Home“NCR Innovations: Past & Future – NCR 50th Anniversary & Final Annual Meeting

“NCR Innovations: Past & Future – NCR 50th Anniversary & Final Annual Meeting

The NCR celebrated its golden anniversary in grand fashion at Chula Vista Resort in the Wisconsin Dells, at its 2017 Annual Meeting, October 15-17, even as it prepared to go out of existence at the end of the calendar year.

Naming the event “NCR Innovations: Past & Future”, the conference planning committee (BJ Larson, Chair; Steve Corum; Cary Eustis, Laura Hoffman, and Dana Schroeder) created an exciting program that allowed us to remember, celebrate, and grieve what will no longer be, and then look forward to the “Communities of Practice” that will follow in the Region’s place.

We began with a Sunday noon meal together and then Laura Hoffman opened the afternoon plenary with a focusing meditation in which NCR folk who had passed away since we were last together were memorialized and celebrated and the grief surrounding the imminent demise of the NCR was acknowledged.  This was followed by a program in which a representative of each sub-region spoke briefly about innovations they recalled that were instituted in their area or that were germinated there and then carried forward by others, either at the sub-regional, regional or national level. JoAnn O’Reilly spoke on behalf of the Illinois sub-region; Harvey Berg on behalf of Wisconsin. Clyde Burmeister represented Minnesota, Lyle Greiner represented Iowa, and Peter Holland represented the Dakotas.   Between each speaker there was ample time provided for “table talk” in which all participants had opportunity to flesh out details or add things that had not been named. Each table recorded the highlights of their conversation on poster paper and these were hung around the conference room for people to peruse at their leisure. It was obvious to all that the Region had much for which to be proud!!   Laura closed the session with a ritual reprise.

After a brief break to allow people to check into their rooms, the group gathered for a hosted happy hour with appetizers and live music by the Curtis Hunt Band from Chicago made possible by the remaining funds from the Bob Otto bequest given the NCR for such purposes.



At 7:00 p.m. we transitioned to the main ballroom for a banquet and the presentation of the 2017 NCR Distinguished Service Awards to Dee Brown-Daniels and Gary Sartain.

Dee’s presenter was Danielle Buhuro with additional comments from Dee’s husband, David.  Regional Chair, Steve Corum presented Dee with her award after which Dee herself spoke. Dee’s Advocate colleagues then presented her with a beautiful hand-made quilt in honor of the occasion and her long and dedicated service to the Advocate system. f  Jim and Helen Gibbons joined Dee and her family at her table.




Click here to view the banquet program honoring Dee


Gary’s presenter was Barbara Sheehan with additional comments from Gary’s son, Jeremy, and previous NCR Board Member and Regional Chair, Roger Ring.  Current Regional Chair, Steve Corum, presented Gary with his award, after which Gary also spoke.  During his speech Gary asked his wife, Bev, to rise along with Pat Burmeister and Jean Anderson, the spouses of the other living NCR RD’s, Clyde and Oz, recognizing them for the sacrifices they and family members were often asked to make because of NCR business.    The Chairs of the NCR Board, NCR Accreditation & NCR Certification (Steve Corum, Mary Altenbaumer & Tania Hammer-Luken) then presented Gary with fun gifts from the Wisconsin Dells area (wine, popcorn, candy) as they expressed their appreciation for his support and facilitative efforts on their behalf over the past 17 years.   Board Member and Annual Conference Committee Chair, BJ Larson, the called Bev Sartain up and presented her some similar gifts in appreciation for her support of Gary and the sacrifices she made for the sake of regional business over the years.



Click here to view the banquet program honoring Gary


The evening concluded with a short musical interlude by the band to which a number of the more fleet-footed NCR members chose to dance:



Monday morning was turned over to ACPE Executive Director Trace Haythorn and newly appointed Director of Community, Practice & Member Development with responsibilities for our area , Steve Ivy, who shared their vision for the future of the organization and answered questions from the body.  Steve Ivy then thoroughly informed the group about the new “Communities of Practice” initiative that will be foundational for ACPE as we move forward.    Some potential initial communities were identified and arrangements were made for a number of them to meet and explore formation Monday afternoon and evening.

After a concluding lunch together, those who were not participating in one of the identified potential communities left for home while the others broke into the various grouping.  Almost 50 of the latter members chose to stay into Tuesday to participate in the day long livestream “Partners in Strengthening the Future of Spiritual Care” sponsored by a number of pastoral care organizations including ACPE, APC, NACC, NAJC and CASC.



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