As the days condense and we move ever-closer to “Dibs Season” here in Chicago, I look back on the beginning of this year’s CALL calendar fondly. In this, CALL’s 75th year, we have continued to stay connected as a community in spite of challenges, and have maintained our mission of advocacy, education, and engagement.
September Business Meeting
In September, we began our business meeting calendar the way we ended the previous one–remotely. If it was not the ideal format for a CALL Business Meeting, you wouldn’t have known it from the excitement emanating from the webcams from our members.
CALL Members gathered to hear from Canadian author and barrister Daniel Scanlan, who shared insights into the Canadian legal system.
He also described his experiences writing his first novel, cybercrime thriller The Hacker, which Goodreads user Greer Andjanetta called “An excellent story describing the dangers of being connected electronically in the present and near-future world.” A copy of The Hacker was donated as a door prize at the end of our meeting.
October Community Service
In October, our Community Service Committee hosted a beach cleanup day. These volunteer days are wonderful opportunities for CALL members to meet new friends or catch up with old ones while supporting local organizations like the Alliance of The Great Lakes in their missions. Please consider taking advantage of these opportunities as we move forward in the new year. Our next opportunity to give back will be on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023, at the Greater Chicago Food Depository from 1 pm – 3:45 pm. See the CALL website for more details and to register.
November Business Meeting
In truly exciting news for CALL, we were able to hold our first IN-PERSON BUSINESS MEETING IN OVER TWO AND A HALF YEARS! On November 17, 2022, CALL members new and old gathered at Wildfire Restaurant for something we have all desperately needed–that Wildfire Cedar-Planked Salmon!
There’s a lot to like here, from presentation to taste, but the thing that pushes it over-the-top for me is that brown sugar-soy glaze that caramelizes right on top. Relatedly, the in-person meeting gave us a chance to see one another in person for the first time in far too long.
Our speaker at the meeting was Aaron Annable, Consul at the Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service Office of the Consulate General of Canada in Chicago. Mr. Annable detailed the work of his office and spoke glowingly about our beloved neighbors to the North, all while postcard-quality images of Canada floated by on the screen behind him.
We had 48 attendees at this meeting, and I think it’s safe to say that when the gavel fell to commence the meeting there was not a dry eye in the place due to the sheer weight of the occasion. In commemoration of CALL’s 75th Anniversary, which we have been celebrating all year, attendees were given attractive and functional tote bags.*
Recently, the Executive Board convened the first (to my knowledge) CALL Committee Summit, which was a chance for Chairs and Co-Chairs of CALL’s various committees to meet together as a group to share their ideas with one another and to help forge a path for CALL’s future.
Committee Chairs traditionally meet with the Executive Board once every year to discuss the work of their committee, but this year’s Executive Board thought that it would be valuable to share those discussions in a larger group setting.
The meeting was a great success, and by tapping into the vast well of experience and talent of our members we came away with a number of takeaways and action items to be implemented in the future.
It has been an eventful start to the year for CALL. I am proud of what we have accomplished so far this year, and am excited to see what 2023 will bring for our organization and our members. Stay warm out there, CALL members!
*If you did not attend the November meeting and would like a tote bag, feel free to shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will make arrangements to get you one.