Wow, wow, wow, wow! Who has seen The Barbie Movie, where in Barbie World, women run the world? When I saw that movie, I would have paid any amount of money to go to that place - it is my new mental version of Disney! The beginning scenes of Barbie showed women holding every significant position of power, which highlighted how skewed the scales still are when it comes to "traditional male roles". While I know tipping the scales that far to the extreme is ALSO not healthy, there was something comforting in seeing it on the big screen and allowing myself to wonder what that would feel like. I feel similar comfort any time I am at a MAAWLE sanctioned event, being in one room with so many formal and informal leaders - past, present, and future. We are all different shapes, sizes, color, religion, age, and sexuality - yet, we are all there to make this world a better place than we found it.
Whenever I am rolling my bags out of my room when I leave MAAWLE, I can't help but get a lump in my throat. Some of it is longing for more time with each of you. Some of it is my inner introvert being slightly excited to step away after a week of intense conversation, education, and connection. Some of it is because I'm sad I need to start my countdown again until the next time I get to see you all face to face (388 days). Some of it is overwhelming gratitude to be able to live a life that affords me the opportunity to be a part of MAAWLE. There are many reasons to feel all the feels at the conclusion of our annual conference, and those are a just a few of mine.
As I drove home, I reflected on Keechant Sewell's wise words, her smooth delivery of them, and the confidence behind them. My mind wandered and I found myself wondering just how high my own elevator is destined to go - and how I don't need to make it to the top before sending it back down for the women who have made the courageous choice to join this profession after me. I hear pretty regularly that "you have to give it away to keep it" - and I personally believe you have to give it away to ever truly get it in the first place. This week reminded me to actively seek out situations where I can be of service to those around me and send that elevator back down.
I thought about the moments of silence we observed on 9/11, and the moments of vulnerability shared throughout the week. About how, in a room filled with professional experience varying from rookie officers to Chiefs and Colonels, I don't feel threatened or intimidated or discouraged - I feel empowered, inspired, capable, and worthy. I know I'm not the only one who is able to walk away from our trainings feeling this way, and that, ladies, is something to be incredibly proud of. Thank you!!!
A thousand thank you's for Sgt. Hernandez, Ofc. Benson, and their conference committee wouldn't even be a respectable start to how much we all appreciate the hard work you clearly put into this week. Hats off to you, ladies, and we look forward to seeing you enjoy future conferences without the behind the scenes stress of managing it all!
Group Me was a huge success - I LOVED seeing the support throughout, the photos shared, and the feedback afterwards. There's also a Google photo album, join here and add your photos! https://photos.app.goo.gl/H9jkwmksVXQNjNhL7
Next - please take the time to fill out the training conference evaluation to provide feedback for our Annapolis Conference Committee and other future conference committees:
Thank you for taking the time out of your already very busy schedules to attend our business meeting, to be active participants in our organization, and to cast your very valuable votes.
Thank you Cpl. Amber Frantz for your years of service as Treasurer for MAAWLE. It has been an honor to work alongside you and serve our membership!
WELCOME to your newly elected Social Media and Outreach member, Sgt (Ret.) Sonia Trudeau! Sonia was voted in during elections this year, so please join me in giving her a warm welcome to her new role on the Executive Board!!!
Congrats to the rest of the board on your next season of service!
President: Angie Garnsey
Vice President: Tammy Russell
Treasurer: Toni Lee
Secretary: Alison Gontowski
Social Media/Outreach: Sonia Trudeau
Past President: Vickie Warehime
MAAWLE gear - order before the store closes 10/1!!!
We heard your requests for new MAAWLE swag and we delivered! Please check out the store below and order before the online store closes. Please feel free to reach out to MAAWLESecretary@gmail.com if there are other items you'd like to see in our next store!
2024: Harrisonburg, VA (October 13, 2024 - October 17, 2024)
2025: Hershey, PA (dates TBD)
Our Diamond League is by far one of my favorite parts of MAAWLE - these are the women who started paving the way for women in this profession before many of us knew it was even a career path we wanted. I encourage each MAAWLE member to tap a retired woman in law enforcement, tell them about our Diamond League, and encourage them to join us in Harrisonburg, VA for our 2024 conference.
If you're anything like me, you're left wondering "what's next?" Well - you're in luck! We are working on a few upcoming training opportunities. If you're interested in hosting a 1/2 day, 1 day, or 2 day training between now and Harrisonburg, please comment below or reach out to MAAWLESecretary@gmail.com. Thank you for a great week, keep up the great work, and stay safe!