Downtown Austin and the Convention Center hosted over 570 people this year when the Fund Members’ Conference kicked off on April 19. As always, preregistration was free for Fund members along with all conference events and meals. This is a special year for the Fund as it marks 35 years of loyal service to members, and a memorable conference commemorated the occasion.
Sunday evening, members and staff were invited to meet-and-greet one another at the Early Bird Welcome Reception at the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel, 18th Floor bar, which had a 360 degree view of the beautiful city of Austin.
Monday morning, Dubravka Romano, associate executive director for TASB Risk Management Services, introduced the Fund’s new Board of Trustees Chair, Kevin Carbo, from Mesquite ISD. Afterwards, key note speaker Vicki Hitzges, delivered a lively and interactive speech and the educational program was off to a good start! There were 20 different educational sessions to choose from ranging from liability hot topics and safety programs to a comprehensive unemployment compensation review and several workers’ compensation topics on claim reporting and return to work.
At 6:00 p.m. on Monday evening, members and staff were bussed over to the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum for an elegant anniversary dinner. Over 400 people were in attendance for that event. Throughout the evening, the Marshal Ford Swing Band entertained members along with all museum exhibits and a delicious dinner buffet.
Tuesday morning, members attended a one hour Legislative Update delivered by TASB’s own Jackie Lain, associate executive director for TASB Governmental Relations and Paul Taylor, division director of risk management regulatory and legal affairs for TASB Risk Management Services.
In a new conference element, over 100 members attended risk management round tables where topics ranged from challenges associated with small districts to basics in litigation, workers’ compensation claim reporting, and issues facing community colleges. After one more round of breakout sessions, most members stayed to enter into the Annual Coverage Credit Drawings that take place just before the conference concludes each year. Renewal coverage credits were also awarded this year just for attending conference for the 6th year in a row!