The 2018 AALS Professional Development Retreat is history.  For those of you who worked tirelessly to make this happen, THANKS!  For those of you who attended, it was a great time of food, fellowship and fun.  For those of you who missed, well, let me just say that you missed an excellent opportunity to Get Cooking!  The retreat is always supposed to be relaxing, fun and informative, and we achieved all of those things.  We had some special NALS Pals from Mississippi, Billie Ruddick, Karen Kuhn, and Reba Peden in attendance, which was a treat for us all.  Special thanks to Reba for being a retreat speaker.  We all gained some valuable information from Reba and the other speakers.

If you missed the opportunity to participate in the Pampered Chef FUNdraiser, never fear.  I am now a Pampered Chef consultant, so you can contact me AT ANY TIME for a book, to schedule a FUNdraiser, or to host a party.  I will make sure that you get what you want or need!

The forward direction of AALS is very important to me, as I am sure it is to you all. As many of you know our membership has dropped drastically in the past few years.  This saddens me.  I want us to review and flourish.  I feel that all the chefs in this association must take responsibility to retain and to encourage new members. We have to do this in order to make our RECIPE FOR SUCCESS a reality.

Beginning at the Retreat), I implemented a new Chefs Competition, which is directly taken from Janice Miller, PP, PLS, CPS.  When she was our 2009-2010 AALS President, her theme was Bloom Where You Are Planted.  She had a competition and awarded a Master Gardener Award at the end of the competition, and graciously agreed for me to play off her idea.


Advisor Cheryl Summerhill will be in charge of giving each members their “kitchen” page and kitchen items.  Members will receive stickers of kitchen items, i.e., pots/pans, cooking utensils, food, serving pieces, spices, etc. for every activity that they do (participate in local and state chapter meetings, CLE sessions, special events, i.e. law day, anniversary events, community activities, articles or committee reports submitted, official publication articles, NALS meetings, NALS online studies, NALS activities, and other association activities, etc.).

Each member can build their kitchen as they choose, use other colored paper, etc., as long as it is 8 ½ x 11.  Each member will write their activity into the designated space and present to Cheryl for approval.  Cheryl will then present kitchen item(s) and initial the competition sheet as your items are received.  Those who attended Retreat were awarded DOUBLE stickers.  Those who brought a silent auction item that was related to the RECIPE FOR SUCCESS theme, got two additional stickers for their page.

The competition is designed to encourage each member to participate fully in the activities of the association.  There will be a competition at annual meeting for all members, and details of the final voting procedure will be provided later.  Each member can submit their kitchen for the competition at annual meeting.  There will be more than one prize given at the 2019 annual meeting.

This will be a fun competition to see who can build the best recipe, the best kitchen, or the best “success”, and who can win the biggest prize.  I wish you all Happy Cooking!!

Cheryl distributed the information sheet and the competition forms. They will be attached to the website so that all members have access to this competition.

RECIPE FOR SUCCESS 2018-2019 Competition Instructions | Recipe for Success Competition

This competition will run the rest of my term as your top Chef.  After the voting during the annual meeting weekend, the winner of this competition will be announced at the 2018-2019 Annual Banquet.  That winner will win the ultimate chefs prize, so you should strive to win that prize.  Other prizes will be given, but don’t you want to win the BIG ONE???

Now, for the future, I would like to see AALS adopt some sort of charity.  We’ve done this a couple of times in the past, but honestly, we’ve just chosen something and then nothing significantly beneficial has ever happened.  We’ve not volunteered. We’ve not donated funds, and honestly, I know that we want to do something that will help others, I have personally seen the generosity of each chef in this association, I know that we all want to give.  We give and when we feel we can’t give any more, we all manage to give again. Let’s come up with a plan to do something beneficial to someone or something needy in our state.  So, I challenge you to think of a person or an organization that you’d like to help.  We do not have to choose one thing that we help all year.  There are needs that arise throughout the year that need to be addressed.  I’d sure like to see what we can do about helping one or more of these needs.  So, at the fall business meeting, this will be discussed.  If you know of someone or some thing that needs assistance, please share that information with me whenever it crosses your mind or your heart.  If it is a need that needs to be addressed before we meet again, let me know and we’ll see what we can do to help.

In conclusion, I would like to see us invest in ourselves.  At the spring business meeting, your EC recommended giving away two registrations for the fall business meeting.  After that was addressed and amended, we are now going to give away four registrations!!  How fortunate we are that we have funds available to do this!!  I would like to see this continue for other meetings. I would like to see us have legal education seminars at no cost.  I would like so see us be able to host next year’s retreat with a ZERO dollar registration fee.  I know, I know, how can you look at me talking about giving away money when all I’ve ever hollered about is making money.  You know that I LOVE MONEY, but honestly, I love the fact that we’re now in a position that we can re-invest in our future.  So, let’s make that happen.  If you have any thoughts or feedback, please, please send them my way.  I look forward to hearing all responses, even to those of you from out of state.

Thanks to the CLEC and all others who helped make the Retreat possible.  This event does not happen by itself.  It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, scheduling, and time to be able to pull off an event, any event.  To all of you who took time away from your families and other schedules, I say thank you for your dedication and your devotion to yourself.

Our next recipe in this cookbook will be at the Fall Business Meeting to be held in Little Rock, on September 8, 2018.  When the call comes for you to sign up for a free registration, you should do so.  You won’t win unless you sign up!  I hope to hear lots of feedback from you.  I hope that all of you are active participants in the President’s Competition of “What’s Cooking?”

We will have profits from the Pampered Chef FUNdraiser that was held at Retreat to go into the AALS treasury.  We have profits from the silent auction that was held to go into the AALS treasury.  I look forward to seeing you all soon.  If you need me before I see you, please call or email.  I want to be your president, so help me be the best president ever.