The 2021 Conference Committee has labored long and hard to produce an outstanding conference program. We are grateful to them for all the work they did and look forward to attending the conference they produced. Following the rise in Covid cases as closely as we have, it became apparent that asking our members to get on an airplane and come to a conference that would be held indoors (despite all the efforts of the Hilton Hotel to make it as safe as possible), we could not guarantee the safety of our attendees. We did not want to put our members in harm’s way especially since a totally vaccinated person can be asymptomatic and a carrier.
When a SIETAR USA member recently suffered a breakthrough Covid infection, was sick for weeks, and found the recovery slow and painful, we were sure that we needed to do something. We have a very cooperative relationship with the Omaha Hilton. Together we have been working to reschedule our conference for the Fall of 2022. These negotiations are complicated, which is why it takes time to reach an amicable resolution of all the issues. However, it is clear that there will be no in-person conference this year.
We would specifically like to thank our conference co-chairs, Helen Fagan and Thorunn Bjarndottir for taking the helm and managing the process of organizing the conference. Our Conference program co-chairs, Ricardo Nunez and Linda Stuart along with the Track Chairs (Mind: Shannon Murphy and Marcia Warren Edelman, Culture: Rajesh Kumar and Kris Acheson-Clair, Society: Ferial Peterson and Deborah Pembleton) created a program with range and depth that makes us proud. Bob Boyce could be counted on to get the scholarship application information out on time as he did last year. Many of the other committee members are there to handle conference matters such as the Silent Auction, Dine Around, Volunteers, Roommate Connection and other items that don’t take place until the conference.
As much as we would like to gather and learn together, this is not the time. We do have some plans in the works to use that weekend of the conference (October 9 and 10) for a virtual learning experience. No, it will not be the full conference, but we think you will find it something not to miss. Details coming soon!