The 2018 National LICA Summer Convention was held July 9-15 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Ohio members from Cy Schwieterman Inc. and Inbody Drainage Company Inc. and their families made the trip north to attend the convention with many others from all over. The week was full of tours, seminars, and fun for all ages. Tuesday started off the convention with tours of a local family-owned mint farm of more than 2000 acres, lunch at AgroLiquid, and a tour of Steenblik Dairy which houses 3450 milking cows.
Wednesday, we headed from Grand Rapids to Silver Lake to enjoy a ride on the sand dunes and gorgeous views. We stopped along the lake for a bit to take in the beauty. The kids loved getting their feet wet in the lake and cooling off. Just look at the fun they had!
Next on the day's journey was The Fox Barn. We arrived at the winery for a light lunch and wine tasting. We were able to explore the grounds and shop their winery for some new favorite wines after the meal. The Foxes are a five generation farm.
We wrapped up our day trip by touring Jawor Brothers Blueberry Farm & Country Store. We were taken on a tour of their family owned facility surrounded by blueberry bushes galore! They had some delicious treats in the store that we enjoyed during our time there. Ice cream, muffins, and of course blueberries!
Thursday, the Schwieterman and Gerten families enjoyed John Ball Zoo, before heading to Associate's Night that evening. Members could attend a variety of seminars throughout the day as well.
The theme for this year's Associate's Night was "A Salute to American History". Members were invited to dress up as an American Historical figure. Check out the Schwieterman Family's costumes below! Presidential masks were available at the event and we had a raffle with awesome prizes supplied by different states. Associate Members set up displays of their products and services throughout the room for members to visit.
Members enjoyed breakfasts and lunches sponsored by Associate Members, such as CNA and Case, throughout the week as well.
Friday, the Schwietermans visited the Grand Rapids Children's Museum, and the Gertens visited the Gerald R. Ford Museum. A variety of meetings took place throughout the morning and early evening for members as part of the convention.
Saturday, the convention was coming to an end with the National LICA Board Meeting held in the morning just after breakfast. After the meeting Ohio members walked across the bridge to the Grand Rapids Public Museum. There, they saw a little bit of everything, from history of things in Grand Rapids to a Be an Astronaut exhibit and a carousal ride. The kids, and adults, really enjoyed their time there.
The Schwietermans also attended the AIS Construction Equipment Skills Competition on Saturday afternoon, where they got to test out equipment.
As you can tell, we all had a very busy, fun filled week at the National LICA Summer Convention. From tours, to exploring the area, to meetings and seminars, we all found something to do at the convention. We can't wait for the next time!
With that, I will leave you with the future of OLICA...Urban Schwieterman and Case Gerten. Someday, they will follow in the footsteps of their fathers and grandfathers with this amazing organization and love of equipment, and have made great friends along the way!