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2012-13 Alumni Coordinating Committee Announced

July 13th, 2012

Following the recent election, the 2012-13 Alumni Coordinating Committee has been announced:

  • Executive Chair: Bryan Doxford, New York
  • Region 1 Representative: Emily Hughes, Maine
  • Region 2 Representative: Joey Baker, Florida
  • Region 3 Representative: Anne Dew, Ohio
  • Region 4 Representative: Cody McPherson, Oklahoma
  • Region 5 Representative: Colleen Read, Nevada
  • State Association Director Liaison: Peyton Holland, North Carolina

The committee has already conducted it’s first conference call and members are looking forward to working with their respective state association directors during the coming year. To contact your regional representative, go to:

Pre-conference Hyper-Drive

June 15th, 2012

We’re on the road toward another great conference. On June 6, the Teamsters started moving equipment for the Championships out of storage. The postal carts we use to load supplies for the national office are in our office hallways, and the truck will be leaving for Kansas City on Monday, June 18.

Here are some of the numbers:

  • 9,905 paid registration. A record
  • 5,948 contestants. Another record
  • More than 350 industry and education guests
  • 1,414 volunteers including 163 in the Courtesy Corps
  • 35 high school and college/postsecondary national officer candidates
  • 125 alumni will be attending including 39 former national officers. The most ever to pre-register
  • 100 more people are registered for Leverage, Activate and Engage over last year’s Officer 101/201 and advisors’ conference, a new record and,
  • 300 more tickets have been sold for the Harley-Davidson motorcycle raffle than last year

Special Guests attending conference include Brenda Dann-Messier, assistant secretary of Education (OVAE), Sharon Miller, OVAE, Jane Oates, assistant secretary of Labor (ETA), Simon Bartley, president of WorldSkills International, and Bill Symonds, director of Harvard’s Pathways to Prosperity Project. We will also have 17 Harley-Davidson executives joining us, large groups from State Farm, Caterpillar, IRWIN, NCCER, Snap-on and others.

We will have two ads in the Kansas City Star – one on Thursday, June 21 and a half page on Sunday, June 24, saying thanks for moving the conference to accommodate the All-Star Game.


Meetings with NCCER – Back in Gator Country

June 1st, 2012

Following three days in the office, I was back on a plane to Jacksonville, Fla. for the NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research) Board of Trustees meeting, May 8-11. On the evening of May 8, NCCER CEO Don Whyte, Board President Bob Parker, the board and over 100 special guests attended the dedication of NCCER’s new national headquarters building outside of Gainesville. It is an impressive facility and it was dedicated “to the men and women who build the world.” The main entrance to the building is accented with brick pavers that honor the companies and individuals who contributed to the building campaign. The SkillsUSA logo appears on two of the bricks. One is for the donation from and me and another staff member. The second is for the donation from Boyd Warsham, chairman of our National Carpentry Contest Technical Committee, former state carpentry competitor and SkillsUSA alumnus. Boyd is also the senior vice president of the Haskell Company, a major industrial construction company and the builder of the NCCER headquarters.

William Symonds from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and project director at the influential Pathways to Prosperity Project was one of the keynote speakers at the dedication. I had a long conversation with Symonds and he knows SkillsUSA very well. He told me his son’s life had been changed when he enrolled in a culinary program in Massachusetts and when he competed in the Massachusetts SkillsUSA Championships. During his speech, he spoke passionately about the need for CTE as a major element of education reform in the USA. He also announced that Harvard will convene a National Pathways to Prosperity Conference following the presidential election. He extended a personal invitation to me to participate. This is a discussion that SkillsUSA needs to be part of and I’m thrilled that we will be there.

I was appointed to another three-year term on the board of trustees during the board meeting the following day. Other board action included discussion of a new international outreach initiative in training, curriculum and assessments and a new marketing campaign, “Build Your Future,” to get youth excited about careers in construction.

Alumni Committee Elections and Proposed Constitutional Amendments

May 30th, 2012

All registered alumni members are eligible to participate in the 2012 Alumni Coordinating Committee elections and voting on the proposed constitutional amendments. Representatives for Region 2, Region 4 and Executive Chair, and on the proposed amendments, will be on this ballot.

Alumni members may vote only once online at: Voting will be open June 1-15, 2012. Ballots will be counted at the 2012 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference, and results will be announced on Wednesday, June 27, at the Annual Alumni Appreciation Luncheon at 2 p.m. Please contact Niki Clausen at 703-737-0639 or with questions.

