ATLANTA - Thursday evening found more than 50 CMA members and their guests gathered in the Trophy Room at Pitty Pat’s Porch restaurant for our annual banquet. Proclaimed as Atlanta’s oldest restaurant, Pitty Pat’s website touted their “sideboard of their best salads and specialties, followed by our traditional southern entrees, created in new southern style, served with lots of homemade breads and vegetables. And don't forget to leave room for our great Southern specialty desserts.” Our private buffet certainly delivered what they promised, and then some!

Just to be sure, a couple of our members from the deep south, Randy Nightengale of Leland, MS and Steve Lindley of Jasper, AL both gave their thumbs up on the authenticity of this southern meal. And the all-you-can-eat, never ending supply of Pitty Pat’s tasty fare certainly beat the typical rubber chicken or roast mystery beast served at many similar group banquets. Many compliments were shared on the quality of the food, with several saying Pitty Pat’s provided the best CMA banquet ever!

After we all had our fill (with some refilling their plates more than a couple of times), there was a brief program introducing special guests and CMA speakers from the Professional Certification Program. We also had among us members Bob and Denise Scudo of Davie, FL, who happened to be celebrating their 34th wedding anniversary that very day. Denise said Pitty Pat’s is their favorite restaurant in Atlanta, and is always on their must stop list when they are in the area. President Tracy Yarborough presented a plaque to past president Joe Knobbe commemorating his years of volunteer service to the CMA.

Sue Gelwicks Thompson, who won a Wood Diamond, flew in for the banquet, and recorded a video encouraging folks to enter wood industry competitions, and use them to market their business.

After the brief program and when the tables were cleared, a number of members lingered to mix with others in attendance and to share ideas, stories and to enjoy each other’s company. We all had a wonderful time with some of the best people in the business, our fellow CMA members. We hope you’ll join us at our next annual banquet at AWFS in Las Vegas in July 2013!

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.