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29th Saudi Aramco Annuitant’s Reunion

20 August 2014 | comments (0) | Annuitants | by

29th Saudi Aramco Annuitant’s Reunion
September 5-8, 2014
Omni Grove Park Inn

Click here for the latest list of Attendees

Asheville, North Carolina – Here We Come!

September 5-8, 2014

Just a little over two weeks and our long-awaited Asheville “Hafla” will become a reality! There will be over 350 attendees, coming from Saudi Arabia, Canada, Holland, and 32 States. The Omni Grove Park Inn is ready for our big event!

This is the last newsletter from your hosts & co-hosts prior to the reunion. There are a few areas we would like to emphasize:

FIRST:  we need several more people to sign up for the Blue Ridge Parkway Tour in order for it to be a “go”. If you are interested in going, please email as soon as possible so we can let the tour company know. If there aren’t enough to fill the bus, we will have to cancel the tour.

Here is a synopsis of the Best of the Blue Ridge Parkway Tour:

  • Historical tour of Asheville
  • Travel the Blue Ridge Parkway to Visitor’s Center
  • Visit the Folk Art Center
  • Breath-taking views from the Pisgah Inn
  • Picnic lunch at Cradle of Forestry + Ranger Talk (new)
  • Looking Glass Falls for more photo opportunities
  • Date: Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014
  • Estimated time:  6 hours
  • Tour time: 9:00am – 3:00pm (approximately)
  • Cost: $99 per person

SECOND:  We would like to encourage more people sign up for the Yoga class(es).  Teal Chimblo Fyrberg  (daughter of Rick & Rianne Chimblo and also an Aramco Brat) has been teaching yoga for 15 years. She is offering two classes on Saturday and Sunday mornings of the reunion. Each class will be 1hr. 15 min. and the cost is $15 per person.  The first class will be from 8:30 – 9:45am and the second class will be from 10:00 – 11:15am. Take a look at her website: to learn more about Teal and her passion for practicing yoga and meditation. Please email to indicate your interest in participating in this very therapeutic activity. You are encouraged to bring your own yoga mat; however, extra mats will be available.

THIRD:  The Spa Supervisor reports that appointments are filling up fast, so it would be wise to call the spa soon to book your appointment.  Call 1-828-252-2711, ext. 7727.

FOURTH:  Golf, Trolley Tours, Biltmore Tours, Blue Ridge Parkway Tour:
If you have signed up for any of these activities, please send your fee for your selected activity to Saudi Aramco Annuitants Reunion, P.O. Box 1527, Highlands, NC  28741.  Also, if you have not sent in your Registration Form + Payment, please do so now.

As requested, here is the recommended Dress Attire for the Evening Dinners:

Date Venue Dress
Friday Night Middle Eastern/Mediterranean Buffet
Ladies may wear their Middle Eastern dresses
Saturday Night ASC Gala Banquet Formal or Semi-Formal
Sunday Night North Carolina BBQ & Bluegrass Casual–jeans, boots & hats are acceptable

Directions from Asheville Airport to GPI :  (approximately 18 miles, one way, 25 minutes)

  1. Leave the terminal and turn left
  2. Cross the bridge and turn left onto I-26 West
  3. Take I-26 West to I-240 East
  4. Follow I-240 East to Exit 5B, Charlotte Street
  5. Turn left at the top of the Exit
  6. Go .7 miles on Charlotte Street
  7. Turn right onto Macon Avenue, travel approximately .8 miles
    The Omni Grove Park Inn is on the left

Parking:  Valet parking is $22/night with in/out privileges.  There are several self-parking areas on the grounds that are available for $15/night.

To access the Omni Grove Park Inn’s landing page for your Room Reservations: 


For questions regarding the reunion, contact the Jim and Linda Shearon at or the Judy and Mike Butler at Click here to read additional information on the 29th Saudi Aramco Annuitant’s Reunion.

