2017 VoS President's Award Winner

I am here tonight to present the Valley of the Sun’s President Award.
The VoS President’s Award was designed to recognize a member who has gone above and beyond and is deserving of special recognition for the extraordinary amount of time and effort expended on behalf of CFMA and the chapter.
This Award is not voted on, it was designed to be at the sole discretion of the VOS President, and they can award it or not.  While I am not the current President, I am the Immediate Past President and I am invoking my executive privilege.
Back in 2015 David James was the first recipient of this award, tonight; we are recognizing our second recipient. 
David could not be here tonight, so he asked me to read this in his stead:
Passion may be defined as an intense or overpowering emotion
Passion may be defined as a sudden outburst of caring
Passion may be defined as a way to direct your intellect towards a critical purpose
BUT, however you define it, passion cannot be learned; it cannot be taught; it is found within us;
For the recipient of the VoS President’s Award for 2017, our award winner DEFINES PASSION
Suicide deaths in our industry has been recently identified as a huge issue that we, as an industry, must address.  So how can we, as CFM’s, possibly impact this issue in a meaningful way? 
We can engage our company leadership; we can communicate with our employees, and our safety and HR people; and we can work towards spreading the word among our industry peers!  
Our award recipient has excelled at ALL of these activities - - - because she has PASSION
Having been a member of CFMA since 1985, I have never seen an issue so critical to our industry and so engaging by CFMA leadership.  Our Presidents Award recipient has been passionate for this cause, and has stepped into a leadership role where no one has been before; now THAT shows passion! 
I am proud and honored to announce the President’s Award winner is Michelle Walker -- 
Michelle came on the VOS board in 2013, and has been a force in our chapter and nationally ever since!  She has been active in the local chapter as she held various officer positions leading up to her current role as president; has been active on many local committees; and nationally, she has served on and chaired the sub-specialty committee.
But nothing shows Michelle’s passion more than the suicide prevention movement that began in earnest right here in Phoenix just over a year ago.  Michelle was deeply involved with our Suicide Prevention Summit, and has gone on to lead and help plan many other Summits around the country.  When National CFMA established the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention, Michelle accepted the daunting task of chairing this group of well-meaning people who admittedly are trying to build a road with no specifications, and not even a road map to know where they should end up!  Her passion and leadership have served her and the team very well.
Now – although I cannot be here tonight to congratulate our recipient, I did mention it to Donnie;  he was so excited, he nearly had an accident;  NO, not THAT kind of accident; he actually tripped over some electrical cords that were not properly secured to OSHA standards;  once recovered, he did sit down and write a poem in tribute:
There once was a CFMA dudette,
Who traveled a new road without regret;
She merrily came exploding out of her shell,
And yes indeed, her name was Michelle!
With a passion and incredible vision,
She took on suicide prevention as her mission!
To spread the word both far and wide,
Proclaiming to all, “this movement will be quite a ride”;
The CFMA Alliance will be the key,
And for Michelle and all who believe,
This key will open doors and set many who struggle free ….
By Donnie; aka Edgar Allen Shakespeare