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San Antonio: Clean Gulf

The explosive growth in domestic oil and gas production has dramatically altered the oil and gas production and transportation industry in North America. It is estimated that the U.S. has now surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas. According to EIA, oil production grew by 1.1 million barrels a day last year to 8.1 million barrels a day total, and continues to grow. Over 2,000 attendees converged on San Antonio Texas for the CLEAN GULF Conference & Exhibition. Key professionals and decision makers from throughout the Gulf Coast and beyond came together to discuss the latest trends and best practices in response operations. Attendees came away with viable solutions they could incorporate to safely produce and transport petroleum products, and effectively respond when a spill occurs. In addition to the conference sessions, the exhibit floor featured more than 150 companies ready to assist with finding new oil-pollution solutions and technologies.  Hey, careful with that sample, you’re spilling oil on my shirt…. #CleanGulf2014

San Antonio: Nursery & Landscape Expo – TNLA

TNLA is the Nursery & Landscape Expo — the initials stand for Texas Nursery & Landscape Association.  Half a million square feet of the Henry B Gonzalez Convention Center played host to an impressive one thousand vendor booths.  Among the attractions were the Gift & Garden Marketplace, the 2014 Parks & Patio Display, and countless new product innovations.  After a hectic day plant-spotting, delegates could wander at leisure along San Antonio’s riverside walks, take in the old Spanish Governor’s Palace (“the only remaining example in Texas of an aristocratic 18th-century Spanish Colonial townhouse”), historic Mission Churches, and of course the star turn of Old San Anton’s attractions, The Alamo.  Okay, I’m back at the show now.  Which booth has the famous Yellow Rose of Texas?  #TNLAEXPO2014

San Antonio: American Industrial Hygiene Association – AIHce

The American Industrial Hygiene Conference & Exposition (AIHce) could be considered the most important event of the year among occupational and environmental health types. So what would they be there to talk about?  Well, things like Biological Monitoring and Occupational Medicine: You are as Healthy as What You Absorb.  Other hot topics included   History of industrial hygiene occupational safety: the building blocks for the future;  Fundamentals of Laboratory Biosafety;  Factors Influencing Hand-to-Face Contact;  and a riveting look at Welding Fume Exposure Studies.  Keynoter Scott Nova talked up Globalization and the Cost of Worker Health & Safety Worldwide, a hot topic in emerging markets with low-paid workforces.  Hey, buddy, I’m trying to concentrate here… would’ya keep your welding fumes to yourself, please…?  #aihce

San Antonio: Corrosion – NACE

The phrase “Welcome to Corrosion 2014” sounds a little bit off-putting, doesn’t it?  Like it was going to be a corrosive experience or something?  Corrosion experts needn’t have worried, the NACE show was more interested in treating and preventing corrosion than promoting it.  Conference attendees had the opportunity to learn the latest in regulations and standards impacting the ‘corrosion industry’.  More than 6,000 corrosion professionals from around the world convened in San Antonio for the show, and NACE Expo featured more than 380 companies displaying the latest in corrosion control products and services. In addition, the popular cathodic protection test field returned to the exhibit floor for the third year, and the NACE Foundation’s 10th Annual Silent Auction featuring gift items and collectibles was a big draw.  Hey, you with the auctioneer’s gavel, my collectible seems to be kinda corroded…

San Antonio: American Dental Education Association – ADEA

ADEA is the American Dental Education Association, the “voice of dental education”. Its members include all U.S. and Canadian dental schools, plus many allied and advanced dental education programs, corporations, faculty and a strong student membership roll. ADEA’s mission is “to lead individuals and institutions of the dental education community to address contemporary issues influencing education, research and the delivery of oral health care to the public”.  Dental education, we heard, is a broad and varied field that trains people as general dentists, specialists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, and dental laboratory technicians. ADEA membership mirrors this diversity, and the Association has nearly 50 sections and special interest groups, focusing on topics from endodontics and prosthodontics to orthodontics… and that’s a lot of “dontics”.  The Association determines best practices, and encourages change in dental education programs.  Definitely something to “get your teeth into…”   #DentalAdvocacy

San Antonio: Commodity Classic

Commodity Classic is billed as “America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused convention and trade-show”, and farmer-focused folks turned out in force to attend the general session, trade show, educational sessions and association policy meetings.  With more than 7,300 total attendees, the 2014 Commodity Classic convention and trade show broke all previous attendance records for this landmark agribusiness event.  The general session featured a panel of top commodity leaders, keynote remarks by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and an inspirational and humorous presentation on “Happiness” by Brad Montgomery.  Program emcee Mark Mayfield inquired about why so many farmers play an active role in the greater industry both by participating in Commodity Classic and joining NCGA in record numbers.  Well, if Brad Montgomery had it right, it was because “It made them happy…”.   #Classic14

San Antonio: National Telecommunications Cooperative Assn – NCTA Expo

NCTA Expo is there to service members of the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association, and NTCA bills itself as “the voice of rural telecommunications”, aka the Rural Broadband Association. NTCA represents around 900 independent, community-based telecommunications companies that are leading innovation in rural and small-town America.  In an era of exploding technology, deregulation and marketplace competition, (we heard), NTCA’s members are leading the IP evolution for rural consumers, delivering technologies “that make rural communities vibrant places in which to live and do business. Because of their efforts, rural America is fertile ground for innovation in economic development and commerce, education, health care, government services, security and smart energy use”.  Aside from mounting shows, NTCA fields advocate services on behalf of its members in the legislative and regulatory arenas, and provides training and development and an array of employee benefit programs.  You wanna call WHERE?  Never heard of it.  Hey, there’s such a thing as TOO rural… #RTime2014