Hello chapter members. The NE Chapter Presidents with support from their respective chapter Board of Directors have voted to make the upcoming 2015 NERC the last one. We would like to explain why so there are no questions or misinformation and so that moving forward if a chapter member asks why NERC is ending you will have factual information to rely on.
When we were in Denver at National Convention, the 6 NE Chapter Presidents gathered together to discuss the future of NERC. We would like to share with you the mission statement of the conference, “To provide quality educational opportunities; allow networking possibilities for massage therapists, from in and around the New England area”. NERC began over 30 years ago primarily so that therapists who could not afford to travel to National Convention could experience the same type of prime educational opportunities in NE. The goal and the mission has been met for over the years, as the national award winning NERC has become “THE” premier regional conference in the country.
We all took a hard look at our individual chapters and realized that we are all providing that type of education currently. Most chapters have weekend events and all make it a point to utilize local NE educators or to fly in nationally recognized presenters as a way to provide low cost/no cost education to our members. The optional chapter fee also played a role in this decision. Each chapter is looking at a huge loss in revenue. The MA chapter alone lost $90,000 out of their budget. We agreed that we simply can’t keep NERC as a line item in our state budgets any longer.
We then looked at the current state of NERC and found that we were looking at startling statistics. There has been a steady and consistent decline in both attendance and profitability over the last 7 or so years. This should be viewed as a positive reflection of chapter growth and development. In addition, our chapter volunteers are spread very thin and NERC as you all know requires an immense amount of time and talent. Bringing NERC to a close returns those volunteer resources to the chapter and allows chapters to spread their wings and offer multi day events within their own chapter without competing with NERC.
In closing we want you to know two things. Although it is sad to bring NERC to a close, it presents wonderful new opportunities. It should be viewed as a positive change as NERC has served its purpose, exactly what the first committee and conference coordinator set out to do. The marketing of the 2015 NERC will reflect that positivity, as the last year will be hugely successful.
Lastly and most importantly, we want you to know that we recognize how valuable our NERC chapter representatives are. Most of the current chapter presidents have been on the committee, some of us have even chaired more than once. As Chapter Presidents, we promise that each of us will support the conference and offer help and resources when needed to make the last NERC one to remember. This decision was well thought out and we believe that it will make our individual states stronger. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We all look forward to seeing you in March for the 2015 New England Regional Conference in Framingham MA.
Lisa Parenteau MA Chapter President
Kerry L. Methot CT Chapter President
Michaele Colizza RI Chapter President
Michael Regina-Whiteley ME Chapter President
Jeanie Gorski NH Chapter President
Karen S. Rarick VT Chapter President