President’s Column: Welcome to 2020

Wow! Can you believe it’s the year 2020? To me, it sounds like a year out of science fiction, where we’d all be replaced by robots, be piloting flying cars, and not having to lift a finger to do anything.

I don’t know about you, but none of that has happened for me.

This time of year, as suggested by leadership expert, John C. Maxwell, it’s a good time to reflect on the past year. Take time to look at all that you did over the last year. Figure out those things that you could do without this year, or delegate to someone else. And find those nuggets of joy you experienced last year, and plan to enjoy more of them this year.

For me, those things I could do without: spending money on subscriptions to things I looked at only once and never did anything with.

Those nuggets of joy came through with the help of practicing gratitude every day, and consciously practicing the art of re-framing negative thoughts into positive ones.

I also keep a physical pocket calendar with me. I write down a few activities or exercises I want to accomplish each day, and check them off as I complete them. I don’t always get everything done, but I sure accomplish more when it’s written down than if I enter it electronically or rely on my memory. Plus the act of actually checking something off is innately gratifying. And those activities that I really enjoyed? I put a smiley face next to them. This helps me know, at this time of year, which types of activities I’ll want to pursue in the next year.

Want to know what I had smiley faces next to each month? All the NEO STC meetings, online webinars, lunches, and volunteer meetings. It’s true!

One of my biggest smiley faces in 2019:

I’m a shy, introverted person by nature. I’m more inclined to stay home, not socialize, nor go to meetings. But I found that each of these events I attended, I met great people, laughed, had fun, and received a great deal of value from them. That’s what I call time and energy well spent. I’ll keep looking forward to these nuggets of joy in the upcoming year.

In 2019, NEO STC’s highlights included:

  • Earning STC’s Silver Community Award
  • Playing with LEGOs
  • Mining for Metadata
  • Redefining the role of an Information Architect
  • Learning about Artificial Intelligence
  • Picnicking in the park
  • Leveraging existing tech pubs into Augmented Reality
  • Fueling our Creativity
  • Celebrating the holidays
  • Numerous networking lunches
  • Super social events
  • Myriad mini-webinars

Just as in my personal calendar, there are many things we checked off, and yes, things we wanted to do but didn’t accomplish.

We have stellar volunteers! And each one is already very busy.

We could still use more help, even in small tasks. If you want to be part of something bigger than yourself, and something that causes smiley faces on your calendar, please drop me a line at

I wish you a 2020 full of possibilities, gratitude, joy, and smiley faces.

By Tricia Spayer