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  • 12 Oct 2019 6:40 AM | Anonymous

    Sandy FowlerThe conference gestation period is almost at an end—just a few weeks until the baby will be born. It always takes on a life of its own once it starts—much like a real baby coming into the world. I know it is drawing close because after daily work on the zillion conference decisions and arrangements since January, it’s now entering my dreams. Some of the dreams have a germ of sense or relate to what I was working on that day, but some are a bit bizarre. That’s the nature of dreams but not the nature of the conference. It will be an exciting learning event and not to be missed.

    At some point in their career, every interculturalist is asked, “Why is intercultural competence important? What difference does it make?” These questions challenge the foundations of the intercultural field. What is your answer? These questions and more are food for discussion with your colleagues at the 18th national conference in Atlanta.

    Why now? International relations as well as domestic diversity and inclusion are unsettled and not getting any better. Communication plays a significant role in people’s perceptions of the state of the world. Instant global communication relays events that happen across borders around the world as they happen. Violence in one city or town becomes the news of the day. Intercultural competence is needed now as never before.

    Join us for a conference designed to stimulate your thinking, foster insights and understanding, expand your skills and renew your commitment—we will work together to explore important questions and seek answers.

    Sandra M. Fowler
    SIETAR USA President


  • 12 Oct 2019 6:33 AM | Anonymous

    Dear SIETAR USA members and colleagues,

    The future of SIETAR USA depends on its members to support its mission and to provide the leadership to guide the organization.

    SIETAR USA annually opens a call for nominations to the board of directors.We invite you to become involved by nominating yourself or another candidate. You can anyone you nominate must be:

    1. Member in good standing with SIETAR USA (or willing to become a member)
    2. Member who has attended SIETAR USA conferences in the past five (5) years
    The Nominations Committee identifies candidates through a nomination process for each position based on the required skill and knowledge sets needed for each position. Members may add names to the list of candidates by sending a petition to the Chair of the Nominations Committee.

    To that end, we are issuing the 2019 Call for Nominations for the Board of Directors of SIETAR USA. We invite you to become involved by nominating yourself or another candidate. Click here to download the 2019 call for nominations (PDF). 

    Petitions are due to the Chair of the Nominations Committee by November 5, 2019

    List of Positions Open for Nomination

    There are eight Officer and Directors positions open for nomination in 2019:

    • President Elect (Officer)
    • Secretary (Officer)
    • Treasurer (Officer)
    • Communications (Director)
    • Local Groups (Director)
    • Membership, Outreach and Diversity (Director)
    • Professional Development (Director)
    • Sponsorship Partnership Development (Director)

    Process

    The Nominations Committee identifies candidates through a nomination process for each position based on the required skill and knowledge sets needed for each position. Members may add names to the list of candidates by sending a petition to the Chair of the Nominations Committee by November 5, 2019. The petition must be signed by at least five current SIETAR USA members who support the addition of this candidate; signature by email is accepted. This slate is then announced to the members of SIETAR USA. If there is more than one candidate for a position, an election will be held.

    New Board members will serve their terms starting January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2022 unless noted otherwise. They will serve a three-year term (unless noted otherwise) and carry responsibilities for the portfolio (position responsibilities) for which they were elected. Upon completion of his/her term, every board member can choose to self-nominate for three more years of the same or a different board position and go through the nomination process as any new candidate would during that same nomination cycle. According to the SIETAR USA By-laws, Board membership generally cannot exceed nine (9) consecutive years.

    For more details on the process and a full description of the positions open for nominationplease download and read the 2019 Call For Nominations.  



  • 11 Oct 2019 12:58 PM | Anonymous

    Abroad: British Literary Traveling Between the Wars by Paul Fussell. 1980 Oxford University Press, 246 pages. Reviewed by Craig Storti.

    Many books are more or less one-trick wonders; you read them, enjoy them, set them aside, and pick up something different. When they’re over, they’re over. Other books start something; you enjoy them, but they also introduce you to their friends. So when you finish one, you pick up a related book they put you onto. Abroad is like that; if you start reading Abroad and enjoy it, you’ll almost certainly move on to some of the books and authors it will introduce you to—and be the better for it.

