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Tennessee was the Next Stop on the State Conference “Mega Tour”

May 15th, 2012

I attended a wonderful Tennessee state conference that filled the downtown Chattanooga Convention Center and several satellite sites, April 23-25. The high school and college/postsecondary associations run parallel conferences in the same facility, but hold separate opening banquets and awards ceremonies. On Monday evening, Carol Myers, SkillsUSA Tennessee high school association state director, and corporate member, Sue Tucker, managed a banquet for nearly 1,400 high school participants. The state officer team did a great job running the show. Carl Creasman, college/postsecondary state association director and his officer team hosted an opening banquet the following evening for nearly 500 participants. Board member James King, and national officer, Jeremy Ballentine, were both key parts of the ceremonies. James King certainly had everyone’s attention when he presented a brand new car to the outstanding student of the year.

I keynoted both banquets. Also speaking was Bill Prince, a native of Tennessee, a former national staff member and special advisor to President Reagan. Bill spoke about his participation at the founding of VICA in Nashville in 1965 and the founding of the postsecondary division in 1969. He was truly inspirational. It was also great to hear Danielle Mezera, the new assistant commissioner for CTE, speak at the high school division banquet. I had dinner with her and then toured the Championships floor – a mini national Championships in an exhibit hall – with her the following day. She promised to come to NLSC.

It was great to see Chip Harris at the conference. He is recovering well and promises to be at NLSC to chair the national Quiz Bowl contest. And, a giant thank you goes to Carol Myers and Carl Creasman for the excellent job at this year’s conference.

I also visited Columbus, Ohio for SkillsUSA Ohio’s 60th anniversary state conference. Mike Cowles said it was Ohio’s largest conference ever with 5,000 attending – including 2,200 competitors – and the event takes up the entire Ohio State Fair Grounds. I had lunch and great conversation with Steve Gratz, Ohio state CTE director, and met with Stan Heffner, state superintendent of education. Stan said the SkillsUSA Ohio conference is the “number one event on his calendar every year.”

Ohio had 50 state officer candidates and a huge delegate assembly. The election process was exciting and very intense. Ohio also had a run-off for several national officer candidates. Being elected as a state officer in Ohio is a very prestigious position and one that garners a lot of attention. The current state and national officers on the Ohio stage did a magnificent job of running the show. A big thank you goes out to State Association Director, Mike Cowles, and his management team for their leadership and for such a high quality event.

Discount Airlines-NLSC Travel

April 30th, 2011

When making travel arrangements to Kansas City, there is another discount option that benefits SkillsUSA. Both American and Frontier airlines have signed on with SkillsUSA offering discount travel options. Here are instructions for both:

1. American Airlines
Visit www.aa.com. From top menu bar, choose reservations followed by select flight; complete appropriate fields (i.e., travel dates, number of passengers departure and destination city.) At bottom of select flight screen, the last field will be promotion code. Enter this code: 2861DH followed by selecting Go. The next screen will contain all flight times for departure and return. Complete reservation as instructed, OR,

Call American Airlines Meeting Services Desk at 800-433-1790 and provide agent with code: 2861DH, OR,

Purchase tickets through a travel agent and mention 2861DH

Terms and Conditions
Discount is valid June 9-29, 2011 from any destination served by American Airlines to Kansas City (MCI). Discount is available to anyone attending the event. Save a booking fee by using www.aa.com; Name change is allowed with 15OUSD/CAD GMT ticketing change charge. Name must be changed and re-ticketed prior to arrival at the airport. Allowed only on flights operated by American Airlines. All travelers are eligible for accrued flight miles.

2. Frontier Airlines discount program to SkillsUSA–Best Care Business (BCB) ID: B1529
To ensure the customer receives the best price and SkillsUSA receives credit for the purchase, make sure the Best Care Business (BCB) identification number is provided during the reservation process. Online is only available at www.frontierairlines.com. It’s very easy to book flights using the two options listed below.

Option 1:

  • Go to www.frontierairlines.com and enter your desired itinerary
  • Choose the desired flights and AirFair Type
  • When you reach the passenger information page, there is a box to enter your Best Care Business ID (Be careful when entering the code)

Option 2: Travel Agency

Simply instruct the travel agent to enter the BCB ID into the IT/Tour Code Box before ticketing.

Frontier Airlines Travel Discount

March 15th, 2011

Welcome aboard! A Best Care Business (BCB) account has been created for SkillsUSA, Inc. as another carrier option for travel to Kansas City. Frontier purchased Midwest Airlines earlier this year and has just introduced their discount program to SkillsUSA – “Best Care Business (BCB) ID: B1529.”

To ensure the customer receives the best price and SkillsUSA receives credit for the purchase, make sure the Best Care Business (BCB) identification number is provided during the reservation process. It’s very easy to book flights using the two options listed below.

Option 1: Online is only available at www.frontierairlines.com

  • From the SkillsUSA home page and enter your desired itinerary
  • Choose the desired flights and airfare type
  • When you reach the passenger information page, there is a box to enter your Best
Care Business ID (Be careful to enter the code carefully)

Option 2: Travel Agency
Simply instruct the travel agent to enter the BCB ID into the IT/Tour Code Box before ticketing.


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