Timothy Richardson Graduates with D.O. and Ph.D.

6 August 2014 | comments (2) | Graduations & Retirements | by

On May 16, 2014 Timothy Eric Richardson graduated with honors from medical school and the Medical Scientist Training Program at The University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth with both Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) and Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Neuroscience. His Ph.D. dissertation was entitled: “The role of estrogen and estrogen analogs in Friedreich’s ataxia cytoprotection.” Tim will be beginning a combined residency/fellowship program in neuropathology at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas in July 2014. After residency, he hopes to continue in academic medicine, teach second year medical students and pursue neurological research projects.

Tim was born in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia in 1985 and lived there until finishing 8th grade in 1999 with his parents Robert and Christine Richardson. Tim graduated from Houston Christian High School in 2003 and received his BS in Neurobiology at The University of Texas at Austin in 2007. During college and medical school he participated in a number of research projects at UT Southwestern Medical Center, MD Anderson Cancer Center and Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Institute for Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Research at UNTHSC.

Frank Jungers Joins Advisory Board

6 August 2014 | comments (2) | Annuitants | by

Frank JungersFrank Jungers enjoys a cup of coffee during a trip to western Saudi Arabia. Jungers is a former CEO of the company. (Photo: Dick Doughty)

PORTLAND, OR, Aug 06, 2014 (Marketwired via COMTEX) — Common Sense Investment Management, LLC (“CSIM”), an independent, privately-held investment manager, announced that Frank Jungers has agreed to join as an Advisory Board member. Mr. Jungers was previously Chairman and CEO of Saudi Aramco (formerly known as the “Arabian American Oil Company”), the world leader in the production of petroleum-based energy. In his new advisory role at CSIM he will provide advice & guidance on strategy to the management team, tapping his extensive experience.

In addition to his 30 year tenure with Saudi Aramco, Mr. Jungers has served as a director on the boards of a number of public companies including The AES Corporation, Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette (“DLJ”), Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Horizon Lines and Thermo Electron. He is currently a director of ESCO Corporation and Pacific Star Communications. In addition he was Chairman of the Board of the Oregon Health Sciences University Foundation.

Jonathan Gane, Chief Executive Officer of Common Sense Investment Management, LLC, commented: “On behalf of the management team we are honored by Mr. Jungers’ decision to join our Advisory Board. His deep business expertise is invaluable as we continue with the next chapter of our development and the evolution of our investment solutions.”

Mr. Jungers adds: “I am pleased to join the Advisory Board and look forward to providing any appropriate guidance on their business strategy.” For more information on Common Sense Investment Management, LLC, please visit:

About Common Sense Investment Management, LLC

Founded in 1991, Common Sense Investment Management, LLC (“CSIM”) is an independent, privately-held investment manager located in Portland, Oregon. CSIM is a veteran alternative investments solutions provider with an industry-leading track record over 23 years of outperformance, portfolio differentiation and capital preservation.


KSA Reunion – March 9-18, 2015

16 July 2014 | comments (7) | Reunions | by

2015 Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Reunion

This message is from Ali Baluchi, Chairman of the Organizing Committee for the 2015 Expatriate KSA Reunion.

Due to the overwhelming increase in registration by the retirees and their families for the current 2015 KSA Reunion, we are pleased to announce that the next reunion is advanced two years ahead of normal timing. Now is scheduled for March 11, through March 23, 2019, instead of March 2021. We hope this change will meet the wishes and expectations of some who could delay their participation at this time, due to certain circumstances, to the next one planned for 2019.

We hope, such change will insure some retirees and their families that the Expatriate Reunions will continue, since there is a desire among many retirees of Aramco to visit their so called second home, Saudi Arabia.


