After a friendly social hour with continual new arrivals, the agenda kicked off with the Open Meeting of the Section. In the only official business for the Section at large, Leah O’Brien announced that she had nominated our section to host the 2022 Midwest Regional Meeting, a mere 11 years after the last time. That hosting experience was a great success for meeting attendees, exhibitors, and the Section itself, so it’s hard to understand why some in attendance who had been involved in 2011 half-jokingly spewed creative excuses to avoid the next one. A hosting committee of fresh faces up for a rewarding challenge would be a wonderful idea.
The Board of Directors meeting was mercifully short, essentially wrapping up just as dinner was served, and leaving the fun stuff for “dessert”:
- Myron Reese was recognized as the “St Louis Section Outreach Volunteer of the Year”.
- Before retaking his seat, Myron Reese was further recongized with the “St Louis Section Distinguished Service Award” which will be conferred at Recognition Night in March.
- Joe Ackerman gave the Henry Godt Memorial Lecture. Little back-story here: the original secret speaker cancelled sick on short notice, and Joe was the only one foolish enough to respond to Jim O’Brien’s whimpers. Joe’s talk was not the traditional lighthearted-year-in-review. It was instead a lighthearted-path-to-success involving three essential elements: talent, determination, and fun. Each element came with its own anecdote, and it was hard to tell who was enjoying it more: Joe or everyone else. For anyone who didn’t know him, this was an excellent introduction to the new Chair-elect.
- With great relief, Jim O’Brien passed the book and gavel, sacred implements of the Chair, to Pegah Jalili for her year at the helm.
Adjourned, we diffused into the night.