It’s 6 a.m. My plugged-in cell phone vibrates on my bed stand while emitting an annoying chirping sound. “Get out of bed,” it says to me. I know it’s going to be a busy day the second I open my eyes.

Two kids and a dog wake up shortly after my wife and I do. My wife takes these responsibilities in the morning. She’s awesome, by the way.

I get out the door and start my non-stop day by 7 a.m.

Getting to work earlier than most has its advantages. I get a jump start on the day. It’s quiet, and I get to leave by 5 p.m. That’s when I start my most important part of my day, being a dad.

Jam packed with excitement, right?

Yes, I’m busy. But, I don’t expect you to feel bad for me because who isn’t busy? What I do want is for you to understand why it’s important for me to take on an extra role as the VP of Digital Strategy on IABC Minnesota’s Board of Directors.

The people of IABC
It’s been nine years since I became a member of IABC. Mostly as a passive member. I really never got engaged with the organization until about two years ago. I started attending events and conferences, and then I started going to Masterminds.

I’ve met a lot of people since becoming more active. Members, non-members, board members and I have been re-introduced to people who I haven’t talked to in a long time. The most satisfying part about meeting these people is that most of them are smarter than I am. I learn best practices, what it means to be a professional and even human decency.

I learned a long time ago that if I surround myself with good people who are smarter than I am, I will become better.

Advancing the profession
Just about 11 years ago, I had my first communications job. I didn’t know squat, I was paid very little and worked long hours. But, I considered myself lucky at the time. Why? I got paid to work with talented volunteers and got to see the passion they had for their profession.

I worked for a company that managed organizations like IABC. I performed communication tasks for these organizations. Sure, I learned on the job doing typical communication tasks but I learned more from these dedicated professionals.

I saw the gratification in their eyes. I once asked one of the volunteers why they volunteered, and the answer isn’t what I expected. He said, “I was once in the same position as you, Andy. Fresh out of college, didn’t know anyone or anything. And for that reason, I try to advance our profession by spreading my knowledge to young professionals who need it.”

Right then and there I said to myself, “if I can ever give back to my profession, I will.” And here, I write this story as I start my new role as VP of Digital Strategy for IABC Minnesota.

Will I become busier? Most likely. Will I get stressed out? Quite possibly. Will my days get longer? Absolutely. In the end, I think it will be worth it.

I got to meet my fellow IABC Minnesota board members a few weeks back and I am excited to learn from such an experienced group of communicators.

I look forward to working with the board and meeting all of you Minnesota communicators.

Connect with me at the next IABC event, send me a note or drop me a line on LinkedIn. I am here to help and make our profession better.