2018 State of the Union Luncheon Proves a Celebration

    Although the skies were gray outside and there were few signs of a white Christmas aside from some cold temperatures, things inside LaScala were warm and festive Dec. 6 as the Central Ohio IFMA Chapter gathered for its traditional State of the Union President’s Luncheon.

     It’s the 30th year for the annual event.

     About 60 members and their guests attended the luncheon at its new location this year, where they learned more about the Chapter’s direction during the upcoming year and more about each committee’s mission -- all while spreading some good cheer.

     And there was plenty of that to go around. 

     Chapter President Todd Kise welcomed the crowd as they settled into their seats for a home-style served meal of Italian favorites.  Calling it a “successful” year, Kise applauded the 2018 membership for leading the charge in a very fruitful start to his tenure as president.  Kise was sworn in as the new Central Ohio IFMA Chapter president in July at the annual Golf Outing.  Kise welcomed committee members to share the floor for activity updates throughout the meal.

     Presentations included recaps from the Membership Committee, Programs Committee, Events Committee, WE representatives, and Community Relations.  Highlights included the announcement that this year’s annual Golf Outing raised some $65,000 for scholarships. The Central Ohio Chapter of IFMA Scholarship program is designed for members to pursue credentials and certifications, degrees in facility management or related fields, and attendance at World Workplace or Facility Fusion.  Scholarships are available to Central Ohio IFMA Chapter members who have been a member of the Chapter for a minimum of two years, and who have been active and accumulated a minimum of 10 points from the member rewards program between August 1and July 31 annually.

     Also highlighted in this year’s annual committee reports was the success of the Ten Pin Membership Drive which welcomed new members this year amid some fun and networking.  Overall, membership stands at 178 with 39 new members added to the rolls this year alone.

     And for the 4th year in a row, attendees were asked to participate in the Chapter’s Spirit of Giving Campaign by donating new, unwrapped toys for needy children throughout Central Ohio.  Trucks, dolls, games, a fishing rod, playsets and Matchbox cars were carefully placed under the Christmas tree as guests arrived, giving gift-givers the chance at winning a number of special prizes and gift cards in appreciation of their donation.  More than 100 toys and gift items were donated in support of the Salvation Army’s annual Angel Tree program.  Last year, The Salvation Army provided new toys to over 10,600 children from over 6,500 families in Central Ohio, along with a special meal to help make Christmas Day a festive one.   

     Chapter member Lara Moon was presented with a $100 gift card for her outstanding efforts volunteering to help make all three of the committee’s community service projects a success.      

     The highlight of the afternoon, though, was by far the traditional White Elephant Gift Exchange which included wine, moonshine, calendars, healthy snacks, festive decorations, and candy – to name a few.  The choosing was tricky, and the strategizing even trickier.  Only three steals per round meant that some of the most coveted of gifts quickly found a permanent home.  This year’s packaging was also a coveted prize – large, zippered holiday bags which could prove very useful at this time of the year. 

     As Chapter members and guests finished their tiramisu, that last sip of coffee, and gave that final holiday hug, they were treated to an IFMA tech bag as a parting gift and the wish from past president Matt Butterworth for a happy and prosperous New Year.