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Y’all. My mom makes THE. BEST. chicken salad. It is this heavenly concoction of shredded chicken, seasoning, celery, mayo, salt, pepper, that turns seemingly dull ingredients into a delicious snack. It’s good on a cracker. It’s good in a sandwich. It’s good all on it’s own.

You are probably wondering why I’m starting off my first ever Presidential blog post with a story about chicken salad. Well, it has a lot to do with mayonnaise. Stick with me for a minute - I promise it all comes together. You see, I hate mayonnaise. Hate the smell. Hate the consistency. Hate the weird gelatinous yuck that it is. The question becomes ‘how, then, does something as beautiful as chicken salad include such an unappealing ingredient?’

To really dig into this analogy, it has everything to do with making chicken salad from chicken shit. You know, mayonnaise is egg based. Where does the egg come from? Yup, you got it.

I have not heard a better saying that can relate to SO MANY of the daily life-isms than:

it’s time to make chicken salad from chicken shit

To give the backstory, I was working with an interior designer trying to improve a particularly bad arrangement of interior windows on a recent project. We were on site, in all of our OSHA-approved glory, when she looks at me, serious as a heart attack, and says “Amanda, it’s time to make chicken salad from chicken shit”. We had to do something to turn a mess into a success.

I got to thinking about this saying when brainstorming topics for this blog post. You see, not many other sayings better describe the last year and a half of crap we have had to navigate. We have been dealt a commercial-farm-sized load of chicken shit. This has come in the form of a global pandemic, quarantines, DIY haircuts (put down the scissors – bangs are NEVER the answer), supply chain shortages (hello TP debacle of 2020 – we’re lookin’ at you!), homeschool, virtual school, masks, mandates… the list goes on. Oh, you probably forgot about the killer hornets, didn’t you? Remember when those were making the news and we thought THAT was the big problem?

What have we done during all of this? We strapped on our waders and have done our best to muck through it. Those of us in the construction industry have had some unique discomforting multipliers thatwe have all felt personally. Anyone else try to build literally ANYTHING with lumber last year? Steel? Ordered any commercial or residential appliances? Yeah, I’m talking to you.

You know what, though? It hasn’t all been bad. I took on the NAWIC Palmetto #385 presidency in the fall of 2020. I followed in the footsteps of an incredible inaugural leader and, quite frankly, I had NO IDEA what I agreed to when taking the role. ‘Be president of a non-profit focused on amplifying the success of women in construction during a global pandemic’ they said. ‘It will be awesome’ they said. Turns out, they were right. It has been awesome. We’ve been able to turn the challenges of the last year into opportunities.

When we show up at regional and national events, folks know what Palmetto is about. We are crusaders, trendsetters, and advocates.

We live our core values of integrity, inclusion, and investing in the future. In the last year, cloaked in strife, turmoil, and a general sense of unknowing, we doubled down on seeing how far we could push ourselves; if we could achieve the goals we set for this group despite the world of crap we had just been handed.

We came to together and held a record-setting WIC Week 2020

...and a pretty-amazing, bar setting, WIC Week 2021. Don’t know what that is? Ask us! And keep your eyes peeled for our WIC Week 2022 event schedule.

We established our NAWIC Needs charitable giving program

which has been launched as a pilot program for our region.

We created a scholarship fund

for area students specializing in architecture, engineering, and construction studies.

We formed a diversity, equity, and inclusion team

and are setting the stage regionally for furthering discussions on how we can better ourselves, our group and our community.

We kept on with the keeping on

you know, #life. We supported our community where we could to make sure we all got through this together.

...and, this blog!

This blog is where you will find a trail of cracker crumbs leading you to the inner workings of our chapter, our minds, and what gets us out of bed each morning. You will find the ‘why’ that drives us.

We have a heck of a line up for you... reviews, rambling thoughts, industry specific fodder, how we unplug, and a quarterly President’s series. In short:, we are going to share with you the different ways the members of NAWIC Palmetto have learned to make chicken salad out of chicken shit. How we manage success in the multi-faceted face of adversity.

Sit down, grab a sweet tea (or a half-and-half if you aren’t originally from around here), and buckle up, baby. We have some stories to tell.

‘Til next time,

Amanda Redick

NAWIC Palmetto, President

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