This year, it was my honor to recognize Gus Diamond’s dedication to volunteering by giving him the Josh A. Prentice Volunteer Award.
Though I struggled a little bit with exactly what to say about Gus in my speech, I never doubted in the slightest that he was a perfect recipient for this award. He has been more committed to volunteering than perhaps any other volunteer. Gus continues to have insight about Conference that I (and others) will never have. Remaining calm in the face of pretty much everything, he has often provided the most simple and easy-to-implement solutions to difficult or overwhelming problems. I have relied on Gus to provide the volunteer group a foundation of humor and wisdom in almost every situation.
When I haven’t known how to inspire a volunteer to do better, he has always made sure they understand the importance of the work and the privilege of being a scholar or a volunteer.
I have yelled at Gus for many mistakes that he never made (and ultimately turned out to be mine). I have approached him in a panic, and he has always reassured me that everything was fine–because it was. It took me a while to trust in him, but once I did I was able to let go a bit and relax. It sounds funny, but with all the details of conference, it is a vast improvement even letting one section go and knowing that I don’t have to worry about it.
Gus has served this organization for years, has mentored many piercers, and is a long standing–and honored–member of the association. He is a friend to many, and has had my back at Conference for ten years. He is the man we all trust: “In GUS we trust,” and he was the perfect person to receive this award.