What It Means to Me: Winning the TSAE Young Professional Leadership Award

Lauren Turner, CAE, CMP (center) with award presenters Angela Davis, MBA, CAE (right) and Andy Teas, CAE (left) at the 2019 Awards Luncheon.

By Lauren Turner, CAE, CMP

When TSAE Executive Director Steven Stout, FASAE, CAE, called me to tell me I was selected as the recipient for the 2019 Young Professional Leadership Award, I was speechless, which is a rare occurrence for me. To be recognized by my peers for my hard work is very special to me. I was extremely honored and humbled to be on the stage with the other award winners.

I remember sitting in the crowd at my very first TSAE awards luncheon in 2014 and saying to myself, I want to be one of those people on stage. How do I get to be like them? How do I get to know them? Everyone was hugging each other like they had known one another for a long time. They were not just colleagues, they were friends, and many of them worked for different organizations. I left my first conference energized, feeling like this was the place I was supposed to be. This was the group and organization I wanted and knew I needed to immerse myself in.

So what does winning the award mean to me? First off, I could not have received this award all on my own. Success isn’t achieved independently; success can only be achieved with the help and support of peers. I would not be where I am today without the support of several people. Success takes a village. To me, this award was a way to say thank you and to honor all of those who have helped get me where I am today. This award is just the beginning for me of many more goals I have set for myself. Receiving this award means I have an obligation to continue to learn and grow within my professional development. It’s a commitment to giving back what has been given to me so generously in hours of mentoring and support.

I thank my colleagues and our leadership at the Houston Apartment Association for believing in me, encouraging me, and trusting me to try new things that have opened the doors for our association to reach the next level. 

I feel very fortunate that I found my career in the association industry so early on. My success wasn’t achieved on my own and this award proves that I must continue to surround myself with people who are smarter than me. I must continue to lend a hand to others and be committed to learning new skills outside my area of expertise. It’s a commitment to continue to ask questions and to let go of the fear of failure. This award symbolizes that it’s okay to fail but it’s not okay to not try. We learn more from failing in the end.

Winning the TSAE Young Leadership Professional award has energized me to do more, to continue to reach for the stars, and to set my eyes on my next goal.

So I say THANK YOU! Thank you to my peers and my mentors that continue to support and root for me!

Lauren Turner, CAE, CMP, is the Assistant VP of Outreach for the Houston Apartment Association and 2020 TSAE New Ideas Annual Conference Task Force Chair.

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