I’m so very proud to have been your president for a third term this past year and, although I am no longer the president, I will continue to be as engaged in volunteering for the OCWS as I’ve ever been. My heartfelt thanks go out to all of you who had confidence and trust in me leading the organization, for all your kind words of encouragement and appreciation and the smiles and hugs that sustained me.
On September 8th, I had the honor to help present the state of the organization by way of our annual business meeting on Zoom. For those of you who tuned in, thank you for your interest in the workings and for wanting to know where we have been and where we have now come to over the past two years. If you were unable to join us, a recording of the meeting can be found on our website for your viewing.
One of the honors the president has annually is to present the President’s Award to an outstanding volunteer who has gone over and above during that year. This was, hands down, the hardest decision I had to make this year, and after much internal deliberation and debate, I just couldn’t decide between two people. Hence, at the end of my final term as president, I broke with precedence and awarded the President’s Award to two people who both gave so much of themselves during the 2022-23 board year and the years leading up to this past year.
Teri Lane undertook, what is considered, one of the most challenging, detailed, time-consuming and important roles in the workings of the Commercial Wine Competition, that of heading the wine cataloging. She, in addition, worked with hundreds of volunteers to assure their RBS certification and approval by the fair board to work at the 2023 Courtyard at the OC Fair.
Leslie Hodowanec, for the past five years, has been our scholarship chairperson, which is no small feat. Additionally, she devotes an extraordinary amount of time spearheading the set-up and tear-down of the Courtyard for the fair and, in her spare time, undertook leading the cleaning, purging and organizing of the society’s two 40’ storage containers.
It has been my pleasure to work with both Leslie and Teri and my honor to have awarded each of them the 2023 President’s Award.
I am but one of many presidents who have led the OCWS over the last 48 years and will always be proud to be associated with each and every person who has lent their hands to make us what we are today — a dedicated, talented, heartwarming, caring group of individuals that, as a whole, continue to move to successes and heights never imagined. THANK YOU all for giving me the opportunity to have the fortunate of being among the leaders of the OCWS! I look forward to many more years of volunteering and crossing paths with all of you.