Something I realized and have grown exponentially grateful for over the last two years, is that the ability to convene prevention leaders from around the world, in one shared space, is a privilege. A month has passed since we reunited in Orlando for Mid-Year, and throughout the whirlwind week of training, I was reminded again and again of the inspiring work you do in your communities and how important it is to gather to exchange stories and strategies with other prevention advocates.
I walked past many Mid-Year training rooms that buzzed with enthusiasm; presenters were dressed in superhero outfits and goofy hats, and attendees in one room were asked to respond to questions by raising their hands and leaning from side to side like they were on a roller coaster! There was never a completely empty hallway; I would often see coalition members huddled on couches, comparing notes among themselves, discussing what they planned to bring back to their communities. When sessions broke out, they were finding common ground through new connections, as they learned they were struggling with similar issues.
As Vice President of Communications and Meetings, I have seen and planned many of CADCA’s signature training events. As our events continue to evolve in response to the ever-changing landscape of our field, we are committed to applying the lessons learned to find better ways to support your efforts.
One of the highlights from Mid-Year was welcoming back federal partners who were unable to attend the National Leadership Forum in February. Leaders from SAMHSA, DEA, CDC, NIAAA and ONDCP were on hand and provided ample opportunities for attendees to ask questions and address priorities. We also refreshed training session content to reflect what you have noted as our field’s most pressing challenges, by responding to new trends, concerns and research. And our corporate partners provided invaluable insights and prevention resources and tools.
As we look ahead to CADCA’s next signature training event, the 33rd Annual National Leadership Forum taking place January 30th – February 2nd, we fully expect to keep our momentum going and host a record-setting number of attendees at the Gaylord National. This year’s theme is fittingly, “Together Toward Tomorrow.” Our community of change agents is uniquely equipped to turn the tide against substance use trends. Together, we can put in the groundwork to create the safe, healthy and drug-free communities of tomorrow.
We want to count you in for Forum, which will be your opportunity to speak directly to your representatives and share the unique issues your community is facing. Our Forum website is now live and open for you to begin planning and registering for another impactful week. Be sure to stay up to date with the latest exciting news by following CADCA’s social media channels and keeping up with our weekly e-blasts.
Thank you for your continued commitment to the prevention movement.
See you in February,
Vice President, Communications and Meetings