April 12-15, 2013, International Nanny Association members from around the world gathered at the Hyatt Regency Louisville in Louisville, KY for the 28th Annual INA Conference. With over 150 members present, nannies, agency owners, educators and other in-home childcare industry professionals gathered to learn new skills, gather new ideas and build new relationships.
INA’s 28th annual conference in Louisville was a great one! Attendees have come to expect certain things from INA conferences, like good food, excellent networking opportunities, informative workshops, an opportunity to meet the NOTY and so many more things…. and they were not disappointed. The conference ran smoothly and everyone was able to experience all of the things that conference offers.
There were a couple of welcomed surprises that made this years conference even more special. First, Louisville is a charming, active city. All of the attendees would probably agree that the location of the Hyatt, where we stayed, was perfect. Just outside the hotel doors were numerous restaurants to choose from. We were within walking distance of the Slugger museum, the Mohammed Ali Center, the Ohio River and many more points of interest.
Keynote speaker, Deborah Gilboa, M.D., kicked off conference speaking to us about respect and resilience. Dr. Gilboa infused us all with energy that stayed with us for the next couple of days.
The workshops received high ratings and everyone enjoyed networking and visiting the exhibitors during the breaks. Our NOTY luncheon, that is always special, was one of the highlights. This year we had four excellent nominees. It was sad to see Nikki Gribble retire, but exciting to welcome our new NOTY, Joanne Barrow. This year we also honored our past NOTY’s with their own NOTY logos. It was great that so many of our past NOTY’s were present. It was a thrill seeing them all lined up together on the stage!
The 2013 INA Annual Conference marked the fourth year that the INA Harriette Grant Service Award Pins and INA Service Award Pins were awarded to individuals in the in-home childcare industry. Ten attendees received their award pins or additional bars for their pins in recognition for their hard work, dedication and commitment to professional excellence.
As is tradition, the closing reception featured one of our favorite activities— the annual 50/50 Charity Raffle. Each year INA chooses a local charity to support with half of the raffle proceeds, with the other half going to fund next year’s Conference Endowment. This year, half of all proceeds raised went to VIPS, Visually Impaired Preschool Services, (http://www.vips.org/index.php). Alice Shaffer and her helpers did a great job, as usual, and fun was had by all.
If you missed conference don’t despair. We are already planning our 29th conference in L.A., for Spring 2014 and you’re invited! If you are new to INA and have never attended an Annual Conference, you may be eligible for significant savings.
What Attendees Are Saying
The Gift of Conference
By Greta Schraer
The annual INA conference has become a treasured staple in my year. No matter how my life and career has twisted and turned, conference has met me each time with inspiration.
It is an opportunity for time away from real life. For some it’s an educational vacation, for others a business boost. It really has the possibility to be just what you may need in your career.
After attending my 5th INA conference this year, I returned home eager and empowered. A little time away connecting with so many professionals with the desire for growth, well, it is simply inspiring. I have a debriefing routine; I do a few things to make sure that I really get the most out of my conference experience. After returning home, I reach out to new friends and connect with professionals through social media. I often re-read my workshop notes several times with a highlighter in hand. Each year I seem to find an overall personal theme with a few action steps. Personal and professional goals are set for the next year all because I put myself in a place to be challenged.
We tend to carve out time and resources for the priorities in our lives. The INA conference has become a priority for me. I desire to be a life-long learner, but I have taken home much more than a swag bag and great notes. Invaluable things like keys to the nanny profession help to develop community with nannies, personal challenge, rewarding moments, lifelong friendships, and clues to raising a healthy kid. And though I save and invest to attend this annual conference, I can honestly say that INA has invested much more in me. I am a better person, nanny, mom, and leader, and I can even see the impact that INA is making on the nanny industry in my city.
I encourage you to set your agenda for next spring. Set yourself and your career up for success and progress. Be challenged and receive the gift conference has to offer.
All photos were taken by and are the property of MaryAnn X. Meddish.