    So who are these folks? The list is impressive, a who’s who of some of the greatest British writers of the 20th century, who just happened to also write travel books: —Anthony Burgess, Cyril Connolly, Robert Graves, Graham Greene, Aldous Huxley, Christopher Isherwood, D. H. Lawrence, Somerset Maugham, George Orwell, and Evelyn Waugh. And then there are the great British travel writers: J. R. Ackerley, Robert Byron, Bruce Chatwin, Norman Douglas, Patrick Leigh-Fermor, Peter Fleming, and Freya Stark, among others.

    The book, broadly speaking, is intellectual history, a presentation and examination of ideas about travel and how it has evolved. But don’t let that put you off; Fussell is so wry, trenchant, and amusing that even when he is talking concepts, his tone delights and will keep you reading. And then, suddenly, you find yourself in Sicily, Tahiti, Tibet, Mt. Athos, Liberia, Kabul, or the French Riviera, where you are mightily entertained.

    So what is this book about? That’s hard. Here is what Fussell says it’s about in his preface: “This book is about travel writing, but it is also about travel, so I have dealt not just with books but with ships and trains, passport photographs and national borders and small French seaport towns, hotels and cafes and beach resorts, architecture ancient and modern, food and drink, nude sunbathing, and sex, both procreative and recreational. I have dealt with icy trenches and sunny patios, West African and Brazilian chiggers, touts of all nations, suntan oil, oranges and palm trees…. I have done all these things to imply the context of travel writing from 1919 to 1939, to suggest what it felt like to be young and clever and literate in the final age of travel.”

    The greatest joy of the book, at least for this reader, was the other books it sent me to, most especially Robert Byron’s The Road to Oxiana, an account of a journey Byron and Christopher Sykes took in the 1920s through the Middle East to Oxiana, the country of the Oxus, the river that is the border between Russia and Afghanistan. Byron is Fussell’s personal hero as a travel writer, mainly on the strength of this book but also one other, Mount Athos, which contains a wonderful description of a classic cross-cultural faux pas. Byron is staying at an Orthodox Christian monastery in the Sinai:

    My first shock came when I was requested, politely but firmly, by the guest-master to remove a pair of underpants then fluttering happily from the line. This, he pointed out, was a monastery; shirts, socks, handkerchiefs, even vests, might be dried with propriety within its walls. But underpants were a shameful abomination and could on no account be permitted. Meekly, I obeyed; but worse was to come. I woke the following morning at dawn...and made quietly for the wash-house.  Its principal furnishing was a huge stone trough; and into this I now clambered, covering myself from head to foot in a deep and luxurious lather. At this point the guest-master appeared. Never have I seen anyone so angry. For the second time in twelve hours I had desecrated his monastery. Having already offended God and the Mother of God with the spectacle of my underpants, I was now compounding the sacrilege by standing stark naked under the very roof of the Grand Lavra. I was the whore of Babylon, I was Sodom and Gomorrah, I was a minion of Satan sent to corrupt the Holy Mountain. I was to put on my scabrous clothes at once and return with all speed to the foul pit whence I had come.

    Cross-cultural encounters and the insights they produce are everywhere in these pages. How could they not be? This is a book full of the impressions of some of the most sensitive observers of the 20th century. When these people encounter culture, they feel it—and then they talk about how it affects them.  

    Abroad came out almost 40 years ago, so finding a new copy may be difficult (I just saw 7 on Amazon), but used copies abound, both in hardcover and paperback.

    (Paul Fussell died some years ago so there is no author interview this month.)


  • 10 Oct 2019 6:28 AM | Anonymous

    by Dr. Neal Goodman, Founder/President, Global Dynamics

    October 15, 2019 - 11 am-12:30 pm (ET)

    From the corporate and educational to governmental and non-profit sectors, the case for unconscious bias training is gaining traction given the increase of workplace discrimination in the news. From high profile cases, such as Starbucks, to micro-inequities and micro-aggressions that occur on a daily basis across organizations, it is clear that, as interculturalists, we need to cultivate the knowledge and skills to address this growing problem and its impact on workplace inclusion. Join us for this highly interactive webinar, during which Dr. Goodman will present the case for unconscious bias training. We will also explore the impact of neuroscience in creating bias, the most common types of biases and their mitigation, and best practices for interculturalists to address unconscious bias in their work.

    Registration = FREE for current, paid SIETAR USA members in good standing

    Registration = $25.00 for nonmembers

    Access to this webinar will be via the Zoom platform.

