On behalf of the Board of Directors and all of the volunteers who make the ERAPPA organization so relevant, dynamic, and successful, WELCOME to the 66th Annual Meeting. I am thrilled that this year’s meeting is being held in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada!
Your OAPPA Host Committee, chaired by Richard Francki (York University) and Ron Swail (University of Toronto), has done an incredible job planning and preparing an engaging program of professional development, networking, entertainment, and local flavor. The theme for this year’s Annual Meeting is “Navigating in a Climate of Change.” Change, as they say, is the only constant; higher education and educational facilities management are prime examples of this notion. The dynamic arenas in which we operate day in and day out certainly keep life interesting, but can also contribute to feelings of frustration and stress as we attempt to “do more with less – faster, cheaper, and better.” This year’s Annual Meeting offerings – from the keynote speaker to the breakout professional development sessions to the networking opportunities – will be steeped in this idea of “Navigating in a Climate of Change” and will provide you with tools, insights, connections, and ideas to return to your workplace not fearful of coming change but excited by it!
As is the case every year, the Annual Meeting will include one of the best opportunities to cultivate relationships with a variety of Business Partners in one place – our Hall of Resources. Our Business Partners are very well-connected not only throughout the Eastern Region but often throughout North America. Their wealth of knowledge, willingness to help, and eagerness to promote and sustain the educational facilities management field is unparalleled. We are fortunate to have so many passionate and supportive professional resources at our disposal each year in our Hall of Resources. I encourage each of you to visit with our Business Partners – learn about their firms, brag about your own institution, find common interests, and discuss possible opportunities for collaboration. It is because of our Business Partners’ generous involvement that we are able to host stellar Annual Meetings year after year. Our appreciation of our Business Partners knows no bounds.
If you are like me, you look forward to the ERAPPA Annual Meeting each year not only as one of the best and most affordable ways to obtain relevant, timely, and engaging professional development, but as a way to reconnect with colleagues and make new acquaintances from throughout the region. The venues the ERAPPA 2016 Host Committee has selected, as well as the activities and theming they have incorporated into the conference events, all but guarantee the best possible conference experience. And what will seal the deal on the best experience? Well, that is you, of course! Whether you are a first-time attendee or an ERAPPA “lifer,” an institutional member or a business partner, YOU are the captain of your own ship. Go forth and navigate through the ERAPPA 2016 Annual Meeting. Mix, mingle, learn, laugh, converse, and collaborate!
Fair winds and following seas, ERAPPA friends!
Penn State University
ERAPPA President 2015-2016