Every March the ABC office is pulsing with energy. From early morning into the late evening, lots of synchronized teamwork takes place with every staff member playing a critical role, all to ensure the Annual Meeting runs without a hitch. This year was especially noteworthy; with several new features and announcements, we placed our focus on turning the meeting into an exceptional event.
How did we do it? We began by crafting unique educational and professional development sessions. In addition to the International Blood Safety Forum (co-hosted by Global Healing), the SMT Forum, and the Blood Center Leadership Forum, we introduced the Business Forum and the Advocacy Forum. The Business Forum featured exceptional speakers on the state of the plasma industry, the role of blood centers, and opportunities to maximize plasma collections today. On the last day, 20 members and supporters gathered for a meet-and-greet with blood community advocate, US Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA) at ABC’s first congressional fundraiser. During the ensuing Advocacy Forum, Rep. Farr gave an update on Capitol Hill and ABC CEO Dr. Christine Zambricki provided a refresher on ABC’s advocacy issues and some tips for advocating on the Hill.
The meeting format was inspirational, educational, and interactive. And we had some fun along the way too! The first-ever ABC’s Got Talent competition and fundraiser took place with theAwards of Excellencereception. We swapped the sit-down banquet for food stations alongside small tables, allowing everyone to mingle. Of special significance to the ABC community was the unveiling of the William M. Coenen President’s Award – formerly the ABC President’s Award – in honor of retiring ABC Chief Financial Officer Bill Coenen. The previous evening, members gathered at the “Top of the Town” in support of the FABC for fantastic views of the Washington skyline and a performance by the Capitol Steps.
The Members’ Meeting deserves special mention. First, we reintroduced the “hollow square” seating arrangement, giving all members a seat at the table and facilitating interaction with board members. Second, ABC staff joined Dr. Zambricki in giving the CEO Report, which helped convey our pride in the work we do for our members. Third, members got a sneak-peek of the soon-to-launch new ABC members’ website and the ABC Professional Institute housed within it. Finally, staff and members welcomed Dr. Celso Bianco as honorary ABC member.
Then, there was the app everyone was talking about. We are happy to announce the ABC event app is here to stay and will be a staple at ABC meetings and workshops. We believe we successfully turned our Annual Meeting into an Annual Event. I hope you agree and join us again for our Summer Event in Philadelphia.
Matt Granato, MBA, Chief Operating Officer;firstname.lastname@example.org