By Lori Revely, Guest Contributor
This fall, Oct. 31-Nov. 2, do you know where you are going to be? If you answered New Orleans, then I can’t wait to see you there. That’s where I will be!
I can hardly contain my excitement when I start talking about this year’s SAME Federal Small Business Conference for the A/E/C Industry. I truly believe it’s going to be the BEST one yet, which is saying so much since each year I leave SBC thinking how SAME has outdone itself yet again.
Personally, I’ve grown so much since joining the Society of American Military Engineers almost five years ago. Being surrounded by people who want each other to succeed and lift one another up in such a positive environment, how can you not grow? I’m more confident. I have a better career with an amazing group of people where the sky is the limit. I’ve made wonderful, lifelong friends from all over the country, and have developed solid relationships with business partners, teaming partners, and clients. Each time I attend, it’s like the high school reunion that I really want to go to!
SBC has a great lineup of education sessions, business opportunity briefings, networking events, keynote speakers, and ample time to meet and build relationships with decision-makers across the public and private sectors, including both large and small businesses. This year, the event is co-located with the Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Veterans Small Business Engagement, which will create even more opportunities for attendees to meet with and learn from other professionals in the A/E/C small business community.
How I Got Engaged in SAME
It all started with lunch at a golf course. I dipped my toe in by attending the local Post luncheons each month and working the booth at the national conferences for my employer. I met some wonderful people who encouraged me and taught me so much about the industry. I could see the value from this organization, and it wasn’t long before I wanted to get more involved. People may wonder, “why would you put so much time into a volunteer organization?” Well for one, the people here are amazing. I’m not sure that I have ever been around a group of people so interested in helping each other grow in their companies and reach the next level in business or their personal careers. Everyone you meet, from the smallest gathering to the largest conference is willing to help you meet the person, teaming partner, agency representative, or company that you need to meet and give you advice that will help with whatever you may be struggling with or need advice on.
Joining the board of the Mount Tacoma Post in Washington State in 2014 turned out to be an incredibly smart, fun move—one that I will never regret.
A year later I attended the Post Leaders Workshop in Florida, which I recommend to all Post board members. I was elected Vice President of our Post the next year, and I’m currently the Post President. It’s a big responsibility, but it is so rewarding. I continue to learn so much!
So, you can tell I’m a fan. This year, my company has a booth at SBC. We are preparing like crazy, and we are all SO excited! If you want to move forward with your business, move up in your career, connect with amazing people, meet other SAME members, grow your character, and have a blast with people who genuinely have each other’s best interests in mind and our country’s needs in heart, join me and 3,500 other people in New Orleans starting Oct. 31. Halloween will never be the same!