    Click here to register: Unconscious Bias Training and Implications for Interculturalists

    About the Presenter

    Dr. Neal GoodmanDr. Neal Goodman, founder and president of Global Dynamics, is an internationally recognized authority in international human resource management and organizational development. He has spent a lifetime promoting intercultural understanding through research, writing, activism, academia. Over the years, Dr. Goodman has taught over 10,000 students and trained over 100,000 corporate leaders. He has served on the faculty of St. Peter’s University, where he retired as Professor Emeritus in 2004. Dr. Goodman has been a member of SIETAR since 1978 and was the recipient of the 1995 SIETAR Interculturalist Achievement Award for his lifetime contribution to the intercultural field.


  • 10 Oct 2019 5:58 AM | Anonymous

    Authors book cornerMeet the Authors in the Conference Foyer Thursday afternoon, October 31st and Friday morning, November 1st. Look for the table sign and the comfortable chairs identifying the Authors’ Book Corner. Find out more about their books, engage in conversations with these interesting, published authors. You could meet Fiona Citkin, Fanchon Silberstein, David Sanford, Vicki Flier Hudson, Farzana Nayani, Joe Lurie, Mai Nguyen-Phuong-Mai and more. Authors: If you have a recently published book, bring it along and join the authors in the Book Corner.

    The range of topics covered by the aforementioned authors is compelling. Fiona writes about How They Made It in America—success stories and strategies of immigrant women from Isabel Allende to Ivana Trump and many more. Fanchon has written a book soon to be published, about understanding Art from an interculturalist’s perspective and why it matters, in her book Art inSight. David’s book was reviewed by Craig Storti in January’s The Interculturalist: A Periodical of SIETAR USA. David wrote Spilling the Beans: A Guide for Indians to Understand and Communicate Successfully with U.S. Americans, although readers will also learn more about Americans from an Indian perspective. Vicki authored the e-book Zen and the Art of Offshoring: How to Build a Collaborative and Profitable Team with Your Partners in India based on her knowledge and experience of India’s cultural approach to business. Farzana’s book soon to be published on Raising Multiracial Children: Tools for Nurturing Identity in a Radicalized World is timely and essential. Joe—also reviewed and interviewed by Craig Storti—wrote Perception and Deception: A Mind Opening Journey Across Cultures. Mai Nguyen-Phuong-Mai has has a newly published book: Cross-Cultural Management with Insights from Brain Science, which gives you a sense of one of the topics that will be featured at the 2020 conference in Omaha.

    We hope more authors will join the Authors’ Book Corner. We also hope that you will consider taking this opportunity to talk personally with the authors about their work and experiences writing their books.


  • 10 Oct 2019 5:33 AM | Anonymous

    By Deanna Shoss for Executive Diversity Services

    Deanna ShossIn his book, The Little Book of Restorative Justice, Howard Zehr, a leader of the Restorative Justice movement, defines it as “a process to involve those who have a stake in a specific offense and collectively identify and address harms, needs, and obligations…to heal and put things as right as possible.”

    The central idea is that crime (or conflict, depending on the setting) causes harm and justice should focus on repairing that harm. Therefore the people most affected by the crime should be able to participate in its resolution. And it acknowledges that those affected include not only the victim, but the accused and often the community at large.

    “Restorative practices are needs based, community driven approaches that promote inclusion, connection, learning and accountability,” says Angola Dixon, an ordained energy healer and owner/founder of Seattle based Circle Pulse, an experiential company specializing in Restorative Justice, Energy and Peacemaking. “A Peacemaker works to ‘make peace’ by reconciling parties who are disconnected, disagree or engage in conflict.”

    And Dixon has been doing just that as a trainer and facilitator in schools, communities and with businesses across Seattle and King County.

    Restorative Justice for Community Building

    As a past leader in the Non-Profit Anti-Racism Coalition (NPARC) in Seattle, Dixon was involved in leading grant-funded racial-equity circles in Seattle. NPARC supports organizations in practicing institutional anti-racism. The community Racial Equity Circles “allowed people to sit in a circle and talk about race in a way that gave everyone in the circle a voice,” says Dixon.

    A “talking piece” is central to the process. It is passed from person-to-person around the circle, and only the person with the talking peace can speak. “It’s an exercise to get people to listen deeply without the need to respond. There’s no interrupting. It’s less of a discussion and more a practice in active and reflective listening,” Dixon explains. “What did you hear this person say? You get chance to say what you thought was said, and the other to respond–did they get it right? It’s back-and-forth and reflective.”

