Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Grateful for Dedicated Volunteers

The 2011 Region VI convention, June 20-23, was a huge success!

The Central Iowa chapter prepared a wonderful party for the Region, with everything that makes a great party great. They created plenty of chances for us to celebrate, to gather with friends, to meet new people, to explore new places and ideas, to have stimulating conversations, to commiserate with colleagues, to learn and be inspired, and to relax and have fun. Wonderful memories are made of the faces and the compliments of all of us who returned home inspired and motivated because we attended this party. It was a life-changing event for me personally, and I know I’m not the only one!

For any chapter, the biennial regional party is a lot to take on. But like any good party you might throw at your house, the end results are worth the sacrifice! My colleagues in Des Moines have told me they agree that this major accomplishment and the friends they made along the way are truly significant for their chapter and for the arts in their city. AGO members, the media, and the public responded to the chapter's offerings with terrific enthusiasm last month. The tremendous goodwill generated by this party will benefit Des Moines and the Central Iowa chapter for many months and years to come.

As I led the regional meeting during the banquet on the convention's closing evening, I was moved to tears by the dedication of the many volunteers who made this party possible. Their -- still smiling! -- faces and positive attitudes caused in me a feeling of immense gratitude for each of them and their talents. Despite the inevitable challenges that arose during their 3-1/2 year preparation for the party, the Central Iowa chapter and convention steering committee remained dedicated to the task and the bigger picture of why they were doing it all. And the results were STELLAR! If you missed this convention, visit the convention website to see photos and a summary of the week -- and plan to come to the next party, June 18-20, 2013, in Springfield, Missouri!

What immense gratitude we should all have for the dedicated volunteers at every level of the Guild! Just as one chapter, however large or small, can positively affect the arts in a city, the AGO, an organization full of dedicated volunteers, can and does positively affect our nation and world. Here is the list of the volunteers in regional leadership in Region VI. They were introduced at the regional meeting last month, and they began their two-year terms on July 1.

Regional Coordinator for Education: Jeremy Chesman

Regional Coordinator for Professional Development: Claudette Schiratti

District Conveners:
Eastern Colorado: Gerald Holbrook
Iowa: TBD (Do you live in Iowa? Are you interested in this volunteer opportunity? Contact me.)
Kansas: Gary Huffman
Minnesota: John Salveson
Missouri: Stephen Mager
Nebraska: Charles Cohen
North Dakota: Peggy Johnson
South Dakota: Michael Elsbernd
Wisconsin: TBD (Do you live in Wisconsin? Are you interested in this volunteer opportunity? Contact me.)
Wyoming: Beverly Reese

Their complete contact information will be available soon on the AGO's national website. I highly encourage you to get to know them as part of YOUR personal network of supportive colleagues. And please join me in grateful thanks for their dedication to the Guild and its members -- you and me!

Immensely grateful,