Disney capitalizes the “G” in Guest. You will see this wherever the word Guest appears at Disneyland, even behind the scenes where most Guests will never see. This willful defiance of grammar rules and norms is done to symbolize the respect and value that they have for their millions of visitors. It is a small gesture that may cause some to roll their eyes, but it is emblematic of a best-in-class service culture.
The Forum is TBC’s opportunity to serve hundreds of its alumni all at once. The Alumni and Network Impact team meticulously plans for the better part of year to ensure that we craft a best-in-class experience for our alumni. The details and timing of pre-sessions, plenary sessions, leadership stories, breakout sessions, meals and networking opportunities are all carefully considered with every individual in our diverse network of education leaders in mind. From the moment each guest receives their name badge and swag to the moment they leave the hotel, we work to ensure they feel valued, respected, are treated well, and leave inspired and refreshed to continue the work.
My personal Forum highlights generally remain the same every year: the smiles on the faces of reunited friends, the collection of elated conversations echoing through the halls, the laughter, the hugs, the handshakes, and the overall joy of people being brought together.
I would be remiss not to highlight the most inspirational moment for me – the student service session. For those not familiar, each year we provide a breakout session opportunity to serve students. This year the students from Environmental Charter High School shared their senior projects with alumni in a mini consultancy protocol-like session. The alumni listened intently, asked questions, provided advice, guidance, encouragement, and resources to help propel the students’ work forward. In the closing reflection one student said, “I’m grateful for this experience because it is going to help me with my project and even my thinking when I finish school and go to college.”
The Forum is a celebration of our alumni who work every day to provide best-in-class service to students, families, and communities across the country. Now I have not gone so far as to capitalize Network Member or Alumni wherever it appears at the Broad Center…but I’ve thought about it. The way you treat people matters, and I want every network member to feel that they are valued and being served by a best-in-class organization, The Broad Center.
As I type this now, with Forum 2019 still tailgatingly close in the rearview mirror, we are already preparing for Forum 2020. I have no doubt that it will be a success.