The State of Indiana last week gave its highest honor to DeWayne Woodring, longtime executive director of the Religious Conference Management Association.
For more than 50 years, Indiana governors have used the Sagamore of the Wabash Award to recognize those who have rendered distinguished service and made outstanding contributions to society. Among those who have received Sagamores have been U.S. presidents, astronauts, ambassadors, and university chancellors.
The award presentation took place Thursday night in Louisville, Ky., at RCMA’s 35th Anniversary World Conference and Exposition.
In accepting the honor, Woodring was visibly moved and surprised. He addressed the audience and compared RCMA’s membership to that of his high school class in Gary, Ind. “We were a diverse lot. Perhaps that’s why [RCMA] means so much to me, because of its diversity. I feel very privileged to know you all.”
The Sagamore’s award proclamation said, in part, that Woodring has been distinguished “by his humanity in living, his loyalty in friendship, his wisdom in council, and his inspiration in leadership.” The proclamation was signed by Indiana Gov. Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr.
The award presentation highlighted a full week of education, motivation, entertainment, and networking. RCMA bestowed its President’s Award on Marjorie Homer, special events coordinator, The Salvation Army, Des Plaines, Ill. The RCMA board selected Fort Worth, Texas, as the site for RCMA in 2010. The conference will be held in Orlando in 2008 and Grand Rapids, Mich., in 2009.