Convention would not be possible without the concerted and significant efforts of several individuals. I hope you’ll join me in thanking them for all they’ve done to provide a rich, engaging and organized experience for your students.
First and foremost, Keith Schiebel, VVS FFA and the VVS Community went above and beyond every request to make sure they provided an experience that screamed hospitality, preparation and spirit. From outstanding meal service to turning their red and white school to blue and gold. There were an abundance of judges, a wealth of volunteers and efforts made by every single person to assure that the convention was better than ever. Because of VVS, nearly 80 jackets were hung, props were raised and lowered, volunteers stayed late into the night to manage lights and sound and much, much more.
Todd Lighthall and the FFA Foundation worked diligently to return the FFA VIP Reception to convention again this year. On the heels of last year’s exciting event, this year’s showcase of our retired teachers created a real sense of community. I strongly think this is going to be a key event for the future of our foundation efforts and am so proud of the work Todd does to make it possible.
Tina Miner-James and Kaylie Ackerley worked together to prepare materials for and manage Career Development Events this year. On site, Aubrey Whittaker (Cornell Ag Ed Major) and Cathy Jones-Brimmer (executive treasurer) joined Kaylie and spent hours organizing, collecting and managing results so information could be provided quickly and accurately.
Cornell Students Amber Wynkoop, Danielle Sanok and Morgan Shaver took major leadership roles during the convention, organizing and managing components of the sessions and other volunteers. On site, a team of volunteers from several states took responsibility for running pre-sessions, helping with seating, organizing and overseeing nominating committee and running information throughout the convention. SUNY Cobleskill’s Brandon Aldous, Josh Draves, Mary Foote, Tracee Schiebel and Maggie Smith joined Nick Feidt from SUNY Morrisville and Corinne Ogle, Joe Killian, Corey Reed and Matt Sweeney from Cornell as our team of diligent and enthusiastic volunteers.
CDE Coordinators ranging from industry representatives to ag teachers worked hard to provide students with a challenging and engaging CDE Experience. With as many contests as we have, it’s impossible to think our office could organize them all. CDE Participation is the number one activity by participation at the State FFA Convention (aside from sessions) and more than 25 coordinators devoted time and attention to making them valuable.
Last, but certainly not least I’d like to thank Shari Lighthall. Shari is the longest-standing member of our team and her organizational skills, commitment to students and untiring ability to multi-task are essential to our success in any event – but especially the convention. Without her, none of this would have been possible.