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Protocol Perspective

A Year in Review 2017

Lessons Learned and Protocol Pointers

Happy New Year! The shock of time passing is slowly fading, and while I still find myself dating documents 2016, I know that it has happened again: another year has zipped by in a blink of an eye. As many of you have probably done, I have been reading, hearing, and seeing endless ‘year in review’ articles and television and radio stories.


Thanks For Giving

While our neighbors to the north celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving in October, in November families and friends around the U.S. will be gathering to give thanks. For many, including myself, this is a favorite holiday. Its purpose is clearly stated in its name–a day dedicated to giving thanks.


Walk in Another’s Shoes

This weekend, as I ran errands, I was listening to one of my favorite NPR radio programs, “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.” They replayed a 2014 interview with Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert, where she was quizzed in a game they called ‘I Refuse to Eat, Pray, or Love.’ She was asked questions on dieting, blasphemy, and hate, and had to guess the right answer.


Disaster Diplomacy: Earthquakes, Floods, & Other Disasters

Sadly, at any given moment disaster can strike. Recently we have seen Japan’s Kyushu region suffer two earthquakes. Ecuador’s coastal region was hit by a magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Both areas have had multiple aftershocks. The Houston area in Texas had severe floods. Prime Minister Abe of Japan noted during a press briefing that the U.S. military offered help. Foreign aid workers and experts have gone to Ecuador to help. In Houston, when first responders couldn’t reach everyone, neighbors took it upon themselves to help others evacuate. These are examples of Disaster Diplomacy at its best.


The Power of Music

After Thanksgiving, I change my radio station to SUNNY 99.1 FM, which plays Christmas and holiday music around the clock through December 25. As I sing along to some of my favorites, I am reminded of the power of music. Music transcends all boundaries; it transports us to the past (the song you danced to on your wedding day?), it reminds of us of times spent with friends, trips taken, historical moments, it unites people, and gives hope for a better tomorrow. Music is part of our celebrations, whether we are singing “Joy to the World,” “Happy Birthday,” “Take Me Out to the Ballpark” or “Auld Lang Syne.”


Are You an Ostrich or a Peacock?

Are you an ostrich or a peacock? To succeed in business you need to get up, get out, and show yourself at your best: build relationships, make new contacts, add to your knowledge base, and add value to your organization.


Watching for What’s Wrong vs Seeing What’s Right

In business and in life, it’s important to watch for what is wrong, but also remember to see what is right. Protocol professionals love to watch, read, and hear about major international events. We study them for guidance on how to do our jobs better. We learn from the mistakes and successes of others–what worked, what didn’t. As I, like millions around the world, watch the 2016 Rio Olympics, I learned a valuable lesson–“watching for what is wrong, while seeing what is right.”


Mentoring & Coaching

Across the United States, students are graduating from high schools, community colleges and universities. It is wonderful to see so many people of all ages and walks of life fulfill goals and dreams of getting an education. I actually just attended our nephew’s graduation from John Carroll University. Congratulations to Christopher and all of the 2016 graduates!


The Truth About Titles & Forms of Address

“Call Me Empress”‚ĶReally? During the past several weeks, the subjects of titles and forms of address have come across my radar on multiple occasions. First, I saw a story on CBS News Sunday Morning where the contributor argued that it was time to give “formal address a formal burial.” Then I attended an event in Houston’s city council chambers, where Australia’s newly appointed Consul General announced my friend’s new status as Honorary Consul Emeritus of Australia, and a council member asked how to properly address her. (“Ms. + Last Name.”) Next, Trevor Noah asked New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, when he appeared on the Daily Show, “How do you address a mayor?” and most recently I read Miss Manners’ column, “Flowery Courtesy Titles Are Not Really Needed.”