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A message from the Executive Director:

I’d like to take this opportunity to THANK YOU for what I believe is our most successful Fairbanks Biennial Convention ever. I’ve heard nothing but positive things from attendees, and the entire week felt very optimistic, productive, and fun.

There are a lot of people to thank for the success of our event. First and foremost, Mark Huffington, Conference Chair, who just makes all of the pieces come together through months of hard work and experience. He hates it when I and the other committee members call him “Chief” but how could we not? He is amazing. David Szumigala (Zoom) for his treasured wee-hours-of-the-morning efforts leading up to the event and the best troubleshooter ever. Carolyn Curley, who documented each planning session and led a two-day short course. Karl Gohlke, who is the best salesperson I’ve ever met and made sure our trade show was packed with great vendors who support our industry. Dave Wright, who organized two fantastic field trips to the mines that I’ve heard rave reviews about. Jen Wieland, with her flair for perfection, ensured every last detail at the Carlson Center and Westmark were flawless. Anna Atchison, Lorali Simon, and Lisa Herbert who planned one of the most special Banquets I’ve ever seen, honoring Usibelli Coal Mine’s 75th Anniversary. Sydney Deering designed our program, worked with student attendees, and organized Friday’s live radio show, and probably did a dozen other tasks we don’t even know about – all during her midterm exams. Wendie MacNaughton and Lisa Herbert coordinated the wonderful Fairbanks Daily News-Miner Insert spotlighting our industry and event, which I know led to additional participation from the community. Dana Novak and Hannah Cooper marketed the week’s events, which led to a lot of new attendees. Rich Hughes, Ramona Monroe, Tom Bundtzen, Paul Metz, and Mike Hatfield forganized several short courses that I’ve been told were incredibly educational. Bill Jeffress, Tom Bundtzen, Rajive Ganguli, Mike Satre, and Zoom chaired three days of informative technical sessions. Tom Bundtzen and the Alaska Mining Hall of Fame Foundation held a great History Night and Induction Ceremony. Aibyek Kamkhash provided assistance with technical sessions, programs, and more. To round this all out, Patricia Peirsol and Milt Behr gave their time leading up to the event and especially the week of.

I am richly blessed to work with Alicia, Jennifer, and Darlene every day, but Conventions are the most obvious time to be reminded of how much AMA benefits from this talented staff.

Our sponsors and vendors are listed in this Journal – the event literally cannot be done without your support. Sponsorship, purchasing a booth, attending, giving presentations, donating to AMAPAC, supporting Alaska Resource Education, and any other form of support helps ensure an amazing event. But it’s also one of AMA’s largest fundraisers, which ensures we have the revenues to carry out AMA’s mission throughout the year. Your contribution of time, talent, and treasure could not be more appreciated.

That’s a lot of thanks, from a very thankful person.

And while I said I’ve heard nothing but positive things, please don’t think that should keep anyone from sharing constructive feedback, concerns, and suggestions. I know I can speak for Chief Mark, the Board, the staff, and myself when I say we welcome and appreciate feedback about the event in order to keep on improving. A survey has been sent to event attendees – please consider completing it or if that’s not your thing, just contact us directly. Good feedback ensures continuous improvement for not only the Fairbanks Convention, but for all of our events, so please do direct that our way!

We interrupted the regularly scheduled business program for the Fairbanks Convention – now it’s back to work preparing for what I am hopeful is a successful field and operating season for many of you. Here at the home office, we are looking ahead at what is likely a busy summer of Standing for Alaska – working to educate Alaskans on the harmful ballot measure that could be an upcoming election ballot. Watch for our updates as we continue to represent you throughout Alaska this summer. I wish us all good luck!

With all of my thanks, Deantha

Deantha Crockett Executive Director