Ed Farris. Association President From: Ed Farris. USS Grant Alumni Assoc. President
To: All USS Grant Alumni Assoc. Members

Shipmates: After being the Reunion Committee Chairman for six successful reunions, our current Chairman has given us notice that the Orlando reunion will be his last in that position. The Reunion Committee Chairman is a voting member of the Association Board and also selects the other Reunion Committee members. About 80% of the Reunion Committee effort is usually required for the ‘Land’ Reunion and the other 20% is required for the ‘Cruise’ Reunion. WE NEED A REPLACEMENT NOW.

‘NOW’ because the ‘new’ person will immediately become a member of the Reunion Committee and will be able to ‘bird-dog’ the current Chairman during the scheduling and conduct of the 2019 reunion. For the ‘new’ person this will be excellent on-the-job training. This person will receive a detailed look at all the behind-the-scenes activities required to conduct a successful reunion.

You will not be going into this position cold, as sequential detailed procedures have been written for planning, negotiating, contracting, scheduling and conducting our reunions. There are written Association procedures which cover 1) Location (City) Selection; 2) Hotel Selection; 3) ‘Land’ Reunion Procedures and 4) ‘Cruise’ Reunion Procedures. These procedures have been used in previous reunions and will be used for the 2021 reunion. The current Chairman will be assisting the prospective Chairman during every step in the process of planning, negotiating, contracting, scheduling and conducting the 2021 reunion. And, more importantly, the four other experienced members of the Reunion Committee will also be there to help. Conducting a reunion is a TEAM effort – and the current TEAM has excelled in producing successful reunions!

The current Chairman’s wife, Ruth, will be one of the Reunion Committee members who will continue her work for the 2021 reunion. Ruth provides all the reunion information updates to shipmates, provides individual assistance, controls and updates the reunion pins and prepares the ‘Welcome Aboard’ packages that all the shipmates receive during reunion registration. She also maintains all the records of previous reunions. Ruth and Phyllis, another member of the Reunion Committee, have controlled the reunion registration process at the last four reunions. Also, the other Association Board members are available for help during the actual reunion.

The Location (City) Selection process for the 2021 reunion will be completed by the end of this year. The Hotel Selection process must be completed before the 2019 reunion begins. The planning and scheduling of the 2021 ‘Land’ Reunion activities will begin in early 2020.

The actual planning of the ‘Land’ Reunion will include selection of Grant group activities, arranging required transportation, scheduling the daily activities, scheduling the ‘Grant Remembrance Ceremony’, scheduling the ‘USS Grant Dinner’ and determining the initial and daily ‘refreshment’ requirements in the hospitality room. After all the planning and scheduling, a detailed ‘Plan-of-the-Day’ (POD) will be written and published on the Grant website. ALL of these steps are listed, in detail, in the appropriate Association Reunion Procedures, which will be available to shipmates interested in becoming the next Reunion Committee Chairman.

I am aware this appears to be a large task — because it is! The current Reunion Committee members will all tell you there is a great feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment when you see and hear 100+ people once again enjoying the sea stories and the unique brotherhood that exists only between those who have earned their dolphins. If you are ready for a satisfying task every two years, please consider being the Association’s Reunion Committee Chairman.

If you have an interest or would like more information, please contact me at either [jefarris@comcast.net] or at 770-345-0505. If I don’t answer the phone, please leave a message so I can get back to you.

J. E. (Ed) Farris (Blue ‘89-‘92), President, USS U.S. Grant Alumni Association