As the Spring season tries to burrow its way through what seems to be the endless Winter cycle, I can’t help but wonder what it must feel like to live and work in a state like California. I recently returned from a trip to a small community in the Golden State named Yorba Linda where I visited a good friend of mine and celebrated his daughter’s first birthday. It is roughly 23 miles or a half hour commute from Newport Beach, the venue of our Annual Convention this year. I must say that the warm weather, beautiful beaches, and mountainous terrain are a few characteristics that captured my attention and affection. Having lived in Lebanon in my childhood years, I couldn’t help but draw a comparison between the landscape that lay before and my childhood memories. I was finally able to understand the affinity that immigrants from the Middle East have towards a state like California. It has mountains and valleys, curved roads, beaches, and sunsets that take your breath away. Waking up early in the morning to go for a walk, watching the fog lift and make way to the sun, and listening to the best of Fairuz on my iPhone was truly refreshing and therapeutic. I urge you all to book your flights, reserve your hotel, and join me on Labor Day weekend this year for what I would like to call a taste of heaven. Having said that, let us not forget that heaven without family and friends is no heaven at all. Michigan, with all its issues still provides me with something that California cannot, the joy of four seasons. Experiencing the splendor of Autumn in Michigan with its vibrant colors, the endless outdoor activities in the Winter months, and the world’s longest freshwater coastline make our state truly unique and a great place to call home. As snow gives way to showers, there is a renewal of life around us, a real feeling of new beginnings and a fresh start. NAAMA-MI is growing; its membership is becoming ever more diverse with fresh ideas and initiatives. In April we are conducting a CME event this for our members to discuss the implications of obesity on our society and how we tackle this ever growing issue. Our Student, resident, and fellow committee is hosting a night of networking at a local restaurant. Our social committee is organizing a night of fun and food for our families at a bowling alley. The scholarship program is being put together so that future generations of Arab American students can lessen the burden of their educational debt. Finally, on behalf of my board of directors, I would like to congratulate one of our own, our past president, Dr. Marwan Abouljoud for being recognized by ACCESS as Arab American of the Year.