The 2010 version of the NACAC Annual Conference is now a part of history, and after hearing from individuals who attended, this conference was a resounding success.
A flash mob (or flashmob) is a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and pointless act for a brief time, then quickly disperse. The term flash mob is generally applied only to gatherings organized via telecommunications, social media, or viral emails. — Wikipedia
As a member of the NACAC Annual Conference Local Advisory Committee (LAC), I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to be a part of the local arrangements. I was thankful for MOACAC for allowing me to assist in leading the LAC and involving Illinois (and IACAC). On April 1, 2008 (no joke), the LAC met for the first time to plan for this event, and over two and half plus years, we worked along with NACAC staff to provide for a memorable time in the Gateway City.
If you missed the unofficial welcome, check out NACAC’s website. There you will see a video of the conference surprise and I am sure you will recognize a few familiar people doing what they do best.
During the Opening Session, we had the chance to welcome all to St. Louis, highlighting some local history and chances for attendees to explore the city. With a positive message from our keynoter, Roland G. Fryer, Jr, we kicked off the conference with a vision to build on for the next three days. Also, a huge CONGRATS to all in IACAC who made the opening (as well as the closing meeting) an IACAC awards show. I have to say, that I had many people come up to me, including NACAC members, to congratulate me on being a member of IACAC. What an honor.
Throughout the remaining days we had numerous sessions; a full exhibit hall; various meetings; and of course, impromptu networking in the city gave all a chance to learn and take home much knowledge and many new contacts. For me, the best professional development is the chance to chat with colleagues during this conference. The knowledge and connections are priceless and truly enhance all that one does.
On Friday, October 1st, the Annual Conference took on an even more local flavor with the Counselor’s Preview Day. This day allowed local counselors to take part in the Annual Conference for a discounted rate. And, with many thanks to IACAC and the Executive Board, this year, 60 area counselors from the east side of the river were able to attend at no registration cost. Along with 88 from Missouri, the total attendance at NACAC 2010 was an amazing number and a record as far as attendees for this part of the conference. A special thanks goes to IACAC President, Carin Smith, for speaking about IACAC to these individuals and to Nate Bargar and Annie Kremer (Mentorship) for lining up mentors to eat and visit with the counselors over lunch. These mentors (many thanks) were Dan Gin, Mike Dunker, Patricia Grawey- Beeler, Bill Morrison, Sandie Gilbert, Marsha Hubbuch, Stefanie Andrews, Kevin Coy and Maryanne Kelly. You all helped to make this a most successful day, and I know your efforts will lead to new members within IACAC from downstate.
Now, after two plus years of planning, it all came down to one final night; the conference social, and well, if you missed this, you missed a most unique social. Set in the City Museum in St. Louis, conference attendees were treated to activities that one may never have taken part. And, if you missed the 10 story slide, the caves, the aquarium, the vault, the circus, plan a trip and come back to St. Louis to take part in what is billed as a playground for all ages.
I would like to thank IACAC for their support of the conference as a sponsor and to all members who attended and volunteered their time to make it a success. I had a lot of fun, and even more so, I gained so much that I will never forget this wonderful professional development opportunity. I look forward to joining you all next year on September 22-24 in New Orleans.
IACAC member and 2010 NACAC Annual Conference LAC chair