The 2015 AOPA National Assembly came and went before we knew it. Filled with productive meetings, social events, high profile key notes, new technology, innovation, and positive conversation, the assembly was nothing short of exciting and worth every bit of hard-work.
The energy throughout the meeting was contagious with 2,200 people in attendance, allowing participants to truly experience what the O&P industry embodies. The meeting was hosted in San Antonio, Texas and time spent outside of the venue consisted of rich history, culture, the infamous River Walk, the Alamo Mission, delicious foods, and much more.
The Texas spirit was carried throughout the venue with western themed booths, exhibitors channeling their inner cowboys and cowgirls, and a mechanical bull ride for charity. There is no doubt that AOPA pulled out all the stops to make the 2015 National Assembly one to remember. Below you will find a recap of the Cascade highlights.
The “Cascade Outlaws” attended the show in force, touting our signature bandannas, cowboy hats, and commitment to the Independents. We identify ourselves as “Outlaws” in the industry because we push the limits, take some risks, and approach things differently. A lot of time and effort was spent perfecting our designs, giving our booth a theme, and embodying the Texas spirit. The biggest compliment to our efforts was the 1st Place Texas Spirit Award in the Medium Booth category. We are so proud of our team for participating and getting involved. Thank you to those who voted for our booth and congratulations to those who also received an award.
Exploring San Antonio
The iconic San Antonio River Walk was the after hours hot spot for those attending the meeting. From bars, to restaurants, to live music, the River Walk had everything to offer, and then some. If you took a short walk across town you could enjoy a margarita or authentic Mexican meal at Mi Tierra in the Historic Market Square. The Historic Market Square is known as the largest Mexican market outside of Mexico – which is no understatement given there is over 100 locally owned shops throughout the market.
The Happiest of Hours
On Thursday, October 8th, Cascade and OPIE Software hosted a beer tasting event for attendees and exhibitors – Texas style. Those who came by our booths had a chance to try any of the five local brews we were serving up. This happy hour was a tasty end to our first full day at the show and we hope all that stopped by enjoyed it as much as we did.
The Ultimate in Golf – Topgolf
Jeff Collins, Brad Mattear, and Jerry Schoendorf supported AOPA’s Capitol Connection and OPAF at Topgolf. Topgolf is a premier gold entertainment complex that provides players with micro-chipped golf balls to hit at targets in the outfield – think baseball meets golf and you’ve got a pretty good idea. These guys had a great time socializing and participating in some friendly competition with customers and colleagues.
If you stopped by our booth during the show you were most likely roped into taking a photo in one of our two photo booths. After posing for the camera, the customers photo was posted and tagged on social media with the hashtag #CascadeOutlaws to be entered in our social media contest. The creativity and participation we had was overwhelming. Cascade is so excited to be moving forward and getting others on board with social media in the O&P industry.
Opening Session Keynote
Retired Lieutenant Colonel Donald A. Gajewski, MD gave an outstanding and heart warming speech during the opening session. The exhibit hall was buzzing Thursday morning after the session with comments and conversations regarding Ret. Lt. Col. Donald Gajewski and his appreciation for our industry and those who work tirelessly to provide mobility in those who have lost it. If you missed the keynote, don’t fear, we have provided a video of the highlights thanks to the O&P Almanac.
Where to Next?
The 2016 AOPA National Assembly will be held in Boston, Massachusetts at the John B. Hynes Convention Center, September 9-11th, 2015.