Changing of the watch

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Our tireless, hard-working Guild president, Eric Lorgus has announced his plans to step down soon from his post after more than ten years of service to our organization. We wish him all the best as he refocuses his efforts toward his business, Great Valley Industries. He will be replaced by our good friend and vice president, Al Ponessa. Read Eric’s letter to the guild after the jump.

Eric’s letter to Guild Newsletter subscribers:

I have served on the PSPG board of directors for over 10 years, and as your president for the last six. That’s a long time to stand watch. I have no idea how many meetings and events I have attended in Philadelphia for the guild, but it’s 38 miles from my office in Downingtown, and I’m pretty sure I haven’t missed a single board meeting in those 10 years. But it’s not just the meetings. I devote a lot of time each day to the management and promotion of the guild and its mission.

Twenty years ago, I took on the challenge of a lifetime when I offered to take over a family owned company for which I worked as a consultant. Great Valley Industries (GVI) was insolvent, and the bank was two months away from seizing their collateral for loans they refused to renew. However, GVI still had some life. It had $5 million in sales, 37 employees, and warehouses in Pennsylvania and Florida. I saw an opportunity, and a lot of potential. It wasn’t easy, but I managed to keep the company out of bankruptcy, and slowly turned it around.

My company needs me back. I no longer have the time for the guild I used to. Therefore, I will be stepping down as PSPG president at the end of this month. Al Ponessa, the guild’s vice president, will be your new president. I am sure most of you know Al. He is a retired Navy submarine captain, and presently works for Exelon Generation. He has been on many sailing trips and is one of the foremen who lead the weekend work. His bio can be seen at http://gazela.org/guild-board-members/.

At the risk of missing someone, I want to thank a few people. First and foremost is Mary Smith, for her generous support and inspiration. Secondly, I want to send a posthumous kudos to Bobby Flemming, our longtime office manager. She was so helpful to me, and there isn’t a day I sense how different the guild is without her. Next is Ed Walsh. Ed was not only Gazela’s chief engineer, he was one of the best ambassadors and tour guides Gazela has ever had. Lastly is Linda Collier, who owns Collier’s of Centreville wine shop in Delaware. Linda has been my rock of support, and it was her tireless promotion of the guild that got us the so-called Delaware Oaks. Linda also had a big hand in making last year’s Gazela “42” fundraiser a huge success.

I have pledged my full support to Al. I ask all of you to do the same. For a president to be effective, he needs your support. The guild has many challenges, especially funding, but it also has enormous potential and a compelling story to tell.

Fair Winds and God Bless,

Eric Lorgus
President