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Annual AAPOR Conference: Operations/Social Events

AAPOR Returns to the Sunshine State!

Dave DesRoches, 2010 Conference Operations Chair
Debbie Rexrode, 2010 Conference Operations Associate Chair

64th Annual Conference photos

AAPOR’s 64th Annual Conference in Hollywood, Florida, in May was a success on many levels – a full and exciting program of sessions, fun and varied social events, a spectacular venue and generally good weather.

One of the strongest traditions at the Annual Conference is coming together for receptions and meals, and this past year was no exception. Thursday evening we enjoyed a reception to welcome our newest members and showcase our regional chapters. On the Saturday night before the Annual Awards Banquet, we once again gathered for the traditional President’s Reception, which featured live music. In addition to the banquet, we came together for dinner on Thursday and lunch on Friday and Saturday. Attendees had Friday night available to enjoy an evening out with a group of friends at one of the many fabulous restaurants in the area, with the Hollywood Boardwalk being a popular destination.

After planning varied fun social activities, 2009 Conference Operations Chair LInda Dimitropoulos and Associate Chair David DesRoches get a chance to relax at the banquet.
Attendees were also provided with a flurry of activities in the Exhibit Hall throughout the conference, including continental breakfasts on Friday and Saturday morning, and a “Speed Networking” session hosted by Brad Edwards of Westat on Thursday afternoon. We continued the practice of serving dessert at the afternoon break, and this allowed attendees to explore the poster presentations, observe the demonstration sessions, visit with authors at the “Meet the Author” sessions, and browse at the book exhibit.

A new feature of this year’s conference was the "Network Sampling" sessions held on Friday and Saturday. These sessions allowed people to get a rapid "sample" of organizations in our profession and expand their network of people who might know about upcoming employment opportunities. Nineteen conference attendees signed up for time to meet and greet the representatives from ABT SRBI, Inc., American Institute for Research, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Defense Manpower Data Center, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., The Nielsen Company, NORC, Rand Corporation, RTI International, and Westat. The feedback from both the representatives and the participants found this to be a very positive experience and a great addition to the conference.

Fun times at AAPOR are not, of course, limited to the confines of the conference hotel. The Conference Operations team led a number of successful conference events, the first of which was the annual golf outing. A total of 28 golfers descended on the challenging Club at Emerald Hills in Hollywood on Thursday morning, with the first foursome teeing off at 8:00 a.m. sharp. All groups managed to complete their round without getting too wet-- it rained only three separate times during play. The intermittent rain showers helped to keep the beer cold and the pace of play brisk. Posting a team score of 3 skins, the winning foursome was comprised of Sherm Edwards of Westat; Robert Maccabee of Western Wats; and Chuck Shuttles and Norm Trussel, both of Nielsen. Apparently, these Nielsen guys somehow get a lot of time to practice! In addition, there were several individual-level skills contests. Robert Eisenger of Lewis and Clark University and Sherm Edwards of Westat won the closest-to-the-pin prizes. Gary Gentry (State of California), whose drive ended up an incredible 3 inches off the center line, won the "straightest drive" contest; and, finally, Colm O'Muircheataigh from the University of Chicago was awarded the prize for longest drive (although we are still looking for credible witnesses to that feat). The Golf Outing sponsor, RTI International, provided "goodie bags" to all players and prizes to the winners.

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On Friday night, AAPOR volunteers Jim Weaver and Ginger Blazier led an enthusiastic group of interested and intrepid imbibers on a pub crawl. Once again this proved to be a good opportunity for our younger members to make some new friends and visit some establishments that they might not have otherwise had the opportunity to explore!

 They're eager to take your picture but seem to be a little camera-shy themselves: Steve Everett and Lori Everett shot all the conference photographs in this newsletter.





David DesRoches organized an outing to see the Florida Marlins play the Los Angeles Dodgers at Landshark Stadium on Friday evening. There was the traditional singing of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the bus ride to the game (the transportation was sponsored by Nielsen), and the group lasted until the ninth inning when a severe downpour chased the attendees back to the bus. All in all it was great fun, and the numerous AAPORites from southern California went home happy as the Dodgers won 6-4. On Saturday morning, Dave also led a small but sturdy and dedicated crew of early risers down to the waterfront for the annual Fun Run sponsored by Nielsen.

First place in the women’s run (and first overall) was Nicole Kirgis, and David Dutwin was first among the male runners. Linda Novotny was the first place walker, and a prize was awarded to Michelle Vrudhula for her walk/run performance (there were no male walkers at this year’s event).

After the Saturday night banquet, attendees were encouraged to cut loose at a Latin-themed dance party! In addition to the dancing and general merriment, the party featured Wii sports which proved to be a huge hit! We raffled the Wii off at the end of the night for extra excitement, and it was won by Donna Fong from the University of Alberta. Also on Saturday post-banquet, 22 people attended the Applied Probability Session, which, this year included a No Limit Texas Hold 'em tournament. Michael McDonald of George Mason University won first prize, followed by Jeff Franklin (2nd), and John Riccobono (3rd), both of RTI International.

The 2009 social events were organized by Conference Operations Chair Linda Dimitropolous and Associate Chair David DesRoches. We are already looking ahead to the 2010 conference on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago. We are planning a full docket of exciting events and we hope to see everyone there!


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