From the Desk of the Executive Director

by | February 15, 2014 | Newsletter, Winter Special Edition 2014

Time passes quickly when you’re having fun. It’s hard to believe that our 2014 annual meeting is just 3 months away! This issue of the newsletter is devoted to the meeting. We hope that those of you who already have registered will share it with your colleagues and friends in the hope that we can entice others to come. Nearly 100 people already have registered, but we’ve still got room for more thanks to the wonderful facilities at the Joan Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego. The program, which can be found on pages 6 and 8-11, promises to be one
of the most exciting ever!

Starting this year we are going to be having exhibits on the first two days of the meeting. As of this writing, they will include Professional Risk Management Associates (PRMS), our first corporate sponsor, the Office of Minority and National Affairs (OMNA) of the American Psychiatric Association, and the Foundation for Psychocultural Research. We are continuing to recruit exhibitors and corporate sponsors, so if you know someone who may be interested, please have them contact me or send me their contact information and I will get in touch with them. Please visit our exhibitors during the meeting and tell them how much we appreciate their support.

Hopefully most of you noticed that we have not raised the conference fee for three years now. We may be one of the last groups that provides most meals. This year that will include a full-fledged reception, with meat, pasta, vegetables, and cheese. There will be a cash bar with beer, wine and soft drinks. Food costs are our biggest expense, they increase annually, and there always is a lot that goes uneaten. You can help us to contain those costs. How, you ask?

About 2-3 weeks before the meeting we will be sending out a short survey to everyone who has registered for the meeting. We hope each of you will complete and return it with dispatch. The survey will ask you to mark which days you will be attending sessions and be present for lunch, and whether or not you will be attending the reception. Historically we have always had a great deal of food left and many vacancies at the lunch table. We realize things come up that cause changes of plans but we can save a lot of money if we give the caterers accurate head counts. There will be a place on the questionnaire for you to note any allergies, special dietary requests and whether you have any other special needs. Please let us know then. It will pay off in the long run.

Finally, if you have not yet made your hotel reservations, there are a few rooms left in the SSPC block at the Fairfield Inn in Old Town. The price is $139.00 per night plus tax, single or double occupancy, including breakfast. To book your room, please call their sales department at (619) 725-4223, identify yourself as attending the SSPC meeting. If you call off hours or there is no answer leave a message with your name and phone number and your call will be returned. If you encounter any difficulties, please contact me immediately.

Regarding transportation, the hotel operates a free airport shuttle which runs from 5 am to 12 noon and again from 3 pm to 9 pm. To access the shuttle call the hotel at (619) 299-7400, tell them you have landed and the airline on which you arrived. Then wait outside of your airline. We will be providing tram service to the Kroc Center each morning, but if you still want to drive parking at the hotel is $8.00 per 24 hour day with in and out privileges.

As always, my door is open and except during power outages my phone is turned on. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. If I don’t hear from you sooner I look forward to welcoming all of you to San Diego on May 15.

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