West Georgia Technical College
Dear Fellow Educators,
For the past three and a half years, I have had the privilege of serving as an officer of the Georgia Association of Accounting Educators, and I have thoroughly enjoyed working alongside the three most recent past presidents Don Ariail, Sandria Stephenson, and Bill Black as we planned the past three Annual Meetings. Throughout my progression as an officer, I’ve made notes, formulated numerous plans, and worked out preliminary logistics, schedules, etc. in preparation of the 2021 Annual Meeting in Carrollton.
During over three years of planning, one thing I had not taken into consideration was what we would do should we face a nationwide pandemic. Now, rather than scheduling meeting rooms, planning menus, and securing tablecloths, laptops, and projectors, the rest of the current officer team and I find ourselves asking such questions as “Do we continue to plan for an in-person conference in February?” “Do we postpone it to May?” “Do we go virtual?” “How do we pull off a virtual conference?”
While tradition holds that our in-person conferences have always been so interesting as we gather with our friends and fellow colleagues to grow, learn, and interact together, COVID-19 has necessitated the decision to hold our 2021 Annual Meeting virtually. Yes, I am disappointed that I will not be seeing each of you in February and that the plans are having to be completely revised in a format that is totally foreign to me, but it’s okay. In the end, we’ll still have a great conference and we will still have the opportunity to grow and learn from our colleagues.
In traditional fashion, we will have our workshops that will be presented by our colleagues and friends of GAAE, who will focus on current trends in accounting education as well as how we can continue to inspire our students. In addition, we will have Ashley Brown, Assistant Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at Georgia State University, serving as a keynote speaker. Although her topic isn’t directly related to accounting, I think you will agree that the message is very relevant on college campuses today. Later in the day, we will be treated once again by Boyd Search as he updates us on what’s happening in the Georgia Society of CPAs and enlightens us on upcoming patterns and trends that are affecting or will soon impact the Accounting profession.
Fortunately, the technology exists for us to carry on even if we can’t hold a conference in person. If we’ve learned anything through 2020, it is that it is necessary for us to adapt and stretch in order to meet the needs of our educational institutions, students, or, for some of us, outside employers or clients. Just as we’ve adapted in the other areas, we’re doing the same with GAAE for 2021.
So, while I won’t be seeing you in Carrollton, Georgia on February 5 – 6, it is my sincere hope to see you virtually on February 5 as we continue to grow, learn from, and support each other.
Joey Sanders, President
Georgia Association of Accounting Educators