I just finished my LAST gig of 2009!!!

Man, what a year. All told, I think I passed 80 speeches this year, but I totally saved the best for last—in Dallas, speaking to the nonprofits of Texas at the One Star Foundation’s annual Governor’s Nonprofit Leadership Conference.

Now, I’m not gonna go into too much detail today. In fact, I’ll be back in a week or so with a Top Ten countdown of the baddest, boldest craziest, coolest moments of an insanely productive year….but for today, let me introduce you to two dynamic, young up-n-comers I hung with in Dallas.

The first is Erin Brackney, who works at the One Star Foundation. She planned and built the Texas Connector, a geo-map that is SO the future. I speak a lot about the power of turning next gen leaders LOOSE, and letting them apply what they learned in school (and behind the scenes after all those years of community service) and Erin is a classic example of this idea in action. Of course, it takes dynamic leadership to let go and give young leaders some room to roll, which is why I dig the One Star Foundation all the more. But I was completely unprepared for the cyber-skill set this young sister in bringing to the table. She’s got more than vision—she’s got the moxie it takes to make her vision REAL. Please check out this revolutionary resource….and than ask her to help you build the same thing in your community.

I also hung with a GREAT friend, Mando Rayo, out of Austin. Mando is a member of the YNPN network and works at the United Way in the capital city, but he’s been branching out. He’s developed a presentation that should be at EVERY conference—how to work with “New American” volunteers. This is SUCH a huge trend, and I was blown away by what I learned during his break-out. Seriously…if you’re planning a conference in 2010—you NEED to reach out and get Mando in front of your peeps. I guarenteee he”ll impress.

Anyway…I’ll be back soon….but before I blow, I want to give serious props to my friends in Texas. I’ve been working there for decades now, and visited almost every corner. I love that state, and you all treated my like a king!!! So mad props and thanks to Dallas, Amarillo, Lubbock, Corpus, Houston, Austin, Plano, Denton, Laredo, San Antonio, El Paso and everyplace in between.