27th ANNUAL TRAINING SEMINAR
TOWN AND COUNTRY HOTEL
The 27th Annual WSATI Training Seminar was held at the Town and Country Hotel and Convention Center in San Diego, September 30th, October 1st, and October 2nd, and was hosted by the Southern Chapter.
Your seminar committee members began seminar week on Monday morning at the AAA offices in Costa Mesa, where Carol VanNatter and members Randy Ballin, Gary Labb, and Terry Cramer “shopped” for many of the door prizes and raffle prizes given out at the seminar. Of course, after the committee members loaded up four vehicles, our president Dave Dempsey showed up to help (earning a possible future Bent Screwdriver Award). After a hearty lunch in the AAA Cafeteria, the charge to San Diego was led by Randy, AKA “the speed king.”
In San Diego, Monday and Tuesday were spent stuffing those great briefcases/bags which Dave was able to obtain (with considerable effort and cell phone charges). Inserts were provided by Marianne Finney (State Farm), the CHP Sacramento, CHP Border, and of course…AAA. Tuesday also saw Carol, Terry, Gary, Randy, Dennis Frias, and Pat Sheets shopping for additional door prizes in San Diego…and of course buying refreshments for the hospitality room. Additional kegs were brought to the hospitality room by Lou Koven and Bill Hogue.
Early Wednesday morning saw some of the WSATI members enjoying the best ball scramble golf tournament at Steele Canyon Golf and Country Club in Jamul. Jim Hayes was the tournament director (and put this tournament together on his own). The winning foursome was the Buena Park PD contingent of Chris Bentley, Jim Hayes, Dirk O’Dette, and Ron Whitley who as a team shot a minus 7. The second place team was the Farmers Insurance contingent who shot a minus 6. These two teams received individual trophies. There were individual monetary awards for Scott Dowling (Beverly Hills PD) who was closest to pin on front nine, Kevin Letson (Farmers) closest to pin on back nine, Tracie Mortenson (3M) longest drive on front nine, and Elliott Hansen (Farmers) longest drive on back nine. Tracie actually hit the longest drive front and back, but the rules were you could only win once.
On Wednesday morning, the committee set forth on the task of finishing the briefcase stuffing while Terry got his laptop hopping with the name tags for everyone. Additional help came from Marianne, Diane Rummel, Bill Lovold, Mark Stowell, Joan Pitts, Ed Verduzco, and Dave Stuflick. We also had additional help from north of our border, with Brian Manning and Bill Larcoque helping out with the name tags and then volunteering to work the registration table. Without their help also on Thursday and Friday, committee members would not have been able to spread themselves thin enough to handle all the “chores” that needed to be handled.
Wednesday afternoon registration went well, leading us to believe we were going to have an attendance of nearly 450 people… and then … into the hospitality room…. need we say more.
Training kicked off Thursday morning with many dignitaries attending including the CHP Commissioner, the San Diego Chief of Police, the Undersheriff, and the CHP Border Assistant Chief. Once again (surprise), CHP Commissioner “Spike” Helmeck recognized our beloved Fritz Grimsley…. Randy said early in the opening ceremonies of the conference that Carol VanNatter was the “brick” of the organization. Randy also recognized the years of work put in by Joan Pitts and Marianne Finney. Then into the training program, with keynote speaker Gordon Graham breaking everyone up with his different take on risk management.
Training went on throughout the day with great instructors brought in by Mark and Dennis and then the bar-b-que began at 6 p.m. The hospitality room opened again. During this time we were treated to the music of Indian Joe and the Chiefs… hey, forget the name, they were a good band and another choice of Dave's (he made some good choices which may help him avoid the Bent Screwdriver Award, or as Randy has started calling it, THE DEMPSEY).
Friday brought another day of training with more great instructors. And then the banquet…
The banquet was well attended, though some of the 458 attendees missed a great meal by leaving to get home before Saturday. Awards and door prizes were then given out.
A surprise for the WSATI Southern Chapter was the dual presentation of the WSATI Northeast Chapter (Washington State Patrol) Trooper James S. Gain Award to our very own “brick,” Carol VanNatter, and WSATI Northeast President Darrell Ehlers.
It took a little secrecy from everyone (like telling her we weren't going to give the award until after the conference, so we didn't need any nominee names from her), and the WSATI Southern Chapter Billy Osborn Award went to Joanie Pitts.
Both of these ladies, Carol and Joanie, along with Marianne Finney, have given much more than just their time to the WSATI Southern Chapter over many, many years. Without Carol's, Marianne's, and Joanie's generosity, both monetarily and time, this seminar would not be what it is. They really are not only the bricks, they are the foundation.
There were many, many door prizes handed out during the banquet. We need to thank not only our corporate sponsors for their participation, but also Frank Graber and Pat Sheets who made personal donations.
Thanks to everyone for making this year's training seminar a success.
1998 Southern Chapter Officers
1998 Seminar Committee Members