Wishing Mr. Vapniarek a Wonderful Retirement
ABAI congratulates Mr. Lawrence "Larry" Vapniarek on the occasion of his retirement on August 31st, after more than 14 years of dedicated selfless service to the organization as its Chief Operating Officer.
During his distinguished tenure spanning three ABAI Presidents, Mr. Vapniarek expertly led an office supporting the Board of Directors and more than 6,000 diplomates, at a time of pivotal change and numerous challenges. He was instrumental in the transformation of ABAI to meet the changing landscape of initial and continuing certification for allergists and immunologists. ABAI is very grateful that Mr. Vapniarek has agreed to serve as a consultant during the next year as we transition to our equally talented Ms. Chelsey Williams, who will lead us into the next half century of serving as the premier organization certifying allergists and immunologists worldwide.
Many current and former board members and staff expressed their gratitude and best wishes for Larry going forward:
“Larry is one of the most effective leaders I've had the opportunity to work with in my more than ten years of affiliation with ABAI, and 25 years of active duty service in the U.S. Army. As ABAI turns 50 in 2021, we do so with full knowledge that Mr. Vapniarek has played a huge part in shaping its history and future. He is humble, he leads by example and he will be sorely missed. We have all benefited from his tireless dedication and commitment and will continue to do so for years to come.” Dr. Michael Nelson, President and CEO, ABAI.
"Your leadership of the Board during its most difficult and momentous years made all the difference. ABAI made huge changes in its programs and processes, while maintaining a solid and respectful relationship with diplomates—an achievement unparalleled in the board community. You inspire trust and confidence in all who work with you, and I am forever indebted to you for your support, friendship and counsel." Dr. Stephen Wasserman, Former President and CEO, ABAI
"Larry has been amazingly kind and welcoming to new ABAI members and is a wealth of knowledge. He will be greatly missed!" Dr. Princess Ogbogu
"Thank you for your dedication and service to the ABAI. You have fostered a culture of kindness, inclusion and life-long learning." Dr. Giselle Mosnaim
"Larry, I hardly got to know you but I feel like you are an old friend. Enjoy your retirement (finally)!" Dr. Mitchell Lester
"Larry, one line is just not enough to describe what you have done for the ABAI. You will always be a part of it and the ABAI is what it is because of you. I am especially grateful that I worked with you for 4 years." Dr. Luz Fonacier
"Larry’s dedication and vision has created a culture at ABAI that is truly outstanding, allowing our small board to be among the world’s leaders; he will be missed as he goes off into his well-deserved retirement!" Dr. Mitchell Grayson
“Larry is the consummate professional, but more than that, has always been welcoming, gracious, and kind – I wish you only the best Larry, and thank you!” Michael Swarzman
"Larry, cheers to you on this second try at retirement. Since you are wildly successful at (almost) everything you attempt, no doubt you will make the rest of us wish we were retired. Thank you again for your dedication, and your enduring friendship!" Dr. Kathleen May
"Best regards Larry!" Dr. Maria Castells
“Larry has been an incredible asset to the allergy and immunology community. He has smoothly managed an increased workload and was instrumental in morphing our recertification process into our current continuing assessment process. We all owe him a great debt of gratitude. He will be missed. ” Board Member
"Larry your phenomenal direction and vision for this company have left enormous shoes to fill, thank you for leaving such a clear and well-executed path to follow." Chelsey Williams
"Dear Larry, thank you for your outstanding leadership and abilities to adapt to changing times. Stay healthy. You will be missed." Lynn Desprez
“Thank you for everything you have done for us as an organization over the years, both personally and professionally. It has been a fun ride and we will always remember the good times that we’ve had. We are happy you can now relax and enjoy life as you’ve always dreamed.” ABAI Staff
We are so appreciative to Larry and his dedication to the Board; we wish him a happy and healthy retirement!