Cameron Thies & Mark A. Boyer posted on March 09, 2020 16:06
As we’re sure that everyone knows, ISA is facing a set of difficult choices at the moment regarding the annual convention that is set to begin in Hawaii on March 24th. We have heard from many of you directly via phone and email and have also read the many thoughtful comments on social media and other forums. Please know how much we value that input and how seriously we take the views of our members. You are indeed ISA.
Along these lines, we are trying to make decisions about the convention as soon as we can confidently do so. Throughout this challenging time period, we are also doing our very best to collect the relevant information to make the most informed decisions we can. That is a delicate dance in this very fast-changing global situation, but ISA’s leadership has been evaluating the options so that we can best serve our members now and into the future. In that context, the health and safety of our friends and colleagues have been first and foremost in our minds as we have worked through options and those issues will remain at the top of the list of factors as we continue to work on this difficult set of decisions. We assure you that we are constantly keeping up with the guidance from the WHO, the US CDC and the Hawaii Department of Health on an hourly basis and have spoken many times with the relevant authorities about the situation.
As some of you have speculated in your emails and posting, legal and financial obligations are also part of the decision-making calculus. ISA has contracts with hotels, AV and daycare providers, other vendors and commitments with sponsors, exhibitors and much, much more, that continue to be evaluated by our legal counsel. Whatever happens moving forward, ISA will be financially impacted by any decision we make regarding the convention. That impact will ripple in our ability to provide services to members (e.g., travel grants and workshop grants) perhaps for several years. As a result, due diligence in our dealings with contractual partners is more than warranted.
All that said, we anticipate having more guidance for members by the end of this week. I know that many of you are hoping for information sooner than that. Sooner may happen, but at this point, we can’t make promises about how the situation will evolve.
As always, please stay in contact with ISA HQ at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cameron Thies Mark A. Boyer
ISA President, 2019-2020 ISA Executive Director