As you have likely heard, severe and unprecedented flooding in Nashville, Tennessee forced the cancellation of the 2010 DISA Customer Partnership Conference. For attendees, exhibitors, and AFCEA staffers, the experience was a difficult one-being evacuated from the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, where the event was to take place; spending the night in a local high school shelter; being separated from friends and colleagues; scrambling to arrange return travel; and a general feeling of panic at the rapidly-changing situation in which they found themselves. While everyone is disappointed that this highly-anticipated annual Conference had to be canceled, they are also grateful first and foremost that everyone is safe. The AFCEA staff in particular would like to thank the numerous Gaylord Opryland Hotel employees who truly went above and beyond to ensure that each attendee was secure and comfortable.
Although a major inconvenience, this experience has given AFCEA and all of its conference supporters an unparalleled opportunity to witness the tremendous spirit of "Music City" in action. From Tennesseans opening up their homes to strangers, to residents bringing stranded attendees food and water, to dramatic tales of heroism and rescue-there is no doubt that the remarkable community of Nashville will rebuild and rebound, and come back stronger than ever. In an effort to help the city in this Herculean effort, AFCEA International is proud to make a donation to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, and we encourage others to do the same. Please go to The Community Foundation to see how you can help. As one AFCEA staff member put it, "I am glad to be home, but I left part of my heart in Nashville."