Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Work on State Convention Progressing Rapidly

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Work on State Convention Progressing Rapidly

Hurrah! There will be a Texas Republican State Convention in Fort Worth as planned and worked on non-stop by your Convention Committee!

This is music to the ears of the members of the SREC Convention Committee which has been planning non-stop on the details since being formed in September 2010. In addition to the committee meetings during the quarterly SREC meetings, the Convention Committee has met on more than a dozen occasions for day long meetings in Austin, Waco and Forth Worth. This does not include numerous subcommittee meetings of the subcommittees and meetings individual members have had with our convention partners. Planning has continued throughout the redistricting saga. Our work has moved from planning to execution of the convention.

Here is what we have done and what we are currently working on:

    • We are excited to have retained a production company. This Texas-based company is already underway working on a fresh approach to convention theme, stage design, lighting and sound, and video images. All of these exciting elements will provide a high energy to the arena where the general sessions will take place.
    • The Convention Committee unanimously approved the following individuals to head up the various volunteer areas:

      - Kaye Moreno - Volunteer Coordinator for Ambassadors
      - Convention Ambassadors – A newly created position for the 2012 Convention. Ambassadors will be stationed at 'help desks' at the Fort Worth Convention Center and at various hotels to assist in answering questions from convention attendees.
      - Shanda Perkins - Volunteer Coordinator for Pages
      - Pastor Mark Gonzales – Prayer Rally Leader
      - David Wylie - Volunteer Coordinator for Registration
      - Chris Hatley - Volunteer Coordinator Sergeants-at-Arms
      All volunteers will work in teams with 4-hour scheduled shifts. Volunteer applications will soon be available so begin to think which area you may want to volunteer.
    • A new online registration system is being developed to allow for greater ease for delegates, alternates, guests, and staff of elected officials to register. The system will allow one stop shopping for the purchase of gala banquet tickets and paying of registration fee. Committee member Tom Washington, Registration Volunteer Coordinator David Wylie, and RPT Executive Director Jesse Lewis are working on the developing the registration system. It is anticipated that the online registration system will be fully operational in early April or sooner.
    • Convention Committee member Montie Watkins is the 2012 State Convention Housing Director. She has ably stepped into this role after Committee member Jean McIver was seriously injured in auto pedestrian accident. Jean is recuperating; please keep her in your prayers. Information regarding convention hotels will be made available when the online registration system is operational.
    • Janet Jackson, the Convention Committee member who is directing the Fundraising Gala Dinner, the Veterans' Salute, and the Grassroots Club Event, is working on making the events come alive with "pizzazz" in keeping with the goals of exciting, equipping and empowering convention attendees. Both the Veterans' Salute Event and the Grassroots Club Event are new to 2012 State Republican Convention. There will be no cost to attend the Veterans' Salute Event. To attend the Grassroots Club Event, one must be a member of the RPT Grassroots Club. Join the Grassroots Club at www.grassrootsclub.com. The Gala Dinner, the premier convention fundraising event, will be a seated, scrumptious, plated dinner with musical entertainment and a dynamic keynote speaker. In addition famed radio personality Mark Davis will serve as master of ceremonies. Janet and her team are putting the final touches on all these events. Be sure to purchase your Gala Dinner tickets when the online registration is available. The Gala Dinner will sell out as seating is limited.
    • Committee member Jane Burch is directing the coordination of the event space with the RPT auxiliaries, coalition and groups that customarily have events during the convention week.
    • Neal Katz, as facilities director, is responsible for allocating arena seating, caucus rooms, and banquet and event space. Neal is very pleased that we finally have maps so it can be determined what the space needs are for each CD and SD. This will allow us to determine which rooms will be available for events and other needs. We appreciate everyone's patience while Neal crunches the numbers.
    • Neal Katz is also directing the Security needs of the convention and has been working closely with the city and convention center for many months.
    • Rena Peden, the committee member serving as the 2012 Exhibitor Director, reports that we have already exceeded 2012 convention booth sales revenue over the totals in 2008 and 2010. For a detailed Exhibitor Packet please contact Rena at rena.peden@sbcglobal.net.
    • Keri Mason, RPT staff finance director, is working on convention sponsorships. Please contact Keri at kmason@texasgop.org if you would like your organization to be "seen" at the dynamic 2012 State Convention with over 18,000 delegates, alternates, elected officials and guests planning to attend.

I would like to thank Jennifer Hall, Tarrant County GOP Chair, Brandon Moore, Tarrant County GOP Vice Chair, and Leslie Recine, SREC Volunteerism Committee Chair for their work on the committee's host committee meetings. I would like to thank all of the Convention Committee members who are working hard in making the 2012 Texas Republican State Convention a success. Convention Committee members are: Chairman Hal Talton, Vice Chair Becky Berger, Jane Burch, Angie Flores, David Halvorson Janet Jackson, Neal Katz, Angie King, Jan Koehne, Bonnie Lugo, Jean McIver, Rena Peden, Montie Watkins, Tom Washington, Rebecca Williamson.

See y'all in Fort Worth on June 7, 8 and 9, 2012.

Hal Talton
Convention Committee Chairman


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