#GPUGSummit 2017 Conference Day 2 – Part 1

David Meego - Click for blog homepageAt the end of my previous article about GPUG Summit 2017, I left you with a cliff hanger.

I will now fill you in on some behind the scenes happenings, that make the events of the morning of day two of the conference all the more interesting and enjoyable.

I mentioned that I had a chat with fellow MPV Belinda Allen in the evening of the first day. She had been told, under strictest confidence, that Leslie Vail would be presented with one of the three coveted GPUG All Star awards at the GPUG Community General Session. on the morning of the second day of the conference. Belinda had been tasked with making sure that Leslie was there and sitting down the front. As we both count ourselves as Leslie’s good friends, Belinda stretched the secrecy rules just a bit, and enlisted my help, to make sure Leslie was at the session. Our chance meeting that night was more important than we would realise.

As it was already late, I sent Leslie an email suggesting that “we meet for breakfast as we had not seen much of each other and then we could go to the session and sit down the front to heckle”. I thought that would be enough to get my part of the task completed and I went to sleep satisfied in the knowledge of a job well done.

The morning comes and I had not heard back from Leslie, so I sent her a text message with similar wording and continued to get ready for the day. Now I am almost ready for breakfast and I still had not heard from Leslie. I decided to call her room to check if she got my messages. Yay! She answered.

I explained that I wanted to catch up for breakfast and then we could go to the session together. She said that, due to her old computer dying just before the conference, and the fact that the replacement computer was doing weird things, she had work to prepare for her sessions later in the day and did not have time to come to the general session. She mentioned that this was her first Windows 10 machine and she now hates Windows 10. I tried pushing a little harder but she was very concerned about having everything ready for her presentations and, as much as she wanted to spend time with me, she couldn’t.

I gave up and called Belinda in desperation. She said that I would have to tell Leslie that she would be getting an award and needed to be there. I called Leslie back and told her that I had found out she was going to get an award and she could continue working on her presentations at the session. I did not mention any details about the award, but that was enough to get her to come with me. She was excited about the idea of an award and hoped that it would have her name on it as she had never had an award with her name on it. She said she would get ready and meet me down at the front row. Phew!

I went down to the hall for the session and saved some seats across the front row. Leslie came and sat down the front along with Beat Bucher and Belinda Allen. As she was worried about her sessions and frustrated by her machine, Beat and I had a look at what was happening. Probably, the biggest issue Leslie was having with Windows 10 was identified and fixed by Beat. He noticed that Windows 10 was stuck in Tablet mode, so the Start Menu and all applications where running in full screen mode. Once that was turned off, the machine started to behave in the way Leslie was used to and things were looking up. Beat and I tweaked a few more settings, including using GP Power Tools to enable bitmap scaling so that Microsoft Dynamics GP scaled nicely on the high resolution screen. Once the computer was behaving, Leslie continued to sit with her head down, working on the computer.

So, now you have the background, let’s talk about the session.

The GPUG Community General Session started with music, very appropriate for Nashville. The band  were very talented and sounded great.

GPUG Summit 2017 in Nashville – Kidbilly Music warming up the crowd (direct link)

As the band finish playing, I expected them to pack up and leave the stage and let the session start, but they had other plans. Working with the audience to provide words and phrases that sum up their experiences and expectations for the conference, the band created a song called “GPUG Toolbelt”.

GPUG Summit 2017 in Nashville – Kidbilly Music singing “GPUG Toolbelt” (direct link)

The experience was great fun and part of the team building through song that Kidbilly Music offer.

After the musical interlude, the session started with revealing the location for Summit 2018, which will be in Phoenix, Arizona, USA on 15th-18th October 2018.

Then the GPUG Community Awards were announced, including:

  • Chapter Awards, congratulations to GPUG South Carolina (Charleston) and GPUG Wisconsin (Green Bay)
  • Richard Whaley Academy Awards, congratulations to Rod O’Connor, and Wendy Kennedy
  • The Gemstone Awards for community involvement, congratulations to all the winners, who were asked to stand up to be acknowledged.

Now, let me pause at this point. The Granite Award (which is not actually a gemstone) is awarded to Partners make contributions to the community and one of those recipients was Leslie Vail. So she stood up and received applause from the audience. I did not know she would be get this award, but it was absolutely perfect, as she thought that that was the award I was talking about.

So now we come to the climax, the GPUG All Star awards. They start by pulling up the list of previously honoured All Stars (an amazing list of fantastic people):

Bob McAdam, John Lowther, Zubin Gidwani, Mark Polino, Richard Whaley, Howard Swerdloff, Michelle Kocher, Terry Heley, Beat Bucher, Aaron Back, Belinda Allen, Shawn Dorward, Steve Erbach, Viola Shoell, David Musgrave, Frank Heslin, Brian Lambertz and Amber Bell.

Then they announce the awards for this year starting with Bert Green from Berger Transfer & Storage, Inc. Bert attended the Dexterity training I ran last year in Tampa so I know what a great guy he is.

Then the next award went to Steve Burney, Nissan Trading Corporation Americas. Congrats Steve.

So, now is the third and final award for a partner, and I knew who this would be. I had been holding my camera “on” in my lap for a while with the lens pointing at various locations but especially towards Leslie. This was so I could start recording her without her noticing.

Remember the following:

  • Leslie has been in the GP community since before Great Plains Software Dynamics 1.0.
  • Leslie has been giving her time on forums, presenting at conferences for years.
  • She has never received an award with her name on it.
  • While she has been recognized as an Microsoft MVP that award is not “named”.
  • She was not planning to come to the session as she had presentations to prepare.
  • She already thought that she had received the award I asked her to come for.

The video starts with Bob McAdam talking about Steve and the rest is priceless….

Leslie Vail receiving her GPUG All Star Award at GPUG Summit 2017 in Nashville (direct link)

Did you see the lightening reflexes from Belinda Allen who grabbed her laptop before it hit the floor?

Here are some of photos of her on stage. They bring a smile to my face every time I see them.

While she was on stage, Leslie said “Oh look, it even has my name on it!”. Now with the background I provided, you will understand why that was so important.

Congratulations to the 2017 GPUG All Stars, welcome to the team.

2017 GPUG All Stars: Steve Burney, Leslie Vail and Bert Green

For more information on the awards for GPUG Summit 2017, go to the link below. Congratulations to everyone who won an award.

More in the next article.


This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.

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