2020 has claimed another victory, and the Oklahoma State Association of Parliamentarians’ annual convention will be held virtually. Oklahoma parliamentarians will be hosting our first virtual convention on October 24, 2020, via the Zoom platform.

We had initially scheduled and sent out a call for an in-person meeting earlier this year, in June, but due to government restrictions and concerns about public health, the Board of Directors voted to postpone the event to later in the year, but before the required deadline of October 31. We fully intended to have an in-person event, but that course of action proved unwise.

This annual convention was already destined to be an exciting and eventful gathering. In addition to our routine of reports, educational workshops, and officer elections, the OSAP convention will consider a revision to our bylaws that was authorized last year. I am thankful for the leadership and dedication of our revision committee, which consisted of:

  • Chairman Russ Guthrie, PRP;
  • Shawn W. Paine, RP;
  • Dana Murrell, RP;
  • W. Craig Henry, PRP, CPP-T; and
  • myself (C.J. Cavin, PRP, CP).

This committee did an outstanding job and did the bulk of the work in just a few short months. I am proud and honored to serve with such a dedicated group of parliamentarians. The work that the group produced, in my opinion, is undoubtedly an innovation for our Association’s governing documents, and I hope that our members will give it all due consideration.

One of the positives of virtual meetings is that other organizations have seen an increase in participation because it is easier for members to join. I am hoping for that. For many years, the annual conventions have been the same handfuls of people. Maybe this convention will be different. Additionally, because of the virtual nature, convention participants will hear directly from NAP President Darlene T. Allen. As an association president and a national committee member, I have an unbelievable opportunity to work closely with President Allen. I’m delighted OSAP members will get an opportunity to hear from her directly.

This convention is not what I would have wished for, but the potential opportunities greatly outweigh the downsides. Hopefully, in-person gatherings will be a reality soon; but until then, see you on Zoom!