Thank you, thank you, thank you! You outdid yourselves and created yet another incredible conference. I am proud to work with some of the most talented and dedicated volunteers in California. This event requires a great deal of your time, and you voluntarily donate it.
I know full well how much works goes into each committee, and that all of you have huge tasks. I realize each committee knows how much work it must do, and I know that each is instrumental in making our conference a success. I truly wish I could pay each of you what you deserve, but I understand and cherish your love for our community.
I know some of you will move on to other projects, and I relaize I can't expect each of you to take on this project every year (not including Mrs. Yarbrough, Lola and Phoebe; please hang in there with me). Those of you who can continue to volunteer, please know that I need you, but more importantly, our community needs you. I hope and pray that your involvement in this conference gives you exposure, experience, and an assurance that you are needed. I hope this work helps d you in other ways.
Again, thank you for a wonderful, wonderful conference. I am grateful to each of you!!
We will have a debriefing meeting at 9:30 a.m., Friday November 4, at the Jackie Robinson Center. I will provide you information regarding that meeting in a separate e-mail.
Executive Assistant to Teena Hostovich: Gwen Abbott is an absolutely amazing person. She epitomizes professionalism, in her action, work product, and appearance (check those shoes!). She became a strong support system for the conference, going beyond the call of duty to edit the script, schedule, and fulfill a host of management projects that allowed Teena to be as involved and engaged on a day-to-day basis. We can't thank you enough, Gwen, for your invaluable contribution to the success of this conference.
AV/Lighting and Sound Tech Crew: Dyke Redmond, you know how to produce a first-class show; your visual was perfect! Wherever one sat, you could see the proceedings just as well as a person at Table 1.
Dyke, thank you for all the site visits you conducted, all the coordination with the Convention Center, and your reasonable budget, in light of our financial constraints. Because of the savings you provided us, we could have the drop screen at the conference. Thank you for working with us and making the event a success. Because of your work in putting the entire event on DVD, we can archive it. Dyke, how can we order a DVD? Would you please work with Charlene to put it on our website?
Again, thank you, thank you, thank you!
Designers: Angela Dean and Ron Pearlman: Angela Dean, you are my dear friend. I called you for a favor, and you said, "What do you need? I am here to help you!" I asked if you would produce the fashion show for the Women's Health Conference. You did not hesitate, and what a show it was! We never could have afforded your production fee, but you gave unconditionally. We hope the experience was worth your time, and that you were pleased with the event. We love you, and thank you for a lovely show. Friends always!
Ron, Liverpool Jeans stepped in and provided a sponsorship, as well as such cute apparel. The ladies looked beautiful, and you completed the show magnificently. We are grateful for your partnership and support!
Conference Assistants: Mrs. Yarbrough and Denise Morey, Wow! You were my backbone, providing the follow up and dedication for an event like this that could not have come about without you.
Mrs. Yarbrough, you heard what was needed, and took care of it almost before I asked her to help. You just replied, "I already have that taken care of," or "I am already on top of that." Denise, you have to deal with me every day, how do you do it? Words cannot begin to express my gratitude. Thank you for putting up with me every day and always returning to do a stellar job!
Reservations: Denise Morey, you did a stellar job. This was the assignment that no one wanted, and you handled it gracefully, making sure that each committee member hosting a table was on their "A" game. Your follow through was impressive, and I am grateful to have you on my team. I really like the certificates that were placed on every table thanking the table hosts. We will continue to use those in the future.
Expo Booths/Vendors: Gerry Sudduth and Bessie Rush Johnson, the work and time you put into coordinating these vendors were amazing: having each vendor complete their application; researching each vendor to make sure they were a good fit; follow-up calls; site visits; designing the floor plan; personal contact with each vendor; arranging lunch; preparing your volunteer job description, and coordinating with other chairs to finalize your project. You made those tasks seem so easy. I applaud your committee, you really exceeded my expectations!
This was the first year that every vender who signed up actually appeared, and that was because you did exactly what needed to be done. You made direct contact with every vendor and maintained that line of communication. You listened, you got it, and you made it happen. Everything I asked of you was on point and submitted in a professional way throughout the planning and the day of the conference. Again, thank you for a job well done!
Swag Bags: Stella Pulliam, you stepped in once again this year and ensured that the items we received in the swag bag were top-notch. We had lovely and fun items, and no throw-aways. You pulled together your own team and conducted inventory of all the items, managed arranging a site location to house all of them, arranged for pick up and delivery to the convention center. The overall execution was outstanding. You went beyond the call of duty, and found new in-kind donors; you really embraced this project. Again, thank you for a job well done!
