Power of CREW

January 25, 2021
Written by: CREW-St. Louis

Resilience: CREW-St. Louis Carries On

Despite the difficult times, CREW-St. Louis has managed to forge ahead. This spirt was on full display during the Board Retreat, an annual strategic planning session to review the past while looking to the future.

The three- and one-half session on Friday, Jan. 15, dovetailed aptly with this year’s theme – Resilience – as 35 participants from the Executive and Advisory Board convened on Zoom. 

Newly elected President Nancy Petersen chose the theme for 2021, a fitting reminder to how CREW-St. Louis has endured despite the obstacles presented by the pandemic. And the day’s activities further demonstrated the board’s laser focus on moving forward.

Impressively, Board Members provided an overview of their deep connection to CREW-St. Louis, as well as the diversified background and experience of its members. The average CREW-St. Louis tenure of the 12 members of the board stands at 15 years, including 24 years since Nancy joined the organization in 1997.

Resilience indeed!

After the introductions, Robert “Cujo” Teschner provided an hour-long presentation on developing high-performance teams. The distinguished graduate of the Air Force Academy, fighter pilot and squadron leader, and instructor at the prestigious Top Gun school related how his military background and training apply to developing high-performance teams in the business world.

Cujo, his tribal name from his days as a fighter pilot, founded VMax Group after retiring as a Colonel in the United States Air Force. His mission now revolves around helping organizations build high-performing teams. “The way we did this in the high-performance world of fighter aviation works just as well in any domain.” 

To do so, he noted the main components of high-performance teams, with examples given from his military background:
  • Commitment to shared goals and a common purpose
  • Accountability for reaching goals collectively
  • Shared leadership and planning
  • Constant evaluation of the goals and purpose
  • Acceptance that success and failure are shared by all team members
Needless to say, high-performance teams require Resilience.

The ability to adapt and overcome was front and center last year. 2020 President Tracy Howren reviewed the chapter’s accomplishments last year. The list included: exceeding membership goals, adding 28 new members; achieving record sponsorship revenue; meeting the CREW Network Foundation chapter trifecta; and numerous education and networking opportunities with 75 virtual and in-person programs, Dine-arounds and informal meetings.

President-elect Stacey Kamps then gave an overview of the Board’s role and responsibilities, as well as a closer look at CREW Network.

Then it was time to dig into 2021. Advisory Board members who chair the chapter’s committees reviewed their strategic objectives and various activities designed to achieve their goals. This included two new committees this year: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Finance. Additionally, a Young Leaders forum is under development. Planning also is underway for the CREW Network Spring Leadership Summit. CREW-St. Louis serves as host for this prestigious event from June 10-11 at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis Arch. 

The lively discussion and strategic goals showed the importance of high-performance teams. Resilience will be required but CREW-St. Louis stands ready to make the most of whatever comes our way.