29th Saudi Aramco Annuitant’s Reunion

16 July 2014 | comments (0) | Annuitants | by

29th Saudi Aramco Annuitant’s Reunion
September 5-8, 2014

Who is coming to the reunion? Download here

COUNTDOWN!  5-4-3-2-1 for 5-6-7-8 – of September, that is.  If you have not yet reserved your room, NOW is the time to book your room at the Omni Grove Park Inn.  The deadline is August 4th to take advantage of the contracted price per room.  After that, you can still reserve a room, but it will be at a slightly higher price.

Plans are coming together and your hosts & co-hosts urge you to get not only your room reservations in, but also your Registration Form, plus the registration fee. Golf fees and any of the tours you have signed up for should be pre-paid as soon as possible.
Things “to do” while at the Grove Park Inn:

REGISTRATION AREA:  Following check-in, and getting settled in your room, go to the Registration Area located in the Sammons Wing.  Aramco friends will greet you with a smile, hand you a name badge and a tote bag.  There will also be a special gift for everyone.  Sign-up sheets for table seating for the Saturday night Gala Banquet, along with photo appointments beginning Saturday afternoon with the photographer, will be available at the Registration Area.

HOSPITALITY & EXHIBITS AREA:  This is going to be a FUN room with many Aramcons and Vendors coming to show, share & sell some of their wonderful artistic treasurers.  Aetna, MetLife, Express Scripts, Vanguard, Reilly Financial Advisors, Merrill Lynch, Aramco ExPats and more will also be represented.  The Hospitality Room will be open from 8:00am-4:00pm Friday and Saturday.

SUNSET HIKING TRAIL:  This new trail was completed in June and is a little short of one mile.  Starting just below the courtyard outside the hotel entrance, the trail runs along the parking area and down to the Reed Creek area which leads to the Sports Complex, or can be continued uphill along the creek and across historic stone bridges to a lower and upper loop above the road through a peaceful wooded area.  The trail is well marked with signage and directions are available.

OMNI GROVE PARK INN WALKING TOUR:  Tours begin at the Concierge Desk located in the Main Lobby at 10:00am.  A Guide will take you on a very interesting historical walking tour of the Inn.  This tour is free, and is offered Wednesday through Saturday.  Groups are limited to 20; however, if larger groups would like to go together, they will accommodate us.

SPA SERVICES:  Very popular with GPI guests, the Spa measures more than 40,000 sq. ft., but that number only begins to describe the drama of this world-class retreat.  Indoor waterfalls, majestic stone architecture and a European-style pool area set the scene for an array of treatments that range from the familiar (massage and facials) to the exotic (aura imaging).  Not your average day spa, this is a destination to savor, a relaxing enclave of luxury.  Appointments should be made in advance by calling 828-252-2711 ext. 7727.  Be sure to tell them you are with the Saudi Aramco Annuitants Reunion group.

YOGA:  Yoga and mindfulness are interrelated traditions that focus on the holistic wellness of the entire person.  While many think of yoga as postures and breathing techniques, the full practice of yoga provides us with an accessible method of bringing the whole human—body, breath, and mind—into a balanced and healthy state.  These practices work to systematically bring a greater amount of present-moment awareness to all areas of life.  Begin your day with a gentle yoga practice – you’ll be glad you did!  Please indicate your interest on either your Registration Form or the Activity Sheet.  You may pre-pay or pay at the beginning of class.
Instructor:  Teal Chimblo Fyrber

GOLF & GOLF TOURNAMENT:  The golf staff is looking forward to hosting our event this September. The course was designed by the legendary Donald Ross in 1926. From their championship tees, the 6,400-yard, par-70 course is contoured out of the rolling landscape with tree-lined fairways, challenging bunkers and receptive bent greens. Its elevated tee boxes mean you get amazing views with each drive. Those arriving a day or two early are welcome to play golf at a reduced rate.

The course is considered one of the top courses in North Carolina and the golf club was included in Golfweek’s 2014 Best: State by State Courses You Can Play (NC). It is also among the top ten courses 100 years or older according to Golf Digest, though it certainly does not show its age. Masterfully restored in 2001, it reflects the glory and spirit of Donald Ross’ original design.

