President's Letter

President’s Letter June 2021

I hope that everyone has been as safe as possible through these difficult times; we are definitely learning new ways to conduct business and to be safe and forward thinking at the same time.  We were able to conduct five in-person meeting days this year and finished our last one on August 8th.  We appreciate everyone’s patience as we try to provide education in person and to follow the guidelines as we are in constantly changing times.

We ran all of our meetings this year at the Embassy Suites in Columbia because of space in the meeting rooms for social distancing, ease of access, and its central location.  I want to thank everyone who worked so hard to help make our meetings go smooth and be a big success.  It’s always comforting to have Bill Russell, our “work horse” running the schedule in the rooms.  I want to thank Wesley Scott for going beyond his duties as vice president and I can’t wait to see where he leads our association in the future.

This year we had great speakers as usual.  Our first meetings in May we had Jackie O’ Keefe presenting our ABO hours and B W Phillips doing our NCLE hours.  The next meetings in June were taught by Phernell Walker, both ABO and NCLE.  He had almost learned everyone’s name in the room by the end of the day.  We finished our meetings for the year in August with Pete Hanlin teaching our ABO and Roy Ferguson teaching our NCLE hour.  It is always great seeing these speakers and their willingness to come to SC and lead us in CEC.  Keith Hayes taught our apprentices in May and June.  Grant Brown taught our lensometry class in June and August. Thanks to all our speakers that are willing to give up their time and travel during these uncertain times.

We are hoping that 2022 brings more stability to our lives and way of doing business.  We will be having our winter education, January 22 and 23 2022, in Columbia at the Embassy Suites. Our Spring Fling will be April 30 through May 1, 2022 at Ocean Creek Resort in Myrtle Beach.  The education day for that meeting is Saturday, April 30, 2022.  Of course we will be making adjustments to our meetings and times if the situations deem necessary.  Please keep checking our website for updates

There is a lot going on in our industry and I feel that we have a great team to be able to keep up with these changes and move our association forward.  We had elections for our area reps in June.  Mary Ellen Holliday (Greenville), Skip Patterson (Florence), Jodi McGinnis (Charleston), and Rhody Spooner (Columbia) ran and won their areas. Dawn Arnold was appointed as the Myrtle Beach area rep and Marisol Rodriguez was appointed as the area rep for Rock Hill because no one had run and they came highly recommended and are eager to get involved. Thank y’all for getting involved. The association is for all its members so please get involved in your area.

Thank you for allowing me to serve as your President and having patience with any mistakes I might make.  It is an honor to be a part of this association.

Ron Harbert

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