Leadership 2015 – a Wrap Up

No project today.  Instead, I am going to recap my exciting weekend at Stampin’ Up!’s Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida.  While the pictures can’t tell it ALL, they will hopefully share a bit of the excitement and enthusiasm of the event.  What an amazing time!

If you like crooked selfies and out-of-focus faces, you’re going to love today’s post.  I didn’t take all of these pictures – some were swiped from my friends.  🙂

Manager’s Reception

On the first night of Leadership, Stampin’ Up! has always hosted a big party for the demonstrators who are Manager and above.  During my first two times at Leadership, I watched several of our team members head off to have fun and waited at the hotel to hear their stories.  Very soon after last year’s Leadership, I earned the title of Manager (and promoted again later in the year to Senior Manager).  I was excited to share this Manager’s Reception with the other demonstrators who attended.  Here are some fun pictures from the evening at Walt Disney World:

Mary Fish took our team out to dinner before the Manager’s Reception at a wonderful English Pub.  What a great kickoff to the night.  (with Sherrie Murphy, Lisa Pretto, Mary Fish, Deb Simonis and Ginger Toivonen)

Manager's ReceptionOur reception was held at Disney between the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.  We were greeted with an amazing spread of sweets.  I was trying to “be good” but didn’t want Deb and Mary to eat alone.  I’m such a thoughtful guy.

Manager's ReceptionAfter easting lots of sweets, we rode both rides.  A great combination!  I snapped a quick photo on the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith ride before it took off.  What a fun ride!  (with Lisa, Ginger and Mary)

Manager's Reception

We were also given the opportunity to have our pictures with some of the most popular Disney characters.  Yippee!  There was a loooong line (and I’m relatively impatient).  Still, my picture looks I’m right between Goofy and Donald, right?

disneyThe reception gave me time to hang out with Ginger Toinoven:

Manager's ReceptionAnd Sharon Armstrong:

Manager's ReceptionOn Stage

Don’t get me wrong.  The entire Leadership Conference wasn’t a social event.  We also attended training sessions and classes (where we socialized and enjoyed chatting with each other).  Here are some photos from our sessions and breakout sessions.

The stage was festooned with beautiful banners.  We thoroughly enjoyed hearing from Shelli Gardner, Co-Founder and CEO of Stampin’ Up! in most of the main stage sessions.  We also got to hear from most of the amazing training team.

I always love to see Shelli’s stamping projects and samples.  She shared a bunch of great ideas during her stamping presentation, but the feathers she made with twine and washi tape was a real crowd-pleaser.

On StageLike I said, I always love to hear Shelli talk.  During our Friday morning session, she did something that made this event super-special for me.

On StageShe was in the middle of a presentation when she stopped, held her hands out toward me and said “Brian!  It’s my first chance to see you.  Hi!”  How crazy is that?!?  I know I stand out in a crowd, but that was a wonderful moment for me.

During one of our breakout sessions, I hung out with Brandy Cox and Sheri Pearson.

On Stage

We had an evening of stamping on Friday – we watched presentations from several trainers, and I adored them all.  Some people won great product giveaways (Justin).  A perfect opportunity for a photobomb.  🙂

On Stage


Stamps, paper and ink are wonderful!  Hanging out with other people who feel the same way is incredible.  Here are some more photos of people I enjoyed meeting and hanging out with.

Kim Sinclair and Becky Roberts:


Patti Carbonell:


My adorable team member, Candy Ford:


Candy Ford, part II:


I’m not in this picture, but I think it’s an adorable shot of Donna Griffith.  She was sharing measurements for a box.  The camera was set right on the paper, and she snuck in a “hey!”


Jen Campbell and Greg Cottrell.  Both work for Stampin’ Up!.  Don’t you love the font in Endless Wishes and Endless Birthday Wishes?  That’s Jen’s handwriting.


Jenny Peterson:


InKing Royalty team members Lynn Kolcun, Candy Ford and Christine Oehlman:


Lydia Fielder – I photobombed my own picture:


It’s always a joy to see Krista Fratin at these events:


And you know how much I enjoy hanging out with my events roomie, Justin Krieger:


Atlanta friend Julie DiMatteo.  She removed the bathroom signage by adding a little starburst.  🙂


Patsy Waggoner:


Robin Merriman:

Friends   Windy Ellard:FriendsAnd lots of trouble in this picture of Candy Ford, Tami White and Lisa Pretto.  Wouldn’t you agree that my sweet innocence helps to balance out all this naughtiness?


