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February 13, 2009 


For those of you interested in the legal world, we invite you to our event: "Law Firm Trends in the Age of Obama: What's Hot and What's Not." Star panelists, great networking, great food. BLT Steak, next Tuesday, Feb 17. Please see detailed event description and sign up! 


Yesterday, we toured the National Conference Center in Lansdowne realizing associations might be looking for local options rather than their usual warm weather conference destination.  Don’t worry: they’ve added a 16.5k SF ballroom, so you can get your dance on.


Full disclosure: NCC wooed us with a taste testing, and Chef Craig Mason dazzled potential clients with Dungeness crab and Mississippi Mud Pie. Twelve miles from Dulles, the NCC serves 500K meals like this a year, so perhaps that’s how they booked the Virginia Society of Association Execs 2010 annual meeting.


GM Kurt Krause with Catering Director Sharon Meyers and Sales Director Eric Whitson. Kurt says NCC is comparable to the Marriott Wardman or Gaylord and with 250K SF of meeting space (and 917 beds), even small groups will have plenty of space. Kurt’s got his eye on the next generation of employees teaching local students vocational skills like how to bill clients and set tables. (Don’t worry child labor advocates, it’s part of a community service program.) Kurt used to work at TSA and tells us he was a dissenting voice when it came to making everyone take off their shoes at airports.


Does your association have jet skis docked in DC you can jump on anytime? Here’s Maureen Healy, Executive Director of the Personal Watercraft Industry Association, ready to ride on the SW waterfront. In ‘00, the National Park Service banned personal watercraft in a handful of national parks, and the association battled erroneous perceptions about safety and environmental impact, even when Coast Guard data show they’re 99.9% accident free. PWIA got the ban lifted in a handful of parks in ’06. 


The association keeps two Yamaha WaveRunners at DC’s James Creek Marina, where Fed affairs mgr Raphael Kozolchyk, left, and state affairs mgr Chris Neal wait their turn. The association only has four corporate members: Kawasaki, Honda, BRP and Yamaha, but that doesn’t mean a lighter workload. Maureen’s busy using the economic downturn to secure more waterway access for riders. Her pitch? Emissions are down 90% and sound levels are down 70% from a decade ago.

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Arent Fox

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