We arrived this morning to the beautiful Gaylord Hotel in National Harbour. It is a great location 20 mins from DC with it's own little city surrounding the Hotel. Lots of shopping and restaurants and the sunny day and warm weather brought many people out to walk the shores of the Potomac.
It will be a busy week, starting with meetings tomorrow and carrying on right to the big night on Saturday when I stand before you as President of the AACD.
Time has gone by so quickly, it seems like only yesterday I was elected vice president...where did 2 years fly by? I hope this year is fun, exciting and productive.
I certainly have big shoes to fill, both figuratively and literally. John Sullivan has done a great job this year and we will be spending Tuesday at his last official Board meeting, and again on Tuesday at the Leadership dinner reminding him of how much he is appreciated, respected and admired by us all.
I came to the sudden realizaion on Saturday that two things have happened, without me realizing it.
Firstly, sitting at the computer and on the phone working on Academy stuff the last 2 years has taken its toll. As I climbed from the top of the waterfall down the escarpment into the Gorge to photograph Webster's falls I reallized how out of shape I was.
The second realization was...I'm not getting any younger! Normally I would be immersed in nature intent on capturing images, and yet this time I found myself spending an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out how I was going to climb back up!
I am feeling better today, the muscles have stopped screaming and now just give me a mild whimper on every step. My heart stopped racing by Sunday afternoon and the bruising on my shoulder from carrying the tripod and lens case up the wall of the escarpment (there were rock stairs) well, it will probably just be there forever!
I am so excited with 2 weeks to go. I have come to the realization that setting the agenda for the Board meeting is a lot more difficult than it appears, as it really sets the tone for not only what we accomplish as far as decisions on housekeeping items. but truly determines the direction tha academy will take for many months to come. These decisions have been not taken lightly and in fact one tends to spend the entire Presdient Elect year thinking about it.
It is hard to believe it is almost here. The ducks are in a row, just need some fine tuning. I have a few speeches to give and I would like to try to memorize them and not need to speak from notes, but sadly, with a lecture coming up on the 26th of the month, travelling for my daughter's engagment party to Calgary this weekend and all the other things I have to accomplish, that may not be possible.
I was just reminded, that my other full time job awaits and the patient is in the chair...John Sullivan was a master this past year of keeping his practice time a priority. I keep trying to apply the lesson....but alas...I'm just having too much fun with the AACD and I am thinking how nice it would be to take a year off of practice and be a full time AACD President.....I also regularly dream of winning the lottery! More next week!
Busy busy busy!
Lots of phone calls, meetings and planning.
I have begun to set up the Presidential Ad Hoc committees for the coming year and I'm diligently working on the population of those committees as well as the directives.
Also working on all the organizational apects of board orientation, the agenda for the first two board meetings and starting to arrange for some guest speakers to come in and talk to the Board, and of course I still have to write my speech for the Gala....Ricki told me to keep it short so we can all have more dancing and eating time and less sitting around and being bored time....figured I would show some of my photography and that may ease the pain a little! Ha Ha! I have some fun ideas that are coming together for La Grand Entrance! Don't miss it!
This weekend I will take Saturday to photograph some beautiful waterfalls around the Hamilton Ontario area, Sunday will be devoted to AACD stuff...don't worry folks, I'm not slacking off! (anyone who knows me understands how funny that is! I have already recieved complaints that the AACD staff are having a hard time keeping up with me!)
Very proud to let all of you know that the beautiful women I will be sitting with at my table at the Gala will be My wife Ricki, our friend Susan, and almost all my children....Jax and Lindz are flying in from California, Amanda from Toronto, sadly Ryan will be in the middle of exams in London England and will not be able to join us.
Can't wait to see you all.
So far so good with the blog!....two weeks in a row! A model of consistency! LOL
It has been a very busy time as I prepare to step into some very big shoes. John Sullivan has done a wonderful job this year. He has provided a tremendous calm influence and has been a huge success as President of this Academy. I only hope I can do as well. Thanks John and congratulations on a fantastic year!
I must also commend our staff who continue to do a fantastic job running this academy from the direction that is set by the Board. Ed Simeone and his staff are just simply amazing with their expertise and passion for the academy. Congratulations and thank you to you all. this academy would not be what or where it is if it wasn't for all of you.
Many appointments must be recommended for committees and boards, meetings and agendas must be planned, and there have been many phone calls and meetings in preparation. Of course there is the introduction at the Gala on Saturday night to think about as well as a short speech....no longer than 1 hour I was told! LOL! It will be fun and not to be missed! I'll give you a hint, if you are a "Smartie" you will be there!
Ricki has been awesome in her understanding of the time I am spending on Academy business and I must thank her and the family for their support and understanding. Wait till you see the dress she bought for the Gala, all eyes will certainly be on her!
Ricki and I attended the University of Toronto Alumni Association dinner this weekend and had a wonderful time. We managed to raise almost 200K to assist patients in need. BTW, we didn't win the raffle for the trip to Italy. There is always next year!
Last weekend I did manage to get out and do some photography and it was very busy and successful, not the usual for a "Nature" photographer. We managed to find a female moose a snowy owl, a wolfpack, and a porcupine which was friendly and hilarious while eating a sycamore branch! (no they can't shoot the quills)
I am regularly asked what my plans are for my year, and there are several areas we as a BOD and the other areas of leadership will be focusing on this year, however I will share with you that I have one main goal in mind, that while we strive to achieve greatness, we have lots of fun doing it!
I will try to Keep this blog going during the course of the year on a fairly regular basis to keep those who may be intereseted informed as to what goes on behind the scenes. Although this is not my primary skillset and so, if I get busy and let this slide a little, please send me a gentle reminder!
One month to go! I am truly honoured and excited.