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Is this real life?

Posted by Anna Kate Thursday, July 21, 2011 0 comments

The past few days have been a total whirlwind. I pinch myself every morning thinking that this is all still a dream. But when I saw all of this on my first day of training at Executive Office, I knew it was officially official -

Nametag, business cards AND holder, a BlackBerry, office supplies galore, my very own ritual book, and the most ADPerfect LC notebook from my awesome Violet Sister! Oh, not to mention my iPad 2 - now known as the "Pi Pad" among my LC Sisters. Do I have the best job ever or what?!

I think it's still going to take some time for it all to sink in, but we haven't had time for that yet! Training has been keeping us busy, and we were fortunate enough to have a visit from the gentlemen of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity Wednesday afternoon. Twelve of their consultants plus three programming directors came to visit us on their way back to their headquarters in Charlotte, NC. We gave them a tour, exchanged business cards (I thought this was really cool - like trading cards for grown-ups)
, and of course we just had to make time for a little photo shoot before they left. Don't worry, a hug train picture with them was a must. Pictures to follow soon, I promise! They were priceless, to say the least. But they left us by dropping down to one knee and serenading us with their traditional PiKap song. These men were absolutely wonderful and we're so glad they stopped by!
PiKap Consultants showing some Pi love! <>
As if things couldn't get any better, we are headed to Macon today for a little ADPi history field trip! We were founded at Wesleyan College in 1851 and our founder, Mother Fitzgerald, has also been laid to rest in a local cemetery. This is not my first visit, but I am so excited to share this unbelievably special experience with my Consultant Sisters. Knowing that together we will walk the same paths our founders did over 160 years ago as we begin our new adventure is just another reminder of why we do what we do and what makes the lifetime bond we share as sisters unbreakable . . .

We livfor each other.
And for Alpha Delta Pi.

LC survival kit.

Posted by Anna Kate Wednesday, July 20, 2011 1 comments

I know y’all are probably tired of hearing how excited I am to move to ADPi Memorial Headquarters and be reunited with my Consultant Sisters, BUT I was just so beside myself last week in anticipation that I decided to make a “Leadership Consultant Survival Kit” for each of them.  This wasn’t anything big, just a little something cute that I wanted to do.  Here are the essentials –

LC Survival Kit

A reminder to appreciate
the difference in others.

To remind you not to
bite off more than
you can chew.

To give you a burst of
energy on the days you
don't have any.

To help keep things together
when they seem to be getting
out of control. 

To remind you that you
can start every day
with a clean slate.

For when you reach the end of your rope –
tie a knot to this
and hang on.

Smiling not only increases your face value,
it is contagious.

To help you stretch yourself to new limits.

To remind you to
laugh at yourself.

Your LC Sisters will
“stick” by you.

A reminder of the times we need others
help and they need ours.

If life gives you lemons,
make lemonade!

Big wheels keep on turning.

Posted by Anna Kate Monday, July 18, 2011 4 comments

On Saturday I finally got serious about packing for my LC travels (mostly because my Mom made me).  Luckily, we did have an awesome spreadsheet from the 2010-2011 LCs that made the packing process so much easier.  Thank you so much, sisters!  I don’t know what I would have done without it.

For my luggage, I have a three piece set of 360-degree rolling Heys Luggage.  With the help of the lovely Miss Ashlyn Stallings’ blog post that you can read here, I packed accordingly.  The largest piece of luggage is going to be my closet, the mid-sized one my powder room, and the smallest one my office.  The “closet” of course contains all of my clothes, undergarments, and shoes.  The “powder room” holds all of my shower supplies, hair products, make-up, etc.  And my “office” carries my books, laptop, digital camera, and medicine.

I have to give Ashlyn credit again for the advice on what I should take on the plane other than my rolling carry-on.  After talking with her (and asking her 1 of 1,000 questions) I invested in a briefcase bag that I absolutely love so far.  I obviously haven’t traveled with it yet, but it seems just perfect.

I guess I will find out soon enough how this little arrangement works because I leave for Atlanta TOMORROW to begin training at ADPi Executive Office!

Pecan pie cookies.

