Nearly a thousand attendees converged in Kansas City in January for a milestone meeting of RCMA. Four decades earlier, the association had launched its first conference with a budget of less than $2,000 and fewer than a hundred members. This year’s conference was a celebration of all that RCMA had achieved in the 40 years since then, and it also marked a historic leadership transition.
In a moving tribute on the final night of the meeting, several RCMA leaders as well as high-profile industry representatives gave speeches honoring Dr. DeWayne Woodring, who retired last year as executive director. RCMA’s new executive director, Harry Schmidt, spoke several times at the conference about the path ahead for the association. “Our past is a prologue to our future. … Together we will continue the great movement that we call RCMA.”
Several changes and initiatives were announced, including the hiring of Dean Jones, CMP, as the association’s first director of conferences and events. The expanded role of the association’s board of directors was also detailed for membership at the meeting.
Themed “Dare to Dream,” the meeting brought together a mix of powerful speakers, expert-led tutorials, and a two-day expo where planners could shop for destinations and facilities from among hundreds of exhibitors. The meeting also featured a great combination of performers, including a renowned opera singer, artistic dancers, a high school choir, a hilarious comedy act, classic rock singers, and a stirring performance by the 12 Irish Tenors at the final banquet.
Enjoy some photos from the event, highlights of a remarkable, historic meeting for RCMA.