President's Letter: Showing Up

August 16, 2021

Over the last several weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to attend three FNGLA Chapter installations. I’ve felt the joy and excitement of watching emerging leaders step into their new roles. I’ve shared the nerves of speaking in front of a crowd.  And, I’ve observed the dedication of longtime volunteers renewing their commitments to continue working hard on behalf of their Chapters - and our beloved Association.

During each of these experiences, I was reminded of a phrase I learned during my second seminar in the UF/IFAS Wedgworth Leadership Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources. Our class took a trip to Florida’s panhandle where we met a Wedgworth alumnus who shared a story from his own Wedgworth experience in which Alachua County Commissioner Leveda Brown stood in front of his class with the message, “the world is run by those who show up.”

This quote is not intended to suggest “those who show up” can impose their will on the rest of the world. Instead, it’s meant to convey one must be willing to show up to even have a chance at impacting the change he or she wants to see. Whether it’s attending Chapter meetings, serving on a board, addressing your local county commission, or taking the time to meet your local representative, the act of simply showing up can open a world of possibilities.

Chances are, if you aren’t showing up, someone else is.  And, it’s possible they may be sharing a narrative which doesn’t fit your reality. Are you willing to take that chance?

The phrase, “The world is run by those who show up,” has been attributed to several different people throughout history.  While its true origin is unknown to me, I attribute it to Ms. Leveda Brown. I’m glad this insight was passed along to my class. I’m grateful now to have the opportunity to pass it along to you all.

And, speaking of “showing up,” I hope to see you all at The 2021 Landscape Show slated for August 25-27 in Orlando at the Orange County Convention Center’s North Concourse. Remember, the show is happening Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this year. If you haven’t registered yet you can do it right here.

I’m looking forward to seeing you soon!


Sarah Spatola
FNGLA 2021-22 President

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