Speech written and presented by VP, Jessica Vallia:
"It is with great honor to start a new tradition in our annual awards, the Volunteer of the Year. Our hope is each year the Executive Board will choose one person to celebrate who goes above and beyond to give from the heart to make PPC a better place. Our organization is solely run on the dedication of a team of volunteers. Each member of the board as well as the members of each committee give freely of their time to ensure the health and success of PPC. Our President, Michael Ryno is exemplary in extending thanks to our team at every opportunity, with that being said there are still a few outstanding members that also deserve special recognition tonight. Before we announce who the award will go to, I invite each of the following people to stand briefly so we can give you each a round of applause for your time and dedication to PPC this year.
Chuck Townsend: Chuck has been a member just over a year and has generously helped in more Thursday meetings, workshops, and other events than I can count with our technology, we are clearly not tech professionals but Chuck has helped us keep things running smoothly.
Lisa Ruffing: Lisa is also a new member in the last year and stepped in to help with the Special Events Committee and did a great deal of work in making this event tonight a huge success.
And Carrie Cleghorn: Carrie volunteered to not only step in on the social media committee but she has also volunteered far more of her time than I’m sure she anticipated with the conference planning & execution of running Elevate 23 while also working a banquet event the same weekend.
Now for our Volunteer of the year, a quote I love about volunteerism is “No one is more cherished in this world than someone who lightens the load of another.” The person who is receiving this award has helped make the load of nearly every committee lighter, run more efficiently, and is ready to help whenever she’s called upon. She is already actively working on ways to make our team's tasks even more efficient in 2024 and beyond. While she does not serve as an official chair leader, she continues to be an active participant in many of our committees and a very active member of PPC. Michael and I both could go on all night about all the behind the scenes work that she does, PPC is truly a better community because of her. So without further ado, I am proud to present the Volunteer of the Year Award to Elane Graves."