#GPAConf17 was a rousing success!

Today marked the end of the GPA Conference in San Diego. The planning for the 2018 Conference is well under way and will be held in Chicago. I'm sitting in my hotel room tonight in San Diego, already planning what session proposals I'm going to submit for the 2019 Conference. I know I'm going to submit a session on Advocacy. I'll likely submit another on Federal Funding and Proposals. My question is what are you going to submit? 

Even if you have no plans to submit a session proposal, please know that this is THE conference YOU must attend. So, go ahead, take a minute, and put these dates on your calendar:

2018 : November 7-10 in Chicago, IL at Swissotel Chicago

2019: November 6-9 in Washington, DC at Washington Hilton

2020: November 4-7 in Denver, CO at Hyatt Regency Denver

Hope to see you there!

Grants and Government Advocacy -- #GPAConf17

Many folks know that I used to work in the U.S. House of Representatives. So, the title and subject of my session at the GPA Conference on Friday (November 10) is hardly surprising. What I find surprising is that many grant professionals don't believe they have a role in advocacy! So, here's the deal, come to my session and I promise you'll walk away with tools you can use to share your passion with your representatives. In this time of funding constraints, it is absolutely critical that your representatives know who your agency serves, why the services are necessary, and understand the impact of your programming.  

Feeling a bit sentimental!

The GPA 2017 Conference begins later this week and I'm feeling a bit sentimental. I've been blessed to meet so many people through GPA over the years, and some of those acquaintances have blossomed into friendships. Yet, I'm also struck by the faces that I won't see this year. 

This year, one face I will miss seeing at the GPA conference is Michael Wells. Michael was one of the first "rock stars" in the grants profession that took my phone call after I met him in Scottsdale (the 2005 conference).  Michael had published several books and was just oh so knowledgeable, yet always humble. He was always generous with his knowledge and time.

I'm thinking about Michael today, in part because I know I won't see his happy, smiling face. But I'm also thinking about him because I just ran across something he wrote about the books Cheryl (Kester) and I wrote that made me gasp. I was on the GPCI website and clicked on the Literature Review that Michael wrote. I hadn't been on the website in a while (bad board member), and was really happy to see all of the new resources. I knew Michael had worked on the Literature Review and I thought to myself when I saw it, "Oh good, now I know what new books to look for at the conference." Imagine my shock when I saw this quote from Michael:  

"General Grant Writing -- These are the best in the field in my opinion....Writing to Win Federal Grants (and a separate Workbook) by Cheryl Kester and Karen Cassidy. Charity Channel Press (2015) — The best books I’ve seen on federal grants and I’m putting them here for people who don’t go beyond this first page."

I can't begin to tell you what this statement means to me. To have a rock star like Michael, someone that I respected and admired so much, call the books Cheryl and I wrote "the best" renders me nearly speechless. I so wish that he was here so that I could thank him and tell him how much being called "the best" by one who truly was the best means to me. Thank you Michael! 

Oh, and let me add a link here to his fabulous Literature Review:  http://tinyurl.com/y9zh2fes