Program Book: Jerry Robins, your design and patience in producing the program book was very well done. You designed news ads and recreated old ones to fit for this year. You were very professional in dealing with so many people, who were providing you with information. As always, the program book was a smashing success! Again, thank you so much , Jerry!
Workshop Speakers and Moderators: Wanda Wheeler, how did you do all of this? You were amazing in connecting with all the workshop speakers, selecting the right ones, assigning space location, preparing correspondences, working to arrange computer set-up, audio and making all the necessary follow-up phone calls. You identified moderators, connected with each one, and training them all.
Volunteer Coordinators: Lola Warlick-Byrant, Phoebe Brauer and Mrs. Yarbrough, Wow! You are an amazing team. You made the conference work; everything ran smoothly because of you. The Booth Team could not stop telling me how great their volunteers were. I want to give each of you a personal shout out!
Lola, you have been with this conference since the beginning, and your students are amazing, well organized and have great personality. Phoebe, you were a Godsend, taking the leadership role last year and maintaining it this year. On the day of the conference, you managed the volunteers and made things happen; all the volunteers love you. Mrs. Yarbrough, you were the glue, the chief, and you oversaw the entire conference, making sure every little detail was dealt with. You did the heavy lifting, and I can't thank you enough; you and the incredible valuable volunteers have been there from the very beginning of this conference. I feel that the event can't happen without you. Great job, Volunteer Team!
Audio Visual: Zenobia Millet, you are the most resourceful person I know. You really know how to step in, make an assessment, and then take action. You are a no-nonsense person, and that is what is necessary to make the event a success. Your resources are endless, and I can't begin to thank you for making the conference a true 21st-century event. You took us to a whole new level, and I am grateful to have you on our team.
Fashion Show: Corina Mena and DeBorrah Carter, what can I say about this team? You were the show stoppers! Corina, I called on you to co-chair with DeBorrah, and you came through with your usual style and grace and made it happen! Corina, I will be forever grateful for how you pulled things together; you put in a great deal of time, and your commitment and friendship is unconditional. You are a real friend. You and DeBorrah did an magnificent job: identifying the models; interviewing them; setting up fittings; meeting with designers; taking photos; conducting site visits, and working with set designers, the sound and lighting team, and fashion designers. There were so many pieces to pull together for the fashion show, and you ladies did it in record time. The show was the highlight of the conference; it was absolutely lovely. It was timely, smooth and beautiful. Thank you!
Web Designer: Charlene Brown, thank you so much for designing a marvelous, state-of-the-art website. You make us look good. You do a great job in working with all the chairs, ensuring that all the information was posted on the website in a timely fashion, and you designed the information in a way that is so pleasing to the eye. Again, thank you for being on our team.
Press and Marketing: Linda, you made us look good; we came over as an adult conference. We are consistently working to become more visible in the community, and you are making that happen. You worked tirelessly to design the press materials and liaise with ABC-7. You made things happen, and we are forever grateful. We appreciate all your detailed work, like working to get the script ready, assisting Denise Dador from ABC-7 in setting up interviews, meeting with the press at the conference and keeping track of who needed to be interviewed. There were countless projects you worked on that made the event a success. Thank you so much!
Program Speakers: Denise Cook, you stepped in at the last minute and worked directly with the program speakers, contacting each one, greeting them at the conference, and ensuring that they stayed on point. Your work with Jerry, to ensure that we had materials from all the funders for the ad section of the program book, was terrific; you just know how to make things happen. You stepped up on event day and made important announcements regarding the workshops, greatly helping attendees by clarifying workshop times. You just know how to step in at the right moment in order to make things run smoothly. Thank you for being on our team.
Decorations: Alma Stokes, once again you did a marvelous job in working with the school to provide the decorations. The room looked beautiful; you not only did decorations, but did so much more-from volunteering, recruitment, and outreach, to early morning set-up. Thank you for being a great team member.
Honorable Mentions to Rene Lawton Richard, Celestine Walker, Elise Mallory, Norma Bell, Carol DeuPree, Rosario Quintanilla Vior, Kristen Pugh, Valeria Burwell, Rosa Hernandez, Lorie Lieberman, Dorothy Panton, Nasly Zelaya, Esther Arias McDowell, Teresa Samaniego, Katy Townsend, Gwendolyn McMullins, Mother Love, The Moderators, and the Valuable Volunteers. These are the people who worked so diligently and effectively with the chairs and me to make our event a success! You are all amazing individuals, who I absolutely respect and love working with. I count it a privilege to work with each of you.