I am deeply grateful to all of you for the honor of serving as president of the Western Surgical Association. Simply said, from my residency at the University of Michigan, my professional career has been tied to this organization. My mentors at Michigan—Bill Fry, Jim Stanley, Tom Dent, Jerry Turcotte, and Norm Thompson—were proud and active members. I presented my first paper in 1975 at the Broadmoor as a third-year resident with a level of anxiety, which was understandable considering the spirited discussion by George Block. Like many other interactions at this meeting, that random contact with George led to a 20-year friendship, which I cherished. In fact, in the last 30 years, the greatest number of my coauthors, colleagues, and closest physician friends have been members of our organization.