Posted by Anna Kate 5 comments

I mentioned yesterday on my post that I work at the Georgia Pecan Growers Association when I’m at home.  One of my “fun facts” that I shared with the other LCs was that I can rattle off lots of useless information about pecans.  (How many pecans are used to make a pecan pie?  About 78.)  I am always looking for recipes that use pecans for our magazine at work – The Pecan Grower.  I came across this recipe for Pecan Pie Cookies and they looked so delicious I just had to try it for myself!  I made this batch today as a yummy treat for my Consultant Sisters tomorrow when we move into ADPi Headquarters!

For the cookies, you will need –
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
¾ cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder

Combine all cookie ingredients except flour and baking powder in a large bowl.

Beat at medium speed until creamy.  Reduce speed to low; add flour and baking powder.  Beat until well mixed.

Shape dough into 1-1/4 inch balls and place 2 inches apart onto cookie sheets.


Make indentation in each cookie with thumb;
rotate thumb to hollow out slightly.

Now, for the filling you will need –
1 cup chopped pecans
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine all filling ingredients in small bowl;
fill each cookie with 1 rounded tsp.

Bake on 350-degrees for 8-12 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets.


*You might enjoy them more if you DON’T look at the Nutrition Facts, but here they are –
(1 cookie): Calories: 130, Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Sodium: 50mg,
Carbohydrates: 15g, Dietary Fiber: <1g, Protein: 1g

An appreciative mindset.

Posted by Anna Kate Sunday, July 17, 2011 0 comments

When I'm at home, I work here!
Last week at work, I spent two days writing thank you letters.  That was literally all I did for the entire day on Monday.  Writing these thank you letters was a priority, and expressing appreciation to our supporters is crucial to our business.

It made me stop and think – is showing appreciation a top priority in my own life?  As I sat there writing, I couldn’t help but to recall the two or three thank you notes that I had left unwritten.  Showing appreciation for others more was one of my New Year’s Resolutions, and although I have improved, I still have a long way to go.

It is so simple for me to sit down at work and write countless thank you notes, so why is it so difficult for me to do in my personal life?  It often seems like just another task I tack on the end of my to do list, but it should really be more of a way of life than a duty.

“Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.” -Gladys B. Stern
This quote by Gladys B. Stern is so true and it always reminds me of the importance to stop and repay kindness to others.  Two words that are so easy to stop and say, but are more often than not neglected.


Hopefully keeping a mental tally of how many times I use these two words in a week will help me move  towards a more appreciative mindset.

The countdown begins.

Posted by Anna Kate Friday, July 15, 2011 2 comments

There is nothing like getting an email update from our boss to brighten a LC’s day!

Included this time were details for our arrival, meals, dress, what to expect, etc.  While reading this email, it finally all started to seem real.  After coming to this realization, I immediately began doing laundry and packing.

Our arrival date at Memorial Headquarters is still set for Tuesday and we are to be there no later than 4:00.  Now that I know the definite time, I can start a day-hour-minute countdown instead of just a day-by-day one.  Just to give you an idea of how excited we really are to be back together, here is a picture of what fellow Consultant Sister, Sarah Steele, did while she was at work today –

We are going to be doing a little grocery shopping on our first day or two there because we will be responsible for making our own meals.  And this includes providing for International Officers and programming people who are there to train us.  We promise it will be delicious, ladies!  Luckily we have at least two Betty Crockers on staff – Brett and Haley.  One of my favorite “fun facts” that I learned about my Consultant Sisters was that Brett’s sister is actually a Cake Doctor and works to find the best ingredients suited for cake baking.  How neat is that?!  I’m pretty sure those cooking genes run in the family, so never fear – we will turn out some great dishes!

We will be training for three weeks in all of the programming areas, office areas, and much more!  I always felt like the LCs were an ADPi dictionary who somehow knew everything.  I am eager to learn lots of new information to help prepare me for this role and hope that it will benefit the women I visit this year!

Wear that diamond 'til we die.

Posted by Anna Kate Tuesday, July 12, 2011 3 comments

Recently I have been thinking a little (okay, a lot) about moving back into ADPi Headquarters.  Yes, moving back in.  This time last year I had the privilege of living and working at Executive Office for six weeks as a 2010 Summer Intern.
The experience I gained during my time there was invaluable.  I met many amazing women whose friendship remains very near and dear to my heart.  These women taught me a lot about Alpha Delta Pi and about myself.  I learned to appreciate so many different things about our organization.  I learned that there is a method to the madness behind the paperwork and specific rules that are set in place.  I learned a great deal about our history – all the way back to our founding in 1851.  I have a much greater appreciation for where we came from and a clearer view of why preserving our organization in the future is so crucial.  I learned about expansion and leadership services and the list could go on and on.

