This past year, we have provided multiple educational opportunities to our members, informative dinner speakers, good social times, and an extremely successful Southeastern Regional. If you have not attended all of these events, we have missed you and hope to see you at the events of next year. I am confident that we have moved our chapter and industry forward this year.
As I was preparing to write my last Chairman's message of the year, I started looking back over a list of my predecessors. They have left a rich heritage for all of us to follow. Some of them I know well, some of them I've only heard about, and others I may never know about, but we all share a common interest in the foundry industry. I remember in the past years as Mr. Maurice Neptune (1958) has continued to come to chapter meetings, even after retiring. Then I look down the list and see Mr. Ben Dunning (1978) and remember the stories I've heard about how he loved the industry and the chapter. As I continue, I see Buck Barnhart (1980), Ralph Lyles (1984), Glenn Gardner (1985), and Arthur Edge (1988); all of which made an impression on me from early in my career. I see the names of Mike Sexton (1989), Phil Duke (1991), and Jerry Holcombe (2000) who still appear frequently at meetings. Then, there are the names of Tom Walton (1995), Tommy Horton (1997), Peter Reich (1999), Todd Lyles (2003), Jarek Olszak (2005), John Kersh (2009), Mark Cotton (2010), David Hughes (2011), Ed Boyd (2012), and Donnie Hoffman (2013) who are still being worker bees even when they would be justified in sitting back. In addition to these, there are others who have supported me and given me advice as I've moved through the offices, such as John Clay (1996), Jim Frost (2002), Mike Petrus (2006), and Kevin Crawford (2007). I believe it is safe to say that the Birmingham Chapter has never been at a loss for great leaders. This has everything to do with the dedicated members who make up the chapter!
It has been an honor to server as your 2014/2015 chapter chairman. The Birmingham chapter of the AFS has been an important part of my life and career from the time I was the UAB chapter chairman in 2001. I have made friends, found a network of like-minded people and even ended u with a husband from being involved in the chapter. So many of you have become like family to me over the past few years. Please know that I am eternally grateful for each and every one of you and for our chapter. I hope that I have served you and our heritage well as your first "woman" chairman! It has certainly been a blessing for me to work with such great people!
As we bring this year to a close, I feel confident that I will be turning over the ropes to competent officers. Please embrace them as you have me. We've all had big shoes to fill from officers of the past! I would like to say thank you to those who have come before me and those that will come in the future. No matter our differences, we all share a love for our great industry. I look forward to what the future holds for our chapter and can't wait to continue working with you all!
If any of you have thought about getting more involved and hove not yet done so, quit waiting! The chapter needs you, your ideas, and your leadership! You won't be disappointed. Thank you and I hope to see you all at the May Awards meeting.
Soli Deo Gloria!
2014-2015 Chapter Chairman