A Look at the 2016 Annual Conference and Exhibition (ACE) from GAND’s Executive Director, By Kelly Schriver, MS, RDN, LD
Since 2009 I have been heavily involved with the planning and execution of the Georgia Academy Annual Conference and Exhibition (ACE). Based on my experience, here are a few observations:
- The expertise of speakers and variety of topics is consistently great.
- The opportunity to network and catch up with colleagues, former classmates, and friends is a big reason people attend year after year.
- The two day conference is perceived as affordable and a good value based on attendee feedback.
I am especially excited for ACE 2016. While we have members across the state, hosting the conference in Atlanta always draws the largest crowd. Based on early registration numbers, this year should be no different. This year’s venue is the familiar Marriott Century Center, and we hosted ACE 2014 at the same hotel. There is comfort in having an idea of what to expect, including the flow of the conference, room space and layout, logistics, and technical support.
Kristen Smith, the GAND Professional Development Chair, has done an amazing job securing nutrition experts to present on hot topics and the latest research in nutrition.
The objectives of ACE for the last several years have been:
· To review current recommendations and guidelines affecting nutrition practice;
· To provide professional development opportunities in a variety of practice areas;
· And to strengthen learning opportunities with colleagues and leaders in the field of nutrition.
But that does not mean that the conference will be all "business". There will be plenty of time for fun and networking. The theme "Rock On! Endless Possibilities for Nutrition Professionals" is some indication of the goal to make the two day conference fun and celebrate the [rock] star qualities of our members. Additionally, we will recognize our award recipients and highlight their accomplishments and contributions.
There is a lot of work to be done, with regard to the planning and logistics, between now and March 15th; however, seeing the Conference come together is so rewarding. I’m looking forward to seeing many familiar faces, as well as new attendees!
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