Recap of 2014 Summer Leadership Conference by President Elect Bobby Burton

Posted on “I AM Ruritan” Facebook page on 6/21/14 by Ruritan National’s President Elect Bobby Burton


The 2014 Ruritan Leadership Conference concluded Saturday morning after two days of informative information for the approximately 90 Ruritan leaders in attendance. The events started with an open house/reception at the Home Office on Thursday afternoon.

The Conference was opened on Friday morning with a special greeting from President Elliott and First Lady Sandra read by Mike Chrisley. A picture of them was projected on the screen – they were wearing their conference t-shirts – and it was great to see their smiling faces!

A patriotic theme was carried out at the Conference with an emphasis on honoring Veterans and everyone was encouraged to Revitalize, Get Excited, and WALK THE WALK for Ruritan.



Speakers for the conference included Julie Hopkins from Smithfield, VA., the 2013 Top Recruiter, who gave a fun and excited talk on how to recruit new members. Jon Hatfield, Executive Director of the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond, VA. spoke on Friday about the War Memorial, Veterans, and Ruritan. Jon had recently returned from a trip to Normandy for the D-Day 70th Anniversary.

On Saturday morning, we heard from April Cheek-Messier, President of the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, VA. She gave interesting facts about the D-Day Memorial and she also talked about the recent D-Day 70th Anniversary and how they celebrated in Bedford. There were events for the Veterans at the memorial and a parade through downtown Bedford.

All three of our speakers, Julie, Jon, and April, are Ruritan members and we were privileged to have them participate in the Conference. Everyone enjoyed a picnic on Friday night at Randolph Park, provided by the Pioneer Ruritan Club, and music by a local band, Buck Nelson.

My hope for the conference is that everyone had a good time and that you learned at least one new thing from the information we offered. As I said in my opening remarks, “there is always something new to learn about Ruritan”. And no matter if we are a past, current, or future leaders, we need to keep up on the changes occurring in Ruritan. Giving out the wrong information is a sure way to injure our organization.

Thank you to Perry Marshman, Lorene Reece, and Sarah Kelly (Leadership Committee members) AND to the Home Office Staff. This Conference would not have been a success without their hard work in putting it together. Thanks to all the workshop presenters, the Growth, Development and Retention Committee, the Youth Committee, the Publicity and Public Relations Committee, and the Ruritan National Foundation for their part on the program.

Keep up the good work in your communities and Thank You for all you do for Ruritan.

Yours in Ruritan,
President Elect Bobby

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