By Taylor Hummel, CoSA Intern
It has been three years since the last in-person annual CoSA meeting. This past Monday marked the first in-person annual CoSA meeting since 2019 and it was the first CoSA meeting I have ever attended. I wasn’t alone in experiencing an in-person CoSA meeting for the first time as there were many other new faces in attendance due to numerous staff changes since the 2019 meeting. Things were silly and a little awkward as we relearned how to interact with other people face-to-face instead of the small profile squares we’ve grown accustomed to.
Despite not having met in-person since the start of the pandemic, CoSA has been busy. President Eric Emerson (SC) and Treasurer Jami Awalt (TN) presented summaries of the organization's many activities and accomplishments over the year along with a quick financial review. After a brief overview of the many activities CoSA has been involved in, outgoing president Eric Emerson gave a quick speech about CoSA membership and leveraging the CoSA hive mind to lead trainings instead of sending members to other organizations. Next, we welcomed new members to the board. Congratulations to Steve Murray (AL) and Cathy Popovitch (IL), and to Karen Gray (AK), who is continuing her service!
There are many people who make CoSA great and awards were presented to recognize those CoSA members who have been of exceptional service to the organization this past year. Congratulations to Rising Stars Clare Horton Alderfer (IN) and Rebecca Halbmaier (KY); State Historical Records Advisory Board Award of Merit recipient the New York SHRAB; and Walch Leadership Award recipient Barbara Teague! The late Alaska Congressman Don Young was recognized posthumously with the Advocacy for Archives Award. Read more about all our 2022 award recipients here
Following the awards ceremony, outgoing CoSA President Eric Emerson transferred the CoSA Presidential Cape of Power to Ken Williams (UT), a unique tradition started in 2011. On the back of the Cape of Power is a map of the United States. Each new president pins their home state on the cape. With Ken Williams’ appointment, there are now two pins in Utah, Tricia Smith-Mansfield being the first CoSA president from Utah. Go Utah!
Upon transfer of the Cape of Power, Ken Williams gave a speech with themes of looking forward and emphasizing the importance of collaboration, resilience, and support as we do so. Overall, attending the first in-person annual CoSA meeting in three years was an inspiring experience, and I can’t wait to see what CoSA can accomplish before the next annual meeting in Washington, DC next summer!