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From the
November 2007 issue of:


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ARDA’s Fall Conference – A Politico’s Idea of Heaven
 
by Sharon Scott, RRP
owner/operator
SharonINK PR and Marketing
 
Howard Nusbaum, president of the American Resort Development Association, says, “If you are interested in politics and in how your business might be affected by next year’s elections, you need to attend the ARDA Fall Conference, November 7-9, 2007 at The Fairmont, Washington, DC. In anticipation of upheaval within the political base in Washington promised by next year’s elections, this conference will place you directly in the front row to learn what’s going on…right here, right now. In addition, the association is unveiling the preliminary results of a new strategic public relations plan that attendees will definitely want to learn about.”

The Keynote Speakers:
On Thursday, November 8, the former counselor to President George W. Bush, Dan Bartlett, will speak from firsthand experience about the current political environment, life in the West Wing, and America’s international relationships. As the former counselor to President George W. Bush, Dan Bartlett was responsible for all aspects of strategic communications planning, the formulation of policy and the implementation of the administration’s agenda.

NBC News Chief White House Correspondent (and Emmy Award-winner) David Gregory will be the keynote speaker Friday morning to wrap up the conference. As NBC’s chief White House correspondent, he has led the network’s coverage of the George W. Bush presidency since inauguration day and has been a fixture on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, Today, on MSNBC and MSNBC.com. Gregory speaks candidly about covering the most powerful office in the world, and talks openly about the role of the popular media, its reputation, and its responsibilities as a form of mass communication.

Association Business:
ARDA is focusing on creating a bold, new public relations initiative in the months to come. Burson-Marsteller, a premier national public relations firm, is partnering with ARDA to develop a strategic marketing communications plan that will directly impact the success (or failure) of our industry. According to Peter Yesawich, the highly respected industry guru and chairman and ceo of Ypartnership, the emergence of what he calls “the dark side” of the Internet wherein disgruntled timeshare owners create blogs to take their complaints on-line, is a very real, emerging threat. Executives from Burson are addressing this and other challenges to our livelihood and will provide an overview of the campaign, insights from preliminary research, and next steps for discussion. This will be an important opportunity for you to have some control over your own future as attendees will be encouraged to contribute their input and guidance.

Resort professionals who attend this meeting find it the perfect setting to get connected and make a difference in the industry. The Fall Conference has historically been a setting in which industry leaders gather to plan and direct the association’s business for the coming year. It is here that they attend committee meetings or gather for coffee in the VIP lounge, not only to do deals and discuss business, but to advise and help direct the policies, directives and programs of the industry’s mouthpiece – ARDA.

The association continues to follow its original mandate to represent the interests of and to improve the atmosphere for the vacation ownership/timeshare industry. ARDA has spread its mantle over the fractional, PRC and Destination Club – the shared ownership industry – as well, inasmuch as they share many common interests. Those of us who owe our livelihood to this industry must feel it our civic duty to support ARDA and remain active participants by becoming involved, donating time and by participating in committees. (You are welcome to attend any committee meeting that is not marked “By Invitation Only” on the program. These are very few in number and are closed to general attendance, usually due to the sensitivity of a topic under discussion.) You are very welcome to attend and we can promise you will be intellectually stimulated, well-fed and entertained as you support ARDA. Visit www.arda.org for more information.



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