Thursday, November 20, 2014

Celebrating Ron

CindyMDiaz Photographer may be the only person with more
photos of Mt. Shasta than Ron. I chose this one
It would be impossible for me to write about our friend Ron without including Mt. Shasta, as I have a montage of years of this mountain, which he loved. I write often about other people and their accomplishments and ideas on my blog, and this will be a first for me to write about someone who has so recently left our world.

It is with profound sadness that today I write about Ron.  He was lost to us this week through cancer and its complications. He is someone who has profoundly impacted our lives, and the lives of many, and who deserves to be remembered. Ron and my husband Greg have been friends since the end of high school, and when I came along was wrapped up into a wide group of friends, many who are still close 30+ years later, often with Ron as the catalyst for the many happenings. We learned how to make our first real turkey dinner when we took over his mom's kitchen one Easter (by "we" I don't mean he cooked), I have seen Styx and Ozzy Osbourne (among others and both well past their prime), and he was both our best man and the man when Greg was unavailable when my water broke with Nicholas five weeks early to take me to the hospital. Probably in a Mustang and very nervous about his seats - fair enough it was not his natural comfort zone!

Ron loved getting people together, both at home and away.  Along with many others over the years Greg has enjoyed over 35 long weekend trips organized by Ron as he wove a social fabric that stretched to fit the new relationships and friendships and which all contributed to a life well lived.  Sun and a cold beer, a great dinner and a fabulous bottle of wine, playing his grand piano alone or for friends, or the guitar for a sing-along, sharing a concert or a night at Margaritaville, on the curling ice or the golf links, at a hockey game or a ball game, it has always been about creating experiences and memories.  But never Facebook and rarely pictures.

After his diagnosis Ron shrunk his world to a small circle who were there to support him through his journey which ended with dignity on Tuesday with three of these friends there to see him to the other side.  I was not physically part of this journey and now give a huge shout-out to those who were, as drivers, dinner makers, and for just being there - each by choice and each for a reason.  All of us would be fortunate to have this type of support in any time of need, and you know who you are and how important this time was for all.

For many there is literal heartbreak.  For his lovely parents the pain is enormous, and burying a child is the worst any of us can imagine, the age is irrelevant.  How Ron lived life was gifted to him by Fred and Nancy who taught him by example to choose a profession that you enjoy and serves your lifestyle of choice, and then to live each moment. If there is one thing we can each take away from knowing Ron it is this, to capture the moments, to spread happiness and to simply enjoy.  Rest well my friend, you are missed. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Anvil Centre

With Heidi Hughes the day the stairs were poured

Deciding to build a new venue is always part dream and part business case. The Anvil Centre just above the riverfront in New Westminster is certainly a great example of recognizing and then filling a need, for both meetings as well as the community.  

Having been on several hardhat tours over the previous year, I was simply thrilled to be at the Grand Opening at the end of October and to see many familiar faces from our industry also there to
One year later on the staircase!
celebrate this gorgeous addition to our meeting inventory. There were also many faces familiar to me from work both in other Vancouver venues and across the country, so I know they have also spent the time and energy on building a great team that thoroughly understands both service and operations.

This boutique conference centre will easily serve both corporate and association needs and its proximity to Skytrain, thoughtful building planning, and commitment to supporting their local community including a museum filled with local history (which can also be included in your event) makes it a shining example of sustainable design, which I always appreciate. 

Go ahead, check it out!