Has it really been 20 years?
By Chris Hachey, past Chair of Latornell Symposium
The A.D. Latornell Symposium (aka ADL) will be celebrating 20 years in 2013. That takes us back to 1993…Cheers was ending after 11 great seasons on television, Jean Chrétien became prime minister of Canada with a massive majority, Jurassic Park was at the movies and Dyson sold the first bagless cyclonic vacuum cleaner.
When I think back about the ADL, I remember the many fascinating key note speakers who motivated my career. The person I remember the most was a 14 year old boy named Ryan Hrljack from Ottawa. The conference theme was “Clean Water” and we had the chance to approach many scientific and well respected speakers but we chose Ryan. As a boy at the age of 8 he raised $80 to build a well in Africa to help provide clean water. At 14, Ryan raised over $1 million dollars, traveled to Africa four times, met the Queen, the Pope, World leaders, and even appeared on Oprah twice. Ryan stood up on the ADL stage and told his story and his small part in helping to provide clean water to the people of Africa. Let me tell you, 700 people that evening didn’t learn anything new about the science of clean water. But, in the 12 years of the conference nothing since has ever moved people to stand up and applaud like they did that evening. I was inspired!
As the ADL approaches this historic milestone there are a number of questions that we need to discuss. Does the ADL meet your needs as a conservation professional? What is the number one reason why you attend the ADL? How important are the networking opportunities? If you could change just one thing what would that be?
We have a special webpage set up on the Latornell Symposium’s website so you can see what we’ve accomplished over the years and provide us with your feedback and advice about moving forward.
So what’s your story?
Chris Hachey is the Land Manager Coordinator at the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority. He was the Chair of the Latornell Symposium for two years in 2004 and 2005, as well as being an active member of the steering committee for some time before and after.