By: David Grindle, USITT Executive Director

Where were you 13 years ago?

I was in Louisville at our Annual Conference, which was the last time the Conference came to Kentucky. What do I remember?

Well, I was a member and a mentor in the SMMP. I remember the young stage manager I was mentoring, she now works on Sesame Street (literally). I remember some of the people I met that year that are good friends to this day.

I remember Jon Jory’s keynote address when he asked “Why can I, a director, tell you your color choice isn’t working, but you can’t tell me my blocking is horrible.”

I remember a long conversation with my late friend Tayneshia Jefferson, sitting outside the Marriott hotel.

As I think of all of those memories, I get excited about what I will remember after this Conference in Louisville. I hope you are getting excited, too. If you are joining us, we want you to engage with new people and find new colleagues. Explore the PQ exhibits at Stage Expo. Meet a new vendor or supplier. Find another person that shares your passion and develop a working relationship with a lasting impact.

USITT has been known as many things to many people, but a place for networking always comes to the top of the list. Take that opportunity. Get to know people and learn. Because no matter what your age, you are always learning, and the world is always presenting new things to explore.

If you can’t be with us, for whatever reason, know that we miss you. Know that we are working to bring learning opportunities across the nation and closer to you because not everyone can make it to the Annual Conference.

Thank you all for being members of the Institute. It has been the life’s work of some of the people who will be in Louisville. And it will be life-changing, no matter where you are.