Being Chair has its perks - including being picked up at the airport and getting one of the nicer suites in the hotel. My room was crazy big with a great view and three different beds and showers to choose from - haha - kind of ridiculous. Though the extra living space did allow for hosting a pizza party one night in my room and a cocktail reception another night as a thank you to the staff and volunteers for a job well done. Ever the hostess, even while on the road! :)
Another perk was getting to have breakfast with our Keynote speaker - Jim Morris - his life story was portrayed in the move "The Rookie" starring Dennis Quaid. He and his wife were so kind and fun to chat with. He gave a great keynote and I had grown men coming up to me afterwards saying how much they enjoyed it and that they'd even had to wipe some tears - wow!
Our closing Keynote, Bob DiStefano, was my selection and he's a guy who I've known since I started in this industry 10 years ago. He's been a great mentor and just a cool guy to be around. I'm sad to say he is retiring but I know we'll keep in touch and I've got my fingers crossed that when he finally buys a villa in Tuscany that he'll invite us to come visit - as he's promised.
It really was a great conference - I missed last year's because of Harper - so it was awesome to see friends and colleagues again - all of whom inquired about how he was doing. It's just a great industry and while it's a big one - it really does tend to feel like a family reunion every October and I was proud to serve as the "Matriarch" this year. ;)