Wednesday, November 14, 2018

My SHRM Family at VLS

My time as State Director for Illinois is wrapping up.  I have a lot of emotions about this.  I expressed some of them in an earlier post, as the Illinois State Conference opened up.  Now as we near year’s end it is time for the SHRM Leaders annual pilgrimage to Washington D.C.  I have had the distinct pleasure of getting to attend this event since 2007, missing a couple years along the way.  

Nonetheless, I have attended a number of times and particularly enjoy it.  Why one might ask. Attending the SHRM VLS for long-time volunteer leaders is like getting together with family that you only see occasionally.   This is my second family.  I have a wonderful family and I love them all deeply, AND I love my SHRM Family too.

In my post about wrapping up the Illinois State Conference I referenced the event in song, by calling out the Eagles song “It’s Your World Now”.   On my trip out to DC I listened to another song by Eagles member and great all-around musician Joe Walsh.   Joe wrote a song called “Family”.  There are a bunch of lines that reminded me of all my SHRM friends and my relationship with so many of them.
Here is the youtube version of that recording.

I've been alone most of my life
I've never known what it was like
To end up somewhere and not have to pack
To be among friends I know have my back

But now I'm here where I belong
I've finally found a wife and a home
And a family that matters, means more to me
Than anything I have ever believed

And when we are gathered together
Tell me how blessed can somebody be

Give thanks, break bread, say grace, bow heads
For all of this love that surrounds me
We laugh, we cry, stand together that's why
It's all being part of a family

Tried it before, never felt right
I never dreamed that someday I might
Be part of something bigger than me
It makes me feel humble, finally I see

All that we have is each other
And that's all that I'll ever need

So, thanks SHRM for all the great memories, from all the leadership/VLS events from Crystal City to the JB Marriot to the Gaylord, and thanks to all the SHRM staff who over the years have always made this an awesome event.

And to all of my SHRMie volunteer buddies that I have met over the years, I so value your friendship, your love of our profession, your passion for everything that you do and for being there for me whenever I call on you. 

I hope to see those of you who are attending and share a moment, and to those that aren’t here, you know who you are and how I feel about all of you.

-Dave Ryan State Director of Illinois SHRM