Wondering about the Far West Roundup? Read a recap of this educational & fun event held in August at the UC Santa Cruz campus.

On Thursday afternoon, the first of the 75 attendees descended upon the UC Santa Cruz campus for the 25th annual FPA Far West Roundup held August 14-17. The attendees were a mix of “seasoned veterans” making their annual sojourn to Santa Cruz and “greenhorns” (i.e. those making their first trip to the Roundup). The UCSC venue is fitting since, as legend has it, this is the location where the seeds of the organization that would become the CFP Board were first planted in 1985. Dave Yeske was the sheriff, helped by Miss Kitty, Andrea Roland, and the rest of the 2014 Far West Roundup Posse – Bob Finke, Dennis Hoffman, Beth McClelland, Kian Nobari, Ken Perine, Johnny Roland, Mary Rose and Don St. Clair.

As the attendees arrived on Thursday, they checked into their dorms, met their new roommates, and settled in. The festivities kicked off on Thursday afternoon with a reception where attendees mingled, introduced themselves, and started to prep for the official agenda to kick off on Friday morning. Although the Roundup fosters networking, community, and socializing in a very informal setting, one must not overlook the importance of a very robust educational track complete with awesome speakers and relevant sessions. Along those lines, by attending the Roundup, CFP professionals can complete many of their continuing education (CE) requirements.

Friday morning, the sessions were kicked off with Don St. Clair, Wade Pfau and Brandon Odell. After a short break, we visited dolphins and a 500-pound Hawaiian Monk Seal at the Seymour Marine Discover Center. We concluded the Friday sessions with Michael Kay. Dinner at the Discovery Center was good, and the ocean views were beautiful. We capped dinner off with some excellent California vino before heading back to the “quad” for another late evening.
Saturday brought speakers Tim Barnthouse, Mark Prendergast, Ray Sheffied, and a panel including Peter Johnson, Nancy Ross and Maureen O’Connell. The day’s sessions finished with Sherriff Dave Yeske. Some attendees took the opportunity to go for a walk in the redwoods, a choice of either a stroll around campus, or a more invigorating hike. Everyone was on their own for dinner, with the option of staying on campus and ordering pizza like the good ‘ole college days, or heading off campus to one of the many great restaurants in Santa Cruz.

The final day started with the Ethics session hosted by Roberta Lee-Driscoll. Roberta led the group through the forest of the required conduct and fiduciary responsibilities. The ethics class was riveting and interactive (and we are proud to report that no one had to stab themselves with a plastic fork!). The last session, titled Wisdom in Our Midst, consisted of breakout groups of Roundup participants discussing topics submitted by other participants. Alas, it was time to check out of the dorms and head back home.

The event was a great mix of learning and meeting new people. There was a lot of insight gained from attendees openly sharing their stories, ideas, and challenges amongst a group of peers. It’s difficult to explain with words the sense of community that is fostered by this annual event. The Roundup in one of the best deals in town for all the education, fun, networking and CE credits you can obtain in one place. Hope to see you there in 2015!