Update May 2023
Update From NSA CEO/President Jaime Nolan, CAE:
I hope this message finds you well and brimming with anticipation for our upcoming Influence conference in Orlando. As we prepare to gather for a transformative experience of connection, learning, and sharing, it is crucial that we address a pressing matter that profoundly impacts some of the communities we represent.
Some recent legislative actions by the state government of Florida have raised legitimate concerns regarding their potential consequences for marginalized communities, including African Americans and other communities of color, and our LGBTQIA+ community. We recognize that these laws have created an atmosphere of uncertainty and vulnerability, instilling apprehension and fear among many of our esteemed members who are planning to attend Influence.
While NSA does not take stances on political matters, it is important to distinguish the difference between political matters and personal safety. In this case, the Florida government has issued laws that make it unsafe for some members to be in Florida public spaces (e.g. transgender adults are now prohibited from using gender specific public bathrooms, or they risk being arrested).
As CEO, I am working closely with representatives of the communities most negatively affected by recent legislation to determine how NSA can best ensure the safety and security of our affected members. As a starting point, we will provide dedicated All Gender bathrooms within the conference space, ensuring everyone feels respected and comfortable. Additionally, I am working to secure NSA member volunteers who are able to provide assistance including escorts to/from the Orlando airport for those members who are uncomfortable traveling alone.
The NSA Board and staff are steadfast in our commitment to our Core Values, including the value of Uplifting Humanity. We remain resolute in fostering diversity, inclusion, and belonging, and we stand united in creating a nurturing environment where every individual feels genuinely valued and celebrated.
As an organization, we are dedicated to supporting, uplifting, and protecting one another. When you join NSA, you become part of a vibrant community that wholeheartedly cherishes your unique experiences and voices. Together, we possess the collective power to forge a more inclusive society, even in the face of adversity.
I am delighted to announce we are also partnering with A Gift for Teaching, supporting public schools in Orange and Osceola counties by providing free school supplies to teachers and students who need them most, particularly those teachers and students in marginalized communities in the Orlando area. This will provide all Influence attendees the opportunity to support your fellow NSA members and the needs of the local affected communities by filling backpacks and bags with school supplies and books.
We wholeheartedly encourage you to reach out to us with any questions, concerns, or suggestions. Our doors are always open to listen, support, and advocate for you within our organization. We are dedicated to ensuring your safety, inclusivity, and respect at all NSA-sanctioned events.
Thank you for being an integral part of NSA. We eagerly anticipate your presence at our annual conference, where we will passionately pursue our mission of helping all members in this extraordinary community build better businesses and become better speakers.