It's hard to believe that we are cruising towards conclave season already. It seems like it was only yesterday when our Section Officers got together for the Gathering of Leaders to plan out the year, learn more about their roles, and discuss how to make their conclaves great. We have had a really great group of officers and it has been a real treat to sit back and watch them grow as leaders.
There is one two-term Chief in particular who I want to recognize in this blog post, and that is Raymond Cheung. Raymond is an amazing young man who came to the US at age 7, did not even join Scouting until he was 14, and yet moved quickly along both the Trail to Eagle, and the road to cheerful service.
In a short period of time he became an Eagle Scout, a Lodge Chief, is finishing his second term as Section Chief, is one of the best NLS trainers I have ever seen, and sets a great example of what a true servant leader is supposed to be.
Raymond, National Vice Chief Jordan Hughes, and Region Chief Tyler Allen all started as Section Chief's at the same time. They called themselves the "trifecta" and have become the best of friends. Raymond was too old to run for a regional or national office this last time around, but did his part to help his friends step up in to bigger roles. And, he is doing a lot behind the scenes to help them excel and be the best they can be in those roles.
He might not have the big titles that those guys have this year, but I assure you he is doing as much, or more, to make sure everything he touches is the best it possibly can be. It's been fun to watch him and the other two guys bond together, and build the strong bond that they have.
This year marks 25 years since my conclave as a Section Chief, and I really hope that 25 years from now their friendship will remain strong, just as it has for me and some of my very good friends who served as Chiefs at the same time as me.
Raymond Cheung really grasped what cheerful service is supposed to be all about, and the Northeast Region is luck to count him as one of our shining stars.
Mark is an Eagle Scout, and has received the Vigil Honor and Founder's Award from Unami Lodge, Cradle of Liberty Council. As a youth, he served as Lodge Chief, Section Vice-Chief, Section Chief, and as a National Conference Vice-Chief. As an adult he has served as Lodge Adviser, Council Vice President, Area 5 Vice President, and as a member of the National Training Task Force, the Special Needs Scouting Task Force, the Youth Development Committee, and the Northeast Region Board. Mark has been awarded the Distinguished Service Award, the District Award of Merit, the Silver Beaver, and the Silver Antelope. He resides in Philadelphia with his wife Jayne, and professionally, is the Assistant Vice President of Development for the Magee Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation.