Letter From the President: Jazzed To Be Together This Fall

I hope this message finds each of you healthy and happy and enjoying what’s left of a wonderful summer.  There’s still plenty of time for getting out on the water or into the woods…or just in your backyard…to capture a few rays of sun and to stop and smell the roses.

I am beyond thrilled to let you know that registration for our Fall 2021 Conference is OPEN!  Notice anything missing in that last sentence?  How about the word “virtual?” We are confident that the rise in vaccination rates and new guidelines for masking will help quell COVID and whatever variants it throws at us.  I can’t wait to see your faces, even if it ends up being only the top halves of them, in The Big Easy. 

Meet me at the Sheraton New Orleans on Wednesday, November 17, through Friday, November 19, for some amazing learning opportunities and even more amazing networking opportunities.  Our sponsors and exhibitors are as excited as I am to see you, and we’ll make sure there are plenty of social opportunities for you to interact with them, and each other, in the exhibit hall and on the town.

We’ll kick off the Conference with an inspirational keynote from the inimitable Dr. Steven Rogelberg.  In addition to lots of helpful and entertaining words, Steven will also share some news about an exciting partnership between The Association and The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, powered by our good friends at Hill’s Pet Nutrition.

This year’s Fall conference has been divided into three learning tracks:  Leadership, Employee Engagement & Culture, and The Future of Animal Welfare.  There is something for everybody, and you will not want to miss this amazing content.  In fact, this is the year for you to consider bringing along the rest of your team.

On Friday morning we are offering an exclusive opportunity for CEOs.  You will need to register separately for this DEI Leadership Masterclass, which will give participants an immersion into how to incorporate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion into the work of your organizations, both internally and externally. Sit alongside your peers to explore this important work and learn together.

Know that The Association is monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely. In this ever-changing scenario, we will be prepared to make whatever changes necessary that will enable us to deliver premium content in the safest manner possible. If we need to postpone or move to a virtual format for your safety, that’s what we’ll do. In the meantime, as we forge ahead with optimism, we’ll be working with the hotel now through the end of the event to do everything possible to keep attendees safe.  We will follow the latest guidelines from local, state, and federal agencies. If you haven’t been vaccinated, I strongly encourage you to do so ASAP to protect yourself, your teams, your families, and your communities.  

Head on over to the conference page to learn about all the details and then get yourself signed up! And please book your rooms early as we expect the Sheraton to fill up quickly. I am so excited for the opportunity to get together in one of American’s truly great cities.  We have much to celebrate and still so much to learn.


Jim Tedford, CAWA, is President and CEO of The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement.

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