When I first started working on WiBE, it was at our community pool.


Our very first Dean’s convening happened in the scorching humidity of Washington DC in July, during the 2020 COVID pandemic.


At the time, everything was still closed, but our neighborhood pool was one of the first places to reopen under strict guidelines. It was my peaceful sanctuary, a place where I could work quietly while my children enjoyed what looked like a normal childhood.


After thoroughly disinfecting the chairs and tables and putting on our masks, I would sit and write in my journal, dreaming of the future. I envisioned a vibrant and global community of academic leaders, with both in-person and virtual events. I imagined my own website that managed all these activities, schools were fully open, and pools free from distancing guidelines. I dreamed of a supportive team to help me achieve these goals.


But back in 2020, at my pool, it was just me—my mask, my kids, and my journal.


It was at the pool where I wrote my first thank-you note to our first member who joined. It was at the pool where we secured our very first big-name sponsor for our conference. It was at the pool where I wrote and fleshed out my business plan.


I was also there when our website crashed, and a new member got billed twice by mistake. I remember hastily writing SOS to our developer from my phone, soaking wet.


Now, four years later, as I jump into the same pool, I celebrate how far we have come.


We have more in-person events than ever before, with our Luncheon workshop in Chicago, our AI and the Art of Leadership Summit in Melbourne, and plans underway for our big Boldly You Leadership Summit in Arlington, VA, next June.


Our membership is now reaching 450.


But this year, I don’t want to work so much at the pool.


This summer, I want to enjoy my kids, swim laps, and read a beach novel. There is a time to work and a time to jump for joy.


Where do you need to stop working, achieving, and growing, but instead remember to enjoy the simple pleasures of summer?


—Lisa Leander, Founder & CEO


Read the full bulletin here.