Any time an association rolls out a new program or initiative there is uncertainty as to how it is going to be received. Sometimes you have to temper expectations. And sometimes expectations are exceeded. That is exactly what has happened in the initial response to the LAMP initiative. LAMP is the Leadership and Mentoring Program under the direction of the PLUS Diversity and Inclusion Committee (D&I). The number of applications for the inaugural participation in LAMP far exceeded expectations. Dozens of applications have been received for only 10 spots. The D&I Committee had already discussed expanding the number of openings next years and encourages those whose application is not accepted this year to reapply next year. How great is this response, when I asked PLUS Director Dan Jenney about the response he told me he was “blown away” by the response. Jenney who is the PLUS staff liaison to the D&I Committee also said that “this is way more applications then I think anyone expected.” Undoubtedly this shows the need and desire for such a program. Additionally, the value of the program is affirmed by the large number of community leaders that have already reached out to volunteer or inquire about how to become a LAMP mentor. Thank you to those individuals willing to give their time to ensure the success of LAMP and to strengthen the industry by mentoring a LAMP participant.

If you are not familiar with LAMP it is a new PLUS initiative that was the idea of former PLUS Executive Director Derek Hazeltine and just one of the many tremendous initiatives developed under Derek’s leadership. After the initial concept was developed, the D&I Committee created the parameters and requirements of the program. The Committee worked diligently to develop a program that would fulfill its efforts to create an inclusive global professional community and provide opportunities for interaction, career development and advancement for all members and participants.

Applicants for LAMP must be a member of a racial/ethnic group that is traditionally underrepresented within PLUS membership or leadership, lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender, or a person with a disability. Applicants must be employed in the professional liability industry for at least two years and shown a commitment to volunteering within PLUS or other community or civic organizations. The application process also requires an up to 500 word statement about why the applicant should be included in LAMP and describes their leadership philosophy. Applicants also must submit letters from their supervisor(s); agree to fully commit to the benefits of LAMP; and participate in the RPLU Program. Once admitted the benefits include, but are not limited to, membership in PLUS; no-cost attendance to the annual PLUS Conference and another annual PLUS training; connection to an industry leader; and special leadership sessions at PLUS meetings. Again congratulations to the D&I Committee for a successful roll-out of this initiative and I can’t wait to see the continued growth of LAMP.