Nancy Marshall accepting the Presidents Award from the Kennebec Valley Chamber of CommerceThese are the brief remarks I made to a crowd of nearly 900 people on January 23, 2015 upon receiving the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce President’s Award for my contributions to the chamber membership.

Thank you, Peter, and thank you to the Chamber board and membership for this amazing honor tonight. Usually I’m the one telling other people what to say, so being the one up here speaking to you tonight is a bit different for me!

I am deeply grateful to my staff and clients for making NMC what it is today: a thriving PR firm that does great work in helping organizations define their messages and audiences and the best way to connect the two. I especially want to thank Charlene Williams, who has been by my side for 17 years, helping me to grow this business. She became the president of my agency in 2013.

I feel it has been a combination of my staff’s tenacity, perseverance and confidence that has made NMC successful.

I have gotten up every day for the past 23 years thinking about what we could do better to raise the bar in PR and marketing for our clients. My family would say that I was obsessive, and they wish that I could relax more, however I have poured my heart and soul into growing and sustaining this business.

I was blessed to have parents, teachers and coaches who believed in me from a very young age, and who always instilled in me the confidence to do and accomplish whatever I set my mind to do.

I feel that a lack of confidence holds many businesses back, particularly among women leaders.

If I could ask one thing of all of you tonight, I would ask that you help just one girl to believe in her abilities to lead. Outdoor recreation has been a big part of my life, and it is a proven formula to building self confidence in young people, especially girls. So please invite a girl to go hiking, biking, skiing, or snowshoeing with you, and tell her she can dream big and accomplish her goals in life.

Thank you again for this tremendous honor. It has recharged my desire to take my business to the next level and to achieve great things for our clients, and for the State of Maine.