Save the Date!

          Leadership Richardson Alumni Association

Stay informed and stay connected! 

December 2020

UPDATE: RSVP deadline to register extended through Wednesday, December 2nd. 

We are excited to announce the Virtual LRAA Holiday Party scheduled for Friday, December 11 from 6 – 7:30pm on ZOOM.   

For just $10 per person, you'll get a holiday goody bag that will include a holiday cocktail and other treats.   

To stay with LRAA’s tradition of giving back this Holiday Season, we will give everyone the opportunity to donate canned goods, toys and gift cards to Network of Community Ministries when they pick up their goody bags.  

If you chose to participate in the Secret Santa Gift Exchange,  you will receive an email with your recipient and their information.  Gifts need to be dropped off before the party.  We will have break out rooms on Zoom to open gifts and try to guess who your Secret Santa is! DON'T OPEN YOUR GIFT BEFORE THE PARTY!

We will be doing two activities with prizes.  We won’t tell what they are so we don’t spoil the surprise!

There will also be a virtual Holiday Light Show.

If you signed up for Secret Santa, you will get a separate email with your assigned Secret Santa's recipient's name, interests and address.  Deliver Secret Santa Gifts no later than Noon on Friday, December 11.  Make sure you don't get caught delivering your gift on a video doorbell.  Disguises are encouraged!!

DON'T WAIT.  Register now here

Take a look at the new official class picture for LR XXXVI.  The Government committee had a successful day November 13,  which included time with the Mayor, City Council and other City leaders at the Civic Center.  They also had a socially distanced field trip to the Service Center, which was moved outside for COVID precautions.  Next up, a full day of Cultural Arts & Diversity on December 11.




          Audrey Oatis-Newsome, Class XXXV

Diversity, Inclusion and You!

·        What is Diversity and Inclusion?

·        The Business Case for Diversity and Inclusion?

·        How You Can Make an Impact in Your Environment!

When: January 14, 2021, 12pm  Leadership Development  (Zoom)

What: Diversity, Inclusion and You  presented by Audrey Oatis-Newsome, Class XXXV

Where:  Zoom (details soon)

Register: Click here.

Audrey Oatis-Newsome started her career with the Department of Veterans Affairs-Veterans Health Administration as a clinical social worker where she worked in long-term care, psychiatric service, oncology and medical/surgical service.  Later, she served as the Director, Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Employment Office.  In this position she served as the principal advisor to senior management and senior executives.  Audrey provided oversight and guidance related to EEO, diversity and inclusion matters to 153 medical centers throughout the United States.  Her expertise focused on the impact of EEO, diversity and inclusion on workforce and succession planning, communication and marketing, technical legal compliance, program development and training.

Audrey relocated to Richardson in 2017, and retired in 2018. In her efforts to become an active member of the community, she serves on the Richardson Boys and Girls Club Advisory Board, and is a volunteer facilitator for the Richardson Library.  She is also a graduate of Leadership Richardson Class XXXV.  She enjoys traveling with her husband Earl, playing the piano, and working with children.

Calling all LR ALUMS!!  

The Chamber and RISD need you and the ask is simple! Be on a virtual panel in one of several career fields, outline your career path, showcase your day-to-day activities, and answer questions with a goal of helping students consider future work possibilities and the education choices necessary to reach various career outcomes. 

It’s called iDream and we will host almost 2000 RISD 6th graders in a virtual environment. 

As a panelist you would:

Participate in 2 to 3 sessions that will be approximately 45 minutes long.  Time commitment is January 15, 2021 – 8:00 am to Noon.

Join via zoom link and serve on a panel of others in your similar business area.  See registration form for options. 

Each panelists will share a 2-3 minute bio on yourself and your career journey (it doesn’t have to be a traditional path)

Take Q & A from the students

Fields include IT, STEM, Health Science, Arts, AV, Law, Human Services, Business, Marketing, Finance, Education, Teaching & Training, Hospitality and Architecture & Construction,

Interested?  Please complete this online registration form.

 Have you ever questioned the value of programs like Leadership Richardson?  We didn't think so, but just in case you need some proof, take a look at this study by the Kansas Leadership Center.

It recently released a new study on the impact of community leadership on the workplace and community engagement.  This research is from a two-year study done by the Third Floor Research and Kansas State Staley School of Leadership Studies.

