Thursday, May 26, 2011

Week 13 or Why Not Being The Smartest Guy In The Room Worked Out

It's Week 13 and I am $190 away. That’s right, you read correctly. My goal was $3,000 to help support Pyramid’s arts & education programs that inspire, educate and build community and now I am knocking on the door. 190. That is like 10 people contributing $20 and my brother contributing $10. I am almost there. Let’s do it! Make a contribution today, in any amount to my Pyramid Atlantic fundraising campaign by clicking here.

AND NOW: Week 13 Inspiration or Why Not Being The Smartest Guy Worked Out

When I was in high school, my good friend Michael Wilson, shared with me a quote he had heard on Oprah. She said, “The key to being successful is always surrounding yourself with people smarter than you.” I remember nodding my head and saying, “Yeah, that’s right.” It sounded like a good idea at the time and I was in high school, so saying that I didn’t know what he meant by that would just be “uncool.” But I really had no idea what I was agreeing with. I mean, surrounding yourself with people who are smarter than you is great in theory, but in practice can be very intimidating. I mean, if everyone around me is smarter, then what do they need me for, right?

At Pyramid Atlantic, Oprah’s words of wisdom have helped make me a better leader and taken the organization to new heights. I am surrounded by smarter people every day. Most of these smart people are on our staff at Pyramid. Only one of these is full time staff member however, Artistic Director Gretchen Schermerhorn. Everyone else is part time. They hold full time jobs elsewhere, run their own businesses are stay at home moms, waiters, teachers, scientists, researchers, but they manage to weave Pyramid Atlantic into the fabric of their lives. They coordinate our classes, membership, manage each of our studios (papermaking, printmaking, letterpress, bookmaking and digital media), do our finances, recruit our volunteers and run our store. They do it with a professionalism that is a deep reflection of their love of life. The embody the words of another great person, Winston Churchill who said, “You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give.”

So, what about me, what do I do? It‘s simple. When you have the smartest people in the world around you, you help them be great.

Here is a BIG THANK YOU to my staff at Pyramid and a link to our blog with a slide show of some of all of the greatness they make possible:

Gretchen Schermerhorn, Artistic Director

Catherine Aselford, Development Manager

Sarah Bright Yaneza, Finance Manager

Natalie Holmes, Finance Associate
(on the far right)

Richard Kamenitizer, Financial Consultant

Laura Kinneberg, Papermaking Associate

Elizabeth Parthum, Papermaking Associate

Linda Rollins, Bookbinder in Residence

Patty Lee, Associate Bookbinder (above)

Melanie Karlins, Letterpress Associate

Leslie Smith, Letterpress Associate

Julia Louie, Letterpress Associate

Grant Dickie, Weekend Rental Associate, Rebecca Katz, Screenprint Associate, Marty Ittner, Screenprint Associate

Micah Beard, Associate Printmaker (at left)

Jake Muirhead, Associate Printmaker

Sabeth Jackson, Blockprinting Associate

Chris Derderian, Director of ArtSpring
(in the middle)

Franc Rosario, Digital Associate (at right)

Jody McLean, Volunteer Coordinator (below, at left)

CaraHunt, Education Coordinator (at right)

Crystal Polis, Membership Coordinator (at right)

Sha Grogan-Brown, Fundraising consultant
(at left)

Ariana Estrada, Webmistress

I hope you found this inspiring and share it with the many great people in your life who help you look like the smartest person in the room.

AND Make a contribution today, in any amount to my Pyramid Atlantic fundraising campaign by clicking here. If you were thinking about contributing, but wanted to wait to see how far I would get, look at me now! $190 away. I am almost there and a contribution of any amount from you, will get me that much closer. Have a great week.

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