A Nigerian, Ethelbert Umeh elected IIGL, USA President
Here is the full details of the acceptance speech he made on May 5, 2018 at the annual General Meeting.
My acceptance speech as newly elected IIGL President:
Dear Friends of IIGL;
Past and Present Board Members,
Students, Graduates and Donors
It is my greatest delight, honor and privilege to stand before you deeply inspired and touched by your congratulatory messages, inspiration and ideas. My heart is filled with joy for the confidence you placed in me to serve you as Board President.
I have no reservation to honor that trust, I most humbly accept my nomination as President of this great organization. International Institute for Global Leadership, IIGL USA is committed to training erudite community leaders, high impact change makers and transformational change agents in the world.
“The primary mission of IIGL is to provide a tuition-free education to individuals who wish to become high-integrity, heart-centered and conscious leaders in their communities and the world. Our curriculum is uniquely designed to provide our students with the consciousness and skills to wisely and peacefully lead others in creating positive change wherever it is needed. The study program is available to participants of any age anywhere in the world.” I am deeply honored to become the 3rdAfrican and as well the 3rdgraduate to lead this global organization.
I feel it is a great honor for an institution that trained me as a leader to request for my service and I am duty bound to respond to this great call of service. In discharging the duties of this onerous responsibility, may selfless service, truth and honor be my goal. I promise to serve with my time, talents and treasures when and where needed.
I wish to register my unalloyed respect, admiration and appreciation to the founder, Michael Lightweaver, and to all those that have kept this vision alive; our generous donors, past and present board members for their active support all these years. Your constant goodwill and donations have kept IIGL in the business of doing good in the world.
Thank you our immediate past president, Felix Iziomoh for graciously preparing, mentoring and guiding me at every step during the one year I served as Vice President. I must confess that I had sufficient time to prepare for this office.
Your ideas, inspiration and wisdom were exceptionally professional, and they will continue to guide me to noble paths. I will build on your amazing legacies. As President emeritus and advisory member of the board, I look forward having you and harnessing your quality ideas in our regular monthly board meetings.
I remember with great feeling when I joined this organization as a student in 2013, through the recommendation of my Nigerian friend, brother, and inspiring young African leader, Celestine Chidozie. Who told me about this great organization, and encouraged me to apply.
Celestine was so convinced that I will develop my leadership capacity if I can explore IIGL’s world class curriculum of leadership studies. I quickly keyed into this without further delay and I am eternally grateful that I never allowed such great opportunity to slip away.
Thank you Celestine for leading me to encounter the power of leadership. I owe my IIGL success story in perpetuity to you. IIGL is prayer answered to my dreams. I never wanted to disappoint Celestine nor myself and out of sheer decision, and belief founded on sincere pursuits and noblest principles, I graduated with class, thus becoming the fastest graduate in the history of our institution in 2016. My nomination to the board started same year too. And wholeheartedly, I embraced the opportunity when it came knocking.
My encounter with IIGL has changed my perception about life. IIGL is a world to discover, a world to experience, and a world to embrace, reaching and transforming hundreds of lives both in the corporate and civil sectors into leaders of great repute; worthy of emulation.
IIGL has trained leaders who are making huge impacts around the world. We have over 400 students in 35 countries of the world, which cuts across six continents. IIGL has produced 26 graduates from 10 countries namely Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Togo, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Rwanda, USA, Uganda, and Ethiopia. IIGL since its inception in 2002 has progressed into a global brand. A million thanks to all those whose constant donations and inspirations have made this possible.
It is also worthy to note and highly encouraging that IIGL has trained leaders who can now serve as Presidents of this global organization. I am glad to know that I am the third graduate to lead this great organization; the first was Noeline Kirabo from Uganda, followed by Felix Iziomoh from Nigeria, and now myself.
My student-led predecessors were awesome. Interestingly, while a student I met them as my presidents, and I was deeply inspired by their unique and distinctive leadership qualities.
As I reflect on the events of these past years and beyond, I am very optimistic that the future is bright for our great organization and our world; I smile at the possibilities that lies ahead. I am deeply committed to follow in the line of these remarkable young African leaders in making a difference.
Each of them together with the Board members that served with them made untiring efforts, and created lasting contributions in upholding IIGL’s deepest values, and exhibiting selfless service to the optimum.
Just to mention but a few, instituting a student-led organization, the increases in number of our students and graduates, winning of nonprofit awards for 5 years now, organizing two international leadership conferences held in Nigeria in 2013, and 2017, and writing of our first testimonial book speaks volumes.
I can’t forget the great efforts made by previous Board Presidents since the inception of our great institution, special thanks to Deborah Rosen, Wanda Gail and others for their noblest deeds founded on sincere love for human capital development. I am proud of you all.
Thank you for creating the legacy and setting the pace we now build on. Through your indispensable and astute commitments over the years, IIGL has continued to develop leadership capacity of noble minds around the world. Together with our current board members, we resolve to build on your legacy as we extend our hands of fellowship, friendship and service to you.
To our dear Donors, you are our pride; your donations made it possible. You have given us unprecedented opportunity to be useful to ourselves, our communities and the world around us. Thank you for upholding and restoring human dignity by investing in our collective future.
Let’s join hands together to make this happen again. We have come to serve sincerely. We want to assure you that your expectations will never be cut short. You have been wonderful. Our distinguished donors, we will listen attentively to your admonitions always, we are open for fresh ideas on how to take our organization to the next level.
To our students and alumni community, I salute all of you, who are tackling some of the global toughest challenges in your various dynamic communities. I am happy that some of you are doing your work not just for recognition, often with little or no resources, but because you share a vision of a better, connected world.
Some of you are working to reduce poverty through agriculture, some are on leadership development, some are working with children with special disabilities, some are on working on teen’s mentorship, youth development, education and literacy, coaching, girl child education, resisting poverty and cycles of violence in the world etc. We are truly a global network of change makers. Thank you for donating yourselves for these noble tasks. I am proud of you all.
Through IIGL studies, I got the vision to kick-start ‘Blueprint Consulting’- a leadership and management organization with specialties in Ghostwriting (speeches, articles, website content writing, blogging, books, autobiographies, biographies, research papers etc), Human Capital development, recruitment and training for private and corporate organizations. My new startup organization is 1 year old.
I most humbly welcome the board members that will be serving with me, both new and returning board members. I will always be available as your chief servant. Our crop of board members will be committed to ensuring that we network, and learn awesome ways we can continue to be a great gift to our communities.
In subsequent years, I am optimistic that one day IIGL will organize an international convention where all of us will get to meet, network, and share our IIGL success stories. I have so much to share.
To be able to do this effectively in recent time, all of us will have to mobilize our skills, experiences, dedication and talents. To them, I pledge my unreserved solidarity, dedication and support.
These will be my guiding principles. I will keep these promises and I will lead by example. I will try and exemplify selfless leadership which has always been my motto: ‘Service above self’.
My heart and mouth overflows with noble gratitude to my darling wife and jewel of inestimable value, Chinasa for giving me enabling environment to accept this nomination and sincerely making these promises. Her solidarity and support will always inspire me to do more, and become more for God and humanity.
I am determined to make a difference while following the great footsteps of leaders before me. Let us all work together for IIGL that can deliver more and become more for the good of humanity. I am very optimistic about the future of our global organization.
I am very certain that the new crop of inspired leaders, working as a team will do more, become more and achieve more. I have faith in this team. I have come to serve. We cannot do it alone, we need each other at every point, please let’s keep the vision of IIGL alive by supporting this new board members as always.
Thank you for your sincere attention and solidarity!
Delivered at the Annual General Meeting of IIGL, May 5, 2018