How to Launch a Spousal/Life Partner Forum (In Just 4 Months!)

By Jasmeet Dillard, spouse of EO Charlotte member John Dillard and US-East Representative

Formerly known as Spousal Forums, Spousal/Life Partner (SLP) Forums offer the loved ones of EO members a chance to experience the same support, experience-sharing and education that members enjoy. These specialized Forums are becoming more common as members’ spouses and life partners discover the profound benefits of taking their involvement with EO to the next level.

Tom McManus, Chapter President of EO Western New York, was inspired to launch an SLP Forum in his chapter after hearing about their value at the 2016 Global Leadership Conference (GLC) in Bangkok. McManus returned home and decided to launch an SLP Forum in late 2016—leaving him just four months to prepare.

Tom and his wife, Julie (pictured at left, on far left), worked together during those four months to build interest, educate prospective participants, Forum-train spouses and successfully hold their first SLP Forum meeting. Here’s a look at how they accomplished all of this:

Month 1: August—Tom announced his plan to launch an SLP Forum in an email to members and at a social event.

Month 2: September—Julie hosted an informational meeting at her house, where people discussed the commitment and benefits of an SLP Forum.

Month 3: October—Tom reached out to members of the spouses who have expressed interest in Forum training, urging them to be understanding of upcoming obligations. He reminded them that their spouses and loved ones have been supportive of their Forum journey, and it’s now time to return the support and encouragement. Also, in October, Brian Brault, incoming Global Chairman, Forum-trained the spouses. Julie said the training was powerful, with Brian asking “us to look deep within ourselves to share and understand Forum.”

Month 4: November—First Forum meeting took place (pictured below).

Looking Forward

EO Western New York received its PEAK check for having an SLP Forum and plans to add more SLP Forums in 2017.

Brian Brault’s wife, Jean, says, “With Tom’s strong support and Julie’s enthusiasm, our new Forum is getting established with ease. EO Western New York has been missing this EO benefit for many years. After just a few meetings, I have already grown through the experiences my Forum mates have to offer. I look forward to upcoming meetings.”

Tom adds, “As EO members, we get so much value and support from our Forums. I’m really happy that the important people in our lives now have the opportunity to get the same value and support.”

Learn more about EO’s SLP Forums by reading articles from member spouses: Moonlake Lee and Anne Goswami, or contacting Deborah Wolin, EO’s Forum Health Coordinator, at dwolin@eonetwork.org.

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