Another Successful NEDRA Conference!
This year, the Conference Committee and all our wonderful volunteers helped make the 2014 annual conference, "Strategies for Success," one of the best yet. More than 230 people attended, representing all the New England states, a number of other states, and even Canada.
The two-day conference was preceded by a Research Basics Bootcamp for the first time ever. Forty-six new researchers learned tricks of the trade from Roslyn Clarke, Amy Begg, and Nancy Faughnan. The conference itself kicked off on Thursday morning with a very inspiring keynote speech by Dan Pallotta, who reminded us all why fundraising organizations are worth investing money in. Pallotta also signed copies of his book Charity Case--and the chalkboard wall at the conference hotel!
Although Pallotta was a hard act to follow, the educational session presenters did a great job. They covered topics from prospect management to career advancement to research during campaigns.
Thursday at lunch, the recipients of the first Heather Reisz Scholarships were announced. Congratulations to Monique Bourgeois Miller from Hampshire College and Laura Koo from the Art Institute of Chicago! Monique said that she loved how informative the conference was, and said that there was a lot to learn. Laura, who had worked with Heather Reisz, mentioned that she'd been inspired by Heather's enthusiasm, and by how seriously she took research as a profession.
Heather herself was honored with more than the memorial scholarship in her name at this year's conference. She was also the posthumous recipient of the Ann Castle Award. Heather's sister, Katherine Reisz-Hanson, accepted the award on her behalf. Katherine spoke of her pride in her sister, for the respect shown to her by her industry peers.
At the end of the day on Thursday, many conference attendees and other NEDRA members met up for the networking reception at the Emerald lounge, getting to know their fellow researchers and unwinding after an intensely educational day. Afterwards, a number of people continued the networking and unwinding at group dinners at local restaurants.
Friday was also packed with great educational sessions, and lunchtime featured a number of round table discussions on a variety of topics. NEDRA's Annual Business Meeting was also held on Friday, and changes to the bylaws and to the board were made (see the "Peek Under the Hood" post for more details). The Sponsor Raffle took place as well, with each of NEDRA's Gold Sponsors contributing a prize. In addition, NEDRA offered a copy of Dan Pallotta's book as a raffle prize.
Thank you to everyone who joined us for this year's conference! If you haven't done so yet, don't forget to fill out your conference survey. For those of you who weren't able to attend, we hope to see you next year, or at an upcoming program!
© 2018 New England Development Research Association