CHICAGO & GLENDALE, Ariz. -- There were concerns I wouldn’t get out of Chicago this morning. CNN was reporting long delays at O’Hare Airport. The reports proved to be unfounded (for me, at least).
The brief de-icing process did delay takeoff a few minutes, but still, the U.S. Airways flight arrived in Phoenix just 13 minutes late, providing plenty of time to look over my agenda and my to-do list for Convenience Retailing University. A bumpy ride, yes, but worth it for the 76-degree upgrade (75 vs. -1) in the weather!
A comfortable cab ride later, and I was in full swing, saying hello to old friends I’ve seen at these conferences for years: Steve Bradley and Frank McCarter from Wilbur Curtis, Craig McMurray from WhiteWave Foods, the boys from Wallis Oil, the women from Short Line Express. Then there’s CSP’s top-notch meetings team that I generally only see at these events, always bustling, always smiling and always willing to help out wherever needed.
This truly is like returning to school after an extended break, rekindling old relationships and building new ones on the growing campus of the Renaissance Glendale Hotel and the hipster-cool hangouts in the nearby restaurant row of Westgate.
There’s an informal early-arrival reception tonight; watch for photos from there. In the meantime, enjoy these behind-the-scenes peeks at the setup of CRU 14.