Gerid Adams, the current President of the Greater Grand Rapids HLAA Chapter, was the recipient of the 2019 HLAA-MI Scholarship to the HLAA National Convention. Gerid shares his impressions of his first convention experience.
The HLAA 2019 convention consisted of 10 workshop sessions; each session had a choice between 5 tracks. The tracks were Advocacy, Hearing Assistive Technology, Genetics, Lifestyle, and State & Chapter Development. In total, the convention offered 50 workshop classes.
Most of my favorite classes had fallen under the State & Chapter Development. My wife Denise (Vice President and Secretary) joined me at HLAA 2019 and we split up at times, so we could learn as much as possible and bring that knowledge back to our Chapter and apply it.
We had a wonderful time there. It was light and fun but yet packed full of good information and training. I would suggest anyone that is starting a chapter, to attend this convention. We made a lot of new connections, some new friends and heard many wonderful stories. It was very inspirational and reinvigorating. Our heads are exploding with new ideas and programs to try and our momentum is not slowing down, thanks to the new stuff we’ve learned. Some of my favorite classes revolved around fundraising and building a professional advisory committee (PAC). These classes, I think are some key elements to a chapter that I had not realized I needed to work on.
HLAA 2019 also had social events in the evenings as well. Not only did we get to socialize and kick back after an eventful day, but we also continued to network with more people and hear stories from others’ experiences and learn from them. There was an exhibit hall with a lot of vendors that allowed us time to talk with experts on certain services/products/subjects. It was very informative for us to see what all is out there and have a 1 on 1 with their support teams. We came across several interesting things out there that we did not know existed.
We are hoping to be able to return to HLAA conventions every year to continue our growth and nurturing relationships with others! Thank you so much for opening our eyes to this event!
Don’t miss out next year! HLAA MI is again offering a scholarship to the Convention which will be held in New Orleans in 2020! You can find out about the scholarship and how to apply by Clicking Here.