Almost 50 of the national Sierra Club’s conservation issue experts stayed mostly under the radar screen on Veteran’s Day weekend as they met in Kansas City. They came to the Heartland Presbyterian Conference Center near Parkville by plane and by car from as far away as Alaska and Puerto Rico and from all three coasts for a rare face-to-face “family meeting” of the Environmental Quality Strategy Team (EQST).
The EQST oversees all national level pollution work of the Club. Volunteer leaders working on air, water, solid wastes, toxics, radiation, livable communities, environmental justice, corporate accountability and GulfCoast restoration were in town for three days with Board members Robin Mann and Marilyn Wall, as well as other Club experts, to collaborate on efforts to protect the environment.
The Kanza Group hosted the meeting, including arranging lodgings, meeting rooms, airport shuttles, registration, a Saturday night social event and refreshments. Marilyn Wall attached a special note to the Board of Directors about the meeting: “…our Kansas City hosts were wonderful and those who put the weekend together from one end to the other did a terrific job!”
A special thanks to local “Transportation Captain” Steve Hassler, whose organizational talents are sadly under-recognized. He worked for hours doing our ground transportation schedules and then spent more time revising them to deal with flight changes. Thanks to Steve also for being one of our shuttle drivers, along with his wife Jennifer, Richard Voss, Craig Lubow and Frank Drinkwine. Steve Baru also did some driving for select Club leaders, who got a special tour of downtown KC.
Kanza volunteers devoted much of what might have been a 3-day weekend to making the national meeting a productive one for our guests. Several Kansas leaders also took the time to participate in the meetings.
This is a great example of the grass roots nature of the Sierra Club. I hope our success in bringing this national-level meeting to Kansas City will inspire our local members to get more involved in Club activities.
By Elaine Giessel, EQST and Kanza Group Chair