2020 Convention in Fredericksburg

Cancellation Letter

Notice: The SIPES 2020 Convention, June 1-4, Fredericksburg, Texas has been POSTPONED until 2021

There is the story of the ’Boy Who Cried Wolf’ a little too often that tells the tale of a person checking out an emergency system so often that when he finally needed the emergency system to work, no one heeded the call.  Sometimes it seems like the COVID-19 story is similar.  There are so many conflicting orders and ‘models’ – and we know all about models – it is extremely difficult to know what is real and what is a false alarm – especially when health and well-being are involved.

Both Federal and Texas State governments have announced COVID-19 re-opening criteria.  There are benchmarks set at two-week increments.  If all went well, the 2020 SIPES convention in Fredericksburg could have been permitted – albeit right on the heels of a truly open economy.  And this, only if the ‘opening’ met all criteria and there was no increase in the number of cases and a back-step required.

Rather than waiting until the last moment to cancel or not, and using an abundance of caution, the SIPES Board of Directors voted overwhelmingly to cancel the 2020 Convention well in advance, so that members and attendees were not caught short while making travel plans, and that nobody’s health is compromised in any way by a SIPES function.

Steps that you need to take:

  • Cancel your reservations: as soon as possible, please contact the hotel directly (830-997-0202).  By contract, your reservation should be cancelled without penalty.
  • If you have already registered for the convention and paid by credit card online, your registration fees will be refunded to your card soon. If you paid by check, contact the SIPES office at 214-363-1780 to request a refund of registration fees, or to have them applied to the 2021 convention which will be held in Fredericksburg.
  • If you or your company were sponsors of the convention and a refund is needed, please contact the SIPES office directly.  The Board is hopeful that sponsors will consider not requesting a refund, as the brochures were printed and distributed already.  SIPES uses these funds in support of annual operating expenses. Your sponsorship will be honored in 2021 if no refund is requested.
  • The SIPES Foundation No Hassle Raffle will still be held on June 2nd.  The Foundation still plans to offer scholarships in 2020.  Your support of the raffle is greatly appreciated.  Please mail in your support and ticket stubs to headquarters.  The dollar amount of scholarships and the number of scholarships offered are, in part, determined by this fundraising effort.  Headquarters staff will notify the winners.  Last year the Foundation awarded $16,000 in scholarships to five students.
  • If you are a SIPES Cornerstone Group contributor, your 2020 gift will count toward next year’s period and will be cumulative in value – this is a great opportunity to increase your contribution level and receive an invitation to the Cornerstone reception in 2021 (if the cumulative amount is $500 or more).  Please keep in mind that SIPES National Dues of $110 are only included in Cornerstone levels of $250 and above and are due annually.
  • This is an appropriate time to try to honor, albeit inadequately, two members that were due to be publicly recognized for their contributions to SIPES: William R. Finley, #2167, of Lafayette, Louisiana, and D. Craig Smith, #3124, of Midland, Texas.  It is important to have them formally introduced and have their numerous and significant contributions recognized publicly. William R. Finley is awarded SIPES Honorary Membership.  In the 57-year history of SIPES this award has only been presented on 24 other occasions. D. Craig Smith is presented the SIPES Outstanding Service Award for his many years of service to both SIPES and the SIPES Foundation. In June 2021 they will be recognized once again.
  • Last but not least, the convention also serves as the Annual Business Meeting during which the board of directors and officers are announced for the following 12-month period.  Beginning after the June Board of Directors meeting, the board for June 2020 – June 2021 will be as follows:


Dawn S. Bissell, Corpus Christi, TX

Vice President

Gregg S. Alletag, Oklahoma City, OK

Vice President of National Energy

Christopher H. Reed, Tyler, TX (At-Large)


Wendell R. Creech, Midland, TX


John R. Stephens, Dallas, TX


Jeffrey L. Allen, Houston, TX
Dan Earl Duggan, Fort Worth, TX
J. L. Jones, San Antonio, TX
John H. Newberry, Austin, TX (At-Large)
Thomas G. Pronold, Wichita, KS
Barry J. Rava, Houston, TX (Past President)
Neil D. Sharp, Denver, CO
“Some great IES”, Lafayette, LA; volunteer?
“Some great IES”, New Orleans, LA; volunteer?

If you would like to serve as the representative for either Lafayette or New Orleans, please call your local chairman and headquarters at 214-363-1780, and also email sipes@sipes.org.  Your presence will be welcomed!

The 2021 Convention will be held in Fredericksburg on June 7 – 10.
The SIPES Board of Directors, Houston Chapter (co-host), and SIPES National Organization look forward to Fredericksburg ‘take-two’ in 2021.  We hope to have some of the same speakers.  Until we see all of you next June, please stay happy, healthy and safe!

Thank you for your understanding and support as we navigate these unprecedented waters.

Your 2019-2020 Executive Committee
Barry J. Rava – President
Dawn S. Bissell – Vice President
Gregg S. Alletag – Vice President of National Energy
Wendell R. Creech – Secretary
John R. Stephens – Treasurer