CONVENTION UPDATE: Breaking the Silence
A message from International President Cathy Daugherty with the support of the Administrative Board
DKG members, I wish I had the capability to look you square in the eye and deliver these remarks face to face. This is one instance where you need to see, and not just read, the sincerity and heart behind my words. But, with staff working remotely, the best I can do is to type out my thoughts and share facts with you regarding our scheduled convention in Philadelphia.
For several weeks I have wrestled with the dilemma of holding or canceling the convention. The decision the Administrative Board (AB) will make when they meet in May electronically is a two-edged sword: the physical health of the members versus the fiscal health of the Society. Trust me when I say that the physical health of members is foremost in my mind, motivates my every waking hour, and haunts my sleep. It will be the determining factor I espouse going forward with our plans, whether or not Philadelphia is “open for business” or not by July 1st. In speaking with members across the Society I am acutely aware of travel restrictions, closed borders, and concerns voiced by anxious families urging members not to travel this summer. It breaks my heart that our world is in such chaos and that I cannot reach out and reverse the situation. All I can do is promise to protect you within my role as your international president. I do not advocate that we hold a convention that would jeopardize the health and safety of our members. You are my first concern.
And, therein lies the other half of the dilemma, the fiscal health of the Society. An international convention is a one million dollar event funded by registrations, sponsors, meet the block tallies, meal events, etc. To cancel a hotel contract and other vendor/speaker contracts associated with the event with no revenue to support those expenses is a major blow to any group. To a group that relies almost exclusively on dues for the bulk of its income, this could be harsh. Currently, we are evaluating the potential fiscal impact based on government mandated Coronavirus imperatives. Hence, I have not spoken about cancellation possibilities until now.
Members charged the AB not only to put members first when you elected us, but also to be the financial guardian of the Society. In this situation to be hasty for one side might jeopardize the other side. Your patience up until now and your relative silence on the issue have given us the breathing space we needed to navigate a very difficult situation, but now it is time to break the silence.
During these past weeks together with our international parliamentarian, Dr. Helen Popovich, contingency plans have been developed to address the “bare bones” business that must go forward should the convention be canceled. They will appear in full in the May-June issue of the DKG News:
Next week additional contingency plans will be developed and shared when finalized.
This is where we are at this point, April 10th. You know as much as I know. With that knowledge I hope you spend some time contemplating what I have shared and the next steps your elected leaders will be taking over the course of the days and weeks to come. When decisions are made you will know them as soon as possible.
Together we will move forward. Again, I thank you for listening and I sincerely hope you understand the situation better for reading what I’ve written. I also hope that you support the actions already taken on your behalf.
Cathy P. Daugherty | International President
The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International
416 W. 12th St. | Austin, TX 78701-1817
512-478-5748 x101 | www.dkg.org