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Honoring National Staff with Seafood and Dr. Seuss

January 15th, 2011

On December 17, we held our annual Holiday Celebration with a bus tour to Washington, D.C. and our Annual Employee Years of Service Recognition Luncheon. Staff and family members boarded the magic bus at 8:30 a.m., and after playing some seasonal trivia games and watching “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” arrived at the Gaylord Hotel for a quick tour. Then, we walked across the street to the ICE! Experience, a 15,000-square-foot attraction under a huge tent featuring 10 scenes from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” It’s big, impressive, colorful and carved out of two million pounds of ice. It’s also cold. The exhibit space is kept at a constant nine degrees. No wonder the staff reminds visitors as they enter the exhibit: “Don’t touch or lick the ice.” After we returned the arctic parkas and walked outside, one staff member said: “Wow, even though it’s below freezing out here, it feels like a spring day after being in there.”

Then, it was back on the bus for the drive to Georgetown Harbor for lunch at Tony and Joe’s Seafood and staff recognition. Of course, one of the things SkillsUSA is well known for is the dedication of its staff and that shows up not only in the quality of their work, but in their tenure as well. This year, we recognized 12 employees with a combined time on staff of 132 years. Four of them – Tom Hall and Ann Schreiber at 25 years each and Keith Ashby and Shelly Coates at 30 years each – accounted for 110 years by themselves. It must be the SkillsUSA mission keeps them all looking so young. It was a wonderful day of celebrating a great national staff.

Meeting of the Student Organizations

January 15th, 2011

On December 13, the National Coordinating Council of Career and Technical Student Organizations (NCC-CTSO) met in Washington to catch up on progress thus far this school year. All but one of the organizations reported that membership and conference attendance are holding their own or are on the rise.

We talked about the generational transfer among teachers. The Baby Boomers are leaving and we now have Gen-X and Millennials to serve. That’s a much different population. There was also a lot of discussion of the CEO Champion of the Year dinner by the other associations. The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) announced that attendance at the ACTE conference in Las Vegas was up over the previous year.


January 15th, 2011
  • Membership as of January 13th stands at more than 202,944 or more than 13,268 over our membership on this date last year.
  • Speaking of membership, the Membership Mega Prize program is gaining sponsorships including the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau, N.E.W. Customer Service, Klein Tools, Kobalt Tools and IRWIN tools. For information on the drive to increase our membership through incentives, please go to
  • The report on the State Farm grant is complete, and staff did an extensive job recently reviewing Lowe’s applications for campus improvement and community service grants. To view it online, go to
  • This year’s national staff charitable donation was to benefit the 27-year old son of a cosmetology teacher at C.S. Monroe Technology Center in Leesburg. The young man has a family, lost his job and his health benefits and is being treated for cancer. The national staff was extremely generous and the donation was genuinely appreciated. A lot of students at the school are also working to raise money for the same cause.
  • Bruce Potter’s official last day with the national staff was Tuesday, December 28 and he has moved on to begin his new job as high school state association director for New York state. We wish him all the best.
  • National staff worked through strategic planning this week. It was our 11th Week of Excitement. We took some different approaches this year, beginning with Vision 2020 and the big picture, and then wrote some macro objectives to which we wrote department strategies, tactics and business plans. It was very exciting. We’ll be making our first report on new objectives to the state association director association officers at the end

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