[2017] Chairman's Preview: Week Six

Wow there are a lot of DCMP events happening this weekend!

We’ll have to see how Western Canada works out-- other than 5515, who took home an RCA this year in Shenzhen, nobody here has taken one home since 2015, when **5015 **won it here. Two other prior winners are here as well-- **4334 **took it home here in 2014, and **3354 **brought one back in 2013, which they then followed with a win in 2014. In addition to prior RCA winners, there are a number of teams who have been making waves with EI awards-- **4010 **is on a three year streak going back to 2014, and while it may have been a while for 2130, they did have a couple of wins back in 2012 and 2013. We might also see totally new faces walking out with the award-- this is an event with a lot of international presence, so who know what will happen?

The Arizona West regional doesn’t contain any historical deep Chairman’s favorites, meaning the field is wide open for a new winner; the two most recent winners in attendance, 2403, 2375, have only ever won the award once. They’ll both be gunning hard to get to the top, and will have to contend with recent Engineering Inspiration recipients **4841 **and 3019. Finally, in attendance will be 3255. Though they’ve never won a culture change award, their impressive outreach program and first-ever Entrepreneurship Award earlier this season could mean it’s time for a Chairman’s banner.

The Minnesota 10000 Lakes Regional will be an interesting one for Chairman’s-- the two historical favorites, 1816 and 2500, have already taken one home, which leaves this regional with two first-time winners from last year (**2052 **and 4607), as well as 2502, who has brought home three EI awards in the last two years, and perhaps 3630, who brought home an RCA here in 2012, and an EI last year in Iowa. It’s also possible we’ll see someone new bubble to the top.

The only regional with fewer historical culture change awards than 10000 Lakes? Minnesota North Star Regional. Truly anything might happen here-- there are only four teams attending who have won a culture change award in their entire histories-- 1710, who will be fighting to keep a 5-year win streak alive in a year that has seen the demise of numerous legendary streak, 2169, who already took home a Chairman’s Award at Central Illinois, 3018, who took home their last EI in 2013, and 3928, who won EI here in 2014, and has been making a serious effort to step up their game. We might see some of Minnesota’s teams that have been bubbling under finally get their shot at the award this year.

With 2016 Hall of Fame inductee 987 (joining attendees 1538 and 842) out of the picture, this year’s Las Vegas regional has no clear favorites for the award. Looking to pick up the torch from their San Diego neighbors (the Holy Cows) are **1266 **and 2485. While the Devil Duckies haven’t won Chairman’s since 2012, their deep history with the award as well as their 2014 Engineering Inspiration here could mean success. The W.A.R. Lords picked up two Engineering Inspiration awards last year after never winning any culture change awards, and this momentum could carry them into a banner. **585 **and 4201, who won Engineering Inspiration earlier this season, both have a great shot at upgrading, with innovative outreach programs that have made a difference in their areas. **60 **won an Engineering Inspiration trophy in 2015 after a ten year break from culture change awards. Finally, though 118, 148, and **1678 **are not really known for their Chairman’s awards, each have impressive outreach initiatives that could help them match their success on the field with success in the presentation room - just like 971 (not in attendance).

The **Alamo **Regional will be the perfect opportunity for a team to bring home their first RCA – ever, or in a few years. No team here has won RCA since 2014, though there have been numerous EI wins. Look out for 3847, who has a two-year EI streak, to upgrade this weekend, in addition to 3103, who has taken home 4 EI awards but no RCA. This is another great opportunity for someone new or someone old to take home the big award.

No eligible teams at the New York City Regional have won the Chairman’s Award since 2013 - with one exception, 4613. The Barker Redbacks have already seen Engineering Inspiration success this year, so an RCA would be a logical next step. **1660 **haven’t won Chairman’s in a while, but could revive their Ultimate Ascent success. If these two teams don’t pick up the banner, look for a new face to establish Chairman’s dominance in the region.

Competing for the one **Peachtree State Championship **Chairman’s Award this weekend are four stellar teams with programs that have done much to change the face of STEM in their communities. Defending champs **1311 **have been integral in establishing a framework for FIRST in the entire state of Georgia, and their diversity initiatives have helped them make a signature impact. They’ll face tough competition from the other historical Georgia favorite, 2974. With their GirlsFIRST and Outreach in a Box programs, Walton is a serious contender. Newer to the scene are **1648 **and 4730. The first won their second ever Chairman’s award in Columbus this year, and the second won their first in Albany. Though they may not have the rich history with the award that Walton and Kell do, they still have compelling programs that could move the judges.

The Chesapeake District Championship will be hosting some of the most historically successful teams in Chairman’s ever-- 1885, who has a streak going back to 2012, will be a clear favorite with their successful and broad-reaching programs, as will 1086, who also took home an inaugural Chesapeake DCMP banner last year. They’ll have some serious competition from teams such as 1629, who approaches both in both scope and in historical success on Chairman’s-- they’ll be looking for something a little bit bluer than an EI award this year. Other contenders include 612, who made a return to form with their win at Northern Virginia this year, 1111, who took it home at Northern Maryland, 2363, who won at Hampton Roads, and first timers 2537, who won at Central Maryland

The New England District Championship– one of the most evenly balanced Championships for Chairman’s Awards-- it wouldn’t surprise us to see any of the District winning teams bring home the banner here. We’ve got 2648, who has one of the strongest records of any team here, 125, who is going on 4 years of winning Chairman’s at some level, and 4905, who has won a DCA every year they’ve been eligible. Also highly competitive will be 558, who has won DCA every season New England has been in Districts, and 1519, who has really been stepping up their game over the past few years. We’ll also have 1071, who won at Waterbury, 3467, who won at Granite State, 4176, winners at SE Mass, 1735, who won at Southern New Hampshire, and 78, who took it home at Rhode Island.

We’ll also have the Pacific Northwest District Championship this weekend, which will have a number of extremely competitive teams attending-- among them, 1540, who has taken home a DCCA or RCA every year since 2012, as well as 4125, who has never taken home the DCCA but has brought home four DCAs in a row, and last year’s DCCA winners and 3-time DCA winners 2980. We’ll also see **2557 **competing, who won the DCCA back in 2015, as well as 3 DCA. Also in attendance will be 1595, who brought home their first DCA this year, 1318, who won the award Auburn Mountainview, first-timers 2521, who won it at Clackamas Academy, 2471, who brought home their first DCCA last year, and 2907, who last brought home a Chairman’s Award in 2013 at the Spokane Regional.

The competitors for the Indiana State Championship all have a strong chance at bringing home the award-- we have 868, who will be defending their win here last year after their first-ever Chairman’s win, competing with **1747 **who has brought home a DCA twice and will be looking for another blue banner, as well as 135, the 2015 Indiana State Chairman’s Award winners.

It’s almost over, folks! We can’t wait to see who takes up the last slots to compete for the Chairman’s Award in Houston and St. Louis! Good luck to everyone competing this weekend!