FEB 2018

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 11 areas and different hotel chains. I did join the Navy to see the world and still love to travel. What are the biggest day-to-day challenges you face? The biggest day-to-day challenge is recruiting new members to the organizations and keeping current members informed on our activities and future plans. We have to build to a crescendo for the reunion to be a success. What are some of the most inter- esting experiences you have had as a planner? The most interesting of my ship's reunions included a visit to a modern fleet DDG (Guided Missile Destroyer). The data that was collected from the missile system we had during the Vietnam days has evolved into a much more robust system that can shoot down cruise missiles, aircraft and even ICBM's. These Ballistic Missile Defense Destroyers could play a key role in keeping us all safe should the crazies of this world ever launch on us. It's something we all played a role in and we are very proud of that. What advice would you offer to other reunion planners, especially those just starting out? For other planners just starting out, I would advise attending an MRN or YMRC seminar to take advantage of the training and the groupthink of their peers that have been doing this for long periods of time. It's not rocket science, but it's a lot easier if you are not reinventing the wheel. n '' The best part of my job when wrapping up a successful military reunion is the look on people's faces when they reunite with someone they served with long ago. My Vietnam vets hadn't seen each other in 45 years when we started having reunions and these were men that served in combat to- gether when your life depended on the guy on your right and the guy on your left. That type of bond may sound strange to people who have not been there, but if you ask any combat veteran about his unit he can probably rattle off those names and stories like it was yesterday. Q: Q: 2017 Naval Reserve Recruiters Association Reunion, Grand Rapids MI. Schmidt in the uniform for the POW MIA ceremony held at all three reunions. Q: Group shot of USS Henry B Wilson DDG 7 shipmates at the Crowne Plaza downtown St. Louis (Mo.) April 2017.

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