By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer
The night was nothing she expected.
At first, Lisa Griffin of Nolanville thought she was attending the July meeting of the American Business Women's Association as the guest of a friend - Bonnie Hunt of Temple.
'At least that's what I thought when I agreed to go,' Ms. Griffin said laughing.
But Ms. Hunt had a plot. The club needed a guest speaker for the evening's program, so Ms. Hunt asked Ms. Griffin if she'd mind giving an impromptu presentation.
'There wasn't much notice,' Ms. Griffin said. 'I was invited two weeks beforehand, but it was one or two days before the meeting when that part came up.'
Ms. Griffin hesitated.
'I don't care for public speaking,' she said. 'I don't like being in front of a crowd, but I thought about it. The ABWA is a good group, and Bonnie's my friend. So I agreed to do it.'
Ms. Griffin's surprise program was on organizational storytelling.
'That can be a useful tool in motivation,' Ms. Griffin explained. 'You tell the purpose, mission and history of your business in a way that catches people's attention and makes them want to be a part of it.'
She's employed the strategy herself, first as a manager of customer service and marketing for Perry Office Plus and now in her career at Carlson Law Firm in Killeen.
'The talk seemed to go well,' Ms. Griffin said. 'And then the meeting was about to close when Bonnie got behind the podium.'
As president-elect of the Bell chapter, it isn't unusual for Ms. Hunt to speak to the group, but what she said was unexpected, at least to Ms. Griffin.
'Most people list only four out of 10 past managers as people they would want to work for again,' Ms. Hunt said. 'Lisa Griffin is at the top of my own very, very short list.'
This second surprise speech was Ms. Hunt's way of honoring Ms. Griffin as the Bell Chapter's Business Associate of the Year.
'She was a great boss. She's to-the-point but willing to let her mind wander for the sake of creative thinking,' Ms. Hunt said. 'And she's never panicky, but has a sense of urgency about the important things.'
The Associate of the Year designation earned Ms. Griffin an honorary plaque and a round of applause.
'I was brought to tears,' Ms. Griffin said. 'Those were lovely things she said, and they're quite mutual. Bonnie was great to work with.'
The ABWA-Bell Chapter presents the Associate of the Year honor to women who contribute to club efforts and area business efforts.
Details about the club are available online at abwabell.org.