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Larry Gibson elected President-Elect of the National Society of Sons of Utah Pioneers

The votes are in and have been counted in the election for president-elect of the National Society of Sons of Utah Pioneers.  Thanks to the many who voted.  Each year the participation increases and we are grateful for that.  This year we had a record number of votes recorded.

We were so fortunate to have two such great, accomplished candidates who have each contributed significantly to the Church, their respective communities and to the Sons of Utah Pioneers.  The close results reflect the fact that we had two exceptional candidates.

Larry Gibson of the Mt. Timpanogos Chapter is our new president- elect.  Congratulations to Larry and to John Clayton who has graciously agreed to retain his assignment on the National Board where he will continue to serve well.

Larry brings with him a vast background in leadership in business, education, volunteer organizations, and the Church.  He has served as a CEO/ President of several national and international businesses; he has been a bishop, stake president, and served in the General Young Men Presidency of the Church and his rich pioneer heritage motivates him to revere that legacy and to desire to motivate us to do our part to treasure and to build our wonderful SUP organization.  It will be a pleasure to work with Brad, Larry and John on the Executive Council in 2021.

Brad has now been sworn in as the National President and has the authority and responsibility to lead us through the coming year.  May this year prove to be much more normal and allow SUP to carry out its many planned activities for the year.

On behalf of the 2020 Executive Council I would like to thank all of you for your support and encouragement through this past unusual year.  Despite the challenges some memorable things have occurred including the Logan Encampment of last September, the advances of the Trail Marker and Pioneer, the initiation of the weekly Newsletter to assist us in maintaining lines of communication with our members and encouraging Pioneer Minutes.  New members have been sworn onto the Board and have provided excellent service. We have successfully reduced some operating costs, John and Dianne Smith and many volunteers have done great work in the library and have made some exciting future plans for the library and for memorializations.   Our library is now a fully affiliated Family History Research Library.

All national boards have continued to meet and to function and we have introduced the use of zoom into our meetings.  Training done last October and November was rewarding and helpful, plans for this year’s training have been made, the December leadership council and Christmas luncheon  went very well and was enjoyable, the Brigham’s Ball in January was outstanding and had a really good attendance, our February chapter officers training was excellent and was very well attended.  We have had the best attendance percentage wise and numbers wise in history this year with our zoom meetings.  We have prioritized projects we are working toward achieving, we have an excellent National Trek and National Encampment planned for 2021, the president-elect campaign went forward with two exceptional candidates, a calendar has been prepared for 2021, and accolades continue to roll in for the Pioneer.

Luckily, we have acquired a grant that has helped us financially, we have also received some excellent contributions and we thank those who have been so generous.  Our investments have recovered and we expect will begin again to make some returns to help with budgets and if activities can be normalized, several groups desire to renew their rental use of the National Headquarters Building.  John has worked vigorously and successfully to keep our financial affairs in order.

We are fortunate to have a great office staff in Pat Cook and Linda Sorenson.  Thanks to both of them for keeping our office operational and our affairs in order.  We are also grateful to Derek Rowley for the launch of the sup online. We encourage all of you to take advantage of this valuable asset.

It has become necessary to do some work on physical facilities this year including news sump pumps in the parking lot, some tree pruning and brush removal from around the Headquarters Building, and putting in a new phone system at Headquarter.  We also acquired a stair climber and an air conditioning unit for the upstairs conference room as well as a lawn mower for our lawns.

Much continues to be done with SUP Monuments.  We do hope that the membership will take advantage of opportunities for small treks to both old and new monument sites.   Among these is the new placement of the SUP Monument at Pioneer Park in downtown Salt Lake City, the Children’s Memorial at This is the Place State Park, and the new placement and new plaque on the Eyes West Monument at This is the Place State Park, and there are others including the Porter Rockwell Monument at Riverton.

Unfortunate, the year 2020 saw the passing of three past national presidents: Jim Hurst, Keith Van Rosendaal and William James Critchlow III.  We will miss their presence, friendship wise council and extend our thanks and condolences to their wives and families.

Please give to Brad Clayton, our new president, the same degree of encouragement you have given to me.  I cherish the experience of having served as National President for 2020.  Brad now has the authority and responsibility.  I plan to be a laid-back past-president and to hopefully just do my part to be of quiet assistance to Brad through this coming year.

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