I am pleased to report to you that our recent Interim Board of Directors Meeting (IBM) in Portland was a terrific success and wanted to utilize this space to provide you with some highlights.
As many of you know, we conduct the fall board of directors meeting at the site of the Annual Meeting held the following spring. This allows us all to have a sneak peek at the hotels and meeting venues that we will all be enjoying during our annual meeting and education conference and provide recommendations for possible adjustments, etc.
After visiting the Oregon Convention Center in Portland in person, I can tell you confidently that you all are in for a special treat. The convention center improvements have just recently been completed and provide for a light, bright, inviting and interactive space.
We also discovered that the city of Portland is very walkable and easy to navigate via public transit, including light rail, trolleys and bus. So much so that we accepted an offer made to us by the Portland Convention and Visitors’ Bureau to provide each of our attendees with a complimentary transit pass during the run of the convention. By using Portland’s convenient public transit system our attendees will have quick and convenient transportation to the convention center from all three of our hotels – with 15 minute frequency. Plus, conference attendees can use their transit pass to visit the entire city of Portland during your stay – all while supporting AMCA’s goal of reducing our carbon emissions from the use of busses and cabs!
2024 Annual Meeting……Dallas, TX!!
During our meeting, we also voted to select Dallas, Texas as the site for AMCA’s 2024 Annual Meeting. The board was very impressed with the cost of the rooms ($199), food and beverage options, quality of facilities and convenience of the hotel/conference center and the ease of transportation to Dallas (major hub, four hour flight from anywhere in the US) and to the conference facility from the airport, which is a short light rail ride away. 2024 seems like a long distance in the future but there is no time like the present to shop for that Stetson and big boots and get ready for AMCA 2024 in Dallas!
During our business meetings, we had valuable discussions, received valuable information from officers and regional directors and made several key decisions, in addition to the site selection for the 2024 Annual Meeting:
2020 Annual Meeting
Program Chair Mark Breidenbaugh reported that we have received over 380 submissions for abstracts, which is well over our goal of 300 and hopefully reflects keen interest among attendees. Registration is open and exhibitors and sponsors are rolling in. We had a great meeting with leadership from our host committee – the Oregon Mosquito and Vector Control Society, who are making great plans for a trustee tour and coordinating volunteers to help staff the meeting.
2019-20 YTD Financials
Treasurer Gary Hatch reported that we are a little behind in our revenue projections from membership renewals in the categories of regular membership and sustaining corporate membership. Our Regional Directors agree to make contact with non-renewing members in their regions and encourage them to renew in advance of the annual meeting. Our management team will work with me and a few other officers to make contact with our corporate partners to secure their renewals as well. Performance against 2019-20 financial goals will depend on these efforts combined with meeting revenue goals for the 2020 Annual Meeting and working to keep costs down.
Federal Policy Update
We received a through briefing on federal policy issues from Angela Beehler, chair of the Legislative and Regulatory Committee. Angela reviewed how AMCA’s expenses for federal lobbying complement our advocacy objectives and support the annual DC meeting; noted that the Trump administration’s updated rules of the Waters of the US have provided more certainty to those working in the field; and how new rules on chemical control can equip mosquito control professionals and districts with information and resources to address public concerns about spraying and pesticide use.
The board also had a robust discussion about the use of surplus funds associated with a recently concluded grant from the Centers for Disease Control. The board wants to ensure the funds are used consistent with the original purpose of the grant and consistent with the priorities of AMCA members and partners. We plan to have some solid recommendations in advance of our next board meeting held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting in Portland.
Technical Adviser Search
During my Executive Committee report I had the opportunity to inform the board of the status of our search for a new contractor to replace the esteemed Joe Conlon, who is planning to retire after the annual DC Meeting in May. I informed the board that we received several submissions from a talented group of professionals and plan to meet with a smaller subgroup of individuals via web conference in November and in person at the Florida Fly-in Meeting, January 13-16. We are on track to name a new Technical Advisor to be announced at the 2020 Annual Meeting in Portland.
Among the reports we received in included news from Mark Clifton, North Central Regional Director that several Midwestern states are contemplating a multi-state conference in Chicago in 2023. Herff Jones, South Central Regional Director reported that Texas and Louisiana are planning a joint meeting in 2020. And North Pacific Regional Director Greg Barron reported that there was an opening for an agency director position in Idaho.
The recent IBM was our first opportunity as a board to meet and interact with staff from our new management company – Advocacy and Management Group in Sacramento, CA. The AMG team on site – comprised of Dave Butler, Executive Director, Megan MacNee, Deputy Executive Director, and Natalie Porter, Meeting and Events Manager – proved to be talented, enthusiastic, professional and insightful – just as we had hoped and expected!
I am grateful for the opportunity to serve you as your President and especially appreciate the chance to serve alongside such a talented and dedicated group of individuals who comprise your board of directors.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments.