A Message from Texas ALP President, Carol Gutierrez, PLS
It Starts With Us!
When I joined this association 30 years ago, I certainly never pictured myself taking this particular path of leading our association. As I started reminiscing about my journey of where and how I began, it occurred to me that we all have to start somewhere. I started out working for a solo practitioner who focused mainly on family law. A couple of years later, I moved to a large firm and that is where I gained the majority of my experience. It is also where I learned about our association and decided to join.
I remember my first meeting--it was May of 1990 in Beaumont, Texas. There were 16 of us from El Paso. We flew to Houston and rented a van and drove the rest of the way to Beaumont. Back then our association was known as TALS (Texas Association of Legal Secretaries) and everywhere you turned, you would hear people say, "I have TALSitis." We used to wonder what that meant. Well, after that meeting, we all had TALSitis and we couldn't get enough. We attended every meeting we could. I remember thinking, WOW! these women are amazing and talented and smart. And that's all it took--I was hooked.
Over the years, I have watched these women lead our association with determination, passion, and dedication. I became friends with them and I learned from them and they are the ones who pushed me into more and more leadership roles and pushed me to get my certification. I feel very blessed and lucky to still have them as friends and to have them still supporting me throughout my journey.
If you are the type of person who thinks you could never get up and speak in front of a group, big or small, there is hope for you because I used to be that person. I realized that with each step I took--taking on chairmanships and serving as an officer in my local chapter--I gained more and more confidence and before I knew it, I could get up and speak without stumbling over my words or trembling. You have to put in the work to get where you want to be. You cannot sit back and wait for it to happen. You have to want to make it happen. Remember, you only get out what you put in. So why sit on the sidelines and watch everything pass you by?
Be Committed. Be Involved. Participate!
As we move our association forward in this ever-evolving age of technology, we need to not only stay relevant, we need to stay current. It is critical that we find ways to use technology to our advantage in order to grow our membership and keep up with the needs of our members. You always hear people say, "change is good." Well, sometimes change is necessary. Let's be that association that is not afraid of change, that wants to move forward and try new things. Don't be afraid to speak up and offer suggestions. Your idea could be the one we've been looking for. It doesn't have to be perfect. You don't have to be perfect. I am not perfect and I will probably make mistakes, but as long as we can learn from our mistakes, that's how we grow.
My hope is that we empower our members to want to do more so that they reach their full potential.
I look forward to learning and growing with each and every one of you.