I'm on vacation this week but wanted to share thoughts about our 80th annual convention from June 2-3 in Saratoga.
My overall aim, seconded by our hard-working convention programming committee, was to schedule vital and interesting programs that offered a range of appealing choices. We wanted attendees to have good options for each time slot and also to utilize the program platform to showcase the amazing variety of talent in our organization.
Of course, that meant you might have missed a program that you really wanted to see. We plan a reprise for some of them this fall, winter, or next spring. You might also suggest that your region or division choose one to sponsor.
We were also pleased to introduce our new executive director, Deborah Martinez, who just came on board. Those of you who were at the convention had a chance to meet and talk with her. Deb told me that she was able to touch base with many attendees. I'm looking forward to her directorship.
One of the greatest pleasures was the chance to see so many friends and colleagues who live out of the city or who I don't ordinarily run into, and, to meet new colleagues. I think all of us can attest to the thrill of actually meeting a listserv ‘friend.’
It was a particular pleasure to celebrate colleagues who received NYSPA awards. Our past-president, Roy Aranda, won the Alan V. Williams Jr. Memorial Award for his extraordinary service to the organization. And I was also happy to present him with the presidential award for his service last year and for his calm, cool and even steering of our ship of state. Virginia Waters won the Beacon Award and Sabrina Esbitt the Sidney "Bud" Orgel Memorial Award. Joe Scroppo, Pat Dowds and Susan Warshaw received Distinguished Service Awards. Pat also received an award from the Independent Practice Division for her service on their board.
All of us were thrilled to see Lawrence Baker win the Lifetime Achievement Award.
A big thanks to the continuing Education Committee whose members worked tirelessly to make sure that CE credits were ready for this year’s programs.
Finally, with enormous appreciation, I would like to thank Dee Fisher-Golden, Lori Coté, and Sara Wheeler for not only keeping an eye on the big picture but handling all the details that made the convention such a success.
Herb Gingold, PhD