2009 Des Moines Spring LEAD

Feb 20-22, 2009

This was my first LEAD as NIB. I was very much looking forward to it since it was a homecoming for me. I lived in Iowa for about 7 years, in Cedar Rapids, which is about 2-hour drive from Des Moines. I had no idea what was in store for me. I had plan on meeting my best friend Deniz in Iowa City for lunch on our way back, which we did. But the weekend had opened doors of networking.

The car ride was about 6 hours long. Once we made it there, we had Chinese food at Hy-Vee. I knew Kristi would love it, and to my surprise so did other brothers. Oh, to tell you the truth, the cold was bad. However, it didn’t snow. Just a few flurries.

There was a dancing ballroom on Friday night. By the time, I got registered and checked in, I decided to leave the room while my chapter played cards and drink beer. I was hoping to meet other chapters and just to know/learn about this LEAD event. Few minutes later, Jon joined in. Jon, down to earth guy. He’s unlike others. In my party time, he relaxes. I did strike up conversation with Brothers and to my surprise I was stunned. I was actually having a conversation with our Great Lake region VP Kim. This has been a running joke in our further gatherings. I had no idea I will be meeting with people who I remembered their name to pass the pledge exam. I was instantly fell in love with her. Not to mention, through Kim, I met with other board members.

As I was getting to know her, she introduced to her husband Joe, VP of Finance and Amy Briggs, VP of Provincial region. I think for about 10-15 minutes I was numb, excited and nervous..all at the same time. Since Kim is from Zeta Xi chapter,  I had an opportunity to enroll with Chicago Alumni Chapter as my visit to the city is often. I was humbled but decline the offer (because at that time, I had no idea where would I end up).

..with Kim, Amy and Jon - we took this pic right out of dance ballroom.

On Saturday, we had an opening session with Tana Geortz (runner-up in The Apprentice Season 3). I had few discussion with her after her speech. I do believe her few points about  life is about learning curve. I truly appreciate her knowledge of street skills, and she’s a killer when it comes to selling. She breeds it heavily. Books can lead to few ideas but how to get the job done is a totally different and sometimes could be bizarre. You have to find your own niche.

... with Tana Goertz, the runner-up from The Apprentice Season 3

After that, we had lunch. I think Nick started to feel sick after drinking too much. That hangover finally got him..lol – However, he was good long enough to have a group picture with all of us.

Xi Chi - Jon, Jesse, Josh, Josh, Nick and Kristi

After lunch, it was pretty lazy afternoon. I rest up well for another night. While meeting other COYs, I ended up having a conversation with Ashley, National COY. I had so many question that I felt like I annoyed her only to my surprise, she was absolutely willing to help me get through the process of COY application. Sigh, if only it wasn’t my last semester at school.

with 2008 National COY, Ashley Henry

That night ended on a good dancing floor, I must say! WE ROCKED IT!!! By the time, I got back home to Milwaukee, 4 feet of snow was already on the ground..jeez. A good weekend ended on a bumpy sliding road drive. But overall, a good LEAD experience. I promised to myself that weekend that as an alumni, I’d at least attend one event in a year or make it up going twice next year.


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