Executive Director’s Message By Ches Blevins: Counting Our Blessings!

Executive Director's Message: Counting Our Blessings!

How have you been blessed? For me, just having experienced another Thanksgiving and bumping up on my 73rd, yep, 73rd Christmas, my blessings are too numerous to mention. That said, I’m going to mention a few, mostly TMRA related but not all. Whether you write yours down or just take a few quiet moments to think about them, I hope you’ll take this end of 2019 opportunity to consider them. Remember the Garth Brooks song, “Unanswered Prayers,” while you are doing this look back as, I can tell you, I’ve wished for lots that, thank goodness, never came my way. Understanding also that tough times, challenges, can lead to where you really were meant to be. So here’s my list, though incomplete by hundreds:

Our TMRA Leadership and Members have allowed me another year of participation as the Executive Director and General Counsel. This is not an honor and responsibility that I take lightly. In the last few years, having stepped back from the day-to-day practice of law, I’ve been given the opportunity to continue my association with people in the Mining Industry, people I know and respect, working on issues and areas of concern or interest important to them, for those they work, their communities and families.

Our TMRA Leadership, Board, Executive Committee, Officers, Committee Chairs and Vice-Chairs have ALL guided and supported me and this Association and, I know, can always be counted on to step up. I’ve told many of you, probably a number of you many times, that I not only need to be surrounded by those smarter, more experienced, more focused on our goals and objectives than am I, but I look for those people. For me, thinking “I can handle this alone” is just not my approach. You should all be very thankful for this!

As for our TMRA Leadership, whether our present TEAM going into 2020 or those with whom I’ve worked in the past, I want to say THANKS and that I’ve truly been Blessed! While there are Leaders going back the entire 25+ years that I’ve been active in TMRA that I have leaned on many times, right now I want to thank, specifically, our 2020 Officers: Jeff Mason, Chairman; Andy Hawbaker, Vice-Chair; Steve Eckert, Treasurer; and Peter Luthiger, Secretary. All of these have served TMRA in many ways for a number of years, just like many of you. Our “TMRA TEAM” is the reason for our success!

Okay, I’ve mentioned our Officers but my world, TMRA’s world, is VERY often effective because of our day-to-day Support Team. I’m talking Krissy Lilljedahl, Francye Hutchins, Cathy Pierce on my All Star front line, with Tami Taylor, Christian Goff, Robert Gentry, Mance Zachary, Mike Nasi, Josh Holland, Nellie Frisbee and scores of others ALWAYS ready to block, tackle, run with the ball…….well, you get the picture. I know that I get lots of undeserved credit when things go well and, really, get a pass many times when blame could surely come my way. I thank you all for your generous hearts and spirits!

Because I’ve been involved with TMRA for many years, I’m going to say THANKS, in no particular order, to a few folks important to TMRA and ME, personally, while I’ve been involved: Steve Smith; Dick White, Carroll Embry, Cliff Miercort, Gene Jernigan, Kip Williams, Sid Stroud, Joel Trouart, Sally Tipton, Jan Horbaczewski, Lisa Kost, Mike Altavilla, Denny Kingsley, Ty Embrey, Greg Shurbet, Kevin Raabe and, okay, many many more. NOT being listed in no way implies of less importance, only that the list would just be way too long!

Lloyd Gosselink, my professional home for 24 years, headed by Robin Lloyd and Paul Gosselink, provided me the avenue to represent the Mining and Power Generation Industry. I can never, ever, thank them and the Firm enough for their support. Jackson Walker provided the strong opportunity and support that I needed to represent our TMRA Members for the last 8 years of my Private Practice. Just what I needed and when I needed it! Again, really BLESSED!

Finally, as I just celebrated my 52nd Wedding Anniversary(11/24/67), God Bless Diann for allowing me in her life for these absolutely Wonderful years! With her by my side, with our wonderful children(Chad & Brooke), and now their families, I’ve certainly received much more than I’ve “earned”. Really glad I’m not limited to that!

Thank all of you that receive this eNewsletter for making my life much richer and for helping TMRA and all of those in our industries work together for goals and objectives certainly worth our efforts. Blessings to all and have a Wonderful Christmas and Holiday Season! Be Safe and Thankful and be ready to work together, once again, in 2020!

Ches Blevins,
TMRA Executive Director