News & Press: Public

Summary of the Guild's Annual Meeting, Awards Ceremony and Education Seminar -- January 9, 2017

Wednesday, January 11, 2017  
Posted by: Jackie Frend, Guild President

The Guild held its Annual Meeting, Awards Ceremony, and Education Seminar on Monday, January 9, 2017 at the Hilton Washington, DC/Rockville Hotel and Executive Conference Center.  The meeting was one of the largest attended events in the Guild's history -- over 130 members! 

Titled “New Year - New Tours - New Possibilities” the meeting began with the Board presenting the Guild's Accomplishments in 2016 and Plans for 2017.  

Some of the 2016 Accomplishments included:


·        Over 500 members;

·        40 members joined in 2016 (Guides, Affiliates, and Friends);

·        6 Guild Guides advanced to Guild Certified Guide (Canden Arciniega, Kelvin Carter, Barbara Longnecker, David Ruffin, Larry Sefcik, and Mary Thorne);

·        4 Guild Certified Guides advanced to Guild Certified Master Guide (Steve Kline, Ellen Malasky, Russ Norfleet, and Maribeth Oakes);

·        50 Assessments for Membership were administered;

·        Norma Newpol, Guild president from 1992-1993, accorded Emeritus status;  

·        Conducted 8 Business Meetings;

·        Held 66 education, training, and certification events in 2016;

·        Partnered with Arlington National Cemetery for Guild special access through security;

·        Hosted the National Federation of Tourist Guide Associations;


Plans for 2017 include focusing on three main areas:


·        Encouraging more members to volunteer for Guild Committees and events;

·        Continuing work on the new Guild website;

·        Enhancing the Communications Committee's work by re-establishing the monthly Capital Guide Newsletter and creating a Media Marketing Plan.  


Plans for 2017 include:


·        Posting online summaries of decisions following Board meetings;

·        Posting online summaries of Business Meetings and web links to speakers' presentations;

·        Encouraging more Guides to continue their education as a Guild member in order to advance to Guild Certified Guide and Guild Certified Master Guide;

·        The Job Fair and Showcase will be held in early Fall;

·        Creating more opportunities for Affiliates to meet;

·        Scheduling more evening events, including Business Meetings, to support  members who work during the day;

·        Creating more opportunities for local Guild Guides and out-of-town Guild Guides to earn Continuing Education Units (aka Participation Points);

·        Announcing a Peace Tour in collaboration with the U.S. Institute for Peace and the National Park Service;

·        Partnering with ITMI in October for their DC Tour Director course;

·        Sponsoring another Guild Gives Back event.


It was announced that five Guild members will be attending the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations in Tehran, Iran in January 2017.  The Guides Association of New York City will bid to host the 2019 Convention in New York City.


The Board decided that the $10,000 Armen Tashdinian bequest would be used for an annual event focusing on Abraham Lincoln.  Mr. Tashdinian was very fond of President Lincoln and the Board believed this would be an appropriate way to honor Mr. Tashdinian.

The Guild also celebrated Award winners in four categories:  

·        Jill Blakeman Award was presented to Tammy Belden.  The Blakeman Award is presented to a member whose best work exemplifies the spirit of the Guild.

·        Industry Contribution Award was presented to Martz Gold Lines of Tuxedo, MD.  This Award is presented to an individual or organization that has provided particularly valuable and distinguished service to the Guild, the guiding profession, or tourism in the Washington area.

·        Motor Coach Operator of the Year Award was presented to Bernard Barnes of Kingsmen Coach of Atlanta, GA.  This Award is presented to a coach operator who has best contributed to the team spirit of guiding and to the care and comfort of passengers including the condition of the coach.

·        Ginny Moser Award was presented to Jamie Johnson.  This Award is presented to a Guild Guide who accumulates the highest number of participation points during the first 12 months of membership.

Following a luncheon hosted by the Hilton, the meeting continued with the Education Seminar:  

·        Jan McKelvey from the Library of Congress presented "A Capitol Tour of the Library of Congress";

·        A Panel of Guild experts shared their Inauguration guiding experiences titled "Stories from the Front: The Inauguration Survival Guide" (CMG Jim Carr, CMG Heidi Watson, and CMG Candidate Sandra Moore); 

·        James B Conroy, author, discussed his latest book "Lincoln's White House: The People's House in Wartime." 

The meeting was held in the beautiful newly renovated Hilton Washington, DC/Rockville Hotel and Executive Conference Center in Rockville, Maryland, which is conveniently located across the street from the Twinbrook Metro Station.    



The day ended at the Hilton’s Bar and Lounge for Happy Hour with many members celebrating their friendship, the Guild’s 2016 accomplishments and everyone looking forward to the 2017 New Year - New Tours - New Possibilities!    


Jackie Frend


Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington, DC

January 12, 2017