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Communications School Update from the President
The Board of Directors met by videoconference March 17, 2020, to discuss the viability of continuing to move forward with our 2020 Communications School, slated for May 19 - 21, in the Galt House Hotel, Louisville, Kentucky. Our primary concern throughout the discussion was your health and safety, and the health and safety of those you would return home to.
After reviewing CDC guidance for event planners, considering the order issued by Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear March 18, 2020, requiring businesses that cannot comply with CDC social distancing guidelines to cease in-person operations, increasing restrictions on travel for government employees, and out of an abundance of caution in uncertain times, we decided to cancel the 2020 Communications School.
Management HQ - our association management team - will contact those who have already registered for the 2020 Communications School to make refund arrangements.
We are pressing ahead with the judging of Blue Pencil & Gold Screen Award submissions and the board is working with Management HQ to create a virtual event to properly recognize award winners. The board is also working with the 2020 Communications School Task Force to identify breakout sessions and/or keynote presentations that would adapt well to a virtual environment and offer those as a series of webinars and/or webcast events. We also intend to move forward with our elections, to ensure our incoming President, Scott Thomsen, is robustly supported by a full board of directors. We will provide more details to you as they become available.
The Galt House management team understood our situation and accepted our cancellation without financial penalty to the NAGC. We are negotiating a contract to hold the 2022 Communications School there.
The board of directors, with the assistance of Management HQ, had already selected Portland, Oregon, as the site of the 2021 Communications School, prior to our decision to cancel the 2020 school. Deliberate planning for the 2021 Communications School in Portland, Oregon, will begin soon after the Board's annual meeting in May and the installation of new members of the board.
All of us on the board know how much we all look forward to the one-of-a-kind learning opportunity our annual communications school is, the benefits of networking and the time spent with fellow government communications practitioners, but we also know your health and well-being is more important. We can and will hold other events to keep us all engaged, our skills sharp and our counsel sage.
Know that whether you are teleworking from home, or on the frontlines of the response to the pandemic, we're here to support you, the government communicators, who are essential to ensuring life-saving information is communicated to the public we serve. We are a community of practice, and we have a wealth of talent to draw upon. Please don't hesitate to reach out to the board or your fellow association members if you are in need of a tip, tactic or guidance. Our membership directory, resources, past webinars and other information is available to you in the members area of the NAGC website.
Until next we can meet, be well and stay safe.
Christopher T. O’Neil, APR
National Association of Government Communicators