Trade Group To Focus On Helping Members Serve Their Communities Amid The Unprecedented Coronavirus Pandemic
For Immediate Release
Contact: Ted Hearn
PITTSBURGH, March 26, 2020 — ACA Connects announced today that it will not reschedule this year’s Washington, D.C., public policy Summit for a later date in 2020, appropriately deciding to focus its attention on serving its members as they continue their work keeping their communities connected to broadband and other vital communications services during the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
“Although we seriously considered and worked toward the fall for new dates for the Summit, ACA Connects in the end concluded that now was simply not the time to reschedule the Summit for later this year because of all of the unprecedented challenges facing our country and our members,” ACA Connects President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.
On March 5, ACA Connects decided to postpone the Summit, stressing that the disruption to the entire country caused by the COVID-19 crisis made it impossible for the event to go forward as planned over March 17-19 at the Grand Hyatt Washington.
Nearly 300 ACA Connects members — joined by vendors, speakers from the government and the private sector, and members of the media – were registered to attend, setting up this year’s 27th Summit to be one the most successful on record.
“I want to offer a special thanks to officials at the Grand Hyatt Washington for their support, cooperation and efforts to work with us in every way,” Polka said. “We look forward to our Summit 2021 program when we can be back in Washington, D.C., with our members and attendees.”
In the meantime, ACA Connects remains hopeful that there will be opportunities to bring our members to Washington, D.C., to lobby on important issues in 2020 once the crisis subsides. In the meantime, ACA Connects will be working in Washington, D.C., on its members’ behalf, and the members themselves will certainly maintain solid grassroots relationships with their local Members of Congress.
Potentially, depending on how things develop regarding the Coronavirus outbreak, ACA Connects will decide later if a streamlined Capitol Hill visit and a mini-summit of some kind makes sense if the crisis is well behind us and it is clearly appropriate to hold group functions once again.
ACA Connects feels strongly that putting word out now that there will not be a full Summit substitute later in 2020 was in everybody’s best interest.
“We made the right decision early on to postpone the Summit for the health and safety of our members and attendees, and this is another decision that we believe is the best thing for our members and attendees at this time,” Polka said.
According to Summit event planners, ACA Connects is working through refunds for registered Summit attendees, sponsors and exhibitors and is hoping to process those as promptly as possible once ACA Connects’ administrative team can return to their offices.