Letter from the President
Dear EBMA Members,
Greetings from Nashville, TN! I hope you’re all enjoying summer in whatever way suits you – fun in the sun, or a good book in the air conditioning!
With pleasure, I am announcing that the votes have been tallied and Nancy Stetzinger has been elected as our new EBMA President! It will be bittersweet to hand over the reins at the end of our January 2020 meeting. I’ve enjoyed serving the organization and helping to shape the future of EBMA, and I also look forward to taking a backseat to provide support in a similar, yet different way.
It seems not too long ago that we were together in Austin, so it’s hard to believe it but our 2020 meeting registration opens August 1st. The deadline to register is October 31st, and after that, the rates increase. Speaking of deadlines, member dues invoices went out in mid-June and were due July 15th. I hope you all got yours buttoned up so we can see you in Puerto Rico!
Our 2020 Meeting Co-Chairs, Nancy Stetzinger, Jim Marshall and Margaret Coffee, have been hard at work creating a program as juicy as a summer peach! The title of our January 2020 meeting is Separating Fact from Fiction. We listened to the feedback you generously provided, and the Co-Chairs are using your input to shape the events that they’re planning. Many thanks to Nancy, Jim and Margaret – I can’t wait for all the details to come! Similarly, my thanks go to all the board members who serve on committees (which = EVERY board member) that are the foundation of all that EBMA does. I’m continually impressed and humbled by the level of effort, creativity and enthusiasm of this volunteer crew! For those of you not on the board, there are always opportunities to join committees and participate – if you’re interested, please reach out to me or any of our board members.
I heard from a few of you directly, and anecdotally from others, that there was significant surprise that I broke from tradition and didn’t announce the 2020 location at the end of our 2019 meeting, so I thought that warranted a little explanation. Our meetings require a significant amount of meeting/dining space and many hotels lack sufficient capacity. We’ve historically tried to go somewhere that is warm in the winter (and as in previous years, that was overwhelmingly important to members, based on the survey) but not prohibitively expensive. That’s a huge ask as January/February are high-season for warm weather locales. We have relatively little flexibility in our dates, as we have to work around the New Year holiday and various industry shows and events. With these three factors, the list of viable hotels shrinks dramatically. We normally end up being a big fish in a little pond, metaphorically speaking – meaning we are a very big deal for the hotels we stay at, in terms of size of our event and room block. We tried a different tactic and negotiated a deal with a hotel where we’d have been a small fish in a large pond – we’d have been one of many organizations holding an event there. At the last minute the deal fell through and we had to move on to Plan B. The timing was such that I couldn’t make an announcement at our meeting. I’m sharing this to give you all a peek behind the curtain and to foster awareness of how important it is to me that we find ways to meet the criteria of sufficient space, a nice resort, a warm locale, affordable prices for meeting expenses, and affordable room rates for attendees. Keeping costs down for event expenses helps us manage membership dues and meeting registration fees, and keeping room rates down helps ensure that most of our members can afford to attend this meeting that is so valuable in maintaining and developing our respective businesses.
We approved a new member at our spring board meeting, and we gladly welcome Westminster John Knox/Flyaway Books! We look forward to meeting Michael Spradlin and his team this January!
I hope to see all of you in January at the gorgeous Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Golf & Beach Resort. This location has it all – the hotel was exhaustively renovated recently and features beautiful meeting space, several pools, a gorgeous beach, lovely guest rooms, and staff very eager to help make our event a success! While touring the property, it was a toss-up about which rooms have the most beautiful view – those overlooking the ocean or the rainforest. Fun fact: the El Yunque National Forest is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System, and while a few things such as tarantulas, scorpions and centipedes can have a venomous bite similar to a bee-sting (dangerous only to those who are allergic), NONE of the animals large or small (including insects) in this forest are poisonous. On the other hand, we won’t talk about the things that live in the ocean!
Wishing you and your loved ones a safe and happy summer/fall!
Director, Sales, Ingram Library Services, LLC