During the month of November, New Hampshire often receives attention for being one of the first states to hold presidential primaries, but this month international educators focused their attention on the city of Manchester as host to the 2011 Region XI Conference. Boasting more than 530 attendees (one of the largest conferences for the region on record), Manchester welcomed participants to the conference with scintillating sessions, timely training, notable networking, and warm weather.

Exhibitors weren’t deterred by having their tables in a renovated “armory,” and discussions were held over wonderful food and beverage. John Diezel, a 2011 Region XI award winner, along with advocacy-focused colleagues including current Region XI Chair Vince Schaff, presented sessions on region-based advocacy efforts and provided many opportunities for Region XI professionals to learn grassroots skills to take back to their campuses. Region XI’s leadership team has demonstrated a strong commitment to advocacy efforts;  it will be a region to watch as it develops funding models for individuals in the field as well as resources and networks for information sharing. There was also a very well attended session on social media with a “how to” approach. Tweets were tweeted, blogs were written and followed, and “to friend or not to friend” was discussed. Perhaps even I learned a nugget or two about my “social” presence.

A touching moment occurred when it was announced to the region that their Distinguished Service Award had been renamed the James Leck Distinguished Service Award, in memory of James Leck who passed away very suddenly earlier this year.

Thanks to all for a wonderful New England experience and see you in Maine next year.