasters, so effective communication is priority one. Our time together went by too quickly.
While at the conference, I picked up one interesting nugget I hadn’t thought of before. During a tornado warning, you want to be in a window free centered room and if possible, you want to hold on to something that is anchored to the floor. There are not many items that fit this description for being anchored, but a toilet is. It is anchored to bolts in the concrete on your lowest level. What else could you hold on to that is anchored in concrete in your home?
After the Joplin tornado May 22nd, the weather patterns were still causing havoc in the Midwest. I have provided a picture of my daughter, Ragan, and me camped out in the bathroom with our safety headgear on. My three children had the strapped on helmets. All that was left for me was the Pig Sooie foam hat.
Have a plan for your family and be prepared for an emergency situation.
Every now and then I am asked, “What else do you do?” I am a firm believer that you have to do more than just be a speaker/presenter so that you have stories to tell and life experiences to share. While many speakers run their own companies, it is still critical to be actively involved in a business/organization to keep you on your toes about the challenges facing people within those types of environments. If you are a lone wolf, it is hard to see reality even if you are an active reader and expect that to be your experience.
Outside of presenting on various topics, I also lead an organization called Schools And Families Engaged (S.A.F.E TEAM on Campus). The mission is to support family engagement and a safe-learning environment in every school so all students can achieve academic success. In 1998, I simply volunteered at my son’s elementary school for one day and realized the value and need of my role and the role of other fathers and families in students’ lives. While a school shooting tragedy started me volunteering on campus, my passion to improve school safety has put me on a path I never expected to walk.
As of last week, I was published in Campus Safety magazine with an article titled, “Adopting Appropriate Policies for Screening Volunteers”. The sad part is, we live in a different world than when I grew up and because of this, we must proceed with caution. The one-liner I always share in regard to visitors and volunteers on school campuses is, “no one gets near our children unless we know who and why they are there.” I don’t say this to scare anyone, but to impress upon them to be vigilant in regards to school safety.
Please share the article with school and parent group leadership. Start a S.A.F.E TEAM program in your student’s K-12 school.
Remember that your life experience will oftentimes allow you to connect and relate to people you meet. My experience as a pharmaceutical and health insurance rep, provided me understanding of the need for community health centers. It was my privilege to present the keynote and a workshop to those leaders who care and have a vision for the needs of all our citizens.
I had the opportunity to be the kickoff keynote and conduct a workshop on human behavior. The director of the organization said the following,
“Mr. Huse set the tone for our conference with his very informative yet entertaining keynote speech. Our attendees enjoyed the group participation and learned how personalities can affect interpersonal communications. I look forward to hearing Mr. Huse speak again.” -Joan Diehl, Community Health Centers of Arkanas