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Dear IAFA Members,

The resignation of our long-time Conference Director Donald Morse has meant that our Interim CD Jeri Zulli, who had previously assisted Donald, has been doing the work of two people, for which we are all deeply grateful.

However, this situation was unsustainable. The IAFA needed someone with conference planning experience who lives close to the conference venue and who could be present physically when needed to act as our liaison. For those unaware, the Associate’s duties include reviewing the program against hotel contract to ensure we are using the rooms for which we are contracted, keeping track of our room usage and dealing with overflow hotel as needed, processing special food requests and making sure the Marriott is prepared for special needs, making sure rooms are ready for functions assigned morning, afternoon, and evening; overseeing coffee breaks to decide when/if to order more, liasing with registration, liasing with A/V, general assistance at food functions and general hotel troubleshooting.

It is my great pleasure to announce that we have hired an Associate to the Conference Director, Kristin Gutierrez. She is an independent meeting and event planner with over 20 years’ experience creating and managing trade association, education and medical meetings of all sizes. She has been a Certified Meeting Planner (CMP) since 1997. She also lives very close to the hotel, and is an extremely friendly and enthusiastic person. She will begin work immediately, and you will all be seeing her in person at the conference. When you do, please welcome her aboard!