“IPCC PRESIDENT'S NEW YEAR'S 2021 MESSAGE”
I’d like to begin today by wishing all our Members, Friends, Associates and World-wide Social Media Followers a Very Happy, Healthy and Safe New Year 2021!!
I view writing this Yearly President’s Message as a privilege rather than a duty! It’s a great time to renew friendships, bring everyone up to date about the coming year, encourage everyone to be as optimistic as they can be during good and bad times alike!
It’s also an opportunity to reflect back upon this past year’s gains, losses, and the strides we’ve made, as more of a family rather than an organization!
It’s with this same help and understanding that we will be entering into 2021! A time of new opportunities and innovations which we will be sharing with one and all!
Before we go into those already planned and yet to materialize, we all need to take a moment and reflect on a somber 2020 reality we heretofore hardly ever encountered in the IPCC. Hardship and loss within the ranks of our membership and friends.
It is with a heavy heart that I now must say Goodbye to our members who passed away during 2020.
A loyal member, self-proclaimed Bon Vivant Man-About-Town Fred Glasper. Fred was a regular fixture at our Monthly meetings and in between lunches at the Union League Club! Often turned out in deck shoes (befitting the Ships’ Captain title he so aptly earned) flowery tropical shirts and Floridian-style pants even in the dead of Winter, Fred was a presence like no other in our organization! Quick of wit, with always a story to tell…Fred will be missed!
Our Board of Directors as well as our whole organization suffered multiple other losses as well!
We lost one of our oldest members this fall, Charles “Chuck” Kohn! It was a sudden, unexpected loss which still has a lingering sense of loss associated with it! Chuck was with us and our predecessor organization, The Chicago Press Club for well over 35 years! He joined the Board at my request, and never looked back! His weekly calls to the “Boss” were welcome and I looked forward to them and his closing message of “Best to you and the Family” and his repeated inquiries about how my son, “the General” (he is a West Point grad who was a Lieutenant then a Captain) was doing and “any grandkids yet???” He assisted with membership, organizing special messages, gave consul as needed and was a very loyal, seriously devoted member! Unbeknownst to many of our members, Chuck was severely disabled for many years which limited his movement and participation in monthly meetings, which he more than compensated for with his eagerness to help….anyway….anyhow…he could!
Our irreplaceable Organizational Attorney, Paul Sengpiehl, just said goodbye to the lifelong love of his life, June, late in 2020. June was his wife and partner-in-life, scribe, inspiration, secretary, scheduler, gatekeeper and chief advisor! Everything he did for us went in part n parcel thru her as well. She might as well have been a full member of the IPCC for as much as she helped with the behind the scenes mechanics of Paul! June will be missed!
In addition to the above known losses, the social upheaval throughout our country as well as the COVID 19 virus took its toll on our members too. The virus attacked not only our members, but our meeting locations as well…including at least one Lifetime Diplomatic/Ambassadorial Member and his entire family, but also others in our ranks! Our New York City member had the misfortune of bearing the brunt of the NYC riots, buildings burning around her, being attacked on the street, and catching the virus within months of each other! Then we heard about the Union League Club’s operations being adversely affected by the City of Chicago’s endless blanket restrictions, the same of which also affected our alternate site as well, Alexis Studios and our admin office! IE: shut down!
And the list goes on, and the names affected grows exponentially, too. Despite all this adversity, our foreign members have dutifully continued their daily alternative news updates (and No…what we see here in our mainstream press IS NOT the whole story!)…Calls are continuing…Don Sender, our Board Member was honored and filmed and presented an award by the Korean community of Chicago…our Diplomatic contacts have continued, and everyone is asking what’s next on our 2021 agenda!
Our resilient Members and their dedication…The life and lifeblood of the IPCC…goes on and prevails!
In answer to those inquiries, numerous online monthly and quarterly Zoom meetings, Guest Speaker presentations, social media usage training seminars and much more is ready to be announced or being finalized at this moment!
Even tentative plans for post virus excursions are even being explored! Now THAT’s OPTIMISM!!!
So, on that high note I close by saying, Bless You All, Your Families and loved ones! Together we will get thru this all and be stronger, more appreciative for what we have and thankful for that which we didn’t lose!
Happy New Year 2021!
All the very best, this New Year!
, President - International Press Club of Chicago