Sunday, March 1, 2015

Looking Back on the Chapter Award Banquet and Installation of 2015 Officers

This year’s Presidents’ Award Banquet was at Ft. Myer on Saturday nite, Feb. 7th.  This was our 41st banquet event and a return to the club at Ft. Myer.  Over 100 of the Harmonizer family attended the buffet banquet.  Keynote speaker for this year was Marty Monson, CEO of the Barbershop Harmony Society.


Our 2014 chapter president Terry Reynolds served as master of ceremonies for the event.  Social hour and was from 7 to 7:45, then Terry invited folks to find their seats at the tables which had been decorated by the FRIENDS IN HARMONY.  One of the tables up front was the table purchased at the silent auction at our holiday show that allowed the purchaser to be seated with our director and guest speaker.  Terry then invited tables to enjoy the buffet and desserts (which included the huge chocolate birthday cake in honor of Harold Weinberger).


After the meal, Terry began the formal program with thanks to the FRIENDS and their president Christina Ammerman; Steve Murane and Alan Wile – his most recent past presidents; and Scipio Garling, his administrative assistant.


Each year this event is hosted by the past presidents of the chapter – thus the name Presidents’ banquet.  There were 11 presidents attending this year: Steve Murane, 2011-12; Brad Jones, 2009; Mick Stamps, 2008; Rick Wagner, 2005; Ken Fess, 2004; Bob Wells, 1996; Chris Buechler, 1995; Terry Jordan, 1984-85; Chuck Harner, 1979-80; Alan Wile, 2013-2007-1997-98; and Jack Pitzer, 1976 (the first Presidents’ Ball was during his term – some years the event has been even more formal and other years it has been a potluck). To continue a tradition begun at the first banquet, each man presented a rose to his wife or significant other as we sang “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.”


Terry shared he “felt like a high school class leader inviting the president of the United States to speak at graduation” when he invited Marty Monson, the fairly new CEO of the BHS to speak at our banquet. When Marty said yes, it was great news.  Marty has been in office about 2 years and has proven he is not afraid to shake things up and challenge the old ways of doing things.  No wonder he was such a good fit for our chapter.  Marty was a major leader of the Hilltop chapter in MN for many years.


When he was introduced there was a little banter about his hiring Harmonizers for the BHS staff as way to take the Alexandria chapter out of the running in the chorus competition.  But everyone knew it was in the spirit of fun from one-great-chapter-to-another.


His remarks about challenges for the BHS and for chapters like ours were on target.


After his spoke, Marty installed the officers and board members for 2015:


President – Terry Reynolds

VP - Chapter Development (Membership) – Rich Hewitt

VP - Music & Performance – Steve White

VP - Operations – Todd Ryktarsyk
VP - Shows – Nick Leiserson
VP - Marketing & PR – Dave Branstetter

Secretary – Chris Buechler
Treasurer – Carl Kauffmann
2014-2015 Members at Large – Ross Felker, Mike Gilmore, who continue from last year

And our first community representatives, 2015-2016 Members at Large

Liz Birnhaum (likely the first female board member of any BHS chapter and currently serving as chair of the chapter’s governance committee)

Paul Dolinsky (our connection with the Masonic Lodge at the George Washington Memorial in Alexandria where we have sung and held events)

John Roots (a leadership and board operation consultant for our board)

Steve Sutton (member of the chapter’s new development committee and brainchild for the successful holiday show fundraiser)

Immediate Past President – Alan Wile


Officers of our FRIENDS IN HARMONY for 2015 are Christina Ammerman, president; Sandra Stamps, immediate past president; Sandi Ulibarri, secretary; and Ellen Dellert, treasurer.


Continuing the award nite, Terry recognized his 2014 board that served with him and provided chapter leadership for a great year!  (See the recent 2014 In Review “Looking Back” column).


The board for 2014 was


President – Terry Reynolds

VP - Chapter Development (Membership) – Jeremy Richardson

VP - Music & Performance – Steve White

VP - Operations – Bob Blair
VP - Shows – Nick Leiserson
VP - Marketing & PR – Noah Van Gilder

Secretary – Chris Buechler
Treasurer – Dave Welter
Member at Large – Ross Felker, Mike Gilmore, and Josh Roots, Greg Tepe

Immediate Past President – Alan Wile


Moving on, Terry introduced the many “riser rats” who continually execute the hard work to set up the risers, sound equipment, refreshments, guest chairs, admin table, screen and av equipment, membership sign-in kiosk and member picture board.


Dean Rust

Dean Sherick

Shawn Tallant

Brian Ammerman

Clyde Crusenberry

Carl Kauffmann

Ross Felker

Howard Nestlerode

Calvin Schnure

Chris Yates

Ken Rub

Reid Livergood

Joel Golden

Don Harrington

Peter Hubbard

Stan Quick

Jeremy Richardson

Bob Rhome

Alan Wile

Bob Blair

Don Dillingham

Mike Edison

Gary Fuller

Craig Kujawa

Craig Odell

Todd Ryktarsyk

Doug White


Terry also acknowledged the musical team of director Joe Cerutti and the assistant directors, section leaders and visual team of row leaders, coach Chuck McKeever and choreographer Carlos Barillo.


Terry used his presidential prerogative to present three Meritorious Service Awards for exceptional service to the chapter. 


