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NASAA President’s Award
Presentation of the NASAA President’s Award to Director Skip Gebhart
Office of Veterans Education and Training Programs
West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
Charleston, West Virginia
April 10, 2014
Thank you! A great privilege to be here today on behalf of NASAA to honor Mr. Skip Gebhart, colleague and good friend, and to say a word on the occasion of his retirement!
Let’s get a few things out of way first:
First, yes Skip I’m very jealous of your retirement! No question of that. And second, I bring you greetings from VBA Undersecretary Allison Hickey and Education Service Director Rob Worley, who wanted to be certain that I wished you well on their behalf. Also, former NASAA President Chad Schatz, who categorized you as one of the best leaders NASAA has ever had –also wanted me to thank you for all you did for NASAA and OJT’s.
Skip and I go way back – Some 8 years ago I came to the NASAA family and Jim Little pointed out Skip as one of the people worth knowing and emulating. So I joined the NASAA Automation and Technology committee and watched as Skip dragged NASAA kicking and screaming into the 21st century.
And when NASAA needed a new Legislative Committee Chairman – one of the most important NASAA committees – it turned to Skip Gebhart and he stepped up to the plate. In fact, during some of NASAA’s most difficult and trying years, it was Skip Gebhart who provided the leadership at NASAA and on Capitol Hill to help restore our approval role, to increase our influence in DC and to promote veterans education throughout the nation. Whether helping a veteran understands NASAA President’s Award their benefits, or testifying before congressional committees, Skip was always the consummate professional and knowledgeable gentleman who could be counted on for accurate information and solid advice. He earned the respect of senators, representatives, staffs, and agency heads – and the new guy for NC. From him I learned while accompanying him on visits to the Hill who could be trusted, who bore watching – and when to take the elevator and not the stairs! Oh and where the best places to eat and hang out were – Old Ebbits, the Monocle, Bull feathers, just to name our favorites.
Today – we’re better and stronger than we’re ever been – and it is your sacrifices and hard work that has made it so, Skip. I thank you.
The highest award given by NASAA is the President’s Award. It is only given to exemplary and truly outstanding leaders. On behalf of the 55 State Approving Agencies throughout the nation, over 200 members of NASAA, and the 100’s of thousands veterans you have helped, I present you with this award.