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May 05

President’s Message - April 2017

Posted on May 5, 2017 at 10:03 AM by Denice Cox

Grand Rapids, Michigan was the site of the 2017 IIMC Region V Conference. It is also will be the site of the 2021 IIMC Annual Conference. Seventy Clerks from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana attended this conference, the first in this region in many years, The conference began with an Athenian Dialogue facilitated by Stephen French, MMC, from the Hillsdale. The book was 31 days: Gerald R. Ford, the Nixon Pardon, and a Government in Crises. This was am excellent book and the fact that the dialogue was held at the Gerald R. Ford Museum made it surreal. We were also privileged to hear about President Ford from the museum’s curator, Donald Holloway. Holloway spoke about the many different exhibits and the fact that this venue is different than any other presidential museum. The majority, if not all the other Presidential museums and libraries are located in the same place. This one is not. The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library is actually located in Ann Arbor. It was an experience walking through history. I would highly encourage you to visit this, or any of the Presidential Libraries. A special thank you goes to Steve French for doing a phenomenal job facilitating his first dialogue.

Michigan President Sarah Bydalek, MMC, Walker, MI,and her entire team, did a great job in all facets of this conference. The facility, The Amway Grand Plaza Hotel (the same site that the 2021 IIMC conference will be held) was absolutely beautiful. President Bydalek arranged a great education program. Michelle L. Steffes, from IPC Consulting, guided us through a great day discussing how we can avoid burnout. That afternoon, Steffes offered many great tools that will help to empower leadership. Concluding the education component were current Region V Directors Mary Johnston, MMC, Westerville, OH, and Robbie Hume, MMC, Lawrenceburg, KY, and past Region V Director Terri Kowal, MMC, Auburn Hills, MI, who facilitated a Crucial Conversations Roundtable. The entertainment was awesome too. What made this entertainment even more remarkable was that, while the two-man band entertained us with music from all genres, one of the band members painted a portrait of the Grand Rapids skyline while also singing. Now, he did have some help with the painting from many of the Clerks in attendance, including yours truly. An auction was held for that painting and I could not have been happier to bring that painting back home to New Jersey! Thanks to President Bydalek and her team for a great conference.

Well, here we are, just seven short weeks from our 2017 IIMC conference in Montreal. I cannot be more pleased with the responses we’ve received. We are getting close to selling out! As I continue to receive conference updates from our dedicated IIMC staff, I can assure you that this is going to be a conference like no other. This conference, the first outside the United States since 2004 when we were in Whistler, BC, will have many of the usual events such as the All-Conference event and the Annual Banquet. But there will also be changes to various other events including the Montreal Mingle (previously the Presidents Welcome Reception) and the Opening Ceremony. I think you will be overjoyed with these changes as we incorporate much of the Montreal culture into these events. If this conference will be your first travel experience outside the United States, you could not have picked a better place. Montreal is an extremely safe and walkable city, at any time of day and night. From any of the conference hotels, you can walk to many of Montreal’s magnificent and historic sites. While in this beautiful city, I encourage you to embrace the culture, food and all the history for which Montreal is known. You will grow immensely from the experience.
Vincent Buttiglieri, MMC
IIMC President

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