As we move into the fall season, thoughts of IIAR’s annual conference in March seem almost premature but the IIAR staff is already putting the final touches on preparations for our 2015 conference in San Diego, and there are many exciting new features to announce.
To begin, the facility hosting the event, the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, benefits from the combination of very professional staffing and an outstanding location. Positioned right on the San Diego bay, it is just an easy walk from the Hilton to Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres and to the Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego’s historic entertainment and dining district.
The Gaslamp Quarter is a sixteen block area that is home to more than 100 restaurants and is the location for more than 70 shops and boutiques. Rich in history, there are more than 90 Victorian era buildings in the Quarter and it is reported that Wyatt Earp once ran four different saloons and gambling halls there. Today, the area bustles with activity day and night.
At the Hilton, our meeting rooms are large and contemporary as this modern facility opened in 2008. Public areas in and around the hotel are attractive and spacious, providing ample opportunity for all of those important side meetings within our meeting.
When the conference opens, the keynote speaker will be Rear Admiral Ray Smith (Ret.), former Commander of the Navy SEAL Force. As the Naval Special Warfare Training Center, where Navy SEAL training is conducted, is located minutes from the Hilton we are fortunate to have been able to arrange for this inspiring and accomplished speaker.
Admiral Smith served as a Navy SEAL for almost 39 years and served as Commander for the 2300 man SEAL force for a four-year tenure, leading them through over 200 missions in Operation Desert Storm without incurring a single casualty. His talk to us, focusing on leadership and applying the lessons learned from the elite SEAL teams to the industrial refrigeration business is certain to be a conference highlight.
Additionally, Admiral Smith will be leading a privileged few attendees through a SEAL officer training drill combining both physical and mental challenges in a common exercise.
In San Diego, we will also be leveraging our location to produce a unique and memorable evening event. In lieu of the more formal banquet, we’re planning to have a fun night out at the ballpark. One week prior to opening day, IIAR will be taking over Petco Park with a multi-level party. Certainly there will be plenty of food and beverages for our members, but there will also be great opportunities at this venue for some truly special and memorable IIAR moments, details of which we will be unveiling shortly.
And most importantly, we’ve arranged for a most productive schedule of high caliber papers and workshops. The engineering and operational insights that the IIAR conference is renowned for are certain to be on display through the excellent array of papers that our members have voluntarily produced.
Given the international nature of our membership and the proximity of this venue to our Latin American colleagues, we are arranging for all of our English language presentations to have an available simultaneous translation to Spanish and for all of our non-English language presentations to feature a simultaneous translation to English.
This effort to expand the shared body of knowledge amongst our international community reflects IIAR’s desire to share our knowledge of best practices to the enhancement of safe and efficient operation of refrigeration systems everywhere.
Finally, we are structuring the framework for a four-hour engineering training session for CO2 refrigeration systems. This in-depth program will benefit from the commitments to participation already made from industry leaders to share their unique knowledge on a variety of CO2 system designs. Slated for the Sunday afternoon of the conference, we anticipate strong attendance and real value to be derived from participation.
We are fortunate to have our industrial refrigeration community understand the value of our annual conference, to have them participate so willingly and to have them contribute so meaningfully. The IIAR team is already hard at work to ensure that we provide a forum that lives up to these commitments.