The VBA, a Brief History:
For years many BMETs had discussed establishing a statewide organization in Virginia. Although North Carolina had had a successful Biomedical Association for years, and there had been several independent regional organizations in Virginia, a statewide organization was not established until 1994.
For the better part of the 1993, Mary (Frye) Coker, Steve Haupt and Ryland Paxton performed the exhaustive research and background work needed to get started. On February 5th 1994, an organizational meeting was held at the Wintergreen Resort, with the idea that a recreational setting would help create a more informal and interactive atmosphere. Greg Johnson, then president of the North Carolina Biomedical Association, came to speak with us and offered encouragement and guidance from the NCBA. This meeting was wildly successful can be considered to be the beginning of the Virginia Biomedical Association.
In the following months, we got down to the business of actually putting together a working organization. Mary Coker started organizing the first Annual Meeting, Mark Freeman started putting together the newsletter, Frank Insley persuaded Governor Allen to establish a "Biomedical Technicians Week" and Lis Carroll organized our first technical training class - four days on Hewlett Packard Monitors. Numerous other people and companies also contributed their time and resources to the VBA, ensuring our success.
At the first Annual Meeting in August 1994, we finally became a "real" organization, with the election of the Board of Directors and ratification of the bylaws. We also held a vendors symposium and training classes to round things out. We were on the way.
That first organizational meeting has since evolved into an annual "Winter Meeting" which is made up of informal classes and discussion groups in a semi-retreat type of atmosphere. The "Annual Meeting", which is where the real VBA business gets done, provides a lively interaction between members, is faster paced has been growing in programs, attendance and vendor sponsorship each year.