IABC Barbados created another piece of history on Friday Sept. 27 when it hosted one of the mini conferences in the Southern Region Conference series. Due to conflicting commitments at PRMR Inc. I was only able to take in just a half of this historic event, but by the time I arrived the tone of the event had already been set.
From my enquiries I discovered that Andre Bello, one of the morning presenters had swept away the audience of predominately females, he could have done this on appearance alone but having seen the gentlemen present a while back at another IABC Barbados event, I knew it was not just his charm that had everyone in awe. Only today I was reading a blog by Drake Baer on Fast Company which explored Sir Richard Branson’s view on hiring, it quoted him as saying that the most crucial part of a hire is the personality. "Most skills can be learned," he says, "but it is difficult to train people on their personality." Bello is living proof that Branson practices what he preaches.
If Bello was the most outstanding speaker of the morning, to my mind Ambassador Bobby Morris stole the show in the afternoon, following on Tim McCleary’s Involvement presentation. The Ambassador took McCleary’s teachings literally and spontaneously threw out his PowerPoint presentation, which he declared was “telling” but not “involving”. When he was finished “involving” he left the after lunch attendees alert and wanting more of his pearls of wisdom.
Another bit of history that was created at this Southern Region Mini Conference was that it was a catalyst for the very first official visit by an IABC Chairperson to the Barbados Chapter. In Robin McCasland’s inaugural speech at the IABC International AGM in New York this year, she promised a more inclusive IABC and her visit to Barbados seemed to suggest that she is really on a mission to transform IABC into a truly international institution. McCasland did not just visit but also acted as the lunchtime presenter. I am sure that that would have been her first time presenting in open air with the Caribbean Sea just feet away. According to her, she could not get enough of Barbados and will certainly be back.
We also welcomed the Southern Region Chair, Diane Chase. It was also the first time that the Southern Region Chair had officially visited the Chapter. Kudos must be given to the Southern Region for the initiative to have mini conferences around the Region to involve the wider membership in activities. Congratulations also to IABC Barbados President, Lynda Holder and her team for pulling off a challenging but ultimately very rewarding Mini Conference.