Tomorrow the General Assembly office staff will be off to Minneapolis to do our annual 6-month-out GA logistical planning trip. We can’t believe how quickly GA is approaching! We have a whirlwind itinerary over the next couple of days. We will be siting the Convention Center, seven downtown hotels and the University of Minnesota dormitories. We will also be going to the West Metro Recycle America facility and the Pioneer Paper Stock Company for a tour of their paper/fiber processing facility. By touring these facilities, this helps us know how we should sort our recycling at GA and how to best encourage hotels and the Convention Center to be as green as the can.
On this trip we have a ton of decisions to make and details to verify! We have to figure out how we will configure and set up our meeting rooms, exhibit space, plenary hall, and registration areas. We will verify specific details for all of our hotels (such as room types, internet availability, amenities, food outlets, parking costs, fitness centers, etc.) so our attendees are informed when they make their reservations.
Patty Cameron, a member of the Winchester Unitarian Society in Winchester, MA and the Accessibilities Coordinator of GA, will be accompanying us. Patty does the important work of thoroughly auditing all of our meeting and hotel/dorm facilities to ensure that they are accessible and welcoming to all.
Ginger Brown is coming, too! Ginger, a member of the GA Planning Committee and a member of the First UU Church of Nashville, TN, is serving as this year’s Plenary Hall Coordinator. Ginger will be meeting with us, our AV production company and convention services manager at the Minneapolis Convention Center to work out the plenary stage placement, seating charts, and all sorts of technical details.
Shawna McKinley, Project Manager with MeetGreen®, will be joining us as well! Shawna has been involved in the greening of the meetings industry for over 8 years and has been our greening consultant for the past 3 years. Shawna’s role is to help mediate relations with our vendors, and facilitate sustainability measures.
We will also be meeting with the 2010 Volunteer Committee! The Volunteer Committee is made up of about 10 UUs (most of them from the Prairie Star District – the host District of this year’s GA) who will donate hundreds of hours to help make GA a success. The Volunteer Committee spearhead many aspects of GA such as training and managing registration and delegate credentialing volunteers, serving as head usher and managing all of the other ushers, managing information services (“Ask Me!” volunteers), coordinating GA ambiance (decorations) and planning special events (evening concerts and dances, etc.). This year, the Volunteer Committee with work under the leadership of David Lauth, 2010 GA District Coordinator and member of the First Universalist Church of Minneapolis.
We’re packed and rearing to go! Wish us a safe trip!