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Squire Boone Caverns Director and Owner recognized at National Cave Association Convention
Claudia Yundt, Director at Squire Boone Caverns, worked tirelessly to organize and plan the National Cave Association Convention for the past year, but was pleasantly surprised when she was awarded with a prestigious award at the closing banquet.
Yundt spent the week putting her plans in action. The week was filled with cave business, but also a little fun at French Lick Casino & Resort and a slew of activities throughout Southern Indiana.
However, the one night she was looking forward to the most was the closing ceremony, where she would see her colleagues dressed in throwback 70's costume and to celebrate the end of a great convention. Little did she know, her peers had plans to make sure she was recognized for her hard work and dedication.
As the convention drew to a close, the Executive Director of the NCA, Bob Holt, began the tradition of distributing awards. He began to read:
"As you all know, the Barbara Munson award is the highest honor that NCA awards. This year, we'd like to, in recognition of tradition, give the Barbara Munson award to this person for her many years of outstanding service to the association. As Chairperson Supreme of the Retail Committee; as taker of questions, simple and complicated;
Surprised, shocked and overwhelmed, Yundt tearfully accepted the award to a standing ovation before addressing the crowd:
"I had the honor of knowing Barbara Munson and I think she was one of the main reasons that made me fall in love with this group. She loved you all and she helped me love you all as much as she did." Yundt said. "So to get this award is just incredible because she was such a wonderful lady and for you all to say I was at her caliber, oh my gosh. Thank you, thank you, I really appreciate it".
Munson, a longtime NCA Coordinator, is highly regarded within the organization and passed a few years ago, but her legacy lives on.
Earlier in the evening, Squire Boone Village and Squire Boone Caverns President, Rick Conway, was also surprised with a Special Recognition Award.
"The Committee decided to honor Rick for his dedication to the NCA, for all he has done as an owner of a well respected cave," Holt said. "Rick serves dual purposes to the NCA as cave owner and a supplier/vendor to us. Many of our members use Squire Boone for their retail needs and because of his dedication to the show cave industry, we found it fitting to honor him this year while we were on his home turf".
Conway, who's focus has been on growing and building his other company, Squire Boone Village (wholesale provider of souvenirs, candy, gifts and jewelry), was both honored and proud.
"I knew Claudia was being recongized and couldn't wait because she deserves it so much," Conway said. "But, to have Squire Boone Village awarded, too, makes this a very special night. A lot of these people are our customers and it means the world to me that they would do this".
But the night would belong to Claudia. Her touch could be seen all around, simply because so many members followed her mandate to come prepared for a 70's theme.
"When she said 'you are to get a costume for our closing banquet night, we are having a 70's theme', we thought she was crazy," Holt continued. "who wants to do that? Well, with her persistence, it happened. It was the best social event we have had in years. We simply have fun with Claudia!".
And so goes the standard reaction to meeting, working and knowing Claudia Yundt. One would be hard-pressed to find a more respected, revered and admired person and any who have had the pleasure to meet her would likely strongly agree.
One of the many highlights from the convention was the unveiling of a new section of cave at Squire Boone Caverns that NCA members were able to tour. As only the second group to see the new section of the cave (Squire Boone employees were treated to a sneak-peak earlier in the summer), convention members were amazed at the work that was unveiled. The new section will officially open to the public in 2017, but select groups who visit between now and spring will be taken through the new section as a soft opening.
"We've been working on this nonstop for 6 years, three years of planning and three years of construction"
It looks like Claudia still has more candles to burn.
For more information about Squire Boone Caverns and wholesale company, Squire Boone Village, visit:
Squire Boone Caverns