After nine years of editing, this is my last issue.
When I began working on the magazine in 2001, RCMA Executive Director DeWayne Woodring told me that great friendships are formed through RCMA. That certainly was true for me.
Editing the magazine was a year-round endeavor, but my memories were made at the annual convention.
I will miss the people and events from the last week of January, beginning with RCMA staff members Judy Valenta and Debbie Hochstetler, who were the first people I would see when I arrived on Monday of RCMA week; spending time with you at RCMA was a treat. Likewise with Donna Woodring, Barbara Main, and Judy Bigelow, whose abilities and good cheer are integral to the conference's success.
On Tuesday morning of RCMA, I would reunite with Dan Carr and Norm and Joanne Seger, who played important roles in RCMA's Behind-the-Scenes experiences and in tending to dozens of other tasks. Invariably Dan and I would chat on Friday morning and share thoughts on how the week had gone.
Tuesday afternoon was my favorite part of RCMA: going on one of the city tours, seeing the sights, and making new friends on the bus.
Thursday night's gala was great fun, too. Our deadline for Friday's RCMA newspaper was 6 p.m., so I would know in advance who was going to receive the President's Award, which is always a closely held secret. As RCMA's president would begin reading the honoree's bio, I would train my gaze on the recipient and watch his or her reaction of surprise. That was a thrill, every year.
The week would come to an end on Friday morning; it was a bittersweet moment when newspaper staffers Kristen Payson, Bob Andelman, and I would lock our office door one last time, turn in our keys, and say farewell.
I want to thank Betsy Bair and Melissa Fromento, the editorial director and publisher of RCM and the MeetingsNet publications. In my opinion, you are unsurpassed in your dedication to the meetings industry, which is made stronger because of your efforts.
Thank you to Judy Valenta and Debbie Hochstetler. Whenever I needed anything, you provided it right away.
Finally, thank you to DeWayne Woodring, who always was and always will be “Dr. Woodring” to me. Over the course of nine years, you patiently and steadily taught me the art and science of meeting planning. I will miss our wide-ranging, always-interesting conversations.
I hope I will cross paths again with all of you. I look forward to it.