Letter from the President
The Historic 30thAnniversary 2017 National Convention in Philadelphia, PA was PHENOMENAL!!! The theme: Celebrating 30 Years of Success, Moving Forward, Exceeding the Vision” was right on time for the occasion. Congratulations to the Eastern Region and especially the Philadelphia/South Jersey Chapter for all your hard work in planning and executing this historic event. The training offered along with the special brand of Philly flavor, style, and music was well received by the attendees. The Postal Choir set the tone and energized the attendees right from the beginning. Next were opening remarks from the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, David E. Williams followed by perennial favorites–the Officer’s Panel, PCES Roundtable, and “Spotlight on You.” All offered participants first-hand information from Postal Leadership and provided a forum for attendees to talk about and learn about what is happening in the US Postal Service today and plans for the future. New to the convention this year was the Executive Pairs, a session that provided a one on one with Postal Executives. The conference also afforded attendees the opportunity to sell themselves and exchange ideas and information with other employees through out the organization. As always, executives were recruiting and looking for talented individuals to consider career opportunities in their Area or District.
Postmaster General and CEO, Megan Brennan could not be with us, but she asked the COO, Dave Williams to open the convention on her behalf. He stressed that the Postal Service is committed to fostering diversity at all levels of the organization. Also, that the USPS is proud to represent a diverse employee population. One that will endeavor to embrace an inclusive environment that recognizes and values the richness of people’s viewpoints, experiences, cultures, and backgrounds. A-PLUS presented PMG Megan Brennan with the first ever A-PLUS National Diversity Award, for her continued efforts at the highest level of the organization to make sure diversity is valued. We hope that there will be others to follow and receive this award in the future.
Special thanks to Chief Information Officer Kristin Seaver, Eastern Area VP Joshua Colin and Great Lakes Area VP Jacqueline Krage Strako who participated in the convention and all the other postal leaders who participated and/or attended the convention. Thanks to our retirees for your continued commitment and support to the future of the Postal Service and to the professional development of A-PLUS members and the continued legacy of this great organization. We thank our sponsors who support us and help us do what we do: Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), USPS Diversity, Atlanta Postal Credit Union (APCU), and Long Term Care (LTC), and our contributors and vendors.
We were honored to pay tribute to the Founders of A-PLUS at the Founder’s Luncheon. We were blessed to have eight of the nine living Founders present at the luncheon along with some of their spouses and family members. Founders present at the luncheon included: Billy G. Anderson, Eloise P. Miller-Bonner, Jacob Rahming, Floretta E. Reed, Georgie T. Rucker, William “Pete” Stokes, Johnny F. Thomas, and Angelo Wider. Founder Judy Walker was unable to attend. Each of the founders was presented with an engraved miniature replica of the Buffalo Soldier Bronze Remington Statue. Also the A-PLUS National Board honored Johnny F. Thomas with the first ever “Lifetime Member” classification in A-PLUS. Everyone loved the “What you gonna do about it?” buttons that were passed out at the luncheon. A quote made famous by Mr. Thomas as he challenged each of the founding members to take action. Thanks and appreciation to Convention Chair Lou Curry, the convention committee, and Executive VP Theo Best for the framed Founder’s Photos on display for the entire convention.
The Parade of Chapters continued with the theme of honoring our Founders and Celebrating 30 Years of Success. Congratulations to all the chapters and the regions for your skits and performances. You touched the Founders who were present and everyone who attended the event.
The Black Tie Gala Heritage Awards Banquet on Sunday evening was a WOW! It truly was a memorable evening. The honoree and recipient of the 2017 A-PLUS National LeGree Daniels Heritage Award was our former National President Deborah Ector. She was elegant, beautiful, humble and gracious as she accepted the award. The music and songs performed by Johnny Crooms and the Band helped to make the evening even more memorable and enjoyable. I want to personally thank my family for coming out to support A-PLUS and me at the banquet. Congratulations and best wishes to my nephew who proposed to his sweetheart at the banquet. Another first and WOW moment!
Moving forward, the 31st National Convention will be held at the Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Airport Hotel, Indianapolis, IN, May 2-6, 2018. The Central Region will be our host and they are already working to plan another exceptional event. Begin making plans to attend now. Other upcoming events include the Eastern Region Conference in Louisville, KY, September 28 – October 1, 2017, and the Southern Region Conference in Houston, TX, October 4-8, 2017. I urge and encourage you to attend, support and take advantage of these great training and networking opportunities.
Nominations are open for all officer positions on the A-PLUS National Board. More information about the election and nomination process is provided in the National Newsletter.
Thank you for your support and everything you do to keep A-PLUS positive and strong.
Henry T. Gibson II
A-PLUS National President