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When I ask members what the single best thing about OWAA is, they usually answer “conference.” When I ask them why, most say “the networking.”
Conference really is a signature benefit of OWAA. It offers so much, in a short time, at a fun location. And if you plan it right you can make some money by going.
Networking is an important part of conference. There are also great education opportunities provided by your colleagues and outside speakers. You also get access to industry and policy leaders discussing current events and emerging issues.
In many ways conferences defines OWAA and our conference in Knoxville, Tennessee, will follow that tradition, reflecting the evolution of our field and the organization.
OWAA is evolving as we diversify our membership and supporters and change how we do business. Our conference is also evolving to reflect the different interests of our growing membership. In Knoxville there will be chances to fish and test firearms, but there will also be hiking and stand-up paddleboarding opportunities.
Attendees rated our most recent conference in McAllen, Texas, in May as one of the most content rich programs in recent memory. This year we’ll run fewer sessions simultaneously so you don’t miss out on the speakers, discussions and
presentations most important to your work.
We tweaked conference staples, like creating a celebration around the announcement of our Excellence in Craft Contest winners and returning to a more traditional format for our Honorary Awards dinner.
For 2015 we will continue to change the conference format. Brett Prettyman, conference chair, has brought his committee together and is already hard at work with Jessica Seitz, OWAA’s membership and conference director, planning for
We are planning on running Demo Day and Shooting Day together at one venue. In addition to this Breakout Day we’re working on ways to get you on the water with our Supporting Groups so you can get wet, wet a line or just take in Knoxville’s waterfront scene.
As you will see, there is more information about conference in this issue so take a look and plan to join us.
I hope to see you there. ♦
— OWAA Executive Director Tom Sadler, firstname.lastname@example.org