Thank you, Sandy, for your remarkable service to the Heartland Chapter during 2020 and 2021 as Chapter president. Your leadership, perseverance, and dedication have been truly remarkable. We are all grateful to you for expertly leading and guiding us through the most challenging of times. During the Chapter’s February 10, 2022, Annual Awards, Installation Banquet & Auction, Sandy addressed the group and here is her inspirational speech:
Speech by Sandy Wachter:
I find it hard to believe that two years have passed since I stood up here at this same hotel and accepted the position of PCMA Heartland Chapter President. It really seems like yesterday.
We all know that in fact, we have been through so much these past two years. Some of it has been very good, like new jobs, new pets, new grandbabies and even some extra time with family during the lock down. And some of it has been not so good, like being furloughed or laid off, being lonely or alone, having no income, catching COVID or even losing a loved one. But we survived, we learned, we grew (some of us in more ways than one) and we coped with the cards we were dealt.
Throughout the pandemic, the PCMA Heartland Chapter was able to continue our operations, host virtual, in-person and hybrid events and keep the Chapter financially fit for the future. Not every chapter can say this.
We made all of our events free to attend so that it didn’t matter what your situation was, you could still participate. In addition, PCMA Headquarters offered a hardship rate for everyone to be able to remain a member of the organization during the pandemic. I can honestly say, the way we moved forward was nothing like I imagined my term as president of the PCMA Heartland Chapter would be.
One of my first thoughts was, “I will be the president that is remembered for doing nothing – no meetings and no social events, nothing.” I didn’t want to experience my year(s) that way, so I pressed on. We actually did hold meetings, hosted community conversations, played golf and even had a puppy break! I checked in with members and kept everyone as informed as I could. And even if I do say so myself, I think our little Chapter has adapted and is moving ahead!
If you remember, when I accepted the presidency on February 6, 2020, I wanted our focus to be on our Chapter family. I challenged each of you to find a new friend – did you succeed? I know I did!
I challenged you to get that warm feeling of helping someone else and pay it forward – did you accept the challenge? It’s one of my favorite things to do! I truly think our PCMA Heartland Chapter family is how so many of us were able to get through these past two year. We aren’t just colleagues, we are friends! We care for each other like a family and help each other get through so many trials.
Towards the end of my first year, I was asked to remain in this position for a second term and I happily accepted thinking this will be the year they will remember me for. Only weeks after I said yes, my dad got COVID and died suddenly, my husband and I got COVID and were seriously ill and I wanted to quit – why did I say I would do this???
But the outpouring of love and compassion from the members of this Chapter and the PCMA community was remarkable. All of you helped me understand that in the midst of chaos, here, with my PCMA family was where I needed to be! I remember back in March of 2020 thinking this won’t last long, everything will be back to “normal” soon.
And here we are two years later still left wondering when it will end and what will the new “normal” will look like? We just don’t know, but our Chapter is in a great position to move into that new normal guided by our new president, Vicki Baker.
I will leave you with this:
As I wondered if I would be remembered after these past two years, I listen to the song by Rascal Flatts – How They Remember You?
Listen to the words…
“Did you stand, or did you fall?
Build a bridge or build a wall?
Hide your love or give it all?
What did you do?
What did you do?
Did you make ‘em laugh or make ‘em cry?
Did you quit or did you try?
Live your dreams or let ‘em die?
What did you choose?
What did you choose?
When it all comes down, it ain’t if, it’s how they remember you.
You’re gonna leave a legacy, no matter what you do.
It ain’t a question of if they will. It’s how they remember you.”