As I packed my bag for yet another conference of the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals (NAPO), I wondered what my big take away would be in 2017. Each year, I end up bringing home new inspiration that breathes life into my passion for organizing. It also reinforces my desire to continue to strive to be at the top of my game and to be an active participant in NAPO.
Today I want to tell you, not about the classes I took or the resources I gained at conference, but about the people of NAPO2017.
Like many of you, I had heard of, read books from and listened to recordings of Judith Kolberg. She is a pinnacle of our industry. Despite having attended 3 previous conventions, I had never watched Judith give a live presentation. At NAPO2017, I finally did that. Judith proved to be entertaining, cautious and informative which taught me lessons about being a speaker, being a better organizer and being a smart business owner. Sometimes you just have to see the master in action, you know?
Waiting for an elevator to exit the conference floor, I struck up a conversation about yoga with a fit organizer who I had never met. We ended up bonding over a short walk back to the hotel lobby, and when it was time to go our separate ways, we were already enamored with each other. After exchanging business cards and returning home, I received a handwritten card from Amy only a few days later. She is a dynamic woman who I will continue to stay in touch with. We will certainly learn from each other in the future and grow because of our bond that never would have begun to form if it wasn’t for us attending and fully engaging in NAPO2017.
I met two of my besties at my first ever NAPO conference in Arizona 4 years ago. Every year since, we have attended this annual event together. Even though we don’t all live in the same state, our friendship has grown stronger with each year because of our time at conference sharing our passion, improving our skills and solidifying our connection with each other. In 2017, we tried something new…being roommates! We managed to arrange 3 showers every morning, coordinate bedtimes and not drive each other crazy. I am proud to say that these women will always be an important part of my life.
Less than 10% of professional organizers are certified. I am one of the eager few who have made the efforts it takes to be a part of this elite group. Not surprisingly, many of us make the trek across the country each year to feed our hunger for growth. These ladies and gentlemen are a lively bunch who love to learn from each other, share with each other and NAPO is better for having these dedicated organizers in it. I am proud to be one of the few, the proud, the CPOs!
You know when something magical happens right before your very eyes and your mouth gapes open? Well listen to this. On our way to the Duquesne Incline, we awaited our uber driver outside of our hotel with great frustration. Alongside us, the hotel van pulls up and a jolly, smiling face jumps out and says he will take us there for free. What a pleasant surprise! On the way, we collect Tim’s card for the return trip. VIP service, baby! Upon exiting the incline, my girls asked me if I had called Tim. I had not. But about 30 seconds after our feet hit the pavement, Tim pulled up in the van out of nowhere like a miracle. Coincidence? I think not. It was destiny. The ride home turned into a dance party that none of us will ever forget. Tim loves what he does, he specializes in making people smile and he is a huge asset to this hotel and Pittsburgh!
As you can see, it is really the people that make NAPO’s annual conference so special. That is something that you cannot gain by listening to a recording or simply staying at home. It is no longer required for Certified Professional Organizers, like myself, to take a live class in order to get education credits but I will, nonetheless, continue attending national conference and connecting with fellow organizing enthusiasts. Hope to see you just outside of Chicago at NAPO2018!