April 31st marked the end of my five-year, five-month tenure as Southern Region OA chairman. I have truly enjoyed my time as region chairman, and that is due primarily to the great people with whom I have had the opportunity to work in the Order of the Arrow and in Scouting. Truly unselfish service is rare these days, but we are blessed with an abundance of it in our organization.
I was given the opportunity to serve as region chairman by three regional directors, Wayne Brock, Alf Tuggle, and Ponce Duran, and I am very grateful for their confidence in me and for their support of the OA in the Southern Region. They also gave me the best staff adviser I have ever known, Keith Swedenburg, for whom I am even more grateful. The regional professional staff have been excellent partners with Keith and me, and I appreciate the help that we received from every area director and deputy regional director, as well as from the administrative staff. I am also thankful for the support received from Dr. John Lea and Joe Domino, the region’s outdoor adventure vice presidents during my tenure, from National OA chairmen Brad Haddock and Ray Capp, and, of course, from Tico Perez.
The Southern Region is fortunate to have so many great section advisers, associate section advisers, section staff advisers, areas directors and region OA committee members and advisers. Thank you all for what you have done, and continue to do, for the Order in your sections and in our region, including your willingness to take on new challenges and program responsibilities, and your dedication to the young men whom we all serve. Their successes have been our successes.
Most of all, I appreciate the exceptional region chiefs, section chiefs and lodge chiefs whom I have had the privilege of advising. I learned a lot from each of them, and I am a better person for having had the opportunity to work with them. Having a chief to advise, after 15 years of chiefs, will be the thing that I will miss the most.
I will be pleased to watch Chairman James Flatt and his regional OA committee help Chief David Joyner and his successors implement different ideas and approaches to delivering the program. I look forward to supporting them in their efforts, as Bill Loeble so generously supported me.
As for me, for the next year or so I will be focused primarily on my Jamboree program responsibilities, and I will have a new role on the National OA Committee. As I have always said, it is privilege to serve Scouting and the Order with all of you. Thank you for your cheerful service; I will see you down the trail.