After a three-year hiatus, the NATAPAC Breakfast returned June 23 with about 200 attendees during the 74th NATA Clinical Symposia & AT Expo in Indianapolis.
The NATAPAC Breakfast is the premier event and fundraiser at convention for the NATA Political Action Committee (NATAPAC), and this year, attendees got to hear from keynote speaker and NATA AT Compensation Task Force Chair Murphy Grant, LAT, ATC, NASM-PES.
The breakfast began with NATAPAC District Seven Director David Gallegos, MA, ATC, Cert. MDT, recognizing NATA’s young professionals in the room. He also reintroduced what NATAPAC does, emphasizing its importance as a group-approach to AT advocacy. Subsequently, NATAPAC Chair Mark Letendre, ATC, echoed the importance of participating with the PAC and recognized several individuals who have gone above and beyond in their participation with NATAPAC. Shortly after, NATA President Kathy Dieringer, EdD, LAT, ATC, briefly announced NATAPAC’s wins and initiative this year, after which she introduced Murphy.
“As I talked to other athletic trainers about Murphy, I heard things like, ‘He’s a sound voice for student athletes. He’s an advocate for ethnic diversity. He always takes the time to offer advice and to find solutions,’” she said. “What I do know is that Murphy is a thoughtful servant leader who has impressed me since the day I met him. He’s put his heart and soul into anything he’s been asked to do.”
Alluding to his own life and appreciating the people he has walked with who have shaped him, Murphy’s main crux of his message was growth and surrounding oneself with the right people to facilitate it.
“Growth: the process of increasing size, the process of developing and maturing physically, mentally or spiritually, the process of increasing in amount, value or importance,” he said. “I started with that term because it’s a great description of what our profession is doing, but what also all of us should be doing, including myself.”
Within the process of growth is the inevitability of change – professionally, personally and as an association, Murphy said. However, he reminded attendees that advocating for the profession, and oneself in the profession, takes posing the right questions the right way to the right people.
“There have been many things in my life that I have asked for, prayed for and worked my butt off for,” he said. “While some of those things have worked in my favor, there were plenty that didn’t, and I’ve learned from those things. Some of those things that I worked for and didn’t get were probably for three reasons.
“One, I didn’t ask. … I wasn’t taught that I needed to advocate for myself. So, what I’m saying here is no one can help you if they don’t know what you want, so you need to ask. Secondly, when I did ask, I asked the wrong folks. … I asked almost everyone, except my closest friends who were ones that were the most motivated to help me. Thirdly, I asked vaguely. I think we’re all used to this. Even when my friends and colleagues were excited and motivated to help me, they still didn’t know what I truly wanted because I could not really articulate what I wanted, and this is true for the majority of the people. So, I ask you, what do you truly want?”
Along the lines of growing through advocacy, Murphy emphasized the importance of not only surrounding oneself with the right people, but also leaning on them.
“People, like [those] in this room, are the cornerstone of us learning from our failures and are definitely the catalyst for our change and our growth,” he said.
Murphy delved into the five types of people who individuals surround themselves with: the inspired, the passionate, the motivated, the grateful and the open-minded. He said these are the people who will bolster others in their growth and hopefully help them succeed. They include family members, friends and colleagues. He paid homage to his family, colleagues, fellow NATA members and staff who have been among these.
“Those are the people in my circle of influence who have pushed me to be better, pushed me to lead and pushed me to grow,” he said. “So, when I surround myself with these types of people, I find myself being shaped by their influences and personalities, so I ask you to find these people in your life that can do the same for you. ... By surrounding yourself with these individuals, you yourself become one of these individuals for someone else.”
Murphy further highlighted the value of recognizing growth in people and organizations. He exemplified this by showing how the profession has grown via NATA’s mission and values.
“Our leadership is strong and continues to be seen through the association and through its committees,” he said.
But he also emphasized the need to continue working as a team.
“The ability of this group of professionals to do remarkable things hinges on how well we pull together as a team, how we lead, how build on the foundation of being inspired, passionate, motivated, grateful and open-minded,” he said. “The will to be successful and the desire to do things that advance the interests of this association shouldn’t be motivated by recognition from others, but should be through the culture of sacrifice and service, which we all do.”
In closing, Murphy said he hopes that attendees reflect on their journey and see not only the challenges, but also the positive experiences NATA and its members have undergone.
For more information about NATAPAC and how to get involved, visit the NATAPAC website.