The Golf Pro Shop has a full line of golf apparel, gear and accessories, from divot tools to umbrellas and golf towels, apparel by Adidas, Greg Norman, Fairway and Greene, Peter Millar and Taylormade. They can custom build a welcome gift package for each player to meet your every need. They are proud partners with Taylormade golf and offer the latest models of Jetspeed and SLDR woods and Speedblade irons as rental sets for their patrons. The staff looks forward to working with our golfers and making this a special and successful event.

TOURS:  As advertised in previous articles, the tours are — Saturday: Trolley tours of Asheville and the Blue Ridge Parkway Tour.  Sunday:  Two tours going to the Biltmore House.  Thank you to those who have sent in their money for the tours.  Those who are still interested in the tours, please send your money in as soon as possible.

BRIDGE & TENNIS:  It’s nice to see so many of you signing up for these two activities. Refer to the Directory that will be in your welcome bag upon arrival to learn the details of these events.

MOVIE “ARABIA”:  Hugh Renfro, an Aramco retiree, whom many of you met at the reunion in Tucson, is going to show the DVD version of the IMAX documentary “Arabia”. Hugh worked with the McGillivray Freeman Films for four years making the film and is one of the Executive Producers. Check the schedule in your packet to find the location and times.

VIDEO PROJECT:  Joe Allen is a former Aramcon and is working on video projects for the Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd Program for Strategic Research and Studies in conjunction with the University of Central Florida in Orlando.  The Program was established in 2012 and seeks to advance public awareness and knowledge about the USA-Saudi Arabia relationship. He has begun a project to videotape interviews with former Aramco employees, getting their perspective on the relationship, their experience in the Kingdom and of course, sharing their stories about their time in the Kingdom.  The end project will be a series of videos that will be used by the PMBF Program showing these wonderful memories and sharing them with others.  He would like to videotape short anecdotes and stories during the weekend.  Be thinking about an interesting story you would like to share with him.  For more information about the PMBF Program, take a look at the following link:

As requested, here is the recommended Dress Attire for Evening Dinners:

Friday night:  Middle Eastern/Mediterranean Buffet—Business casual.  (Ladies may wear their Middle Eastern dresses if you would like)
Saturday Night:  ASC Gala Banquet—Formal or Semi-Formal.
Sunday Night:  North Carolina BBQ & Bluegrass. Casual, jeans are acceptable.

Directions from Asheville Airport to GPI: (approximately 18 miles, one way, 25 minutes)

  1. Directions from Asheville Airport to GPI: (approximately 18 miles, one way, 25 minutes)
  2. Cross the bridge and turn left onto I-26 West
  3. Take I-26 West to I-240 East
  4. Follow I-240 East to Exit 5B, Charlotte Street
  5. Turn left at the top of the Exit
  6. Go .7 miles on Charlotte Street
  7. Turn right onto Macon Avenue, travel approximately .8 miles
    The Omni Grove Park Inn is on the left.

Note:  To address a question several have asked regarding whether or not they can attend the reunion if they are not an Aramco “retiree”, the answer is yes. Traditionally, anyone who has worked for the company (and their spouse, and family members) may attend the reunion. Attendance has not been restricted to “retirees.”  As Aramcons, we all look forward to reuniting with friends and co-workers we met while living and working in Saudi Arabia.

“Hafla” is an Arabic word meaning a party or social gathering – the reunion of family and friends.  The Reunion Committee, Hosts, Co-Hosts, Committee Chairmen and Volunteers are all looking forward to seeing everyone soon! Safe Travels!

To access the Omni Grove Park Inn’s landing page for your Room Reservations: Grove Park Inn Reservations

For questions regarding the reunion, contact the Jim and Linda Shearon at or the Judy and Mike Butler at

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