June 9 to 11, 2022
Windsor Court Hotel
New Orleans, Louisiana
REGION VII: TRI-STATE MEETING
ON JUNE 9-11, 2022, ALABAMA, GEORGIA
AND FLORIDA FELLOWS AND GUESTS GATHERED
IN NEW ORLEANS FOR THE TRI-STATE
(REGION VII) MEETING.
The program organized by Alabama State Chair Gaynor St. John and Co-Chair
Frank Stakely featured an array of topics including food, music, travel, sports
and politics. The Fellows were especially pleased to welcome President Michael
O’Donnell and his wife Brett, Immediate Past-President Rodney Acker and his
wife Judy, Past-President Sam Franklin and his wife Betty, Past-President Chilton
Varner, current Secretary Rick Deane and Dennis Maggi, Executive Director.
Thursday night, the Fellows and guests enjoyed a cocktail reception at the
Windsor Court followed by dine-arounds among the many fine New Orleans
restaurants. Friday’s program began with welcoming comments by Gaynor St.
John and Rick Deane. The Fellows then heard from Lee Sentell, Alabama Tourism
Director. Mr. Sentell is the author of the Civil Rights Trail, which describes
the historical events that occurred in the South during the Civil Rights Movement
of the 1960’s. Following Mr. Sentell, Nick Sellers, the Chief Executive
Officer of the 2022 World Games, described the international sports event to
be held this Summer in Birmingham. Over 3,600 athletes from one hundred
plus countries will be competing for medals in thirty-two events. After presentations
on travel and sports, the attendees were introduced to Frank Stitt, a
Birmingham restaurateur. Mr. Stitt has been recognized for the success of his
four restaurants including Highlands Bar & Grill, which was named in 2018
by the James Beard Foundation as the best restaurant in the United States. Mr.
Stitt shared his experiences working and traveling around the world as a young
chef; he named his favorite restaurants and what made each special. Friday’s
session concluded with a cocktail reception and entertainment by the Muscle
Shoals Review. This group of twelve musicians includes several of the original