Usually, it is not a good idea to start a blog post with the end, but Richard Pimentel’s closing keynote was the perfect summation of NACE19. Pimentel described his personal story of service and his advocacy for employment for people with disabilities with an entertaining combination of seriousness, grace, dignity, humility, and humor.
What a perfect encapsulation of NACE19! We deal with serious issues related to the employment of the college educated. There are some significant challenges in our line of work, but irrespective of the topic, the sessions featured serious discussions that combined the perfect mix of dignity, humor and grace.
I laughed more times than I can count at the jokes and witticisms that accompanied each session, but the speakers and attendees approached the topics with humility. We never lost sight of the goal to improve ourselves and the services that we offer.
NACE is an incredibly welcoming place. First timers were embraced by the NACE community with several events and sessions geared toward making them truly understand the integral role they play in our association.
NACE is also a close-knit community. That was never clearer than from the overwhelming response to the “Cure NF with Jack” fundraiser. There is plenty to do in Orlando, but when a member of our NACE community needs us, we speak and act with a single voice with dignity and grace.
I came home from the conference with a smile on my face (that wasn’t erased by the travel nightmare on the flight home) from time well spent with colleagues, both old and new, focused on taking our work to the next level.
Pimentel concluded his session with his idea for the perfect response to people who thank him for his service. Simply, he tells them, “You are worth it.” What a perfect ending to a great conference. Yes. We are all worth the incredible time and effort that was put into the NACE Conference and we clearly demonstrated that once again this year in Orlando.