Chairman’s Letter 2017

To All MRMA Members and Friends:

This past year it has been my privilege and honor to be President of our organization. With the help of many, 2016 turned out to be a success in raising scholarship funds for the 2017/18 school year at our five networking and fundraising events throughout the year.

We started the year with our Pinstripes event in January and honored Ron Burke of E.A. Langenfeld as our Person of the Year, it was a well overdue honor for Ron. His continued support of our organization is off the charts, and his advocacy and encouragement of members to become more active in MRMA and to hold committee and leadership positions is immeasurable.  A big thanks to Alfonso Olivas and his team for managing this event.

We followed up the Pinstripes event with our largest fundraiser of the year, the Auction and Scholarship Night in April. We had record attendance this year! Thanks to Rob Michel and his team for all their efforts in making this year’s event so successful. As an organization, we will miss Rob who has left our industry to lead his family business He was a great asset to MRMA and will be sorely missed. Our Auction and Scholarship Night is also when we present the scholarships to the student recipients and their families; all sponsored by YOU our members. This year we awarded $25,000.00 in scholarships. I would also like to personally thank E.A. Langenfeld for again sponsoring a scholarship and True Value Corporation who this year sponsored a scholarship for what we hope will be for many years to come.

Next up was our baseball event in July at the former US Cellular Field. We had great participation and many new faces at this year’s event. While there were highlights at the event like surprising and singing Happy Birthday to our committee chairman John Melody, the biggest highlight was that this event yielded three new committee members from True Value Corporation. I thank Mike Vesely, Jessica Peeler and Amy Mashburn for getting involved in our committees. Maybe next year we will head back to the North Side to cheer for the World Champion Chicago Cubs!

From baseball, we moved to our second largest fundraiser the Annual Golf Outing in September. Thanks to Joe Heerlein and his team for once again hosting a great event. It was great to see so many of you at St. Andrews which turned out to be a great day with no rain! We tried some new things at the event this year with positive feedback and this event will continue to raise significant monies for our scholarship fund. If you have never attended this event, we hope you will consider joining us next year!

The final event of the year was the Chicago Blackhawks game in November. This was a great success and the brain child of Joe McMahon. The feedback we received from those in attendance was outstanding. We were limited to 80 tickets and the event sold out in 5 days; a record for our organization. This event was so successful that we will be back at the United Center on March 31, 2017. Stay tuned for more details as this event will hopefully sell out fast.

As mentioned earlier we had a successful year and look forward to once again awarding scholarships to outstanding students for the 2017/18 school year. We encourage all members to reach out to encourage students to apply for a scholarship. Applications can be found on our website and will be accepted until January 31, 2017. Thank you to E. A. Langenfeld and True Value for again being corporate scholarship sponsors for 2017. If you are interested in becoming a corporate scholarship sponsor for 2017, we would love to have you!

Let us not forget our Mission Statement:

The Mission of the Midwest Retailers and Manufacturers Association is to increase diversity of membership through aggressive campaigning, while driving the growth of scholarship grants.

It has been a great year, there are many to thank who helped us tremendously but space is limited.

I will do my best to thank you all personally at our events.

Thank you all for making 2016 a great year for MRMA,

Mike Vinik

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