By Mary Tucker, IAEE Sr. PR/Communications Manager
Bob Hancock is General Manager, Atlanta with onPeak | GES. He was nominated by the IAEE Southeastern Chapter for his tireless support and participation of the chapter’s activities. He served honorably as Chairperson of the chapter’s Sponsorship, Educational Conference and Industry Relations committees in addition to serving as Secretary, Treasurer, Vice Chairperson, Chairperson, Immediate Past Chairperson and Co-Chair of the 25th Annual Southeastern Classic.
Bob’s focus on engaging young professionals led to the creation of two YP positions on the chapter board. He was also instrumental in bringing YP meet-ups to the chapter with incredible success. Bob’s work with chapter sponsors increased sponsorship revenue and satisfaction levels. His community outreach on behalf of the chapter allowed for generous donations to local charity American Cancer Society Hope Lodge. Bob is considered a great asset by chapter leaders, as reflected in his selection in 2016 for the IAEE Merit Award. Here, Bob shares with IAEE great advice he received and continues to pay forward, as well as the achievements he is most proud of with the IAEE Southeastern Chapter.
Awards presentation during the Networking Luncheon at Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition 2016 in Anaheim, CA. From left to right: Representing the IAEE Awards Committee, Randy Bauler, CEM; Bob Hancock; and IAEE President and CEO David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA.
IAEE: You were commended for being incredibly active in your local chapter by serving on various committees, and playing a key role in many of its activities and events. What do you enjoy most about being a part of the chapter’s leadership?
BOB: I love working with my peers on the Board. This is the best group of people to work with; they are goal focused, hands-on and genuinely enjoy each other. Being on the Board doesn’t feel like work at all, which is a testament to the relationships that have been created. We truly believe that we have the best chapter and continue to work together to keep pushing it to the next level.
IAEE: You have served in every officer’s position on the executive committee. How did each contribute to your understanding of the inner workings of the chapter and do you have a favorite?
BOB: As Treasurer and Secretary, you learn how the chapter operates from a financial and operational standpoint. You see where finances can be increased, and expenses eliminated, to create a more streamlined organization. As Vice Chair, you automatically oversee the annual educational conference, which is one of our signature annual events. This position allows you to work on a more national level in terms of speaker recruitment, as well as reaching out to our regional members to secure locations for the event. You get the chance to step outside of Atlanta and our community, while continuing to build those relationships that we as a chapter value.
By the time you make it to Chair, we like to joke that it is all downhill from here. You understand how the chapter operates, and your job is to basically steer the ship and make sure that all committees and leaders are working together to achieve the common goal. As Immediate Past Chair, you take on the role of advisor, in addition to spearheading the Nominating Committee for the next set of Board members. It’s a lot, but when it is your turn to be Chair, you have done your training and are well prepared to lead.
I enjoyed serving in all my positions, but I must say that my favorite was serving as Chair of the 2014 Classic in Savannah and Co-Chair of our 25th Annual Classic last year in Atlanta. The planning and execution of these events were hard work, but to see it payoff with record attendance and quality education was extremely gratifying.
IAEE: Your efforts to advocate for young professionals within your chapter has led to two YP seats on the chapter board as well as successful implementation of YP meet-ups and overall participation. What do you consider the most important benefit to engaging YPs?
BOB: YPs are the future, plain and simple. They have a voice and deserve to be heard. The best way for our chapter and its leadership to continue its success, is to get them engaged now. They have great ideas, are enthusiastic about learning the business, and are in tune with today’s trends which make them true assets to this industry. The Southeastern Chapter Board is all about the YPs and getting them ready for leadership. As industry veterans, it is our responsibility to mentor and train our YPs to be successful in this industry that we are all passionate about.
IAEE: As a chapter leader volunteer, did you have a mentor you looked to for guidance? If so, how did this person help shape your career?
BOB: I remember some advice from 20 years ago, from two industry veterans that I still carry with me today and share with young professionals. Simply put: the more engaged you are in any organization you belong, the more you will reap the benefits and feel the rewards in time. That was the most honest and factual piece of advice, as I still live it every day. Not only have I applied this to my volunteering but to my career as well. I don’t believe that I would be where I am today if I was not engaged. By doing this, I have created relationships over the years that have proven to be one of the keys to a successful career in this industry that I love.
IAEE: Has your involvement on the chapter level led to involvement on the national level? If so, what appealed to you about spreading your wings?
BOB: My chapter level involvement has been the catalyst for me wanting to do more, and participating on the Chapter Leadership calls have given me new insight into the industry. The interaction and feedback that we gave each other on those calls allowed me to see what was taking place nationally and has continued to further my knowledge. Again, going back to that advice 20 years ago, GET INVOLVED!
IAEE: How do you find balance with volunteering for the Southeastern Chapter and your day job?
BOB: After serving on the Executive Committee for the past 5 years, you learn how to balance and manage your time. Volunteering is not always a standard 9 to 5 workday (though neither is work sometimes!). There are evenings and weekends that come into play, but we are lucky enough that our chapter has an executive office that assists us with our duties.
IAEE: How do you hope your legacy to the chapter will be remembered?
BOB: Just because my term as an executive committee member is up, does not mean that I stop working. I hope that future leaders in the chapter follow in my footsteps and continue to take on new roles within IAEE. In the end, your level of involvement is what matters the most and what continues to strengthen our chapter. The foundation I set for the YPs of our industry will be the best legacy that I could leave. I hope in years to come the chapter continues to promote and support them, as they are our future.
IAEE is accepting nominations for the 2017 Merit Award! Click here to learn more about the IAEE Individual Awards and submit your nominations today!