Air Tran Airways flight 216 out of Milwaukee is scheduled to arrive in Las Vegas at 10:47 a.m. local time this Friday and

Garry D. Howard

I will be on that plane.

With a focused determination to not let this floundering economy affect the prize jewel of APSE, I will land in Vegas with expectations buoyed by the love shown from our colleagues in this, a time of need.

Monte Lorell of USA Today, Emilio Garcia-Ruiz of the Washington Post, Dan McGrath of the Chicago Tribune and Randy Harvey of the L.A. Times, among others, stepped up and helped us out big time with extra judges to bring our grand total for this year’s contest to 70, a huge leap from the 60 we were stuck with just over a month ago.

It is against that backdrop that I warn all attendees that excessive extracurricular activities may not be in the best interests of the organization during this year’s contest, mainly because the work will be long and difficult, and if we are to be a success, each and every one of you will have to remain focused throughout the week.

Howard: Time to rock and roll and Vegas (2/17)
Howard: Contest questions? Make sure to talk to Garry (1/28)
Contest judging roster
2008 Contest information (.pdf)
2009 APSE Judging Convention: Facts and figures

Toward that end, APSE is providing box lunches or a buffet on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, and there will be plenty of food at the opening reception on Saturday evening following the scheduled 5 p.m. opening meeting.

Attached to this column is the final list of those judges from around the country who have agreed to join our judging process. As you know, I have already slotted the judges into the categories they will be working.

To say this will be an important week for our organization is an understatement, so I expect that you all will follow instructions, stay strong and concentrate like never before so we can achieve the desired result:

A flawless (I’m still praying for this!) Winter Convention.

If you have any questions, queries or late judges to add, please don’t hesitate to contact me at (414) 224-2306 or by e-mail at

Looking forward to seeing you all on Saturday evening … and don’t forget:

Bring your chinstraps!

Final contest judging roster (2/17)
2008 Contest information (.pdf)
2009 APSE Judging Convention: Facts and figures