Getting my ducks in a row

29 10 2008

Okay, I know these are geese…but the expression isn’t “getting your geese in a row,” so I’m taking liberties here…simply because I can.

This weekend Michael and I were in Denver (actually, Englewood) for an awards ceremony held Saturday at The Inverness Hotel and Conference Center. I was nominated for a “Focus on People” award by my Hearing Loss Magazine editor, Barbara Kelley. There were five categories: Student, Adults, Advocate, Practitioner, and Pediatric Practitioner. I learned a little over two weeks ago that I was the grand prize winner in the Adult category. What an honor and a complete surprise!

Barbara interviewed me several months ago under the guise of writing an article about professionals with hearing loss. Little did I know she was actually filling out the nomination form for this award. I had received a package from Oticon earlier in the week and didn’t open it immediately since I thought it was just a copy of their already-in-place ad for the magazine we were ready to send to print. I felt the package, noted that it didn’t have a CD case in it, and assumed it was an ad insertion order. It sat on the coffee table for two days before Barbara suggested that I open it. That’s when the whirlwind began.

Before I knew it, we were booking reservations to attend the ceremony—airfare and accommodations courtesy of Oticon, the sponsor of the awards program. The Oticon representatives and staff were incredibly gracious, hospitable, and generous. I was a bit overwhelmed by the attention but happily soaking it in anyway.

Oticon was founded in 1904 in Denmark by Hans Demant, whose wife was hearing impaired. Oticon’s headquarters is in Denmark, with the U.S. headquarters in Somerset, New Jersey. Oticon produces many types of advanced digital hearing aids, some with artificial intelligence.

Friday night we attended a reception and dinner where I met Oticon’s PR person, Sara Coulter, who did a wonderful job of organizing the event and made us feel so welcome. The awards luncheon was Saturday at noon. We were each asked to give a brief acceptance speech, and although I am by nature not a shy person, I was incredibly nervous—embarassingly so. And, of course, I was first to give my acceptance speech (Murphy’s Law, you know). I had spent a couple of hours writing the speech the night before, rehearsing it to my audience of one (Michael), and having him time it over and over again so it didn’t turn into a recitation of War and Peace.

Despite all the rehearsal, I was a trembling bag of nerves at the podium. So when I mention I was a bit overwhelmed, that’s actually an understatement. Add the common fear of public speaking to the honor of the award in the first place, Barbara being so kind to nominate me, all the attention being showered, and being designated to go first—surely you have a recipe for potential disaster! I started out nervous and calmed down (if only a bit) as the clock ticked. I was followed by four very eloquent and moving speeches from my fellow award winners. I only wish I hadn’t been so nervous. Afterward, I thought of all the things I wish I had said. Isn’t that always the case? Do-over, do-over!

Each winner will receive $1,000 cash prize and Oticon will also donate $1,000 to the charity of our choice. All that and airfare, accommodations and wonderful meals! Without a doubt, this past weekend was an amazing one for my this-is-your-life book. I’ll post a photo shortly of all the award winners with the president of Oticon, Peer Lauritsen. Thank you, Barbara, for nominating me. And thank you, Oticon, for recognizing my work and honoring me with this award.

The photos below were shot just outside the hotel, near the golf course, after we had lunch in Baca, one of themed restaurants at The Inverness. Click here to view their video on how to make churros! The Inverness is a beautiful hotel with an excellent staff and it was such a treat to spend the weekend there. We rented a car late Saturday afternoon and spent the evening in downtown Denver, where we perused two of the three Tattered Cover Bookstores (Colfax Avenue and LoDo locations), and had dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory. On Sunday we drove out to Rocky Mountain National Park, where we were giddy with excitement over the abundance of wildlife to photograph. We spent Monday morning stalking various Lepidoptera at the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster before catching a flight back to D.C. in the evening.

Stay tuned for photos from our field trips!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.




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5 responses

29 10 2008
Mike Royer

CONGRATS!!!!!!!!! I couldn’t be any prouder of you!

30 10 2008
giiid

How wonderful!! Congratulations!!

2 11 2008
Hershel Dyer

“Muy bien hecho” from South Texas, or as some of us would say, “You done real good!”

The adage that “the apple never falls far from the tree” is true – not that I was ever (or ever will be) judged “best” in any category. The saying is true only when I am called on to speak from a podium – I also become “a trembling bag of nerves.”

Whether ducks or geese, your “in-a-row” photo is classic – how in the world did you get them to line up that way? And how did you get the two in the penultimate photo to do the handstand? (On the highly unlikely premise that some of your viewers might not be familiar with the term penultimate, it means “next to last”).

You should solicit captions for that shot. Ask your visitors to submit suggestions, and offer the winner a print of the shot suitable for framing, perhaps a 5×7 so it will mount nicely double-matted in an 8×10 frame. You might consider removing the top bird for the print (I hesitate to refer to it as the “upper duck” or the “upper goose”).

A few captions just for starters:
Betcha can’t do this!
Keep looking – this is where I dropped it.
Yes, I’m a goose, but please don’t!

Enough of pintail politics – congratulations on your achievement – yore ol” pappy was already proud of you, and now you have made me even prouder.

22 11 2008
Kim

Congratulations!!!!!

17 05 2009
Lynn Rousseau

Again. Congratulations Cindy from a fellow awardee (is that how it is called?) ha ha Everyone….please know that Cindy did a great acceptance speech, looked beautiful and made the rest of us feel happy too to be part of the winners circle.
Michael was as gracious as she made him appear…and she was very lucky to have him there to see her accept the award. And he was very proud! As she says, we were all treated with such care and concern….could not have asked for a nicer group of people ….Peer especially and Sara too.
See you again soon!
Smiles 🙂
Lynn

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