Update as of April 07: Cancellation of PDI 2020
I hope this finds each of you and your families safe and healthy.
Over the past week, the likelihood regarding conduct of our ASMC National PDI progressed from highly unlikely that it will be safe, to “certainty” that the environment will not be safe enough to risk conduct of the PDI. Thus, our National President and I made the decision to cancel PDI 2020.
I explored the possibility of rescheduling PDI 2020 in Nashville or another city in the early August or later timeframe; however, I determined that postponement is not viable due to several reasons, including continuing uncertainty as to when the environment will be safe, end of summer leave and vacation preferences, and defense financial management workload requirements in the September – November period. It turns out that the end of May timeframe, in which ASMC has traditionally conducted the National PDI, is relatively the best time to focus on this valuable financial management training event, in addition to the support we offer through various opportunities throughout the year.
We’re considering the possibility of developing a “Partial Virtual PDI 2020” to provide (at no cost) to defense financial managers; however, there are hurdles to overcome in achieving this in the current environment. We’re also working to offer a couple of no cost, 90 minute “virtual” sessions of relevance to the “early careerist” sector of our ASMC membership. Over the next four to eight weeks, our ASMC early careerists (members aged 35 years and younger) can expect an email inviting those interested to register for these virtual training sessions, which will also include continuing education and training credits.
I look forward to your support of ASMC PDI 2021 in Orlando next year.
Finally, to those of you who had registered for PDI, Registration HQ is currently working to refund your registration fee, as well as any advance payment of lodging fee. You should receive the refunds, without any processing fee, by the end of this week (Friday, 10 April). You need NOT contact Registration HQ.
Update as of March 24:
ASMC continues to cautiously plan for the conduct of ASMC National PDI as scheduled from 27-29 May 2020.
Most of the DoD and USCG financial management workforces (as well as those of our ASMC Corporate Members) are out on telework status as our nation continues to drive social distancing practices necessary to overcome this extremely critical situation. We continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 infection status related to whether the extraordinary actions being taken by our federal, state, and local governments; private sector companies; hospitals; etc, will improve the situation to the extent that travel and group gathering restrictions are lifted and PDI registrants feel safe in traveling and participating in PDI 2020.
Approximately 1300 individuals have registered and reserved their hotel room for this valuable annual training event. By mid to late April, we should know whether the crisis will be sufficiently under control to be able to safely conduct National PDI. Again, should the crisis continue, such that we need to cancel PDI, ASMC will fully refund all registration and housing fees paid, with no penalty.
We appreciate your loyalty and support, and are doing all we can to continue to move this outstanding program forward, should this extremely critical situation be reversed and our nation returns to safe status related to gathering of groups to take advantage of valuable training and professional development activities.
Update as of March 17:
Late Friday, 13 March, Pentagon officials announced a total domestic travel ban for all troops, civilian personnel and their families until 11 May in an effort to limit their potential exposure to the coronavirus. We understand the effort to flatten the curve of this crisis through social distancing, and the actions so many organizations have taken in cancelling large events and gatherings. ASMC chapter presidents have cancelled several chapter level regional and mini-Professional Development Institutes (PDI) that were scheduled to be conducted over the next month or two.
However, since our ASMC National PDI is not scheduled to begin in Nashville until 27 May, 2020, we continue to cautiously plan for its conduct as scheduled. Thus far, over 1100 individuals have registered and reserved their hotel room for this valuable annual training event. Over 250 speakers will be ready to present planned Mini-courses and workshops in the event the situation significantly improves to the extent travel restrictions are lifted and large group gatherings are permissible without risk. We will continue to monitor updates on a daily basis. By mid to late April, we should know whether the crisis will be sufficiently under control to be able to safely conduct National PDI.
Should the crisis continue, such that we will need to cancel PDI, ASMC will fully refund all registration and housing fees paid with no penalty.
We appreciate your loyalty and support, and are doing all we can to continue to move this outstanding program forward. Should you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at ASMC.
Update as of March 10:
ASMC continues to proceed with planning for the conduct of PDI 2020 the last week of May in Nashville, including Opening Ceremony and Service Day on 27 May and Mini-courses and workshops on 28 and 29 May. We launched registration on 27 Feb, and thus far, approximately 900 are registered to attend PDI.
We are closely monitoring media, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization and Tennessee Department of Health statements regarding current status of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, potential for further spread, etc. Nashville is dedicated to ensuring the appropriate protective measures are in place and providing up-to-date information for their staff and partners. The city continues to monitor the situation and is working closely with the Center for Disease Control. The city issues updated news alerts from the Nashville Department of Public Health.
We have also been in close contact with officials at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. They are taking appropriate measures regarding cleanliness, sanitization, and food preparation to protect the health and safety of hotel guests and those participating in large group events. ASMC's first priority is the health, safety, and well-being of everyone participating in PDI 2020.
We are also closely monitoring cancellation of large group events by other organizations - for the most part cancellations have involved either large groups with a significant portion of attendees from overseas locations or events (large or small) scheduled for conduct in west coast or near west coast cities.
ASMC will issue periodic updates as necessary.
ASMC Headquarters Update
We have all watched with concern as the incidence of COVID-19 steadily increases around the world. In the US, our epidemiologists predict that this increase will continue for some time into the future, putting some of our most vulnerable neighbors, colleagues, and patients at risk. ASMC has both a commitment and a responsibility to work in the best interests of our staff and our members, as well as our community more broadly. For all of these reasons, we are implementing new guidance intended to limit the impact of COVID-19.
We know that social distancing is effective in slowing down or stopping the spread of a disease. Effective today, ASMC Headquarters staff will be working remotely. The intent of this measure is to limit exposure both to those who may be ill and to those who may be contagious, but who are not displaying symptoms.
Al Runnels, our Executive Director, will reassess the situation on 20 March to determine our next steps and we will continue to keep you updated of ASMC’s status.
Thank you for your patience as we transition. Know that we are committed to providing our best service to our members and to the defense financial management community.