The result showed that Community leadership programs enhance work performance and community engagement:.

•  After attending a community leadership program, graduates use leadership behaviors at their workplace and feel more confident to lead a group.

• CLP program participation is strongly linked to increased community engagement, with graduates much more likely to serve or want to serve their communities in an elected or appointed position.

While we all know the work we do in community leadership has an impact on our cohorts and ultimately our communities. there has not been until now a study of impact effectiveness. 

Bruce MacPherson

Where has your leadership journey taken you, since your service year as the President of LRAA? 

My journey since serving as LRAA’s President has been one in which my confidence level has strengthened. I have more patience and willingness to be involved with projects that take considerable time to reach their final destinations. At my church, Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, I served as Chair of the Steering Committee that oversaw the planning, construction and fundraising for a new building addition to our campus.  Appropriately named, Servants Hall, this was a three to five-year commitment that was worth every minute of time I spent with other devoted members of my church to accomplish.  As a member of the Richardson East Rotary Club, I agreed to chair the committee that worked closely with the COR Parks Department in creating the Ann Eisemann Inclusive Playground. This came out of an adopted strategic plan that involved over three years of hard work by the committee and the club to MAKE IT HAPPEN! Cannot put into words the joy and feelings we had when the ribbon was cut at Cottonwood Park in April of 2019 and the children were set free to play.

What are you doing today and how do you think LRAA has influenced you?

I have lived in Richardson for thirty years.  Before starting work as Manager of the Eisemann Center, my first eleven years I worked in downtown Dallas as the Manager of the Meyerson Symphony Center.  My days, nights and most weekends were spent at work, the reality of being in the live performance industry.  I did not experience or connect with much in the daily life of the Richardson community.  The LR program was an eye opener for me and I did not hesitate on getting involved with LRAA upon graduation.  LRAA involvement led me to serve on the board and eventually as President. My network of community leaders grew from this experience and has helped me many times over to feel confident in taking on new challenges.  LRAA has taught me the importance of respecting others and to accept input from others in order to meet objectives and goals. I also learned that it is okay to say no, but when you say yes, then you need to be an active participant in achieving what you said “yes” to.  (Like agreeing to do this story when Magic asked. )

Thinking back to your year in the LR class and your service on the LRAA Board of Directors, what do you recall as your favorite memory?

I have so many favorite memories and I love them all, so this is a “Sophie’s Choice” type question being asked.  Choosing one, it would be my involvement on the committee that helped orchestrate the celebration of LR’s 25th Anniversary.  Billed as a Sterling Start to a Golden Future…25 Years of Leadership Richardson was celebrated with a black-tie affair at the Renaissance Hotel on June 12, 2010. The committee made up of LRAA members representing almost every year of LR’s existence worked together for months in organizing this special event. This was also my first year of service as a LRAA board member that afforded me every opportunity to see how a myriad of personalities and skillsets could work side by side to accomplish a common goal.

     As LRAA President (or since, as a Past President), what are some lessons you’ve learned and how could they help a future President for the Leadership Richardson Alumni Association?

    To have patience, a willingness to voice your opinion while at the same time being a good listener.  Never say never!  Success is something we share, not something we own.

    What are your favorite leadership books, podcasts, TedTalks, etc that you recommend to other (aspiring) leaders?

    I love reading nonfiction.  I have read and learned how leaders of the past set standards that have stood the test of time and are as valuable today as they were decades and/or centuries ago.  Currently I am reading Frederick Douglas – Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight. A biography that has opened my eyes in ways I did not expect when I first picked up the book. Most compelling and revealing on sacrifices, both good and bad, that leaders must make to achieve their goals.  We all need to look forward for the betterment of society, but in doing so we cannot forget the past.

    What is your “call to action” to the current LRAA membership?

    I had the great joy of serving as LRAA’s President in 2012-13.  My theme for LRAA that year was “re-CONNECTING moving forward.” Over the lifetime in any organization, there will be times to reenergize, to reconnect with members, and to identify new leaders to keep the organization moving forward. LRAA will soon welcome Class XXXVI, the current “best class,” into our growing ranks of LR graduates. I encourage us to welcome them and to give them every opportunity to play major roles alongside us, members of the other 35 “best classes.” Doing so will help keep LRAA fresh, vibrant, engaged and moving forward, without forgetting our past.

    (c) 2020 Leadership Richardson Alumni Association

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