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Tamra Goodall: Making The Leap To Remarkable

It’s 8 a.m., April 15. President Elect Tamra Goodall, CPS/CAP is standing in front of a group of incoming division presidents gathered in Kansas City for training. She’s poised, articulate and has captured the attention of her audience as she announces the upcoming IAAP International Theme: Making the Leap to Remarkable.

“The Leap to Remarkable isn’t a destination—it’s a journey,” said Goodall to nods of approval. “This encapsulates the vision that our association has been working towards.”

That April conference marked only one step of a journey taken by the 57th president of the association, which began with her first chapter meeting in 1995. Goodall welcomes her year as president with a sense of collaboration and team spirit, a concept that comes easily to her because of her years of playing sports. She’s never been boisterous, more shy and reserved. Even so she rose to leadership in track, basketball and cheerleading by taking responsibility, behind the scenes. While IAAP isn’t a sports team, lessons on leadership have transferred. She’s been contributing behind the scenes in various roles for years at IAAP, preparing her for service as the association’s international president.

Beginning in IAAP
Being in the spotlight didn’t always feel natural to Goodall—she became paralyzed when she had to give her first report in front of her chapter—but leading others does come naturally, says fellow chapter member Judy Pazerski, CPS/CAP.

“Looking back to 1995 when Tamra joined the Charleston Chapter, I am reminded of not only her eagerness to learn about our association but of her goal-directed efforts to attain leadership skills that benefited our chapter and division,” says Pazerski. “It did not take long for Tamra to energize me and other fellow chapter members with her self-confidence and supportive spirit.”
Eventually, she found confidence to undertake greater and greater roles in her service to IAAP.  In order to do that, she had to challenge herself, settle in and grow.

“You have to be really adaptable,” says Goodall. “The excitement of this opportunity [as president] is one I would have never envisioned back when I first joined or went to my first convention. You get braver and braver.”

She’s been a driving force in IAAP since she first joined, as fellow chapter member Vicki Saunders knows from all the hours they’ve spent together.

“I’ve ridden many miles through the hills and valleys of West Virginia with Tamra,” says Saunders. “She’s spoken to many groups about IAAP.  She has been on radio and TV, she also wrote an article for one of the top magazines in West Virginia.”

Promoting and serving IAAP is Goodall’s passion, evidenced in the years of service she’s given to the association, first in her chapter before branching out to the division, and then to international. She started out small, chairing the student chapter committee, heading up an Administrative Professionals Day event. One day, she decided she wanted to be president. Not for the prestige, though, but to make a difference.

“I've known Tamra for many years,” says Saunders. “Her goal has always been be the international president of IAAP.  I asked her why this was her goal?  She said: ‘Vicki, it's not for the glitz or glamour.  It's because I feel I have something to offer the organization.’”

The skills she’s developed through IAAP have transferred over to her current job as coordinator of education services for the West Virginia Hospital Association according to co-worker Kathy Watts, who praises her efficiency. Among other duties, Goodall is responsible for her association’s annual conference including registrations, onsite details and various planning.

“She makes it all happen,” said Watts. “She’s always on the ball. She’s very, very organized.”

Goodall enjoys her job at WVHA and credits her work with IAAP in giving her confidence. “I know IAAP helped me to see what I could achieve; where I could go and that I can be proactive.”

Peek into the personal
When the new president isn’t working or catching up on IAAP business, she spends a lot of time reading for enjoyment, including a healthy cache of business books.

“I enjoy spending time at home since I travel a lot,” she says. “For me to sit on the back deck and play with my dog is nice.”

That deck where she likes to sit exists from her sweat equity and that of her husband, Mark Goodall. Both enjoy working together on home-improvement projects. They don’t hire someone to do their drywall, sweat joints, lay ceramic tile or build decks. What they don’t know, they figure out. That’s part of the fun.

She’s lived within a 30-mile radius of Charleston all her life and is at home in the tree-rich city in the South. It’s clear she loves her state and her city. She also loves roller coasters, American Idol, her dog, Drago and her husband. When she is home, spending time with Mark takes top priority. Their mutual respect and admiration for one other is evident.

“Tamra has not always succeeded,” says her husband. “However, she looked at defeat as only a temporary setback, allowing her time to hone her skills and improve herself. She never quits.”

Looking toward the future
Thinking about the upcoming year, Goodall is excited to be president. She’s looking forward to working with the board, which she describes as a passionate, committed group of individuals. A shift in culture is that now the president continues on the goals set out in the IAAP Process Plan and avoids coming into office with a surprise agenda. Goodall plans to continue the journey to remarkable by facilitating a cohesive team for the purpose of making IAAP extraordinary.

“I will be thrilled that 10 years from now I had a part in propelling IAAP forward,” she says.  

In the past few years, Goodall has seen IAAP go through a major culture shift, which has been hard at times since members were “so engrained in the culture we had. We’ve done a lot of shifting over the last four years,” says Goodall. “Now we are seeing chapters and divisions as more of a business than a social club.”

She challenges members on all levels to ask themselves if they’re fulfilling the mission statement and showcasing what IAAP is about in its core.

“We need to look at IAAP like a franchise. For instance, if you go into any McDonalds you can get the same a Big Mac, possibly with a few regional differences,” says Goodall. “We want that for IAAP. Give people the same services wherever they are. That’s a huge shift from where we used to be.”

For the upcoming year Goodall has a vision. She wants to display a “can do” attitude. She wants members to adopt that, too. “Plant the flag that announces to the world that we are IAAP and we are Making the Leap to Remarkable.”

Emily Allen is managing editor of OfficePro magazine and manager of publications and communications at IAAP.