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Ripple Effect

Tuesday, August 7, 2018   (0 Comments)
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By Catrice R. Jones, CAE, Executive Director of NC AWWA-WEA

 

According to the Collins Dictionary, a ripple effect refers to "the spreading effects experienced as the result of a single event." As Executive Director of NC AWWA-WEA, I am privileged to see the daily “ripple effect” the actions of our volunteers, leaders, and staff have on our organization and its members. I first experienced this effect 18 years ago, when I walked into the NC AWWA-WEA office one week before the Annual Conference.

 

As with any new job, my first days were spent completing paperwork and learning my way around. Since it was the week before the Annual Conference, I happily jumped in to help the Executive Director Pam Moss, with the last minute details. She did a wonderful job of explaining what I could expect when I got onsite at the event and what my duties would be. Now anyone who knows Pam knows that she gives VERY detailed descriptions. Despite her thorough explanation, I was still very nervous thinking about what to expect at
this large event where I didn’t know anyone. When I got onsite, I was a little overwhelmed by the size of the event, but all of that melted away when I started meeting all of the people. I can honestly say that this is when my love for this organization began to grow.

 

Everywhere I turned, I was greeted by a friendly face. Even though they were all busy fulfilling their assigned roles, they took time to welcome me and help the “new girl” not make a mess of things. The way the volunteers unselfishly gave their time and energy to this industry and to this organization was inspiring. On top of that, they had fun and genuinely enjoyed what they were doing. For me this was the beginning of my “ripple” with NC AWWAWEA. At the time, I am sure they were not thinking about the long-term effect they had on my life and career path.

 

As you are reading this article, I hope you are reflecting upon those people who started a ripple in your life. Who was it? What did they say or do to impact you? Do they know how they affected you? Where are they now? Did you thank them? During this moment of reflection, I hope that you are also thinking of ways that you have started a ripple effect with your impact
on someone else’s life. This impact can be as informal as giving an encouraging word
when a coworker has a rough day or a word of congratulations when someone completes a job successfully. Your impact could also be made in a more formal way through taking time to teach someone a new skill, or inviting them to attend an industry event and introducing them to new colleagues. When you started your ripple, were you aware that it was happening? What was your motivation for helping someone else? How did that make you feel? Have they ever thanked you for your actions? In this fast paced and demanding world, it is easy to forget that we leave impressions with everyone we meet, and that we have the ability to impact their lives in positive and negative ways.

 

We often feel that we are just one person and cannot possibly have a major impact on the world. I am here to remind you that no contribution or act of kindness is too small. Just as those volunteers inspired me, I challenge you to seek out ways to start or continue a ripple.

 

Let the people that have impacted your life know, and say thank you by sharing your ripple moments on social media using #RippleEffect #ThankYou #WaterIndustryPro. If all of us who are a part of NC AWWA-WEA – Board of Trustees, staff, committee leaders, members, and supporters – join together, we can turn our ripples into a tidal wave!


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