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Showing posts from May, 2009

IGLTA Convention in Toronto - May 2009 - Take 3

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Ah, the convention is now in full swing... everyone has reconnected and yet the schmoozing and networking never seems to stop!  On Friday, everyone is hustling and bustling along, starting with the opening breakfast where David Whitaker of Tourism Toronto welcomes us all to Toronto.  The day is then a mix of various workshops and a great lunch sponsored by Air Canada.
The real highlight of Friday is yet to come... the consumer travel trade show held in the gay village at Maple Leaf Gardens.  Although the lighting was dim, the event was a complete success.  Various IGLTA members were able to exhibit their companies to both the other IGLTA members attending the convention as well as the hundreds of gay travel consumers to marched through the aisles.  Along with a Brazilian Samba performance that blew everyone away with some very HOT dancers and performers (OK, the drumming did last a bit long... my ears are still recovering), the night was a complete success.  This was the night most of …

IGLTA Convention in Toronto - May 2009 - Take 2

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So here we are, Thursday morning... our only moment of reprieve as the board meetings are now over and the members are all arriving in waves.  The main event begins at 2 pm, but as I go down to the registration area, everyone is doing exactly what they do best... reconnecting, schmoozing and networking.  It's a frenzy as old friends who sometimes only see each other during these conventions get together and catch up.  I love this moment in the IGLTA conventions each year... this and the opening reception are always the most energized moments of the convention.
The convention opens up with our presentations by John Tanzella and a board of directors Q&A.  Perhaps because this Q&A was positioned at the very beginning of the convention is the reason the participation and interest from the membership as to where the organization is going was so energized... it was great!  We received feedback ranging from a re-orientation as to what it means to be truly "international"…

IGLTA Convention in Toronto - May 2009 - Take 1

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What an incredible whirlwind of a week!  For me, it all started a bit early as I flew into Philadelphia on Saturday, May 2nd to attend the Equality Forum Dinner that Saturday night.  As Malcolm Lazin of Equality Forum has always been such a great friend personally and such a great supporter of IGLTA over the years, I really wanted to attend this event prior to arriving in Toronto for the IGLTA Convention, and I'm so glad I did.  The evening's reception was such a pleasure and I had the opportunity to hang out with Bruce Yelk and Jeff Guaracino of the GPTMC, as well as run into old friends also flying in for this event such as Janice Mahlmann of the NGLCC-NY, John Kenyon of Proud FM in Toronto, and Rodney Hameroff of Columbia Fun Maps.
That evening, Gavin Newsom, our potential future governor of California, got up and gave an eloquent speech to cap off a truly remarkable evening.
The next day, after waking up with a Philly cheesesteak sandwich still in my stomach (I ordered a &qu…