One of the core principles of the USBG is tradition. Tradition connects us to our past and provides us opportunities to reflect on the passing of time, but also the progress we’ve made in our lives both personally and professionally.
And to find a group of members who make the effort to celebrate tradition, look no further than our very own Las Vegas Chapter.
On November 1, 2016, Executive Director, Aaron Gregory Smith and I were privileged to attend the USBG Las Vegas 15th Anniversary celebration. The chapter’s founders were invited to present their stories about the humble beginnings of their chapter and the “new age” of the USBG. While the Las Vegas Chapter was not the founding USBG Chapter, the chapter is firmly rooted in our organization’s history and its founding members credited for the huge advances the organization has made over the past decade. The USBG would not be where it is today without the efforts of these pioneers and the incredibly dedicated members and officers who followed in their footsteps.
Even the venue was steeped in tradition! Early USBG chapter events were often held at Nora’s Italian Cuisine, where several members worked. Nora’s recently moved to a brand-new location, but they kept the original bar and moved it into a private dining room upstairs, and USBGLV was the first group who was invited to an event in the new space with the classic bar.
Chapter founders Tony Abou-Ganim, Bobby Gleason, Francesco Lafranconi, & past USBG National President Livio Lauro attended in their classic USBG Red Uniforms to serve perfectly prepared negronis from behind the original Nora’s bar.
Chapter Vice President, Raul Faria worked with his daughter to produce video interviews with the founders as well, which invited the founders to reflect on the early days of the chapter and the future of cocktails, bars, and mixology in Las Vegas for the years to come.
After the video presentation, the current Las Vegas Council unveiled the new USBG Las Vegas Logo. They also collected items for a time capsule that was to be buried right there in Nora’s garden later that day. The time capsule contains signed original USBG ties from the founding fathers, photos, original newsletters from the early years, pins, coins, business cards, current cocktail menus from local establishments, and a guest book with personal notes from all of those who attended. The chapter plans to open the time capsule in 2031, on the 30th anniversary of USBG Las Vegas.
Once the Time Capsule was in place, everyone had an opportunity to add a shovel of dirt starting with the founders, past Chapter Presidents, the current council and finally everyone else in attendance. One of the shovels used will be engraved with the date the capsule should be opened and the shovel will live in the Nora’s bar, proudly mounted on the wall.
The 15th Anniversary celebration was planned perfectly by the current USBG Las Vegas Council: Kristen Schaefer, President; Raul Faria, Vice President; Adam O’Donnell, Treasurer; and Cody Fredrickson, Secretary! Kudos to all of you for your hard work! What an amazing tradition you have started!
Congratulations to the Las Vegas Chapter for your achievements. Here’s to another 15 amazing years!