The 35th C.A.S.H. Annual Conference held February 24 – 26, 2014 at the Sacramento Convention Center and Hyatt Regency was another huge success by all accounts. The mood of the over 1,000 attendees, exhibitors and speakers was very positive and upbeat as they maneuvered their way through the two and a half day event. The sunny weather, with temperatures reaching into the low 70s, also helped the positive vibe. Overall attendance was up by 10 percent and school district and county office attendance was up by 25 percent! The increased attendance was evident in many packed workshop rooms and significantly increased traffic through the trade show hall – especially during the opening night’s welcome reception. To kick-off the trade show, attendees were treated to entertainment provided by the Natomas High School Night Hawks Drum Corp.
The conference app was provided again this year and was new and improved, providing attendees the opportunity to see speaker bios and photos.
This year’s conference theme centered around 21st Century Learning environments. Attendees were able to touch, feel and use furniture supplied by One Workplace, Virco, and Trendway on the 3rd floor of the Convention Center. This created a synergistic environment where attendees met in small groups to network and talk about the conference.
Here’s what some attendees said about the conference:
“Best conference in years with positive energy and optimism”
“Always useful and timely information”
“It was my first one so it was enjoyable”
“Looking forward to next year”
“The Legislative & Regulatory Update was the best clinic, workshop and/or roundtable aside from School Bond Finance Hot Topics…Buchanan & the energy generated from this clinic was great and made the Annual Conference worth it for me”
And about the trade show:
“Great participation by attendees and vendors. The mood was upbeat and positive”
“Excellent setup. No pressure but great information”
“Loved the drum line…a little loud but very cool”
The conference kicked off on Monday with the annual golf tournament, with over 100 participants and volunteers. The nice weather set the stage for a perfect day for golf. This year’s conference included pre-conference workshops on professional development and how to get more involved in C.A.S.H., as well as School Construction 101, Planning 101 and information on how to get your district to net zero. Over 80 conference attendees attended the school tour to the Winn Center at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento to view the LEED Platinum facility. The tour was sponsored by Lionakis. We continued with the very popular Maintenance and Operations Technology Fair and Demonstration where attendees got hands-on learning about maintenance technology areas of solar, security, energy savings and more. Also included in the Fair was the Maintenance Reception.
Monday evening, attendees got their first chance to visit the over 150 exhibitors on the trade show floor during the Welcome Reception.
Also Monday evening, many conference participants attended the School Facilities Leadership Academy Reception and Graduation. This was the first time students of the Academy graduated during the Annual Conference. This created a real buzz around the Academy. Academy Graduates and guest were addressed by Dr. William Gillaspie, FCMAT; Kathleen Moore, CDE – School Facilities and Transportation Division; Lisa Silverman, Office of Public School Construction; Chester “Chet” Widom, State Architect, Division of the State Architect.
Tuesday morning, attendees were able to choose from many conference events which included, but were not limited to, workshops such as School Construction 201, roundtable discussions, and the Legislative Advisory Committee meeting. The trade show also opened Tuesday morning and was open throughout the day with dessert service after lunch and a reception later in the evening. For a detailed list of exhibitors by category click here.
Tuesday’s opening General Session and lunch resulted in a packed house at the Hyatt as C.A.S.H. Chair, Joe Dixon and C.A.S.H. Vice-Chair and Annual Conference Planning Chair, Jenny Hannah opened the Conference. Joe and Jenny gave a historical view of C.A.S.H., talked about the many that have been honored in C.A.S.H. for the dedication of their time, and the need for a future statewide school bond. They also gave highlights of the conference, welcomed first-time attendees, congratulated C.A.S.H. Academy graduates, thanked the Annual Conference Planning Committee for all of their hard work on the Conference and thanked the exhibitors and sponsors for their support of the Conference. For a list of sponsors, click here. Jenny then turned the stage over to Cathy Allen, C.A.S.H. Nominating Committee Chair, who thanked Steve Newsom, LPA, Inc., for his time and service on the Board of Directors. For the content of her presentation, click here.
Jenny then introduced the luncheon keynote speaker, Dr. Sanjay Varshnay, Dean of the College of Business, California State University, Sacramento, who gave an outlook of the Sacramento area and State’s economies. For Dr. Varshnay’s handout, click here.
One of the highlights of the luncheon presentation was the presentation of the C.A.S.H. student design awards and the C.A.S.H. /AIACC Leroy F. Greene Design and Planning Award winning projects. For a list of the winning entries, click here. The Annual Student Design Awards were presented to three very deserving students in the architectural field. Student winners were on hand this year for the event. Click here for an overview of the winners and their projects.
After the General Session and luncheon, attendees went back to the Convention Center for Dessert Service in the exhibit hall and more workshops and roundtable sessions. One of the most anticipated workshops of the afternoon was the Legislative Update that included presentations by Assembly Member Joan Buchanan (click here for her presentation) and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. Both shared their outlook for potential bond on the November 2014 ballot. John Fairbank, Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz, & Associates, Inc., was also on hand to share the latest polling results (click here for a copy of his presentation). Later that evening, a reception was held in the exhibit hall and attendees had a chance to visit with the vendors one last time.
Wednesday morning convened with a networking general session where attendees heard from C.A.S.H. Treasurer and Board Member Ed Mierau, who gave the annual report on the fiscal health of the organization. He informed attendees that the C.A.S.H. organization remained fiscally viable, was meeting our budget numbers mid-year, would meet budget for this conference and had exceeded our budget expectations for the Fall Conference.
After the breakfast session, attendees returned to the Convention Center to attend more informative and timely workshop and roundtable sessions.
Joe Dixon opened the afternoon general session and welcomed attendees to the lunch and asked that they stay to the end as we would be presenting the James L. Murdoch Lifetime Achievement Award.
Cathy Allen, Chair of the Nominating Committee, gave the Nominating Committee Report and asked the membership for their approval of the following slate of Board of Directors:
- Laura Knauss, Principal, Lionakis
- Heather Steer, Facilities Coordinator, Western Placer Unified School District
Hearing no objections approval was moved. She also thanked the Board Members who make up the Nominating Committee:
- Steve Newsom, Mike Vail, Jenny Hannah, Joe Dixon
Lyn Gruber, Board Member, then presented the Membership Service Awards to the following deserving individuals:
- John Baracy, Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated
- Marilyn Cleveland, Dannis Woliver Kelley
- Fred Harris, California Community Colleges Chancellors Office
- Mary Morris, HMC Architects
- John Poytress, Clovis USD
- Heather Steer, Western Placer USD
- Chip Smith, Retired from the Division of the State Architects
- David Zian, Retired from the Office of Public School Construction
For the full script of the membership service awards, click here.
Gene Hartline, founding Chair, then took the stage to begin the presentation of the James. L. Murdoch Lifetime Achievement Award to Bill Dawson. Gene was also joined by Dave Doomey, past Chair and Joe Dixon to assist in the presentation. To read the full presentation, click here.
The Conference concluded with a post-conference debriefing. Over 40 attendees remained to give us their constructive feedback on how C.A.S.H. may improve the conference for next year. If you are interested in serving on the 36th Annual Conference Planning Committee, please contact Lisa Church at (916) 448-8577 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please mark your calendars for the 36th Annual C.A.S.H. Conference and Trade Show, which will be held February 23-25, 2015 at the Sacramento Convention Center.