Each of the former NCEP Directors had the opportunity to share their recollections in a Brown-bag Seminar entitled
"NCEP -- Looking Back to Look Forward."

Dr. Jim Hoke
Dr. Jim Hoke kicked off the Brown-bag Seminar by noting the weekly seminar series was originated about 20 years ago by Dr. Norman Phillips, who served for many years as the NWS Chief Scientist.  As Norm was unable to attend Directors Day at the last minute, Jim delivered his talk, which focused on early numerical modeling experiments leading to the establishment of the Joint Numerical Weather Prediction Unit (JNWPU), predecessor to NMC and NCEP.  Norm's comments provided the opportunity to honor the first JNWPU/NCEP Director, Dr. George Cressman. 

Dr. Fred Shuman Dr. Bill Bonner
Dr. Fred Shuman discussed his early experiences in the JNWPU, as well as his experiences as Director of NMC.  He related how he became the very first employee.  When the JNWPU was formed in 1954, Fred was selected to become a member.  When he showed up at the personnel office, however, he was told there was a problem.  His previous assignment had ended, but the JNWPU was not to come into existence for two weeks.  The personnel clerk didn't know what to do with Fred.  He decided the easiest course of action was to form the unit early and assign Fred to it.  Fred thus became the first employee, even before the first Director George Cressman was on board. Dr. Bill Bonner was Director of the National Meteorological Center (NMC)  from 1981 through 1990.  This was a period of organizational change for the NWS and especially NMC.  Bill talked about some of the trials and tribulations of dealing with the acquisition of new units such as the marine unit that later evolved into the Marine Prediction Center, the National Hurricane Center, and increasing aviation responsibilities that later became the core of the Aviation Weather Center.  He also described some of the functions that might have become part of NMC but never did. 
Mr. Jim Howcroft Mr. Jim Howcroft served as Acting Director for most of 1990 between the departure of Bill Bonner and the arrival of Ron McPherson.  Although his tenure as Acting Director was brief, his service as Deputy Director of NMC and NCEP was long and fruitful. Jim referred to the pictures of the former NMC and NCEP directors hanging on the wall in the NCEP conference room.  While he did not feel his short term as acting Director warranted the same size picture as the full time directors, he thought a smaller, passport-size picture might be quite appropriate.
Dr. Ron McPherson Former NCEP Director Dr. Ron McPherson discussed the reorganization of NMC into NCEP, the reasons behind the changes, and some of the challenges in pulling it off.  He expressed his great satisfaction at the results, based on all he had heard and seen during Directors Day.  He also described some of the budgetary and political issues that eventually prevented the move of NCEP out of the World Weather Building during his tenure.   Ron also mentioned future opportunities for NCEP to shine, including the upcoming 50th anniversary of the JNWPU.

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