Alumni Membership Incentives Reminder

May 13th, 2012

The Alumni Coordinating Committee is offering two incentives this year. One is for SkillsUSA advisors who sign up alumni from their chapters and the second for students who join alumni. For every five members an advisor gets to join the SkillsUSA Alumni & Friends Association, he or she will be entered into a drawing for a VISA gift card. For each student who joins the Alumni & Friends Association, he or she will be entered into a drawing for a VISA gift card.

To be officially entered into the drawing, the advisor must have students register and join online at: The advisor must then send an email to Niki Clausen at The email must contain the advisor’s name, school and state, and a list (for verification) of the students (first and last names) who joined as alumni. Remember that graduating seniors qualify to join during their senior year. Former SkillsUSA students are also eligible, provided they are not members already. These students must register through their former advisor to be counted as part of that advisor’s entry. Students who join are automatically entered into the drawing. Students may only join once.

Deadline for entry into the drawing is June 1. Contact Niki Clausen at 703-737-0639 or via email, if you have questions.

Alumni Training and National Conference Volunteers Reminder

May 12th, 2012

The Alumni & Friends Association will be offering alumni training on June 22-23, 2012 at the National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) in Kansas City, Mo. The training will cover how to start a state alumni association, how to plan alumni activities, volunteer training, inclusion and diversity training and professional development. The training will cost $30 and includes two lunches, a training T-shirt and resource materials. The registration deadline for the training is June 1.

We are also seeking dedicated individuals to assist with the NLSC. Alumni who volunteer daily at the conference can have their conference registration fee waived. Alumni help is needed on the booth team, leadership team, Championships team and special services team. While at conference, alumni volunteers will also have the opportunity to network with partners, members, staff and other alumni, will have some meals provided and will get to participate in conference events. This is a great way for alumni members to stay involved and continue the SkillsUSA journey. The registration deadline to be an alumni volunteer is also June 1.

For more information about the alumni training and being an alumni volunteer, please contact Niki Clausen at 703-737-0639 or by email to For more information, go to:

Heart Saver SkillsUSA University Session at NLSC Reminder

April 30th, 2012

The SkillsUSA Alumni & Friends Association is offering the American Heart Association – Heart Saver course during SkillsUSA University at NLSC 2012. This session is open to all NLSC participants, educators and students and will be offered Sunday, June 24, 1 – 4 p.m.

Every three seconds in the United States someone suffers from a cardiac arrest or other cardiac-related emergency. The American Heart Association now offers a hands-on approach to ensure victims receive immediate care by non-medical personnel. This short SkillsUSA University session will provide the basic knowledge to save a life in the event of such emergencies.

The pre-registration fee is $20 for this certification, $30 registration fee at the door (space permitting). The presenters are: Brice Harader-Pate, RN, BSN and alumna, and Emily Hughes, EMT-B and alumna. Pre-register for this course at:

Contact Niki Clausen at or 703-737-0639 with questions or for further information.

Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Raffle at NLSC Reminder

March 29th, 2012

SkillsUSA will be conducting a drawing for a Dyna Super Glide Motorcycle at the 2012 National Conference Awards Ceremony, Wednesday, June 27, in Kansas City, Mo. This event is made possible thanks to a generous donation by Harley-Davidson Motor Co., Inc. All proceeds benefit the SkillsUSA Alumni & Friends organization.

Get the details and see photos of this year’s bike and a photo of last year’s painted motorcycle here:

Alumni Coordinating Committee Nominations Reminder

March 29th, 2012

SkillsUSA is accepting nominations of qualified alumni for service on the Alumni Coordinating Committee. Nominations are being accepted for the following positions:

Executive Chair: Open to any registered member of the SkillsUSA Alumni Association
Region II Representative: Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Puerto Rico or the U. S. Virgin Islands
Region IV Representative: North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Iowa or Minnesota.

All nominees must be active annual, lifetime or honorary life members in good standing of the SkillsUSA Alumni & Friends Association. Additionally, a nominee must have been an active member for at least 12 months preceding the date of nomination. You are encouraged to nominate candidates as soon as possible. You may nominate yourself or any Alumni member in good standing. Nominations are due by close of business on April 15, 2012. If you have questions, please contact Niki Clausen at or call 703-737-0639.

For an application, go to:

Alumni Professional Development Webinar

February 15th, 2012

The SkillsUSA Alumni & Friends Association will be offering a one-hour webinar on “Understanding Auto Insurance: What coverage is for me?” with partner Elephant Auto Insurance. It’s free and no registration is required, just call and log in at: Telephone: 888-222-0475, URL:, Attendee code: 6837807 Date: Thursday, February 23, 2012 3 p.m. EST.

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