03 Jun Markon Solutions Goes to The White House
On May 18th, Markon staff member, Ginny Dyson, was invited by Markon’s client, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, to attend an awards ceremony and reception at The White House and hosted by Michelle Obama. The celebration was to honor the recipients of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. Ten recipients – five museums and five libraries – representing a wide range of programs were recognized for “exceptional community contributions”. Ginny graciously detailed the experience for us.
Participants were queried at several checkpoints and walked to the East Wing through a sequence that led them through the grounds and along some grand corridors filled with art and photos of many First Families. We were greeted with chilled water on silver trays and a four-piece military band. During this arrival phase, we were allowed access to several stunning reception rooms. The White House staff were supplemented with military personnel from every service, all dressed in their best ceremonial uniforms. They quietly and elegantly led guests from the arrival parlors to the awards ceremony by closing doors and nodding heads – all while the band played. We were ushered into a large room filled with strong lights and cameras, with several rows reserved for VIPs and award recipients.
The Acting Director of IMLS introduced the First Lady and the room was elated as she walked in. Michelle Obama was gracious and her comments brought tears to many people’s eyes. The recipients were incredibly proud. Each institution invited a beneficiary of their exemplary programs and they radiated with pride because their personal accomplishments were truly amazing. Please read more about them in the link at the end of this post.
After the awards were over, Mrs. Obama invited the guests to stay and enjoy themselves at the reception. She told the whole room that she had told young Colin – a recipient from Alaska – that he could sit on all the furniture because it was his house too. Then, she walked out and escaped what would have been a crush of attention. Guests enjoyed a lovely brunch/ lunch – all while the music played. During the brunch, the President’s helicopter landed on the lawn…the President got in…more staff got on…and off they went.
It really was the experience of a lifetime and I am so grateful to IMLS for the opportunity to share the joy for the recipients and their pride in their wonderful programs.
Ginny took lots of photos and videos, so she could share the experience. If you would like to see more photos and videos, mention it to her at a happy hour or send her an email – she’d love to show them to you.
The awards ceremony, including video, and the worthy recipients can be further reviewed here: http://www.imls.gov/ten_libraries_and_museums_honored_at_the_white_house.aspx