2019 NAGAAA Winter Meetings: Day 1 Recap
The 2019 NAGAAA Winter Meetings kicked off on Saturday morning in Kansas City, Missouri at the Marriott Country Club Plaza. Delegates from 45 NAGAAA member associations, NAGAAA program/committee chairs and the NAGAAA Executive Board convened to work on the business of the organization. NAGAAA’s council gets together twice annually to conduct the business of the organization in an environment where rules are made, changed and decisions are decided.Chris Balton welcomed the council and all guests by formally announcing his intention to step down and not seek reelection to another term as NAGAAA Commissioner. Chris has served NAGAAA for 17 plus years as a committee chair and as a board member. The council expressed its sincere gratitude for Chris’ service by giving him a standing ovation for several minutes to start Saturday morning’s session.
The theme of this year’s NAGAAA Winter Meetings couldn’t be characterized any better than “change”. Many changes were made leading up to the meetings and within the meetings structure itself. Check out a few of the highlights from Day 1 of the 2019 NAGAAA Winter Meetings below:
A MEETING OF FIRSTS
There were many firsts on Day 1 of the 2019 NAGAAA Winter Meetings stemming from all of the many changes that were made leading up to and within the meetings. NAGAAA welcomed two new committee chairs into the fold, Conard Franz (Phoenix) is the new Marketing & Public Relations Committee Chair along with Tony Wilkerson (Houston) as the new Governance Committee Chair. Steven McCormick (Austin) was named as the new NAGAAA Parliamentarian replacing Eric Peterson who assumed his duties as the new NAGAAA Operations Director after the 2018 NAGAAA Summer Meetings in Tampa, Florida last September.
The major administrative changes to the meetings included the meetings going paperless for the first time ever as delegates were able to use a public google drive to find all pertinent information to the meetings. Electronic voting was also introduced at this meeting marking the first time that a voting app tailored to each association and voter have been used. The voting platform, VoxVote, allowed for real time results to be shown immediately after voting subsided including percentage vote read outs making it easier to show if a vote met certain thresholds to pass or fail.
PARTING IS SWEET SORROW
Several NAGAAA executive board and staff members will be stepping away from their current roles as NAGAAA is ushering in a new era of leadership. NAGAAA Commissioner Chris Balton is stepping down after 6 years as Commissioner. Under Chris’ leadership, the organization’s premiere event, the Gay Softball World Series team participation grew by over 35% in his tenure. NAGAAA Treasurer, Jerry Travis is stepping down after a long run as the organization’s treasurer where he transformed the organization into a secure, solvent and financially robust entity. Mona Garcia, NAGAAA Executive Assistant is also stepping down after a successful tenure where she provided immeasurable support to the organization from a legal perspective while assisting with numerous tasks within the executive board’s purview.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS HIGHLIGHT CHANGE
NAGAAA Attorney, Sam Hall of Milwaukee gave a presentation on transgender issues and how we can help to implement policies of support for the transgender community. NAGAAA has a new member database and a specialized training session was held after the meetings went into recess on Saturday. Additional training sessions for member association delegates will be held after the final session of the meetings on Sunday.
NAGAAA VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
Mona Garcia, outgoing NAGAAA Executive Assistant was awarded the first ever Mona Garcia NAGAAA Volunteer of the Year Award for her years of dedicated service to NAGAAA. Mona entered the NAGAAA Hall of Fame in 2016 as the first heterosexual woman to be inducted. Her legal and contracts expertise has been a special help to the NAGAAA Executive Board and her willingness to tackle any challenge, no matter the work involved earned her this award. Congrats Mona!