Charlotte Convention 2017
For the first time in the association's history, the convention was held in Charlotte, NC. Feedback from attendees gave it an impressive and successful first convention. Chairlady Alfreda Davis and her members truly displayed authentic southern hospitality.
It all started on Friday evening when Robert and Georgia Hansen opened their doors and welcomed everyone with opened arms. No part of their beautiful home was off limits (members and guests were free to roam at will). It marked the beginning of an end to the Nuku Reeves era at the helm of leadership. The young DJ played familiar tunes while everyone had plenty to eat and drink. All of the food were hits; there were no misses.
The Hansens live in a somewhat divinely protected neighborhood with such street names like Blessings, Joyful Noise, Amen, and Hallelujah. The neighbors cooperated well with some even offering parking spaces in their yards to compensate for the limited parking at the Hansens. Everyone seemd to have had a good time to kick off the weekend. One noticeable absence at this year's convention was the matriarch of the Caulcrick family, mother Joanna Caulcrick, who had other engagements. Another noticeable absence was Mr. J. Alexander Morris due to other pressing engagements. This was one of his rare misses. Almost everyone walked around with red plastic cups drinking drinks with the exception of a few.
On Saturday morning, everyone gathered in the conference hall of the hotel for delicious Liberian style breakfast and later on, the business meeting. The food was so good that the hotel staff thought it was a deliberate boycott of their complimentary breakfast of waffles, eggs, cereal and the like.. They later on realized what the real deal was. The business meeting got off to a slow start, but the deliberations were very fruitful. Refer to the minutes for details of the business meeting. About midway into the discussions, a team of hardworking hosts rolled in the delicious lunch. Everyone had plenty to eat and drink to the point that the meeting dragged on until about 4:00 PM that afternoon. Of course, part of the extended meeting was due to our election wherein a new corps of officers were ushered in for the next two years. Elected were Dr. A. Joel King as President, Mrs. Alfreda Davis as Financial Secretary, Mrs. Anna Konah-Jackson as Secretary, and Mr. Daniel Davis as Chaplain. Relected were Mrs. Frances Potter-Baigebo as Vice President and Mrs. Pearl V. Knowlden as Treasurer.
Later on in the evening, everyone gathered for the annual dinner and ball at the elegant Acopian Hall. There was also an array of guests who graced the occasion to support our efforts. The evening event was emceed by Mr. Nathaniel Brumskine and assisted by Ms. Berma Findley. Outgoing president, E. Nuku Reeves was escorted by his lovely wife, Mrs. Serena B. Reeves (dressed in a beautiful custom made attire). Former president D. Patrick Williams arrived a little late and was escorted by the lovely Beatrix Flah, dressed in a one of a kind attire. Dr. S. Obediah Butscher, our keynote speaker eloquently delivered an address on the theme , "giving back." He highlighted his efforts in this regard (the collection of quality books for the San francisco school district for shipment to Liberia). In support of the scholarship program, Dr. Butscher pledged an annual donation of $100 to help sponsor more students than the current number.
A surprise from the Board of Directors was the honoring recognition of outgoing President Nuku Reeves and outgoing Secretary Roy Reeves for their invaluable services to the organization over the years. And of course outgoing first lady Serena Reeves was recognized for standing by her husband as he steered the ship of the association.
The bar was ably managed by chief sales strategist Ida Lloyd and assisted by Mr. Oscar Barnard and Tommy Logan.. We were pleased to have had the grandchildren of Alfreda Davis (grandson) and Georgia Hansen (granddaughter) sit in as king and queen. Although the financial performance of the contest was not impressive, the two young children behaved well, prompting the organizers to declared them both winners. Board Chairman Victor D. King led the signature grand march to kick off the dancing. Cllr. Johnny Barnard exhibited spectacular dancing skills and kept going nonstop like the energizer bunny.
On Sunday, those remaining were entertained to some of the most delicious food at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Daniel Davis. Everyone left the weekend in Charlotte feeling satisfied with the organization and execution of the convention. The nation's capital area narrowly defeated California to host the 2018 convention.