Outstanding Officer of the Year Award 2008: Casey Oyler

The outstanding Officer of the Year Award is presented to the Venturer who, in the view of the Advisors, has most demonstrated leadership, service and spirit while serving as a Venturing officer. Please help me congratulate this year’s winner, Casey Oyler.

Casey served last year as vice president of program while Laura was president. But that’s not why she’s here tonight. She is being honored because of the leadership she has shown since then as president of the Venturing Officers Association.

She was selected last year to succeed Tok when he aged out of the program. Being VOA president is a lonely job that most people don’t know exists and those who do don’t have an idea how much work is involved. The workload is huge.

Not only does she prepare and preside over the bi-monthly meetings of the VOA, she also meets regularly with the adult Venturing committee, is a member of the Council’s executive committee, attends recruiting meetings at churches around the area, writers letters to potential sponsors on behalf of Venturing, delivers speeches to groups and helps out whenever the Council needs a Venturer to assist in a ceremony.

And she has done all that this year while maintaining a high GPA at USC’s Honors College and without a vehicle.

So it wasn’t a surprise to me that others outside the Council would be interested in her leadership skills. Two months ago she was interviewed to be president for the southern region. There are four regional presidents in the United States. One of them is picked each year to be president of the national Venturing program. While they ultimately chose someone else, Casey was selected in recent weeks to be a vice president in the region, an extraordinary honor. No Venturer in this Council has ever volunteered for or been picked before for a leadership job outside this area.

And here’s one reason why others see her as so special, her willingness to put others before herself. It’s one of the keys in great leadership but it can’t be taught. Last weekend we went to Camp Barstow for our shooting sports weekend to learn how to handle and safely fire rifles and shotguns. None of the crew’s top officers could go so I told Christine to pick her replacement. She chose Casey. What Christine didn’t know, nor did I, was that Casey does not like firearms, didn’t want to shoot or to handle them. But she went anyway out of a sense of duty and responsibility.

For her devotion to Venturing, her fun spirit and her superior leadership skills, it is my honor to proclaim her this year’s Officer of the Year. Congratulations!

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