(2022 AWRF President)
Well, we did it!!! The first AWRF in-person meeting in 2-1/2 years! Technically you did it, as yours truly got sick the Friday before the meeting. Thank you to Vice President Patrick Shire for covering for me. A big thank you to all of our members who came to the meeting, as well as all the hard work accomplished by the Board of Directors and JAGwire (AWRF Management Team) who combined efforts to make this meeting a huge success. From all the reports it sounded like I missed one heck of a meeting.
We started out Sunday with the inaugural “Emerging Leaders” cocktail reception. This is a group led by Mike Poroo, Luke Staten and Easton Schlender. It is for members 40 years old and younger, formed to help get the next generation of members involved in all aspects of AWRF. It was an absolute success with over 80 members attending. I look forward to watching the benefits this group will add to our organization and seeing the membership of the Emerging Leaders continue to expand. Nice work folks. Any interested members/companies should reach out to Luke (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Easton (email@example.com) with interest in how to get involved.
Monday, we started the day with a Workout Class – Morning Run organized by (QHSE-Health Committee Chair) Celena Moses. Then we kicked off our PIE which was very successful. We had 90 exhibitors with positive feedback regarding the open layout and different booth size options. We also sold out all 8 “Spotlight” spots. The Cowboy Hat Fitting, Whiskey Tasting, Shoeshine and Golf Simulator were all very well attended. Curt Jabben and Justin Brown (PIE Committee Chairs) did a great job organizing this, as well as all the virtual PIE’s during the last 2 years.
Tuesday was a very busy day. The Programs Committee, headed by Terry Driscoll, put on an impressive morning meeting. Speakers Lisa Ryan, Ross Shafer, Tom Eicher and Mitchem Boles were all very well received. We finally launched the AWRF Accreditation Program and signed the agreement with LEEA. This has been a tremendous effort by Past Presidents Brett Woodland, Knut Buschmann, Jeff Gilbert (also AWRF Chief Executive) and the Technical Committee chaired by Paul Boeckman and cochaired by Tim Klein.
We recognized thirty-three Milestone Members in the 10, 20, 30 and 40-year categories. In addition, we approved 10 new members which is the most I can remember being approved at one time since I’ve been a BOD member. Great job by the Membership Committee Chairs Aaron Bohnert and Brian Dewey.
Emily Gilbert and Caren VanZant organized the Tuesday Casino Night Gala, and it was off the charts! The reports I’ve heard from members and BOD members were terrific. Donnie Bordelon (VanBeest) is still checking his tickets. We raised $14,260.00 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. What a fantastic night for a very special cause. Thank you all for your generosity.
We finished up Wednesday with our Networking Golf Tournament organized by Hugh Yoder. Ninety-two players attended and we also had 11-hole sponsorships. The sponsorships also benefited St. Jude.
Have a fun and safe summer and I look forward to seeing everyone in Philadelphia October 16th – 19th.
553 Lehigh Avenue Union, NJ 07083