I hope youíre among those who are getting ready to come to Syracuse for the 27th annual WJPZ Birthday Banquet. It promises to be another fantastic event, thanks to the hard work of our Banquet Committee, led by Dena Giacobbe (í99). Weíre honored to have WCBS-AM anchor Wayne Cabot serve as our keynote speaker this year. And we have two worthy new members of the WJPZ Hall of Fame to induct- Matt Friedman (í94) and Dion Summers (í95). It promises to be an unforgettable night.
Unfortunately, I wonít be there to celebrate with all of you.
Itís for a good reason. My beautiful wife Kim and I just had our first child. Evangeline Morse Wade was born on February 27th at 6:35am. Both Mom and future ZJ are doing well! Iím disappointed I canít be in Syracuse, but Iím overjoyed to be embarking on an amazing new chapter in my life with Kim and our daughter. Speaking of new chapters, after Banquet 26, I made a promise to Kim that 2011-2012 would be my last as President of the WJPZ Alumni Association. After 5 years (and 7 years on the board total), itís time for me to focus on my growing family and making the home we moved into last December a comfortable one. And in truth, itís time for some new blood to take a fresh look at our Board and ways it can continue to fulfill its mission.
Also leaving the board this year are Romina Llona (í08), our Communications co-Chair David Peterson (í02), and our Alumni Representative to WJPZ Matt DelSignore (í02). All have made great contributions to the Board, and on behalf of myself and the rest of the Board, they have our sincerest thanks.
Iíd also like to take this time to recognize my dear friend and right-hand-man on the Board these last five years, Scott MacFarlane (í98), who is stepping down as our Secretary. Scott has been the glue that has kept our Board strong and vital, and has been a relentless advocate for a number of our initiatives, most notably the WJPZ Hall of Fame, which he has overseen since its inception. Iím pleased heíll be staying on the board to continue to offer his insight to our new leadership. I am not exaggerating when I say that I could not have done my job without his counsel, knowledge, and support. Thank you, my friend.
When one door closes, another opens. While we have some very talented people moving on, Iím excited to announce that the Alumni Assocation is headed in the right direction with the new leadership. During our board meeting on January 31st we elected a new slate of officers. Iím very pleased to announce that Kevin Rich (í07) will remain the Associationís Treasurer. Iím excited to announce that Dena Giacobbe (í99) will expand her role on the Board and serve as our Secretary.
Finally, itís my honor to announce that the next President of the Alumni Association isÖ T.J. Basalla (í06).
T.J. has been an enthusiastic member of the Board since he joined 2 years ago. He currently serves as the chair of our Fundraising Committee, and when heís not tweeting about soccer, Michigan sports or Syracuseís lack of offensive rebounding, heís one of the most passionate advocates for WJPZ that I know. Iím confident heís the right person to lead the WJPZ Alumni Association into the next era. Please congratulate him when you see him this weekend.