Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Credentialing Summit


The National Credentialing Summit was about three weeks ago.  MSBA Governmental Liaison Director, Lynn Carroll and myself were part of a panel discussing challenges military spouses face having a professional license or credential.  We were honored to represent military spouses and specifically military spouse business owners.

Lynn and I had an interesting adventure just to get to the Metro.  Lynn picked me up at my house about mid-morning.  She drove us to the closest Metro station which was about a 20 minute drive from my house.  I thought that since there was a parking garage at this station we would be able to find parking and ride into D.C. without too many problems.  Oh how I was wrong.  Every entrance to the parking garage was closed because it was full.  I was shocked and feeling a little guilty.  I didn't have a backup plan and now Lynn is on the phone with her husband trying to help us find another Metro station that had parking nearby.

We stop at the next Metro station it doesn't have a parking garage and the parking lot was full.  We try two other stations before we find parking.  We now have 2 hours before we are scheduled to setup for the panel.   We knew that was enough time to get into D.C. and then walk to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce building.

We made it into D.C. with an hour to spare.  We decide to do some more preparation.  Ten minutes before the panel was scheduled to start we head toward the reserved room.  I was thinking a small classroom or conference room where we would be seated in a circle.  Nope, I had the wrong idea.  I peak into the room and notice that the panelists are sitting on a chair, up on a stage, with a microphone pinned to their shirts and bright lights overhead.  There were about 100 people in this room. I must have turned into a ghost when I looked at Lynn.  There is no way I can do that and participate for an hour!  What was I thinking?

We walk into the room and sit down but before I could even absorb what was going on we were being directed to the front of the room.  My heart is racing, I am sweating and I became very quiet.  Lynn was supportive and was a big help when I got on stage.  I used her as my initial focal point to calm myself as I introduced myself.  Mrs. Laura Dempsey made it easy as she was guiding the panel and asking specific questions.  I ended up doing the least amount of speaking.  A majority of the other panelists had statistics to share.

It was over a lot faster than I thought.  The panel discussion for our group lasted about an hour.   If you follow the link here and scroll until you find "Panel 10," it will tell you not only who was going to be on the panel but what was going to be discussed.  I got off stage as quickly as possible as I was still feeling uncomfortable.  The panelist did such a wonderful job.  The combination of their expertise, their organization stature in the military community and their data or information, was intimidating.  Lynn told me I did a good job and someone in the audience told me that I did a good job, as I went to get a cup of water.

Lynn and I stayed to hear the next panelists talk about what was being done in regards to changing or creating laws that would help professional military spouses.  Overall it was a good experience for me.  If you would like to learn more The American Legion wrote a great article to sum up the two day summit.  You can read it here.  Once you finish reading the article you will also find some links to the PowerPoint presentations that were given over the two day event.

I would like to say Thank You to the panelists, the moderator Mrs. Laura Dempsey, The American Legion and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hiring Our Heroes for allowing MSBA to be a part of the discussion and to represent military spouse business owners, and for hosting this event.

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