Friday, October 29, 2004

NAPA announcement

Subject: NAPA at the Atlanta AAA Annual Meeting 2004

Dear NAPA Members:

During the past two weeks, the NAPA Governing Board and committee chairs have held several phone conferences and exchanged a good deal of correspondence concerning contingency plans based on the labor dispute involving hotel workers and hotel owners in San Francisco. As you know, the AAA Executive Board has decided to move the Annual Meeting to the Atlanta Hilton, December 15-19.

We are extremely grateful to the AAA staff, the all-volunteer AAA Executive Board, Section Assembly, and NAPA leadership network, and for the energy, time, and thoughtful consideration they have given to an enormously complicated situation, where each of the choices is bound to displease a substantial number of us.

We have received a number of emails from NAPA members, and we have been in touch with the heads of the other AAA sections. After careful consideration, the NAPA leadership network OPPOSED the following proposition:

If the UNITE/HERE Local 2 and San Francisco hotel owners fail to reach a cooling off agreement, and the AAA Executive Board elects to proceed with the annual meeting at the Atlanta Hilton, NAPA encourages its members to attend the meetings, and will work to organize exchanges that will advance our professions understanding of and meaningful involvement in resolving the fundamental issues that have led to this labor dispute. If a quorum cannot be achieved in person or by phone, the Annual NAPA Board and Business Meetings will be rescheduled for Santa Fe, NM in April. Professional development and skill-building workshops in the preliminary program will take place if a sufficient number of subscriptions are received. NAPA will make information regarding alternative housing available to its members.

At the same time that the NAPA Board opposed the Atlanta proposition, we voted overwhelmingly in favor of leaving the AAA 2004 Conference at the SF Hilton if a 90-day cooling off period had gone into effect. Since the hotel multi-employers group rejected the cooling off period, that position became moot.

No position was taken on boycotting the meetings. We will not dictate to people whether to hold NAPA-sponsored panels or present their papers in Atlanta. All panel organizers should make this decision in consultation with their panel members. If you were slated to make a presentation, please contact your panel organizer to make further plans. The AAA meeting organizers will soon provide further details regarding confirmations and withdrawals. We will work with the AAA Program Committee to make sure that paper presenters who find themselves without fellow panel members and wish to make a presentation in Atlanta can still do so.

The NAPA leadership network APPROVED the proposition that the NAPA board will actively seek to work with the Section Assembly and the AAA Executive Board to articulate a comprehensive policy statement concerning the criteria to be applied in selecting future AAA Annual Meeting venues.

President-Elect Micki Iris and I plan to attend the meetings in order to meet with AAA leadership and ensure that NAPA has a voice in the discussions that will surely take place. We believe that NAPA, as an organization, has much to contribute to a resolution of the short and long-term problems and conflicts that are likely to ensue as a result of this controversy. We also believe that NAPA members, with their breadth and depth of experience in real-world settings, can make substantial contributions to the ways in which AAA moves forward from this point. This is a critical time in the life of AAA and we welcome feedback from NAPA members, particularly suggestions and constructive proposals as to how AAA can "reinvent" itself.

The NAPA board and business meetings will NOT take place in Atlanta because a substantial number of members cannot be present. We will discuss our urgent business via phone conference and electronic correspondence, and hold our next Board meeting in Santa Fe in April.

In the absence of a full business meeting in Atlanta, we will hold an informational session with NAPA members in Atlanta. At this session, we will recognize the winners of NAPA Student Achievement Awards.

We will NOT host our annual networking event, since it seems prudent to save on the catering and room rental costs.

We will NOT hold the Local Practitioners' Forum that had been scheduled in the preliminary program because a substantial number of the people we expected to attend cannot be present. We will work with the SfAA LPO Liaison to see if we can schedule a more extensive forum in Santa Fe.

We will "let the market decide" about workshops in Atlanta - if there are not sufficient pre-registrations, the workshops will not be staged, and pre-registrants will have their subscription fee refunded.

You will be interested to know that in September, before this Annual Meeting relocation decision, the NAPA Board approved a budget measure whereby, starting with the 2005 Annual Meeting, all NAPA members will be eligible for a 50% discount on the price of one Annual Meeting workshop as a benefit of NAPA membership.

The Board will be considering ways in which we can create a resource pool to help individual members in need of financial assistance because of cancellation or change fees associated with the change in meeting dates and venues.

Please watch for a NAPA member web survey announcement soon. We will be seeking feedback from you on how events of recent weeks have affected member plans, finances, Atlanta meeting attendance, and other relevant matters. We also want your input on how to work with the Section Assembly and the AAA Executive Board to articulate a comprehensive policy statement concerning the criteria to be applied in selecting future AAA Annual Meeting venues, and what position NAPA should take on such matters.

Thanks to all for maintaining the generosity of spirit and civility of discourse that can only strengthen the impact we have on the world around us.

Ed Liebow
NAPA President

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