Here’s to audacious goals!

John F. Kennedy first announced the goal of landing a man on the Moon in a speech to a Joint Session of Congress on May 25, 1961; his vision became a reality only eight years after his speech to Congress with the Apollo 11 mission of July, 1969. In explaining this audacious goal, Kennedy said:

“We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”

On January 31, the Arthur Page Society Board of Trustees approved a proposal for a new membership organization designed to provide developmental and networking opportunities for high-potential leaders in Page-member organizations, the Chief Communications Officers and Agency CEOs of the future. Only four months later, the Board approved the first slate of 42 members for the new organization, christened “Page Up.”

Page Up now has close to 80 approved members with more in the pipeline. The first annual meeting of the group is scheduled for November. The leadership structure of the new organization is in place, with a 15-member operating committee, led by newly-elected Chair Sherry Scott, a Future Leaders Experience graduate and the chief operating officer of Gagen MacDonald. A dedicated Page Up website is in the process of launching, and additional networking, mentoring and developmental opportunities are being explored. It is an exciting time.

I will admit that it may be overreaching to compare Page Up with the Apollo mission. But when we begin to think about an organization that may one day grow larger than the Page Society itself, and that will serve a critical audience, I think the analogy rings true on many levels. Indeed, to paraphrase Kennedy, no organization, which aspires to be the thought leader of its profession, can overlook the need to include the next generation of leaders in its outreach.

In many ways Page Up is the culmination of a journey that began several years ago with the launch of the Future Leaders Experience. Now in its third generation, Future Leaders has a network of 50 alumni and a current class of 36 participants. Some of the Future Leaders graduates are now chief communications officers of major corporations and are Arthur W. Page Society members.

In addition to Future Leaders, the Page Society has also developed and launched a mentoring program and fielded several Learning Community events aimed at serving the needs and interests of the next generation of Page Society leaders.

This process has helped enrich the Page Society in a number of important ways. Our members have benefitted from being able to offer unique developmental opportunities to key members of their teams. While many Page organizations have internal developmental programs, they don’t provide the networking opportunities with colleagues from other companies, industries and sectors. This cross-company collaboration and communication has been one of the most appreciated facets of the Future Leaders Experience and Learning Community events, and the potential for this to continue with Page Up is enormous. These initiatives also provide additional avenues for reinforcing the timeless and lasting value of the Page Principles.

The benefit from these programs is two-way. The participants in these outreach efforts are already proven leaders in their organizations. They are younger than most Page Society members; they are closer in age and stage to those just entering the profession; they are immersed in the tumultuous changes that are reshaping our industry. We can learn a great deal from them. They have also made it clear that they are eager to give back in meaningful ways to the profession, and they view opportunities such as Page Up as another avenue for them to do so.

For those Page members who have not yet nominated Page Up prospects, it is not too late. Nominations will be considered on an ongoing basis and the form can be obtained by clicking here.

As we move toward the first gathering of this energetic, enthusiastic and committed group of leaders, it is gratifying to know that the future for the Page Society could not be brighter. Onward and upward!

Tom Martin
Chair, Arthur W. Page Society Professional Development Committee
Executive-in-Residence, College of Charleston


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