The 2009 Region 7 Fall Conference hosted by the Chattanooga Chapter in Chattanooga, TN October 2nd - 4th provided a great time and many opportunities for every professional and student member in Region 7. The event was held at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Chattanooga where attendees could visit a variety of attractions and were provided with many forms of entertainment and wonderful eateries.
The conference kicked off on Friday evening with a meet and greet followed by dinner for the professionals and a scavenger hunt for students. Everyone agreed it was energizing to meet new members and renew acquaintances with those we had not seen since the last Region meeting. The Chattanooga Chapter was a wonderful host for the event and the gift bags given to each of those attending were fabulous.
At our kick-off on Saturday morning, Evan Eldridge longtime Region 7 Secretary and a native, started our morning by sharing a few very interesting stories about growing up in the area. Students then headed off to begin their activities and professional members started their various workshops and seminars.
Contests and competitions for students included PC Troubleshooting, Network Design, The Brain Bowl, Student Banners, Tales of the Chattanooga Choo Choo, YouTube/Geek Video and the Logo contest. Professionals were treated to Security Strategies, Wireless Technology, Keys to Performance and a Round Table Leadership seminar.
Conference chairs for the event were Mark Northern, Alex Herweyer, Kristi Montgomery from the Chattanooga Chapter; Lynda Padrta from the Jacksonville Chapter; Nadine Evans, Polk County; and Kathy Drew Region 7 VP. The conference wrapped up on Saturday evening with the Awards Banquet where all in attendance were treated to a wonderful address from the Keynote Speaker, Shirley Sartin. The topic pertained to continuing our IT education and was titled, "Along the Road, from Here to There."
MC for the evening, Kathy Drew, Region 7 VP recognized officers in attendance from the Association, Region and Chapter Levels. Awards for Chapter Outstanding Performance Award (COPA), Individual Performance Award (IPA) and Professional Chapter Incentive (PCI) were announced by Nadine Evans and presented to awardees by Elaine Johnson, filling in for our Region Awards Chair, PJ Glover.
PCI awards were given to six chapters and four chapters received the COPA award. Polk County was given the Region Outstanding Chapter Award (ROCA) for 2008 which was accepted by Brian Terrell, Kathy Drew and Nadine Evans, chapter members. Trophies were presented to the professional and student chapter with the most members present and the chapter that traveled the furthest distance.
The student competitions awards were presented to the students by Alex Herweyer, Chattanooga Chapter Treasurer. First and Second Place in each competition earned monetary awards ranging from $50 - $150. Seven student chapters throughout the southeast were represented and 10 of the region's 12 chapters where in attendance. The evening ended with a lively chapter gift basket auction with Mark Northern, Chattanooga President serving as auctioneer.
Sunday morning the Board of Directors met to discuss business items and elected 2010 officers. The following officers will be seated in 2010; President - Kathy Drew, Polk County Chapter Vice President - Lynda Padrta, Jacksonville Chapter Secretary - Evan Eldridge, North-Central Florida Chapter Treasurer - Steve Brooks, Atlanta Chapter.
The board accepted the offer of hosting the 2010 Fall Conference Professional and Student Conference from the Charleston SC Chapter.
It was with much sadness Region 7 said goodbye to the beautiful city of Chattanooga and our new friends, but we are all looking forward to 2010 in the "holy city "of Charleston, South Carolina. For full details and photos on the conference, please visit the Region 7 website: www.aitpregion7.org.