Jessica Cravens & Rex Oliver

President's Award
Texas Tech University

Our next two recipients will be presented together. These two are a surprise addition that only two other people knew I would be doing because keeping secrets in this organization is next to impossible.

When the decision was made to cancel the 2020 conference, and we were able to finally work out the rescheduling of the hotel to 2022 without financial penalty, there was no immediate certainty we would be offering a virtual conference. To be honest, I didn't know if we could, how we could, what we would have to do, or how it would even look. I was pretty much ready to throw in the towel and just say we will do a zoom business meeting and be done with it.

But luckily for TACRAO we had others who jumped in and said yes we can do this, and luckily for us we had some expertise here on how to do it. So with Jamie Hansard's guidance, these next two President's Award recipients jumped into action.

Putting on a virtual conference is complex, much more complex than most people realize. Between zoom licensing attendance caps, facilitating zoom meetings vs. webinars, training, communication, and coordination, it takes a real team to put on a virtual conference.

To complicate matters further, Exec got the bright idea to have us be in person. So we tasked these two individuals with putting on a virtual conference with an additional in-person element.

They didn't bat an eye. They jumped in with a can-do spirit and watching them work has just been amazing. They offered up their facility to us, managed every aspect of the zoom meetings, and assigned zoom facilitators for each session to ensure we have a smooth conference. And if that weren't enough, they've also gone out of their way to coordinate meals for Exec while hosting us here in their facility.

I am in their debt for all that they have done. Without them, there would be no 2020 Virtual TACRAO Conference.

I am pleased to present the two additional 2020 President Award's to Jessica Cravens and Rex Oliver of Texas Tech University!