The island paradise of Maui drew big crowds of NOA members and their families in last week for the annual Winter Convention, which was held Nov. 28-Dec. 2 at the Grand Wailea-Waldorf Astoria.
OnionBusiness.com was proud to be a Bronze Sponsor and a sponsor of this year’s golf tournament as well – and of course to be among the grateful group paying tribute to outgoing NOA Executive Vice President Wayne Mininger.
Wayne, who’s been at the admin helm of the NOA for more than three decades, was lauded at the Closing Banquet on Saturday evening. During the banquet, members and guests enjoyed a slideshow tribute to Wayne that chronicled his entire history with the NOA. His wife Ardith gave a touching speech, and association members surprised Wayne with a parting gift of a new tractor. How cool is that!?
The convention schedule allowed plenty of free time for participants to soak up the sun and other fun Maui adventures, and of course the meetings were top notch, with interesting presenters and topics.
OnionBusiness’s Sherise Jones was among those who soaked up the breathtaking views of a sloping Maui Sweet onion field (see our separate gallery), and she took part in the sessions, enjoying an introduction of the NOA’s new Nature’s Ninja program, which has been created and developed by NOA Director of Public/Industry Relations René Hardwick.
The new program focuses on the health benefits of onions and was rolled out in an extremely unique way — René, her husband Toby and Norman “Snap” Keene performed a martial arts demonstration featuring the escrima discipline.
In addition, awards were provided to NOA members Wayne Stewart, Mark Richarte, Jared Gutierrez, Kimi Fitch, Ashley Robertson, Snap Keene and John Rietveld for the achievement of recruiting three or more new members.
Another set of awards was presented during the convention – for the best and worst scores of the Convention Golf Tournament. The tournament was organized by Snap Keene with Eqraft and Randy Clark with Volm Companies, and each of the 18 sponsoring companies had a hole.
A total of eleven teams played in the tourney, and the winning team was made up of Snap Keene, Anthony Molitor, Dallas Jensen and Logan Skeen. The team in last place team included Jared Gutierrez, Phil Fowler, Larry Jensen and Merry Jensen. Photos of the groups are shown here.
One particularly delightful part of the banquet was a performance by Maui’s own Zenshin Daiko drum group. See the video by clicking this link https://onionbusiness.com/and-the-beat-goes-on-big-time-with-kids-in-hawaii/, and read the separate story in this week’s edition.
Sherise returned to Idaho with this assessment of the island event: “Between the networking, the informative sessions, entertainment and beautiful setting, this year’s convention is sure to be one for the memory books.”
Detailed feature stories of the event highlights will continue to roll out in December, but for now, enjoy a gallery of the NOA Maui closing reception and banquet below:
Featured image: NOA President, Doug Stanley with Wayne Mininger