27th October, Gurnee, Illinois, US
by Francisco Uzal and Bruce Williams
This year’s meeting of the Foundation’s Board of Directors was held at our Gurnee headquarters (only a short trip from the ACVP meeting being held the next day in Chicago).
For many attendees, it was their first chance to see the Foundation’s headquarters and its rich history, where Dr. Sam Thompson and his wife, Dr. Vladislava Rac, grew the Foundation over the last 30 years. (The Foundation actually was incorporated in Sayre, Pennsylvania, but moved to the Gurnee location in 1986.) While the rooms of mimeograph machines, syllabus binders, VHS copiers, and DVD burners (the technology that built the Foundation) are gone, the office still houses our fascicle and merchandise distribution activities, as well as all of the financial workings that keeps the Foundation moving forward 50 years later.
The group was hosted by Ms. Evelyn Norman-Cotton, Ms. Latoya Montgomery, and Ms. Ksenija Rac (Dr. Thompson’s sister-in-law, who has been a tremendous and beloved supporter of the Foundation over the years). The Board meeting room hadn’t been used in a good ten years (since the last time the ACVP meeting was in Chicago), but for three hours, it resembled the meetings of old, as we reviewed and discussed all the activities of the Foundation and planned for a busy and productive year ahead.
At the end of the meeting, several members of the Board were privileged to visit with Dr. Rac (who still lives next door to the Foundation office) and share fond memories of the early days of the Foundation and Dr. Thompson. Several members of the Board who could not be present in person, attended the meeting via Zoom. It was a fantastic day for Foundation volunteers young and old – a chance to learn of the storied history of the Foundation while also planning for its bright future.