But what I learned about myself I owe to the other interns.  There were five of us, all from different chapters across the country.  Not only did we have Alpha Delta Pi in common, but we were also all serving as chapter President at the time.  Spending time sharing stories, concerns, worries, as well as achievements was really life-changing for me and my next semester as President.

Most importantly, living with these sisters helped me to appreciate the diversity of our sorority.  Prior to the internship, I had little experience with Alpha Delta Pi chapters outside of my own and none whatsoever outside of District I (the Southeast).  Our chapter experiences were all very different, but we were all sisters.  We all had the same foundation that was laid for us by our founders over 160 years ago.  So what I gained was this – to learn from one another, grow individually, and embrace the differences in others. 

I am so excited about meeting many different Alpha Delta Pi women this year.  I encourage all of you as well to take every opportunity to reach out, connect, and meet new sisters from other places.  With all of the social media outlets that are now available, the possibilities to do so are much greater than they have ever been before.  And just because someone may not appear to be your typical “your-chapter-name-here” girl, she is your sister and I guarantee that there is something you can learn from her.

“If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting and set out on a truth-seeking journey, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all – to face some very difficult realities about yourself . . . then truth will not be withheld from you.”
-Eat, Pray, Love

The waiting game.

Posted by Anna Kate Saturday, July 9, 2011 0 comments

Now, for the next 10 or so days, I begin the countdown – anxiously crossing off days in my Lilly planner getting closer to July 19th.  We got the official word from the boss this week that we would be moving in on that Tuesday.  Hooray!  And move we will, to Alpha Delta Pi Memorial Headquarters off Ponce de Leon Avenue in Atlanta, GA where the incoming Leadership Consultants will train for 3 ½ weeks at Executive Office.
Alpha Delta Pi Memorial Headquarters
Since I only live in South Georgia my parents will be driving me up that day, but I thought the responses from my Consultant Sisters about our arrival was much more interesting . . .
“Did anyone else think it was weird to get a one-way ticket?
I’ve never gotten a one-way ticket before!”

It’s still hard for all of us to believe that when we begin packing for the big move, that we really are packing for good – literally months on the road.  And your guess at where we might be going is as good as ours at this point!  We will receive our travel schedules for the month of August at the end of July.  Just thinking about it makes me anxious!  I am so excited to begin serving my sorority as a Leadership Consultant and it still seems too good to be true.  And just when I thought things couldn’t get any better after I got the job, I met my Consultant Sisters at realized it could.  Can’t wait to reunite with these girls in less than two weeks!

2011-2012 Alpha Delta Pi Leadership Consultants
From the left:
Brett PattersonEta Upsilon, Wake Forest University
Ashley TrefneyZeta Upsilon, Oakland University
Haley MaynardGamma Kappa, West Virginia Wesleyan University
Sarah Steele BanksEpsilon Pi, GA Southern & Beta Nu, University of Georgia
Anna Kate Sumler (That's me!) Zeta Iota, Georgia College & State University
Andrea FarnanAlpha Pi, The George Washington University
Cristina Perez Zeta Alpha, California State University Fullerton

Diamonds in the Desert Part III

Posted by Anna Kate Thursday, July 7, 2011 4 comments

This is the final Convention post, I promise!

