Palm Beach Post Card

What a week we had in West Palm Beach!!  I forewarned you that this meeting would be different, and I think my prediction came true. Our AM/PIC kicked off with committee work on Sunday followed with a high energy Opening Session. Inspiring talks from University of Florida Administration followed by live music and a dance line. There was over 100 people in the dance line, with everyone else laughing and having a good time.

1st Timer attendance was great this year, with over 130 new members joining us. I appreciate each of you for attending and hope you liked what we offered and will come back next year. If we didn’t meet your expectations, reach out to regional directors to let us know where we failed you.

I was told that Spouse and Son’s & Daughter events went well and enjoyed were by all. I hope we made your time in Florida special.  Life Members had a smaller crowd than normal, but COVID19 was a contributing factor. It’s understandable but next year should see more Lifer Members come back to the meeting.

I was especially pleased with attendance at General Sessions, which is normally low. This year had a full house for both sessions. Thank You!  Both keynote speakers had to cancel with health issues, but we persevered. Dr. Bronaugh provided her address via Microsoft Teams (UF IT Nerds to the rescue again!).  General Huffman’s time was replaced by my talk titled, “Survive and Thrive”.  I was nervous that my opinions would be poorly received but thus far, only positive comments have come my way.  I hope my topics were not taken negatively as my intent was to highlight issues NACAA is or will face in the future to stir discussions that will make NACAA stronger and more responsive to member needs.  Thank you for listening and working to keep us as a premier Extension Association.

Over 150 oral presentations were made by members through our various committees. If you didn’t find something of interest to you, it’s because you didn’t look. These presentations are the reason we have NACAA. We learn from each other, share our successes, and develop into better agents and specialists to serve our clientele back home. The Search for Excellence presentations were great and highlighted some of the best, innovative programs from around the U.S. Well done!

Back to the “different” theme, how about the Beach Party! Was it different? Yes. Was it fun? Yes. Will we do something similar next year? That depends on your opinions, so complete the AMPIC evaluation when it comes out. We hope you enjoyed the evening, the beach, and the camaraderie.

I don’t know what to say about the Pre-Tours and Professional Tours. There was so much to see and do. So many places to experience. So much agriculture to take in. I heard many positive comments about these events. We owe Florida a big thank you for putting these together.

Congratulations to all the award winners: DSA, AA, Search for Excellence, Communications, Posters, Ag Awareness, Hall of Fame and more. One of my personal highlights was the video that epitomized the work of Dr. Robert Kemerait. If you missed it during the Monday General Session, you missed a special treat. I recommend you ask others for the specifics of what this gentleman has done to affect the lives of others.

Hosting an AM/PIC is a huge undertaking but this year was even more daunting. Consider that FACAA members did not get to “shadow” the Philadelphia or Virginia Beach meetings and you’ll realize how big a task they had. In my opinion, Florida pulled it off gracefully and made it look almost effortless. Trust me when I say it was not effortless. It was a spectacular meeting and I tip my hat to our FACAA colleagues for taking us Beyond the Beaches!

Doug Mayo
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