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Vice President’s Desk- Convention and Leadership Reunion.


Joe Rodgers

I want to thank every one of the members of Branch 157 who helped make the National Convention, which took place in here in Philadelphia from July 21st through July 25th, 2014, a successful endeavor. Without your dedication and hard work, the Convention would not have been possible. I can’t say enough, and words simply cannot sufficiently express, my gratitude and admiration toward all of you.


Each day, as I walked the Convention Center, I watched and listened as you helped delegates from across the country find their way through the vastness of the Convention building. You were there when the delegates needed you most I witnessed first-hand, time and time again, how you took extraordinary steps to make sure all of our visitors (delegates) felt at home. Philadelphia could not have had a better group of Ambassadors than you.  You did a great service for our Branch. I am proud of you. Thank you for your dedication. And, thank you for giving me the opportunity to work for you.


Another notable event, related to the Convention, took place on Monday evening.  At every National Convention, the host city arranges for past graduates from the Leadership Academy to gather for a reunion. In keeping with tradition, Leo Zachwieja (Boulevard Station), a former graduate of the leadership Academy, and I hosted the reunion here in Philadelphia.  The gathering included past graduates from nearly every State of the Union. The event was held at the City Tap House located on the University of Penn campus.  The evening included music, a delicious selection of food, and a collection of various craft beers from around the world.


Many of your National Officers were in attendance, along with various instructors from the Leadership Academy.  National President Fred Rolando addressed the attendees in length, as did retired NALC Executive Vice President Jim Williams. Both speakers entertained the audience with humor, and we were pleased to have them take the time to join our party.


I would like to take this opportunity to send a special thanks to Leo Zachwieja and to Branch 157 secretary, Denise Dodaro. These two individuals worked extremely hard, making sure the event went off without a hitch.


Finally, I am happy to report that the reunion raised $1600 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). We will present a check to National on behalf of our Branch.


Again, I say thank you to all those members of the Branch that worked so diligently during the Convention.  Please make sure to see the photo gallery for pictures from the reunion.


  I look forward to seeing all of you at September’s meeting.