Friday, July 2, 2010

Conference bits: on a personal note

Our PHA staff prepares detailed outlines for each of our plenary sessions. With so much going on, it’s important that our meal and other programming not run over and keep registrants from other activities. I receive and approve those timelines.

At our Friday night dinner, something seemed wrong.

I saw Amanda escorting Pat Paton, one of our founders, to the stage. Staff was also putting a chair on the stage next to the podium. This was not in the script.

The next thing I knew, Pat Paton was inviting me to the stage to sit in the chair. Her presentation was about my 10 years at PHA. While that was quite a surprise, a bigger surprise came a moment later. Pat spoke about my wife, Laura, not being able to attend past Conferences but now she was in the room. I started looking around for a speakerphone. Instead, I saw Laura starting to come up the stairs to the stage. She really was in the room!

Following Pat’s talk, her sister and PHA co-founder, Judy Simpson presented me with a very special plaque. I say special because it includes the names of all the board members I have served with during the past decade.

It was a wonderful surprise and one for which I will always be grateful.

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