ACB: Full Steam Ahead To New Horizons by Janet Dickelman

ACB's 51st annual conference and convention in Louisville was a resounding success.  We rode horses in Lexington and went rafting on the Kentucky River, navigated the Mega Caverns under Louisville on zip lines, visited Churchill Downs and Indiana's Amish country, shopped for candy and stoneware and thrift store bargains, and ended the week cruising the Ohio River on the Spirit of Jefferson.  Dr. Tuck Tinsley, president of the American Printing House for the Blind, was our keynote speaker, and Micheal Hudson, director of the APH Museum, performed an awesome one-man play at our banquet.  The exhibit hall was home to a dazzling array of high- and low-tech products.  The ACB Marketplace made its debut and added excitement to early mornings prior to general session.  An endless array of workshops, seminars, programs and focus groups packed the week.  Some examples of the many in-hotel social events included karaoke night, tabletop bowling, casino night, a round sing, the performing arts showcase, and the ACB auction.

The staff of the Galt House greeted everyone with a smile and were always willing to assist convention attendees.  I personally witnessed hotel personnel dropping whatever they were doing to rush off to help someone locate a meeting room.  A huge thank you to everyone at the Galt House for helping to make our convention so special.

Thanks also to the Kentucky host committee who prepared the restaurant and local business listings and the hotel orientation guide, recruited volunteers, coordinated entertainment and clergy throughout the week, and performed so many little details which helped to make the convention so successful.

Words aren't sufficient to thank vice chair Carla Ruschival for sharing her knowledge, her dedication to detail, her willingness to help, her advice and, yes, her occasional corrections!  No hospital stays next year, my friend!

And finally, thank you to the most wonderful group of individuals, the national convention committee and the ACB staff.  I am privileged to work with each of you.   You spend countless hours each year making this convention a success.  You know what needs to be done and handle your responsibilities without complaint or direction.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you do to make my job easier.

Now it's full steam ahead to explore a brand-new convention site.  For the first time ever, an ACB conference and convention will be held in Columbus, Ohio, at the downtown Hyatt Hotel.  Our first tour will be on Thursday, July 4; general sessions will begin on Saturday, July 6.  Our banquet will be on Thursday, July 11, with our last tour on Friday, July 12.  As you can see, the convention is moving forward one day from our usual schedule - a move that was part of the original Columbus bid.  Working with a slightly different schedule will be a grand adventure, and I know that ACB's versatility will make this a huge success.

Start planning now to be in Columbus in 2013.  Room rates are $89 plus tax per night (single, double, triple, quad).  Make reservations by phone by calling 1-888-421-1442, or online by visiting the ACB web site at www.acb.org and following the 2013 conference and convention link.

As always, feel free to contact me with any questions at (651) 428-5059 or via e-mail at janet.dickelman@gmail.com.