Sitting on my flight home from Amsterdam - I have about 9 hours to kill so thought "why not work on my Message from the President"! Having been in Amsterdam for the ATA September board meeting, all things ATA are at the front of my mind. First, I want to say thank you to everyone at ATA member Copex, who allowed us once again to use their beautiful boardroom and provided lunch for our 2 day meeting.
A large part of our meeting was spent defining "Who is the ATA"? What makes us different from other trade associations? We are a very unique organization and one that is very hard to define. Over the next several months we will be featuring in Migrations "The Benefits of Membership" - what make us stand out from other associations. There is no other organization in the world that represents the animal transportation industry in the way we do. Through our diversity, our inclusion of all species and modes of transport, and the vast resources of "everything animal transport" that can be sourced from within our membership - we are the one stop resource for animal transportation.
We will also be starting up a YouTube Channel called "We are ATA" - this channel will feature our members doing their jobs. It is a way we can showcase what we do and how important it is that we do it right. We want to communicate out that members of the ATA expect the best and deliver the best. We already have videos ready for posting, but if you have a video you would like to see included on our channel - send it our way!
Riding on the high from the success of the Calgary conference, we have begun planning for our conference in Lisbon in 2016. Our 2016 conference theme is "Come Explore". Playing off Portugal's vast history of global exploration and transport innovation, we invite everyone to "Come Explore" the world of animal transport with us 3-6 April. We have already been contacted by members and non-members with speaker suggestions and speakers expressing their interest in speaking. The program is beginning to come together and we are looking locally for some off-site opportunities for our attendees. We do appreciate the current state of the world economy and added it into consideration when choosing our host city of Lisbon and when setting our registration fees for our members. In order to keep our registrations fees down, we rely heavily on sponsorship as we are a not for profit organization. Our 2016 sponsorship packages will be up on website soon and we will be sending out sponsorship letters in the very near future. We appreciate all our past supporters and are always looking for new sponsorship partners so please pass on to anyone you think would be interested in joining with the ATA as sponsors, members or better yet - sponsoring members! We want to make sure we continue to be accessible to everyone and provide the educational and networking opportunities that are not available at any other conference.
Other things you can look forward to over the next year includes new webinars, a freshened up website, an updated member logo, new industry and government affiliations and an exciting announcement for the 2017 conference!!! Safe travels this fall to all members and the animals they transport. I'm going to go watch a movie now!