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    CONNECT: A Conference to Remember

    The first CSA Educational Conference of the new, six-year plan was phenomenal!

    Hosted Wednesday through Friday, Aug. 23-25, at the Ontario Convention & Airport Hotel in Ontario, the emphasis was on education. From the first swing of the golf clubs, to the last enlightening seminar, the 2017 conference was memorable! 


    Wednesday, August 23

    Wednesday was the start of the conference with a great round of golf being played at the Sierra Lakes Golf Course in Fontana, CA. Thirty-four golfers hit the course at 1:00pm, finishing up about 5:30pm. Golf Tournament Awards & Recognition took place at Big Al’s in Ontario at 7:00pm.


    Big Al’s was also the location for our Bowling Bash, where 55 folks enjoyed the bowling, food and beer/wine, not to mention great camaraderie. Once again, CSA was able to secure a private bowling alley within a bowling alley – with our own waiters and waitresses – "FANTASTIC" said one of our bowlers. Our annual bowling bash has become the “Not-to-be-Missed” event of the year.


    Following a hearty breakfast at 7:30, the day started at 8:00 AM with the last Board of Directors Meeting of the 2016-17 board. President Pete Michelini was able to bring his year in office to a very successful conclusion with very positive reports from all six standing committees within the California Sign Association. The meeting included the approval of two new members to the CSA membership roll, adding to the previously approved seventeen new members, for a grand total of nineteen new members for 2016-17 CSA year!

    9:00 – 10:30 a.m. featured an Education Session, “The Permit Counter: Who’s Side Are You On?” that was much anticipated by attendees. Presenters were Mitch Chemers, Imagetech Services and James Carpentier, AICP, Manager, State & Local Government Affairs at ISA. The seminar was interactive in nature, James acting as the city official and Mitch acting as the permit applicant. Those in attendance were able to be involved as the seminar went along, asking questions, providing input on their experiences with permitting and how they addressed issues brought up at the counter.

    At 10:45, the 2016 CSA Annual Meeting, State of the Association and Board Elections was the next order of business, where President Pete Michelini reviewed the past year of progress at CSA and future goals of CSA. The election of the board of directors for the year 2017-18 was conducted, along with the election of next year’s officers. Those officers are: Pete Michelini, Sign Designs (Immediate Past President), Dennis Lytle, Federal Heath, (President), Neal Tibbs, Ad Art (1st Vice President), Rob Riley, Bitro Group (2nd Vice president), and Bob Shimmin, Montroy Supply (Secretary/Treasurer).

    When lunch was served, we were provided with a complete up-date on the Enhanced Training program CSA is developing, called STEPS – Sign Training & Educational Program Series. This up-date was provided by Pete Michelini, Dennis Lytle and Ray Smith.

    After lunch, a very enjoyable and enlightening education session was presented, “Company Culture: It’s Not Your Father’s Workplace Anymore!” Lori Anderson, President & CEO, International Sign Association, was our esteemed guest speaker. Her hands-on exercise for finding the “core values” that drive each of us was fun and tough. Everyone in attendance learned how to take the first steps to align company culture with personal strengths and vision! Thank you, Lori!

    Following this, from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. CSA hosted Education Session #3, “Cyber Security!” Dr. Lance Larson, President & CEO, Larson Corporation Inc. was our mind-opening expert on this topic. As a cyber security expert, Dr. Larson’s goal was to make certain the sign industry was keenly aware of the potential for all of our digital devices to be hacked and taken over by very bad actors. From terminology describing types of hacks and phishing attempts, to a powerful inside look at a hacker’s conference in Las Vegas, this seminar left perhaps the deepest impression on all in attendance of the CSA conference. Key takeaway? Never, ever use just the default password on ANYTHING.

    That evening, the President’s Reception (6:00 – 7:00 p.m.) was following by the CSA Educational Conference Banquet, Awards, Installation of Officers, Silent Auction Closeout, Live Auction and $10,000 Drawing! The President’s reception enables the outgoing president to thank all of the folks that helped to make the year a success for CSA, and for all in attendance to meet with old friends, make some new acquaintances and to share stories with each other on our favorite topic… SIGNS.

    The Annual Banquet activities included the swearing in of the new Board of Directors and installation of the new officers for the 2017-18 CSA year. Closing out the silent auction and lastly the $10,000 drawing, with 227 tickets sold the drawing was able to provide almost $11,000 to the CSA Treasury for our Legal Legislative Battles.

    Friday, August 25

    8:00 started with the 2017-18 CSA Board of Directors Meeting. Newly installed CSA President Dennis Lytle chaired his first meeting of the new Board of Directors, outlining the major goals for the year, which include: Finalizing and activating the STEPS training program, completing the Crane Operator Certification Program, and moving forward with our very successful membership drive. Specific items that needed to be addressed and approved by the board were: the CSA Calendar for 2017-18 and approval of the Budget for 2017-18 CSA fiscal year.

    At 10:15 we were treated to Education Session #4: “SIGNS: An historical Perspective” presented by Dr. Dydia Delyser, CSU- Fullerton. Dr. Delyser, presented a wonderful seminar on the history of signs, in particular – neon signs – she also elaborated on the restoration projects that are taking place around the country on old signs. All in attendance felt as if they had learned something from this session, most in attendance – live and breathe signs, and yet, you can always learn something new when given a chance and Dr. Delyser provided that opportunity.

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