By Mike Dunker
Annual Conference Chair and President-Elect
Retired from Crystal Lake South High School
Being a former math teacher, my mind always thinks numerically, so let me share some numbers from the 2013 IACAC Annual conference. 858 individuals attended the conference at the Westin Hotel in Itasca and from the feedback I have received the participants found it a very educational and rewarding experience.
The conference could not have been such a success without the hard work of the Conference Committee. 34 members of that committee volunteered their services and worked together to offer this amazing professional development opportunity. Those committee members are:
Donna Epton- Event Coordinator
Linda Haffner- IACAC Executive Assistant and Registration and Hospitality Chair
Laura Docherty- Credential and Nominations
Kara Dollaske, Natalie Rubino and Mike Melinder- Communications and Social Media
D.J. Menifee, Susan Sanders and Omar Solomon- Entertainment
Michelle Adams, Lauren O’Connor and Stephanie Szczepanski- Evaluations
Patricia Grawey-Beeler, April Hansen and Patrick Ryan- Exhibitors, Advertising and Sponsors
Zak George, Courtney Wallace and Shawn Wochner- First Timers
Danielle Cargo, Ryan Downey and George Kazlusky- On-Site
Jill Bures, Quinton Clay and Kathy Major- Program
Anabel Menifee, Lori Greene and Kris Harding- Project Reach and 5K
Aubriex Cason, Kari Garcia and Katie Trnka- Raffle
Michelle Brown and Gina Williams- Registration and Hospitality
Traci Flowers and Kathy McSherry- Tellers
Many thanks to Dan Saavedra, the IACAC Webmaster, for his expertise and creativity with all of the visuals throughout conference. Also thanks to Sherry Hall, publication specialist, who was responsible for putting the conference program and meal programs together.
Conference attendees had the opportunity to attend 58 different educational sessions. All of the sessions are receiving great reviews and many will be available on the IACAC website very soon.
The conference would not be such a great success without our sponsors, advertisers and exhibitors. This year we 23 exhibitors offered their services and products to our organization.
A new activity at conference was the Project Reach 5K run/walk. Approximately 107 people participated in the race to raise money for Project Reach. Money raised from the race, additional monetary donations and collected supplies were awarded to our Project Reach recipient, St. Anne School District from St. Anne, Illinois.
During the dinner on Thursday, 9 IACAC members received various awards for their service to IACAC. The James Alexander Newcomer’s Award was presented to: Kara Dollaske, Zachary George, Emily Johnson, Anabel Menifee, DJ Menifee, and Natalie Rubino.
The following people were awarded the Molly K. Arnold Award for their ongoing service to the organization: Anita Carpenter, Kevin Coy, Anthony Minestra, Stephanie Szczepanski, and Courtney Wallace. The Friend of IACAC Award went to The Illinois School Counselor Association, which has been working with IACAC to promote many similar causes. And finally, the Patricia A. Kasowski award for life-time contributions to IACAC went to Frank DuBois from Lewis University. Congratulations to all of these people for their outstanding service to IACAC.
Attending the conference this year, representing NACAC, was CEO Joyce Smith. Joyce gave a quick NACAC update and recognized the 14 IACAC members serving on various NACAC committees. Joyce also served as the honorary starter for the 5K race.
The entertainment at this year’s conference was outstanding. There were 5 different entertainment venues. On Wednesday night we had a caricature artist as well as the very well received college version of Family Feud. On Thursday night we were treated to a very funny performance by a hypnotist, followed by much dancing at Club IACAC and the more relaxed atmosphere of the Grown and Sexy Lounge. Overall a great time was had by everyone.
Being a numbers guy, everything added up to a great conference. Thanks to everyone involved in the planning and preparation for conference and a special thanks to everyone who attended. We certainly showed that we have Strength Through Diversity, and Many Hands do Make a Difference.