Laura J. Butler, CAP, OM, NCRA’s Director of Governance, was honored with a special Meritorious Service Award for her 41 years of superior dedication and performance to the Association. The award was presented to Bulter by NCRA Past President Debbie Dibble, RDR, CRR, CRC, during the Association’s 2023 Conference & Expo held July 27-30 in Houston, Texas.
The special award was slated to be given to Butler at the 2022 NCRA Conference & Expo held in Orlando, Fla., but due to COVID she was unable to attend. NCRA staff, leadership and her family kept the secret until this year when her husband Stan, daughter Krissy, and son Zach, surprised her on stage once the announcement was made.
Dibble, who organized the award, presented Butler with a binder full of special letters and a video with messages from NCRA members, past leaders, and staff, paying tribute. Dibble said many of the messages repeated that Butler is the ‘glue’ that holds the Association together and followed by presenting her with a large glue stick as a gag award. She then presented Butler with a certificate of service and a crystal plaque, which Dibble noted Bulter helped pick out under the ruse that it was intended for NCRA Executive Director Dave Wenhold, CAE, PLC.
“She is truly the foundation that we build upon year after year after year,” Dibble said. “For more than four decades Laura has shown exceptional professionalism, personal initiative, and loyal devotion to our profession and our membership, in line with the highest traditions and standards of NCRA.”
Dibble noted that because the secret award has been kept so “close to the vest,” many people did not have the opportunity to share their good wishes with Butler. She then invited anyone who wanted to send a special note, card, letter, email, video to be added to the binder of appreciation presented to Butler, to email her directly at email@example.com.