Each fall, the ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting takes place in a major U.S. city. More than 15,000 people fill the cavernous halls of the area convention center and nearby hotels to attend scientific and educational sessions, scan the latest data on posters and mingle with colleagues at the annual Presidents’ Reception.
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Explore This IssueJuly 2018
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What most attendees may not realize is the complexity of logistics and the juggling of myriad moving parts that go into staging a successful medical meeting of this size, year in and year out. For 43 years, Ron Olejko has managed the smooth planning and execution of the ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting and other educational meetings throughout the year. He will retire from the ACR this summer to enjoy travel and other leisurely interests, and he looks back with pride on his decades of service to the organization and his legacy, the Annual Meeting, a major event attended by thousands of rheumatologists from more than 100 countries each year. At the 2017 Annual Meeting in San Diego, Mr. Olejko was given the Mark Andrejeski Meritorious Service Award honoring his decades of service to the ACR and the ARHP.
“Ron has always had member service at the top of his list. He paid attention to details that helped him form a special bond with many, many members. He was somewhat of the office historian as of late and contributed greatly in that regard,” says Mr. Andrejeski, the ACR/ARHP executive vice president. “He was great at remembering the little details of someone that made them feel special. He also has a wonderful sense of humor and has, on many occasions, pulled a little trick or two on volunteers and staff that let someone know he cared. Using humor to establish relationships is a gift, and he does that well. Finally, Ron always had the best interests of the ACR in mind and was a wonderful representative of the College. He will be missed by many and will always be special to me. With his departure, I am now the oldest staff member, I believe. So if for no other reason, I wish he would stay around a bit longer.”
Mr. Olejko grew up in a large, close-knit, Polish Catholic family, in Lorain, Ohio, a small industrial town 30 miles from Cleveland on the shores of Lake Erie. As a high school student, he often went to downtown Cleveland to savor the bustling, urban environment that was a marked contrast to Lorain. Early on, Mr. Olejko discovered that he loved travel, big cities and organizing trips.