    “Talking about race for some can be a trigger,” says Dixon. “There can be lots of trauma connected. And many people don’t know how to start a conversation around race.” For the community Peacemaking Circles, people had the opportunity to meet with homogenous groups first to work on their own pain, issues and biases before coming together in interracial circles. “Ultimately the goal was to bring the community together and to collectively address issues of institutional racism. The Peacemaking Circle process gave everyone who wanted to participate a voice in that process.”

    Restorative Justice in the School System

    Restorative circles also have been used in the classroom to lower suspension. In 2018-2019 Dixon coordinated Transformative Practices at Nova High School in Seattle, facilitating Racial and Health Equity Circles. In Spring 2019, her Teen Health Needs Assessment is helping Nova design a new teen health center, opening Fall 2020, focused on LGBTQ+ and POC health.

    Dixon has worked in schools through the window of professional development, where schools provide training for teachers so that they can lead restorative circles in their classrooms. “Nova High School has a strong culture of inclusion and tolerance,” says Dixon. “Students committees such as the People of Color Committee, the LGBTQ Committee and others are leading the way in how they want to interact with staff and promote school safety.”

    Dixon found that teachers wanted to use the practice but weren’t sure if they were doing it right. “The training gives teachers a tool for building community and resolving conflict in their classrooms.” As part of the training Dixon advocates for ongoing circles for relationship building to prevent conflict before it happens.

    Restorative Justice in the Juvenile Court System

    The myth is that restorative justice replaces harsher consequences. In Seattle it is the King County Prosecutor’s Office that decides which cases are eligible for restorative justice. Participation in restorative justice programs is voluntary for all participants. It involves a basic, three-step process: first, a meeting with the person charged and his or her support persons; then, a meeting with the person who was harmed and their support person; and, finally, a meeting of all the people impacted by the incident.

    “This is not just about talking. This is about accountability,” says Dixon. “It recognizes that offenders need to heal. Victims get a chance to be heard and healed as well.” It’s a very specific, facilitated process. And once an agreement on restitution is reached, if the offender doesn’t follow through, “they would go through the regular criminal justice system as though restorative justice never happened,” she adds.

    But restorative justice does appear to reduce recidivism, particularly with juveniles. A study from Sam Houston State University in Texas showed that “restorative justice programs, such as victim-offender mediation and community impact panels, are more effective in reducing recidivism rates among juvenile offenders than traditional court processing.” Another report from the US Department of Justice also suggested that “some restorative justice programs—when compared to traditional approaches—can reduce future delinquent behavior.” That report cited that it also produced greater satisfaction for victims. (Read more about the King County Restorative Justice Program here.)

    Restorative Justice for Businesses

    “Restorative circles allow you to have deeper relationships among team members,” says Dixon, who has facilitated this approach at company retreats, for team building and conflict resolution. She sees the restorative circle approach as a path to change the way people interact with each other.

    “In business we’re taught to be impersonal to be effective. Restorative justice focuses on relationships first as a healthy way to have compassion and lead you to bigger community success.”

    Reprinted with permission from https://www.executivediversity.com/2019/09/25/restorative-justice-for-communities-schools-and-businesses/


  • 09 Oct 2019 9:07 PM | Anonymous

    Two reasons to be at the SIETAR USA National Conference: 1. the high quality roster of concurrent sessions, and 2. the exciting list of invited speakers this year.  Here are just a few highlights—come to the conference to hear them speak!

    In addition to our Opening Keynote Speaker, Hamlin Grange of DiversiPro, Inc., who will encourage us to think differently about being prodigal interculturalists, we have several other invited speakers who will share their expertise and insights at the conference.  Hamlin's speech was featured in our July Newsletter.

    Closing Keynote - Saturday, November 2

    Amer Ahmed, Speaker, Facilitator  

    Dismantling the ‘U.S. versus International’ Dichotomy: Creating Synergy between Intercultural and Diversity/Social Justice Approaches to Confront 21st Century Challenges  
    Intercultural approaches are often adopted by those in organizations who engage in international and global efforts while Diversity and Social Justice approaches tend to be viewed as only applicable in U.S. contexts.  As the trend of Globalizing business, higher education and other sectors rapidly accelerates, there are many missed opportunities due to the lack of synthesis of the two approaches.   This dichotomy often prevents us from understanding the relationship between local and global factors that impact our ability to engage constituencies holistically.  For example, by engaging issues related to immigration and more specifically undocumented people in only one of these approaches, it prevents us from understanding the relationship between local and global factors impacting diverse contextual realities around the world.  In addition, the integration of these approaches better highlights the historical context and inequities created from power dynamics that must be considered in order to effectively navigate intercultural realities in our world today.

