Party in Portsmouth & Board/Annual Meetings
The Renaissance Portsmouth Hotel and Waterfront Conference Center, featuring stunning views of the Elizabeth River, proved to be the perfect venue for the 2013 NNCA Board of Directors and Annual Meeting held May 1 – 4, 2013. As the NNCA Board of Directors arrived on Tuesday afternoon, they were greeted in the rotunda by SMANNCA members and event co-coordinators Sue Roper and Ellen Shebuski-Tolton. On Wednesday morning, the board went to work in the beautiful Washington Room that featured plush high-back leather chairs and a large wood-grain conference table. Marsha Hughes-Rease guided the members during this first day’s executive session that focused on the NNCA strategic plan. The board continued to meet throughout Thursday and Friday, attending to the business of the association. “From the time we arrived,” remarked NNCA President Barbara O’Brien, “the needs of the Board of Directors were met in an outstanding fashion.”
Located a short walk from the board meeting room, the NNCA merchandise room opened its doors on Thursday. Managed by Julia Pickering, Kit Tate and Trudy Vering, sales of NNCA-specific merchandise were brisk and profitable. This room also served as a perfect setting for reuniting with friends and sharing stories, past and present. Information about attractions and restaurants, in both Portsmouth and Norfolk, were readily available.
Thursday evening, a meeting of the SMANNCA 2013 NNCA Event Volunteers was held in Sue Roper’s room. This well attended, lively event featured “fine wines”, compliments of Nancy Harms, accompanied by a wide-array of yummy snack foods. This spirited occasion was joyous and fun, with laughter echoing throughout the hotel hallway on the 17th floor.
Although Friday evening brought overcast skies, misty rain and cooler temperatures, event attendees walked the short distance from the hotel to the “757 Crave On The Harbor” for a one-of-a kind “island style” buffet dinner featuring confetti salad, Mama Yoni’s lumpia, crab and cheese wontons, chicken adobo with sides of island garlic fried rice and teriyaki glazed stir fried vegetables. The NNCA members were joined by active duty nurses stationed at Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth for the opportunity to honor and celebrate Navy nurses. A free raffle was held and winners were delighted with prizes of gold-embossed Navy Nurse Corps oak leaf note card box-sets. The final winner of the raffle drawing, Nancy Curll, took home the biggest prize of all – a miniature solar-powered hula doll, and had the honor of wearing the “SMANNCA Silver Crown.” “The island style dinner on Friday evening was an extra bonus,” observed Barb O’Brien. “Everyone who attended had a great time and it was a wonderful opportunity to network and see former colleagues.”
On Saturday May 4, 2013, NNCA President Barbara O’Brien called the Annual meeting to order. Newly elected board members, Sandra Bibb, JoAnn Smith and Dan Wasneechak were introduced. “Thank yous” and farewells were extended to departing board members Dennis Sullivan, Carol Carney and Gerri Muki. NNCA officers for 2013 – 2014 were announced: President Barbara O’Brien, Vice President Anne Gartner, Secretary Terri White and Treasurer Susan McCord. Kim Lyons was introduced as the new Executive Director (ED) and Carlos Torres was presented a gift in recognition for his 5 years of service in the ED role.
Immediately following the Annual Meeting, event guests were ushered into the hotel’s Holley Banquet Room where they were greeted by charming patriotic center pieces and individual place settings featuring a commemorative bookmark, homemade oak-leaf-shaped candies, and handmade anchor napkin rings. Following welcoming remarks by SMANNCA President Karen Douglas, the Pledge of Allegiance and a benediction offered by John Dixon, guests began savoring their meals of chicken and salmon. Discussions among the luncheon attendees were lively and the guests easily reconnected with old and new friends.
The Navy Nurse Corps 105th Birthday celebration would not be complete without the traditional cake cutting ceremony. Retiring NNCA Executive Director Carlos Torres and newly appointed NNCA Executive Director Kim Lyons shared the honor of cutting the exquisite cake specially designed for the occasion.
“Hats Off” to the entire SMANNCA chapter for a great Board of Directors’ meeting and General Membership meeting venue,” commented NNCA President Barbara O’Brien. NNCA Vice President Anne Gartner added “This 2013 off-year reunion and annual meeting was such a memorable one and I want to thank the Southern Mid-Atlantic Navy Nurse Corps Association chapter for their great support of this event.”