Government In-plants Meet in New Orleans
Cajun cooking may have spiced up the sessions at the recent National Government Publishing Association conference, but the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the host city was never far from attendees’ minds.November 5, 2009 By Bob Neubauer
The devastation of New Orleans at the hands of Hurricane Katrina was witnessed on TV screens worldwide. But seeing the aftermath first hand, as attendees of the recent National Government Publishing Association conference did, left a far more poignant impression.
On the second day of last month’s NGPA conference, members boarded a bus for a sobering ride through the New Orleans neighborhoods that flooded after the city’s levees failed. The water level was still visible on some homes, four years later.
The group disembarked to examine a new home being built by Habitat for Humanity, a project sponsored by Kodak. NGPA presented a Habitat representative with a donation to be used to plant trees on the property, once the home is finished.
This field trip was one of the highlights of NGPA’s 33rd annual conference, which also included three days of educational sessions and a vendor exhibit area. Inspired by the New Orleans location, several speakers added a unique Louisiana twist to their presentations. Konica Minolta’s Erik Holdo—also an accomplished chef—managed to cook up shrimp and other delicacies while offering in-plants advice on how to implement manageable change. Kodak’s Mark Egeling brought French Quarter refreshments into the conference room to set the mood while giving in-plants some new ideas on how to keep themselves fresh in the minds of their customers.
Speakers included several Louisianians who brought some local flavor to the event. Most memorable was Jay Dardenne, Louisiana’s secretary of state, who gave an informal and entertaining history of the state during the farewell reception.
Read more about the conference and see photos in the next issue of In-Plant Graphics.