President’s Message 2021

I hope everyone is ready for spring and to put COVID behind us. I was excited to receive my first COVID vaccination shot last week! 

I hope everyone is doing well.

This first full year as President had a common theme; either canceling an event due to COVID or going virtual. Our Fall Conference, scheduled for October 2020 in Omaha, was canceled due to COVID. We were able to team up with the Great Lakes Chapter to hold the fourth Bi-Annual Great Connections Conference & Expo in St. Louis in July of 2020 but we were forced to go virtual. The Great Rivers and Great Lakes Chapter were the first chapters to hold an all virtual conference and were the guinea pigs for IECA. With Joanna’s help, we made it through an all-virtual event.

This had to be an especially challenging year for the vendors who attend these conferences. I personally get the most out of the networking, visiting with new people, and catching up with old friends at these conferences when held in person. So now onto the good news! We have just started to plan our Fall Conference which will take place on October 19-20, 2021 at the Scott Conference Center in Omaha, Nebraska. This will be an in-person event and I look forward to seeing you there!

We hope that people will be ready to get out and attend this event in October. Look for the save the date to come out shortly on our social media pages. To all my future attendees and vendors, get this event on your calendar now.  This will be the first face-to-face conference in over a year. Let’s make this a great event by coming out and supporting our chapter after a lost year.

Now a little chapter news, this year we welcomed a new board member Sarah Davis and elected new officers. Tom Wells retained the rings on the tightly contested election for treasurer! Thanks, for another year Tom! Mellissa Campbell was elected to Secretary and has done an awesome job with our social media and keeping us organized. Paul Mueller was elected VP and I will be serving my second year as President. Finally, with planning underway on our fall conference, if you would like to volunteer, or possibly present, or help out in any way, feel free to contact me or any of our Great Rivers Chapter board members.

I look forward to the spring and return to normalcy in 2021!

Zachary A. Jilek, CPESC, CISEC

President of the IECA Great Rivers Chapter

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