Friday – The majority of the day was spent at the final Business Meeting where Grand Council elections took place.  Check out the members of Alpha Delta Pi 2011-2013 Grand Council here.  Congratulations, sisters!  Looking forward to the amazing things these women will contribute to our great organization.
Friday night was the Alumnae Dinner with a “Bring Your Bling” theme.  This was a really fun night for everyone!  Things got started with a Gift Mart fashion show that all of the incoming LCs participated in.  We sang the traditional Convention Song after dinner to see which “Old Timer” has attended the most conventions.
Solid hug train in front of the new Gift Mart decals.
Saturday – First thing was Initiation followed by a Ritual Review Workshop.  This was an experience unlike any other.  Ritual really is what sets us apart from any other organization and what binds us together as sisters.  There were lots of goose bumps this year as we witnessed one of our founder’s great-great-granddaughters become an alumnae initiate – something I’ll never forget.
I’ll be honest, I had never heard the name Chris Blackburn or of Campus Speak before.  So when I noticed his name on the program and that he would be leading a “Response Ability” Workshop, I didn’t think much of it.  It turns out that this was another unforgettable experience.  The program said that Chris would “share a message to believe in yourself and to have enough self-confidence and healthy self-esteem that you are willing to stand up for what you know to be right” and he did that plus much more.  He left the Alpha Delta Pi Convention body with a very powerful question –
“Are you going to be the sister that your founders wanted you to be?”
LCs showing some Pi love to the man himself, Chris Blackburn.
Immediately following was the Panhellenic Luncheon.  It kicked off with the processional of flags representing the 26 NPC groups and closed beautifully by keynote speaker, Peter Smithhisler, President and CEO of the North-American Interfraternity Conference.
There were a variety of workshops that afternoon.  First I went to “Advisor Training – Beyond the Basics” for a different perspective on chapter operations, then chose “True Colors and Effective Communication”.  If you attended DLC this year or Adelphean Compass, then you will remember learning about “True Colors” and how we approach things based on personality type.  This expanded on that and focused on common mistakes we make when communicating with other colors.  Both sessions were great!
Showing off Zeta Iota's new Excellence Award!
Saturday night was the big finale at the Diamonds Awards Banquet.  Here the highest awards are presented, new Grand Council is installed, and the evening concludes with the Candlelight Roll Call where tiny pen lights slowly light the room as members from each chapter stand as their chapter name is called.  In closing of Convention is the Recessional to the lawn outside where we gathered in a circle and sang ADPi songs.  This was truly a heartwarming moment being surrounded by so many sisters and realizing that this is what it’s all about.

Sunday – Grand Convention came and went in the blink of an eye!  I was not ready to say goodbye to my Consultant Sisters.  We met with the outgoing consultants and our boss for one last breakfast together.  We were especially looking forward to finding out who our Violet Sisters were!  (A Violet Sister is an outgoing consultant paired with an incoming consultant to serve as a mentor of sorts.)  I cannot tell you how surprised and THRILLED I was to open my letter and see that it had been signed by Mary Kathryn Dykes!  A little background  Mary Kathryn visited my chapter last year on her first visit.  She really inspired all of us and she reaffirmed all of my hopes of applying to become a Consultant.  Having her as my Violet could not be more perfect.  In my letter she also gave me the LC dangle for my badge – a small, silver suitcase.  Adorable, right?  Best Violet Sister combo ever.
Violet Sisters.
Now the countdown to Atlanta begins!  T-minus 12 days until we move into Alpha Delta Pi Memorial Headquarters and begin training at Executive Office.  Can't wait!

Diamonds in the Desert Part II

Posted by Anna Kate Wednesday, July 6, 2011 0 comments

The saga continues . . .

Thursday – Woke up bright and early this morning and put on our all white garb (down to the shoes) and assembled for the traditional Adelphean Processional.  Here’s an explanation of the Adelphean Processional, courtesy of our website:

“This processional, which was instituted at the 1941 Grand Convention, recreates the original parade of Adelpheans [our founders] through the halls of Wesleyan [where we were founded] with everyone in white dresses and blue satin ribands bearing the motto, ‘We Live for Each Other’, as they process into the Formal Opening Session of the convention.”

Other traditions that take place include the traditional Parade of Chapter Flags that are carried in order by their charter date, singing of the national anthems of the United States and of Canada, reading from Sisters, introduction of International Officers, and presentation of individual award recipients.

When we met with Grand Council before dinner on Wednesday night, I asked them what their favorite part of Convention was and many of them said the Adelphean Processional.  After experiencing it for myself, I can easily see why.  The Adelphean Processional was probably my favorite Convention tradition and it was really amazing to see how our organization has grown.  It makes me even more excited for the two Alpha Delta Pi colonies we will have this year and how they will add to our organization.
First attempt at the hug train.
Following the Convention photograph and Memorial Service, we headed over to the ballroom for the Alpha Delta Pi Foundation Luncheon.  The keynote speaker for this was the very special Lindy Lutz Cash.  I did a more lengthy post about the message she shared with us on the ADPi Convention Blog that you can read here.
I also sat with my first Province Director today, which was a great experience.  Throughout the week, all of the incoming Leadership Consultants had scheduled lunch and dinner dates with different Province Directors.  I was a little nervous about this at first, but I absolutely loved all of the sisters that I had the pleasure of getting to know.  It turned out to be one of my favorite experiences of Convention week!