The first recipient was Al Herman who has been a member for over 30 years and is one of the rare members that after no longer singing on the risers still makes a major contribution. Al has been a longtime finance committee chair (including budget management).


The second recipient was Rick Savage who has been the tenor section leader for many many years and continues today. He has been instrumental in chorus uniform selection, a front row guy and a champion quartet singer.


The third recipient was Scipio Garling who has provided leadership when it was needed for the board and chapter operations in new areas such as the research for expanding our community relations and board expansion.  He helped prepare the proposal for the BHS to allow us to elect community board members and has assisted the Society in rolling out this program.


And then we honored these recipients of the six chapter memorial awards given each year with a description of the award.


New Note of the Year Award

 (Nominated by the President, VP-Membership/Chapter Development, and VP-Operations; selected by the Board of Directors).  Given to a Harmonizer who has contributed outstanding service to the Chapter in his first year of membership.  All new members for the previous 18 months prior to October 31 of the current year will be considered.  Attendance, attitude, and accomplishments of duties, both volunteer and assigned, shall be considered.


2014 recipient – Todd RyktarsykIt is hard to realize Todd is a new member.  He has integrated himself into work and leadership roles in the chapter. He is in the front row, sings in TBD, helps with sound operations, produced a show and is an officer for the coming year.


Spirit of Harmony Award

 (Selected by the Board of Directors).  Presented to the Harmonizer who during the past year best exemplified the fundamental Society membership qualities of congeniality and good character and worked hardest to encourage participation in vocal harmony by Chapter visitors and members.  The awardee must reflect the spirit and ideals of O.C. Cash (Society founder) by his enthusiasm for good fellowship and good harmony and by his unselfish dedication to and obvious joy in barbershopping.

2014 recipient – Chris Huber – Chris is an unfailing booster of that we do and his enthusiastic spirit was instrumental in getting the Armed Forces Day concert to happen; and was the kingpin behind the tribute for Billie D. Harris and recognition for his widow, Peggy, during our trip to Normandy, France.


Ibbianne and Wilbur Sparks Award

 (Selected by the Board of Directors).  Given to recognize the important contribution of Harmonizer family teams to the success and well-being of the Chapter.  The award will be made only to a truly outstanding team which has contributed greatly both in volume and quality of services over a period of time.  The team can be a Harmonizer and any family member or significant other.

2014 recipient – Christina and Brian Ammerman Christina and Brian have contributed to show productions back stage, with props, and general helpfulness.  They also have helped forge a new and broader identity for our booster club, FRIENDS IN HARMONY, including her election as their president.  She has become manager of our scrip fundraiser program.


Harmonizer Honor Award

 (Selected by the Board of Directors).  Given to a Harmonizer for service which is above and beyond the usual service expected of members during the past year.  It is not intended as a reward for discharging a single specific duty, but for continuous service in several activities.


2014 recipient – Randall ElliasonRandall came to us after years of barbershop experience in other chapters, but he jumped right in and became a part of our chapter as a leader who gets things done.  He helped with visuals, was co-chair of the successful silent auction in December, and organizer of the Armed Forces Day concert before we left for Normandy.


Oz Newgard Memorial Award

 (Nominated by the President, VP-Music & Performance, and Musical Director; Selected by  the Board of Directors).  Presented in memory of Oz Newgard (Musical Director 1962-70).  It is given to the Harmonizer who has made a significant contribution to the musical program of the Chapter during the past year.  The awardee's contribution need not be highly visible or of a technical musical character, but it must be related directly to the musical program. It should show the intent to make the musical program superior and enjoyable for all members.  The awardee should be a dedicated Harmonizer who has endeavored to improve the Chapter image in the Society and in the Alexandria community through musical excellence.  Any Harmonizer who has been a chapter member for more than one year shall be eligible for the award.


2014 recipient – Carlos Barillo Carlos joined as a singer but soon offered to help us in other performance matters to a point where he has become our visual coach, choreographer and teacher.  His skills and talents expand our performances as well as those of other chapters in the BHS.


Harmonizer Memorial Award

 (Selected by the Board of Directors).  Presented in memory of those men who died while members of the Chapter.  It is the highest recognition which the Chapter can bestow on a member.  It is given to the Harmonizer who, during his entire period of chapter membership, has devoted himself most unselfishly in rendering outstanding service to the Chapter.  The award is made only to a truly outstanding member who has regularly attended Chapter activities and who has contributed greatly both in volume and quality of services over a long period of time.

2014 – Brad Jones Brad  has distinguished himself as a contributor in performance leadership, serving as a row captain and quadrant leader for the visual team, and as a music vice president of great accomplishment.  His legal and organizational expertise has helped in a score of positions and a hundred projects.  He’s led us as our chapter president, and has been at the forefront of many of our greatest innovations, including the Youth Harmony Festival, which he’s organized for many years; the Silent Auction, which under his hand has earned the chapter tens of thousands of dollars; and our recent trip to China, which not only gave us a wonderful experience as individuals but has helped change the chapter’s view of itself as a world-class organization and vastly broadened our horizons


Until next time – editorjack!

(This message is prepared for your review if you were there, for your information if you had to miss, and as a historical record of the great things going on each week during the 66th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd.


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