Alex Pulliam, 2021 President
In 2020, I was listening to a podcast that talked about what happens when we dare to try something new. It chronicled a journalist who created a personal mission to learn a variety of new things and push through the stigma of being “a beginner again”. While he took on challenges of varying levels (like learning to play chess with his daughter or surfing), he learned that the journey was the greatest part of the process. He found that trying something for the first time prompted a series of emotions such as fear, excitement, defeat, success, joy, and ultimately, resilience.
His story stuck with me, especially during a strange mid-Pandemic time that met with so much uncertainty. So, as I looked to 2021, it prompted the theme “Year of Firsts”. An idea aimed at encouraging everyone to try new things and create resilient outcomes for ourselves and our Chapter, and to think CREW first.
Throughout this year I challenged myself to share “firsts” and so many other members also shared “firsts” of their own: writing and publishing a children’s book, a first lease signed with a CREW member, career changes, a first grandson, the launch of a new business, deals closed with CREW members, learning to live without someone for the first time, and other personal accomplishments, and even other defeats.
Together, we stood tall as a Chapter, we were resilient in a year that challenged us. Through our collective efforts, our Chapter celebrated some incredible “firsts”:
• Reintroducing in-person meetings with a stellar tour of Glorieta Station thanks to Sherry Read and the Events Committee
• Creating virtual, in-person and hybrid meetings (shout out to Ron Sisneros, Val Simpson and Dena Crain)
• Finding engaging ways to keep our members connected, Kate Dimock and Erin Gomez launched our first hybrid Book Club
• Launching a task force to be a pioneer in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, thanks to the guidance of Gabi Marques, Frankie Hermosillo and the DEI Committee
• Adopting a new logo to align with Network’s bold progress forward
• Orchestrating a Chapter-wide first regional event with CREW AZ, Tucson, Denver and Las Vegas to connect our members with other chapters and build on our CREW relationships
• Teeing up a live interview with KRQE (thanks to Sunny 505) to discuss CREW New Mexico’s 5K Event, and all the amazing work of the CREW Network Foundation. (P.S. Our Chapter Champions Keri Stewart and Savannah Jermance helped us become the first Chapter east of the Colorado River to reach the Trifecta).
• Welcoming 13 new members, 9 members rejoining and ending our year with the second highest number of members at 103
• Developing creative ways of highlighting members, sponsors and events thanks to our Communications Committee led by Shirley Anderson and Genieve Posen
• Celebrating Jeanie Springer who took home the CREW Network Impact Award at Convention! We couldn’t be more excited to celebrate this amazing accomplishment! This is the first time someone from our Chapter has won this award, and it won’t be the last!
These “firsts” prove that despite a challenging and busy year, we can accomplish so much because we have each other.
As I end my year, I want to thank all of you for making this the best journey I could have ever experienced. I was blessed to serve alongside the greatest Board, Chairs, mentors and friends; nothing this year would have been possible without each and every one of you. It is my greatest honor to follow in the footsteps of Past Presidents who paved ways for all of us to have a seat at the table. I hope you all know that you will always have a seat at my table. Please remember to think CREW first as you continue your journey and when you decide to try something new, do it. CREW, and I, are always here for you.
Here’s to a fabulous 2022 and “Going Back to Basics”!