February 9, 2014

DSAA Board

This past November, at the Driving School Association of the Americas' annual convention, I was voted to the board as the Western States Vice President. Contrary to what the photo shows, I'm not the only woman. The suit next to me is. Ha ha. Just kidding. The Western Canada lady wasn't there.

My brother JC and I have been attending annual conventions since 2008, so five years, or six conventions. I took Jovana and newborn Jocelyn to my first one in Las Vegas. Since then we've made friends in the business who we've called on over the years when we have issues that they have already faced. We've been blessed to attend helpful seminars and gain insights about what other driving schools have done in their businesses that have been effective.

Before this conference, I thought my relationship with JC had been clear. We introduce ourselves as siblings. We have spouses and families. But apparently, there's been confusion. And some thought we were married to each other. This confusion hasn't happened since college when I was roommates with my brother Brett. Except back then we actually had the same last name. Ha ha.

Now, the cat's out of the bag. We introduced ourselves at the board meeting as siblings with a thriving business. We've grown every year for the last decade. We have 25 schools and 60+ instructors (not all full time - especially in the winter/slow season).

That short intro opened up more discussions with other driving school owners than we've had at any other conference. For the first time, I feel like we are giving back a little to the organization that has helped us along.

The first time I taught a driver's ed class (about 12 years ago), the students thought I was one of them until I opened my mouth. It's highly unlikely a kid would know as much as I did, or have the same confidence in front of a class.

I know I look young. That's okay. It's fun to see the shock on faces when someone new finds out how old I am...which usually happens soon after they find out how many kids I have.

At this convention, it happened when others found out how many schools we have. And then again after I taught my first DSAA seminar. That was pretty awesome. As the interaction and laughter in my session about juicing up presentations warmed up, more and more stragglers came in. At the end it was standing room only. My participation level was high and there were some extremely funny people, though they weren't trying to be, which made it all the better.

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