A small group of us went to the English Pub for dinner on the last night.  With Nicole Watt, Maggie Mata, Debbie Dean, Sherrie Murphy, Candy Ford and Ginger Toinoven:


Leadership was absolutely rewarding.  I had lots of fun, learned a ton and left feeling absolutely inspired.  Despite an amazing time with incredible friends, it’s always nice to return home.  I lucked out with extra legroom on my flight home.  I stretched out and read a book given to me by Jason Wright, the author of the book and keynote speaker at the conference (he was seated in the row behind me on the flight).

FriendsThanks for stopping by today!  I’ve got some fun projects lined up for you this week, so please come back to check them out.


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  1. Thanks for the wrap up and all of the pictures. It was clearly an amazing time!

  2. Thanks for sharing, that was great! Looking forward to seeing some of the inspiration you brought back with you.

  3. I always feel like I “shared in your fun” when I read your event recaps! Thanks for sharing the fun!~!

  4. I am SOOOooo jealous/envious!!! I have been a hobby demonstrator and can’t afford to attend the wonderful functions that happen each year. Your pictures were certainly enjoyable, though; thanks for sharing!

  5. What a time you had at leadership! You seem to ALWAYS enjoy your day. Life is so wonderful and few realize this everyday, even if you are making lemonade. Thanks for the morning smiles!!!

  6. Perfect recap! And what an honor to be included in your pictures! 😉

  7. Thanks for sharing the fun. Looking forward to seeing you at Leadership Conferences in the years to come!

  8. What fun pictures Brian, a perfect reflection of the fun all of you had.
    Thank you for sharing.

  9. Great pictures!! It was an excellent event and it was wonderful to see you! I love that SU is filled with terrific people and I am always so inspired by their values and vision. Stamping forever!

  10. Ok, so I have to admit, i am a little jealous of all your pictures! Do you remember what day Shelli made the Washi Tape feathers? I would love to watch that part of the session.

  11. Was so nice to meet you. You are fabulous! Although I have been following you for some time and feel like I already knew you. Face to face into was really great.

  12. Brian – you obviously are the hit of the party. How wonderful to get to spend time with all these very talented and special people. I don’t know how you remember so many names! I’m lucky I remember my own name. Thanks for sharing all these great photos. It really is fun to see how well SU treats it’s “employees”.

  13. Thanks for sharing your personal memories of what was obviously a fabulous time. Love the correlation between catching you on the live streaming and seeing your personal snaps!

  14. It was a wonderful time. I met terrific people and learned a lot. Thank you, Brian, for including me in your photo montage, and for all you do for us on the InKing Royalty team!

  15. Aawwww, Brian I’m so happy you had a great time , thank you so mush for your great
    Pictures, there all so cute , and fun , did Windy tell you I got to see you and her in the crowd, I got so happy , I said to my hubby, there they are ,I saw them , that was the BEST Part of that night !!!’ I love the whole streaming of it !! So I did go Brian, the projects were wonderful, but I can’t wait to see your new projects, ok I bourd you enough,
    Lol, rest and have a wonderful week !!!
    Love and a big hug ,

  16. Fantastic ! Great pictures and you obviously enjoyed every minute !
    Thank you !

  17. Glad you had a wonderful time! 🙂

  18. Thanks Brian for the fun pics and the memorable times at Leadership! It was a blast! Can’t wait tip next time!

  19. Wow! So glad you had a wonderful time! Loved seeing all the fabulous photos…even the naughty ones…lol! Looks like you all had loads of fun!:-)

  20. Obviously a wonderful time was had by all! Laughed out loud at the Photobomb of you and Justin! 🙂 Great pictures!

  21. looks like it was a TON of FUN. maybe someday I can join this elite group on this trip! a girl can dream!!

  22. Thanks for sharing all of your photos, Brian. Looks like you and all of the others had a great time. Hope it was restful and inspirational at the same time. Looking forward to seeing your inspired creations soon. Thanks!!

  23. To say Shelli’s feathers were “a crowd pleaser” is an understatement!

  24. What fun – you stand out in crowd too because you have such a wonderful attitude and personality and everybody just loves that! AND, not to forget to mention, you rock the inspiration for me and, I’m sure, so many other demonstrates and stampers!

  25. Great pix, Brian. Thanks for sharing them with us!

  26. It looks like a fun time was had by all, thanks for sharing! Can’t wait to see your new projects

  27. I cannot stop laughing at your photobomb of Justin with his prize! Hilarious!

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