President’s Message – Finding Purpose for Selfish Reason

As a three-time president of the OCWS, chair of The Courtyard for the past 12 years and now chair of the Commercial Wine Competition, among other things, one might think I am anything from passionate and committed to a workaholic to someone who should have her head examined. Although I am, in many ways, all of these things, the one description that comes to my mind is selfish.

Selfish because it makes me so happy to have been blessed with the opportunities this organization has afforded me.

I have been a member for 23 years, nine of which I have spent on the Board of Directors. I have crossed paths with hundreds of people I otherwise would never have met in life. I have laughed, cried, argued and worked side by side with the most amazing people from every walk of life, ages 20s through 90s; every race, religion, political affiliation and anything else you can think of; people whose hands and hearts I have had the pleasure and honor to hold and, in turn, they held mine. I have met people with whom I have spent only time volunteering with at OCWS events and people who have now become my dearest friends for, what I pray, is the rest of my life.

If the entire world could only be what this organization is—comprised of caring, loving, compassionate and dedicated people—the world would be a much kinder and happier place. This is what makes the OCWS a success. You, our members are what makes the OCWS a success in so many ways.

Although I am not going anywhere soon (that I am aware of!), my presidency is coming to an end and this is my chance to be selfish again and stand on a soapbox to express my heartfelt love and sincere appreciation for the wine society, all of you, and the opportunity to be so very fulfilled and happy.

THANK YOU for all your support and your confidence in me. And, please, don’t ever forget, I selfishly still love hugs.

—Fran Gitsham