During my first meeting, a Board member introduced herself to me and encouraged me to get involved and take various leadership roles. It was quite an inspiring time for me. That was how I began my volunteer experience with IMA. From that first meeting until today, the inspiration has never stopped—it keeps growing and thriving. I attribute that feeling and motivation to what I call the Three P’s of Volunteerism.

The first P is People. Throughout my volunteer journey with IMA, I’ve met so many people with such unique stories and experiences. Many of them are now those I look up to and turn to for advice during difficult professional times. Learning from their experiences and wisdom has been such a rewarding experience. I firmly believe that our biggest source of learning is from each other. Active volunteerism stimulates these types of experiences and can only benefit you and others exponentially by the more people you meet and connect with on your journey.

The second P is Places. While serving as IMA Chair, I had the honor and privilege to visit not only many states within the United States but also many different countries around the world. I visited some in the Middle East, in Asia, and in Europe. Each of these places provided me with a unique insight into different cultures and professional perspectives, all while volunteering for the profession. It was amazing to see that while so many of us live thousands of miles apart, we all still value, desire, and strive for a great number of the same things. It truly was a special experience.

The last P is Pride. The personal pride that you feel when you begin to put others before yourself and contribute to the greater good of a cause is quite remarkable! That feeling is one you usually aren’t prepared for until it happens. But you must make yourself available and be willing to volunteer in order to experience this wonderful feeling.

IMA provides its members with plenty of opportunities to volunteer at both the local and global levels. It’s what makes this association of members such a powerful engine for change in our global profession. I encourage each and every one of you to take that first step on your volunteer journey, no matter where you are on your professional path. Make yourself available to serve others. I promise you that the people you’ll meet, the places you’ll go, and the pride you’ll feel will make a permanent imprint on you. Why not start today!

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