By Debbie Rozear
I have been attending the ACB Conference and Convention since 2009. My first experience was held in Orlando, Florida. Although I had attended the PCB Conference many times, all that the week-long ACB Conference and Convention had to offer was quite overwhelming. There were approximately 1,500 people, about 500 dogs and a pony at this convention. One of our members at LVCB said that he saw me blossom while attending. Since that first convention I have attended every year. Each year they are held in different states around the country. Before starting to attend, I had never been off the East coast. I can’t wait to attend again next year.
There are often ways to get assistance to attend the ACB Conference and Convention. Sometimes the state affiliate will help to send someone from one of the local chapters. There are also academic scholarships that include a conference experience plus tuition assistance. There are two first-timers’ scholarships, awarded to one ACB member east of the Mississippi and one to the west of it. For the last few years, ACB has also offered the JP Morgan Chase Leadership Fellows program which brings several potential leaders to the conference for networking and mentoring.
This past July, I had the pleasure of being nominated for the JP Morgan Chase Leadership Fellows Award. Attending the 2018 ACB conference and convention was even more fulfilling than attending other years. By receiving the award this year, I was able to stay for the entire event and participate in many activities and workshops that I otherwise would not have considered signing up for or have been able to afford. Meeting many new people and having the privilege of meeting past recipients of this prestigious award has given me eye-opening experiences and has made me more enthusiastic about being more involved in this great organization.
Beginning in 2019, I will be co-chairing the ACB Awards Committee. Since returning home, there have already been some opportunities to share some of the things I have learned at the convention. I am hoping to share more of my knowledge with other members and on committees in the near future. This was a great opportunity to learn and grow not only as an advocate, but as an individual. I recommend this opportunity to anyone who may have an interest in pursuing it in the future. Not only did I learn, but I also became friends with people that I otherwise would have never met. While some will become lasting relationships, others are acquaintances that I look forward to renewing at future conventions.
In 2019 the ACB Conference and Convention is being held in Rochester, NY. The dates are from July 5 through July 12. There will be many concurrent activities and events going on during the week to fill anyone’s schedule. So far there has been a glimpse into two of the tours that will be offered. Before the opening session, ACB members will have the chance to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. The final tour will be a visit to Niagara Falls. For many in our PCB family, this year’s conference site of Rochester is very close. If you would like the experience of a lifetime, try to make it there even if only for a day or two. You won’t be sorry.