The members of the Surrey International Writers' Conference Society would like to wave a fond adieu to two of our community who retired at the end of the year.
Ursula Maxwell Lewis was one of the founders of SiWC and has been a part of our community ever since those long-ago days. While we all love the energy and verve Ursula brought to the conference, her fellow conference founder Carol Monaghan perhaps knows her best of all. Carol says:
One of the essential elements of SiWC is making connections and one of my best Conference
connections was meeting Ursula. I first worked with Ursula twenty years ago when that magnetic fella named Ed Griffin drew several of us together to help plan a writers’ conference. As soon as I met her, I knew she was a woman who combined her business acumen with a heap of common sense. After the first conference at Johnston Heights Secondary, Ursula knew the event was headed for even greater success and promoted the idea of a larger venue. And of course her advice was dead on as our 19 years’ tenure at the Sheraton Guildford has proven. She’s a no-nonsense kind of person as I discovered when she sussed out a smooth talker who had wheedled his way into a private gathering of conference presenters. It took Ursula to realize that this entertaining charmer was a phoney – and out he went!
Our friendship has grown through the years and our conference connection has been special. During the time we’ve spent as “roomies” at the Sheraton, we’ve shared laughter and even a few tears over remembrances of each conference and the wonderful people who have been a part of SiWC. When Ursula announced she was stepping down from the board, I was saddened at the thought of losing that unique bond with her … so you can imagine my joy when it was announced that Ursula had been appointed director emeritus for her twenty years of service on the board. I’m already looking forward to SiWC 2013, October 25 to 27.
“Meet you at the Sheraton, Ursula … I’ll make sure the wine is chilled!”
Ingrid Roeske Good has brought her own wonderful energy and enthusiasm to the conference. I have a special bond with Ingrid, as she worked as my conference assistant in the years I stood as Conference Coordinator. She handled everything I threw at her with great aplomb, and presenters, attendees and volunteers all enjoyed her magnetic presence. Her long-time friend [and Society Director] Carmen Merrells notes:
Wow, talk about Miss Organized! Ingrid can pull anything together and make it tick like clockwork. But I’m not talking about cold efficiency; rather, she connects on a personal level with almost everyone she works with, trying to make sure everyone pulls together and moves forward as one. And when everyone is giving 110%, Ingrid is giving 150%. We will miss having Ingrid on our Board!
We will miss both these lovely ladies on our Society Board of Directors, but know that their hearts will remain always with us. Thank you Ingrid and Ursula for all you have done for SiWC!
sweetly tweeting @kcdyer