Holiday Letter – 1996

In 1990s by Steve Sliwa40 Comments

For the Twelve Days of Christmas, December 1996
Steve and Nancy Pondered That:

12 months had flown by
We know we’re getting older when the year passes by so quickly. This year has been one of hectic activity, and never enough time to get everything done. But several major accomplishments have made our other incomplete endeavors seem minor.

11 months of webwork
Nancy’s company WebAdept is still going strong. They published their first website in February for the Daytona International Speedway, and have been going strong ever since. As recent exhibitors at the Orlando-based National Business Aircraft Association convention, they have been flooded with calls for new website development work from numerous aviation companies, some quite large. Nancy expects 1997 to see a repayment of all capital investment, while laying a solid foundation for the future.

10 days of racing
Nancy and Marcie again flew Nancy’s Mooney in the Air Race Classic. However, this one was made special by the fact that in celebration of the University’s 70’s anniversary, Embry-Riddle hosted the start of the race in Prescott, Arizona, and the terminus at Daytona Beach. Nancy had been working over a year with committees on both campuses as executive coordinator for the race, and the teams did a fantastic job: everyone said we had the best race activities ever. Both campuses had one plane each of students participate in the race, and it was an excellent learning experience for them. Nancy and Marcie did their best ever: 15 out of 45.

9 months of mourning
Steve’s father Ken Sliwa passed away in March, after many years of heart trouble and diabetes. He had weakened rapidly over the last year, but his death was still quite unexpected, and has been very distressful for the entire family. We’re glad that Steve’s parents had spent the last couple of years here in Daytona, so that we were able to see them frequently. Steve’s mom still lives here in town, and we enjoy her company very much.

8th ranked in basketball
The Embry-Riddle basketball team won the Florida Sun Conference season play and tournament in February, and were able to go to the NAIA II National Tournament in March, in Idaho. Steve and Nancy joined them halfway through the trip. They won their first game, then lost in the quarter-finals, still finishing ranked 8th in the nation. This year, they opened the season ranked 5th nationwide, and currently have an 8-2 record (with both their losses to NCAA II schools). The new rankings just came out, and they have moved up to third place!

7 articles published
Nancy has tried her hand at writing aviation non-fiction, and has had seven articles published this year in various aviation magazines. Five articles are a serial publication of Nancy’s and Marcie’s trip across Canada a few years ago, being published in Florida Touch N’ Go magazine. The other two articles concerned their participation in the Air Race Classic. An account of the 1995 race was published in Woman Pilot, and her diary of this year’s race was published in the Ninety-Nine News. Who knows, maybe someday she’ll write a book!

6th year at ERAU
Steve is now into his 6th year at Embry-Riddle, and the job still has a substantial number of challenges. While his support within the University and community has never been higher, Steve has set his sights on a number of new corporate and international partnerships. He has been traveling extensively, and is more than ready for a break over the holidays.

5 facilities built
Phase II of Steve’s capital expansion plan is coming to completion. A modern new chiller plant, new soccer/softball field, and a large simulation center (which will contain 2 $13M simulators) have been completed at the Daytona Campus, and a new 1000-room $28M super-dormitory, dubbed the Student Village, is underway and will be completed by the 1997 Fall semester. The Harry Robertson Safety Center, on the Prescott Campus, was completed last year but dedicated in April of this year. A new dormitory project is also in progress on the Prescott Campus.

4 years of college done
Tabitha graduated in June with her BS in Psychology from the University of California at Santa Cruz. She is now living in Oakland, and has a new job which she loves with an educational software company in Berkeley as a technical support and training coordinator. She won’t be able to come home for the holidays, but we’re hoping she’ll get some vacation from her job to visit us in March or April.

3 household moves
Yes, we have finally moved into our beautiful new hangar homein Spruce Creek Fly-In, but it didn’t happen in June, as we had anticipated in our holiday letter last year. We ended up having to move 3 times: first in March when the Embry-Riddle President’s Residence was sold. We moved into a nice little rental house in Holly Hill on the Halifax River, but unfortunately it was sold in early September, before our house was completed. We then spent a few weeks with Steve’s mother, and at last was able to move into our new place in late September. Although we weren’t able to wait until all the punchlist items were completed, we’ve still been enjoying the house very much, and the punchlist is slowly being worked. Our new address is enclosed on a card.

2 dogs with wagging tails
Honey and Chandelle are still very much a part of the family, and love the new house, especially the pool. Honey is nearing 10 years old, and is quite gray in the face, but is still very active, with even more personality than ever. Chandelle, now over 2 years old, outweighs Honey by about 10 pounds, and still has many puppy-ish ways. She is the especially playful one in the family.

And happiness with an adopted cat.
Another unbelievable addition to the family: Casper, a gray tabby American Shorthair cat. Steve found him one rainy night in our bushes at the Holly Hill house, and Casper gradually won our hearts and a place in the home. Although he took a few weeks to get used to the dogs, he is now incredibly affectionate and playful with them, snuggling with them and playing with their wagging tails. Casper and Chandelle are particularly fun to watch as they play together.

As always, we wish you and yours the best of holidays seasons, and a very happy New Year. If you find yourself in Central Florida, we would be delighted to have you visit us!

Steve, Nancy, Tabitha,
Honey, Chandelle, and

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