Can you believe it has already been 3 months since we all converged at Bridgeport for the 2019 Fall conference? I know I certainly cannot. As a short recap, the fall conference was our most attended event to date. We would like to thank Ashley Naught, Connie Brodehl, and Olivia Houck from TVF&R for all their time and efforts on this event. We heard from a wide variety of speakers, covering topics like Flag Etiquette, Public Safety Officer Benefits, GEMT updates, as well as Diversity and Inclusion. In addition to our great speaker line up, members were introduced to a slightly different structure with more time built into the schedule for networking and exploring the local shops.
As we move into 2020, we would like to remind everyone that OFSOA will be trying something a bit different. The organization is moving away from a Spring workshop and a Fall conference to two conferences - where you can expect two full days of education as well as plenty of time for networking with each other! In addition to the extra class and networking time, the conferences are moving from a Wednesday travel day with classes on Thursday and Friday to a Monday travel day with classes on Tuesday and Wednesday. The board understands this decision has been met with mixed reviews, but asks that the membership attend the 2020 conferences with an open mind. The Spring and Fall conference dates for the current year have already been set and cannot be changed, however the Board and Event Planning Committee will continue to solicit feedback regarding the adjusted structure following each event. If it is determined the new structure is negatively impacting the majority of our members, the Board is prepared to discuss adjustments in 2021.
For the Spring 2020 conference, Pam Webber is working closely with the Event Planning Committee to bring us a stellar lineup of diverse speakers and activities. Please be aware there is a registration cap of 65 people, so make sure you mark your calendars for May 12-13 and sign up as soon as registration opens! The cap on registration for this event has been made after feedback from the membership regarding the need to have plenty of space to sit comfortably in class. This venue was chosen prior to the determination by the Board and the Event Planning Committee to choose venues going forward where space and registration caps should not be an issue. In an effort to move to a more environmentally conscious and streamlined process, registration, beginning with this event and moving forward, will only be accepted electronically. We are also moving to an electronic only process for membership sign ups and renewals.
The board is excited for the year to come and hope you are too! We look forward to seeing many of you May 12 & 13 in Medford for Spring Conference. Stay well and as always, please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.