by Marc Goldman
Las Vegas, baby! My first NACE conference back in 2001 was held in Vegas, and I never tire of returning there—that other city that never sleeps. Waking up in the morning to see people first heading toward their rooms. Surveying the blackjack tables to find NACE Past-President Dan Black holding court and making everyone laugh. Breathing in the scientifically designed air and squinting through the dusk- or dawn-like lighting of the Paris hotel to keep you wide awake and slightly off your game no matter what time of day or evening it might be. And all of this can be yours if the price is right! No, wait, that’s an entirely different form of gambling. All of this can be yours if you attend the NACE 2017 conference from June 6-9!
I was asked to resurrect my traditional (if twice counts these days) blog post about who to meet at the NACE conference. And I am happy to oblige. Having been to so many of these gatherings, I forget what it is like to be a first-time attendee or know very few people in the massiveness of the crowd. I mean 2,000 or so career services and campus relations professionals running roughshod to get that perfect seat at a keynote or to be first in line at the buffet table or beverage outpost can be daunting. Where do you begin? If you are a conference first-timer, why not say hi to two awesome and extremely enthusiastic individuals who are leading the conference first-timers team, Christine Dito of UC – Davis and Lindsay Moran of Liberty Mutual Insurance. They will be in Vegas to welcome you and lead a fun breakfast session on Wednesday morning just for first-timers. But don’t feel like you will be on your own there. It is likely the largest event at the conference other than keynotes or celebrations. And Chris and Lindsay have assembled their own team of NACE rock stars to help them with this great program. Somehow, even I got on this committee! Well, I do a mean bit of karaoke, but the videos have not been put on You Tube just yet.
Looking to make a connection from the west coast? Do your best to meet up with Amy Adams from Pepperdine or Vicki Klopsch from Scripps. Amy just served as co-chair with Melissa Gervase of Turner Construction for the Leadership Advancement Program, and Vicki was a member of the 2017 Conference Program Committee with me. This soft spoken (ha!) New Yorker always enjoys conference time with these two California colleagues. They both have such dedication to their students and their institutions, and they provide interesting views on our field as well.
Interested in learning more about NACE leadership? Make sure to say hi to outgoing NACE President Kathleen Powell from William and Mary and incoming NACE President Glen Fowler from the California State Auditor’s office. They are always a joy to speak with and incredibly encouraging and supportive colleagues to have in your corner. Through them, you can gain insights into the history and inner workings of NACE as well as one career services and one employer perspective on our field. That is if you get to chat with both of them while at the conference. Challenge accepted?!
Many of you know that Marilyn Mackes is our stalwart and steadfast NACE Executive Director, but did you know that NACE now has an Assistant Executive Director, Matthew Brink, who oversees the many amazing programs and services offered by our professional association? Matthew comes from an extensive background in career services and is quite the conference raconteur. Always looking his dapper best, Matthew is someone to get to know if you have the chance to cross paths with him in the Paris or on the Strip!
And as always, feel free to say hi to me. How else will I know that someone has actually checked out this blog post? Throw me a bone here. Or better yet, toss me a $100 chip, so I can play blackjack with Dan! See you in June, and follow me at the conference for my anecdotes and observations. I’m @MarcGoldmanNYC.