After lunch was the first official Business Meeting of the week where members began to discuss and vote on proposed bylaws and resolutions.  Following this were District Caucuses, but since this doesn’t really apply to us we had a follow-up training session with the amazing Beth Wright and Jana Clayton – RFM (Release Figure Method) Specialists.  We had a lot of lingering questions and some confusion after our first meeting with them, but they were so patient with us and this second meeting really cleared a lot of things up.  Thank you, sisters!

Thursday night was the Diamond 4-Point Dinner where we had an amazing speaker – Joe McDonough from the B+ Foundation along with his daughter, Ali McDonough, an ADPi sister from Theta Delta chapter.  If you have never heard of this organization before, I strongly encourage you to check it out.  The message of the B+ Foundation brought me to tears that night and I look forward to the possibility of working with chapters who partner with them this year.
Last but not least on Thursday night was the “So, You Want to be a Leadership Consultant?” session.  You can read all about that on the post I did for the ADPi Convention Blog here.
Improving the hug train one picture at a time.
I didn’t anticipate Thursday’s activities to be so long, oops!  Diamonds in the Desert Part III coming soon with a wrap up of Grand Convention.

Diamonds in the Desert Part I

Posted by Anna Kate Friday, July 1, 2011 0 comments

After weeks of counting down, June 21st finally rolled around and I headed to the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix, AZ for the 160th Anniversary Convention of Alpha Delta Pi.  This week marked the first time I would be introduced as a 2011-2012 Leadership Consultant, and most importantly, the first time I would meet my Consultant Sisters face to face after months of emails and anticipation.

Recap of the first two days:

Tuesday – Arrived a little after lunchtime, checked in and found out that Andrea Farnan would be my roommate (yay Northern twin!) and discovered a man’s luggage in our room.  Needless to say, the hotel fixed that little mistake and took our luggage to the correct room while we had lunch downstairs with our boss and the rest of our Consultant Sisters.
We had amazing training sessions on Tuesday.  We met with Lindy Lutz Cash, a phenomenal sister, on general appearance/presentation.  Later on, RFM (Release Figure Method) Specialists Beth Wright and Jana Clayton met with us to discuss recruitment statistics and ICS Recruiter.
Tuesday night we attended the International Officer Appreciation Dinner.  I did a more lengthy post about that on the ADPi Convention Blog that you can check out here.
After dinner we had a quick meeting with Housing Resources Director, Nancy Mannon, to discuss all things House Corporation.  We especially loved hearing about her daughter and how she just loved those “Apple PIs!”
Lots of information for one day, but all well worth it!

First group picture with our new boss!

Wednesday – First official day of Grand Convention for all attendees, but we got a little sneak peek of the International Officer side by attending the Pre-Convention program.  We also got our pictures taken for The Adelphean on this day by the amazing photographer Charles Walton – very loved by Alpha Delts.
We had an absolutely wonderful training session with former International President, Beth Gentry Mannle.  We got to know a lot about one another during this training session – down to our “true color” and personality type.  The information we discussed in this session is supposedly what helps determine where we will be traveling this year – so exciting!
Before we headed to the Welcome Banquet, we were invited to Grand Council’s suite for a little “get to know you” time before walking to dinner together.  It was so amazing to meet all of these women and hear the outstanding things they have done for our organization.  We attended the Welcome Banquet followed by the reveal of More Sisters – 324 pages celebrating Alpha Delta Pi’s 160th Anniversary.  The icing on the cake?  An autograph party afterwards by former and present Grand Council members!
To finish up Wednesday night, we had a special training session with representatives from the GIN System.  Luckily we were all on the same page and wanted to wrap things up quickly.  Thanks to Ethan, Katrina and Chad for letting us get some much needed sleep!

Pre-Convention Volunteer Training Program

Stay tuned for Diamonds in the Desert Part II with details from the rest of Grand Convention!