From the President-Elect: A Hybrid Conference

From the President-Elect
Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo
Twitter: @mszampaulo

As I sit down to write my column this month, I’m reminded of where we were a year ago and thankful to be feeling much more optimistic this year than last when it comes to planning the details of our Annual Conference. While uncertainty is still present in 2021 and the world has a way to go on the pandemic front, it’s exciting to see improvements that make planning a hybrid conference and the chance to see many of you in person a reality.

The hybrid conference model (virtual and in person) is new to ATA, but you’ll find that if you’ve attended an ATA conference before—whether virtually last year or in person in previous years—much of it will feel familiar. With 16 Advanced Skills and Training (AST) sessions and 120 regular sessions this year, the lineup offers something for everyone. If travel isn’t an option for you this fall, I hope you’ll consider attending virtually. We’ll also have a variety of networking sessions available for all attendees, both on-site in Minneapolis and online.

If you plan to join us in the Twin Cities area, please note that COVID-19 protocols are shifting as the number of infections decrease and the number of vaccinated people increases across the United States. We continue to get updates based on local guidelines and protocols and will follow all current mandates of the Hyatt Corporation at the time of our event. As we work with the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, our host hotel, and event planning coordinators, we’ll make the most of our time together in person while keeping attendees safe. For those attending from the comfort of their home office, please note that we have a new virtual conference site in the works with more features for networking and engaging throughout the conference. Please watch for registration information on ATA’s conference website!

In addition to this year’s annual meetings during the conference, we’ll have an election for three officer positions, three director positions, and, hopefully, several proposed Bylaws amendments. These proposed amendments are meant to clean up some areas of our Bylaws that are outdated or unclear. The Governance and Communications Committee will propose the Bylaws changes to the Board of Directors at its summer meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, on August 7-8, 2021. If the Board approves presenting the proposed amendments to the membership, you’ll see them on this year’s ballot. Please make sure you have undergone the Active Membership Review process if you wish to vote in this year’s election. The deadline to become an Active (voting) member is mid-September.

With hope and optimism that we’re moving past what proved to be a difficult last year for so many, I wish you a lovely summer and look forward to seeing as many of you in person (or virtually) this year as possible in October!

Useful Links

ATA Main Conference Website

Hyatt Regency Minneapolis Host Hotel Information

Active Membership Review Process

ATA Elections 2021: Candidates Slate

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