    Dr. Amer F. Ahmed is an organizational strategist who helps institutions and leaders address diversity and inclusion, equity, and intercultural development through consulting, coaching, group facilitation, and keynote speeches.

    The Three Track Plenaries start the morning on Friday, November 1

    Track I: The Role Of The Interculturalist: Diversity, Inclusion, And Social Justice

    Jill Savitt, President & CEO, National Center for Civil and Human Rights 

    "Rights and Dignity in a Divided World"  

    Jill Savitt will address the need for sustained rights advocacy campaigning—building the skills and capacities within civil society to change policies that affect the dignity of communities. A human rights advocate with special expertise in genocide prevention, she curated an exhibit on global human rights at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Previously, Savitt was the Acting Director of the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. She founded and directed Dream for Darfur, a high-profile advocacy campaign that pressed the Chinese government to take specific actions regarding the Darfur crisis in the lead up to the 2008 Beijing Games. Savitt graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Yale University and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and began her career as a reporter for WAMU the NPR affiliate in Washington, DC.  
    Track II: The Role Of The Interculturalist: Working With Specific Cultures

    Joe Lurie, Author and Educator

    "Decoding Cultural Disconnects with Refugee and Immigrant Populations"

    Joe Lurie presents a revealing exploration of misperceptions of and miscommunications with various refugee and immigrant populations, with a particular emphasis on different approaches to health care, religion, employment and politesse. We may be reminded of the limitations of our own cultural and experiential lenses when engaging with these communities, and likely amazed at what we can learn about ourselves and gain from others through the eyes of a stranger. As a North African proverb suggests, "The Camel Does Not See its Hump!" Joe Lurie served as Executive Director of UC Berkeley’s International House for two decades. His inspired leadership was featured in a national PBS documentary about UC Berkeley's International House. A former director of semester and summer programs abroad for the School for International Training in France, Kenya, and Ghana, Joe lived in Europe for four years, and lectures widely for UC Berkeley's Cal Discoveries in Africa, Asia, and Europe ; he is fluent in French as well as Swahili which he learned as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya. Formerly Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for AFS Intercultural Programs in the United States and National Study Abroad Chair for NAFSA'S Association of International Educators, Joe holds an advanced degree and Diploma in African Studies from the University of Wisconsin at Madison where he was recipient of an NDFL Fellowship in African Languages.  He is author of the award-winning “Perception and Deception–A Mind Opening Journey Across Cultures,” published in an expanded second edition in 2018 by Cultural Detective/Nipporica Associates. 

    Track III: The Role Of The Interculturalist: Building Skills And Taking Them To The Market Place 

    Tatyana Fertelmeyster and Vicki Flier Hudson, Trainers, Consultants, and Business Owners

    "From Passion to Payment and Back: Staying True to Your Purpose While Growing Your Business"   

     .     

    Tatyana and Vicki, two very different women, owners of two very different intercultural businesses are joining forces to challenge SIETARians to examine the intercultural skills that are essential business development and business building and asking why we are often so good at being our own obstacles.  They say it all started with a SIETAR-style conversation—the kind in which minds are ignited by each other, sparks of ideas fly, and constant interruptions are unavoidable because you just have to finish each other’s sentences. “Mind your own business” was at the core of that conversation. How do you actually mind it? What does it take to plant your passion, water it with sweat (and yes – a lot of tears) and see it grow or watch it resist your efforts?

    If feeling like an imposter or second-guessing yourself when deciding on how to charge for your work sounds familiar – join in on this conversation. Interculturalists are supposed to be experts in reinventing ourselves. Get on board – next stop is business success!

    Tatyana Fertelmeyster, born and raised in Moscow, Russia, came to the United States in 1989 as a refugee. Being a journalist by training, she went back to school in the US and became a mental health counselor. Tatyana’s work experience before becoming an intercultural and diversity consultant and trainer included refugee resettlement and counseling for Russian- and English-speaking individuals, families, and groups.

    Founder and Principal of Connecting Differences, Tatyana is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in Intercultural Competence, Diversity and Inclusion, Global Agility Development, and Facilitation for Multicultural Groups. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.

