In-Person Events Back in Full Swing at Achieva

Picture of Mary Lou Gegick, Achieva's Board Chair
By Steve Suroviec, President & CEO

A week ago, our first “employee appreciation banquet” in three years was held at the Rivers Casino. The last one held was in the fall of 2019, but since then COVID-19 had led to large-group gatherings like our banquet being cancelled. I’m so glad that we were able to hold such an important event again, and it was great to see so many of our employees there. Playing “musical bingo” for entertainment was different from years past, but I have to admit it was fun. Hearing everyone singing at the top of their lungs, finishing popular song lyrics after the music had stopped, was indeed music to my ears (pardon the pun). It was such a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere! And it was a sight to see when banquet-goers got up to dance to get a free square on their bingo card. After so many years of COVID-related challenges, it was nice to see our valued employees getting together again and having fun.

Picture of Mary Lou GegickThis past July, Trustees met in-person for the first time since March 2020. They elected new officers for the new two-year Board term starting July 1st. Congratulations go to Mary Lou Gegick (photo on the left) who is now serving as Achieva’s Board Chair. Thanks and appreciation go to Chaz Kellem, whose term as Chair ended on June 30th – Chaz will continue his service on the Board as “Immediate Past Chair.” Click here for a complete list of all Achieva trustees.

Other events are now being held again in person. As a chapter of The Arc, Achieva staff, self-advocates, family members, and volunteers have historically attended national Arc events. Achieva’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Gary Horner, and I attended the National Conference of Executives of The Arc (NCE) “Summer Leadership Institute” in Chicago just last month. This was the first in-person NCE event since the pandemic. The Arc’s national convention will be held this November in Denver, Colorado. It’s a great event where Arc members from all around the country come together to discuss the latest trends and issues impacting people with developmental disabilities and their families. Click here for additional information about the convention.

Finally, looking forward during the coming months, Achieva will hold its annual “Million Dollar Golf Outing” on September 19th - we’re still looking for sponsors, foursomes, and individual golfers, so please click here for additional details! And, Achieva’s annual Awards of Excellence event will be held in-person on December 5th at the Sheraton Hotel at Station Square. This will be the first in-person awards event since 2019! Anyone can nominate someone for one of several Achieva awards. Nominations can be submitted online by clicking here.

I’m pleased that so many of our events and get-togethers have returned to being in-person. There’s nothing like being around people and being able to talk to them when they’re right there next to you. Zoom, Teams and Google Meet are convenient, but it’s just not the same. We look forward to seeing you at a future in-person Achieva event!

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