    Vicki Flier Hudson is the Chief Collaboration Officer of Highroad Global Services, Inc., a company that exists to release the power of diverse teams. She offers keynote presentations, workshops, and organizational strategy for working effectively across differences. She has brought training and consulting to companies like Procter & Gamble, IHG, UPS, The Home Depot, The Coca Cola Company, NASA, Martin Marietta, and many more. She is the author of the book Zen and the Art of Offshoring: How to Build a Collaborative and Profitable Team with Your Partners in India, and a recipient of Kennesaw State University’s Instructor of the Year award for International Programs.

    Vicki is a certified DISC practitioner and a certified Driving Forces Analyst. She is also a certified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), a certified facilitator of the Cultural Detective methodology and a trained coach through CTI (Coaches Training Institute). 


  • 09 Oct 2019 9:04 PM | Anonymous

    This conference theme, The Role of the Interculturalist, really speaks to me at this time of adversity, especially around issues of diversity. I think we, as a society, as a world, need to think deeply about what our role is in today's contentious environment. How should we bridge differences, highlight similarities, and advocate for greater understanding and cooperation? How can we build skills, support each other in this work, and stay positive about the future?

    It is my belief that this conference will provide inspiration, insight, tools, skill building, and hope to those working in areas that bridge diversity. So peruse the sessions schedule, review the invited speakers, grab your donation for the Silent Auction and join us in Atlanta! We welcome you!

    I also want to send a heartfelt Thank You to all the many people who have worked on making the conference come together—it really does take a village. Detailed notes of appreciation will follow, but for now, please know that your efforts are appreciated. You make a difference.

    I look forward to seeing you at the conference.

    Karen Lokkesmoe
    SIETAR Conference Chair


  • 09 Oct 2019 8:54 PM | Anonymous

    NED TALKSIf you have been looking at the 2019 Conference Schedule on the website or Whova, you may have noticed the NED talks. They were explained in the Call for Proposals but I think that it is worth mentioning them again. They are named for Edward T. Hall, who was called Ned by his friends. They are of course, a takeoff on TED talks. I’m not sure what the initials should stand for in the intercultural world but I rather like New Experiences Delight. What do you think?

    The NED Talks for the conference this year will highlight multiple ways in which the role of the interculturalist is defined, enacted, and understood in the world. Specific topics covered will include managing communications in global teams (Vinita Balasubramanian), embedding intercultural learning in English instruction (Margaret Hass), strategies for recognizing and reducing unconscious bias (Stacie Walton), lessons learned in close quarters at sea (Basma Ibrahim DeVries and Jon DeVries), using stories to build empathy (Catalia Chaux-Eheverri and Jessie Ritchey) and defining which cultural box you might select (Yuko Deneuville).

    This group of powerhouse presenters will surely have some great insights and rich humor to share with us regarding building and employing intercultural skills. NED Talks will be presented during two concurrent sessions: Thursday 1:45-3:15PM and Friday 11:45-3:15PM.

    For full details, check out the Session Schedule:
    https://whova.com/embedded/event/sieta_201910/


  • 09 Oct 2019 8:48 PM | Anonymous

    Perhaps you have noticed that we used to call it the SIETAR USA Annual Conference. But this year we have switched to the National Conference. Why, you ask?

    The Board of Directors decided not to hold a conference in 2018 to be able to review the conference and see if there were some changes that might be made to streamline the organization of the conference and make it less expensive to conduct. They wanted answers to questions like what might be dropped from the program? What could be outsourced? What cost efficiencies could be introduced?

    Tradition runs strong in SIETAR USA. There was at least one advocate for each of the events that have been part of our conference schedule. Since we are a small association with quite a low membership fee there is not extra money to outsource any more than we already do. We are an all-volunteer, working Board to begin with, so none of us has the time over and above what we already dedicate to SIETAR USA to be able to take on more conference duties.

    A good solution that the Board agreed on was to go to an every-other-year plan. Therefore the change: annual (meaning every year) to national. Part of the plan was to hold SIETAR USA conferences not to conflict with SIETAR Europa who holds their conferences in odd numbered years. To get on that schedule, SIETAR USA will hold our next conference in 2020 in Omaha, Nebraska. Henceforth, the national conferences will be held during the even-numbered years.

    We feel that members will be receiving benefits during the off years with the lively webinars, the substantial newsletter, membership discounts for books and journals, and the Office Depot discount. With extra time in between, members can be planning their participation for the next SIETAR USA conference. We plan to revisit the decision in the future to see if this plan retains the quality conferences and active membership that we have enjoyed for two decades.


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