July 23, 2020

Dear members, partners, and friends of AHEPPP: Family Engagement in Higher Education,

We hope this message finds you happy and healthy during a most challenging and volatile year. We know that you have been working tirelessly to advocate for families at your institutions and we are so encouraged by the support you have shown one another in navigating the rollercoaster of current events. AHEPPP is a professional family in so many ways sharing ideas, best practices, and innovative/adaptive ways of delivering traditional programming in an untraditional climate. Thank you for your participation and partnership!

AHEPPP has experienced the operational and economic impact of COVID-19 alongside your campuses and communities. We are grateful for your assistance, support and patience as we have adjusted our resources, plans, and goals. Like you, AHEPPP has had to make some hard choices and quick edits to our work in order to keep the well-being and professional development of our members a priority. 

For many weeks, the AHEPPP Board of Directors, AHEPPP staff, and dedicated Conference Committee volunteers have been soliciting your feedback regarding budgets and the ability to travel this fall in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you to everyone who participated in surveys and interviews. Each data point was carefully reviewed and compiled, yielding overwhelming results that professional development funding had been reduced, travel restrictions imposed, low comfort levels with travel, and a preference for virtual events this year. After thoughtful deliberation on a variety of paths forward, the Board of Directors has made the decision to cancel the in-person 2020 National Conference in Orlando and move to a fully virtual model. We are deeply saddened that we won’t be able to meet in-person this year, but our top priority is the health and safety of our AHEPPP family. We suspect that this decision does not come as a surprise to you and are truly grateful for your patience and understanding as we considered all options. 

In every challenge, we seek to find and create silver linings. The AHEPPP BOD has revised the Association budget to reflect a reduction in both expenses and revenue and is excited to offer you an extremely affordable alternative to a traditional conference, but one that still truly showcases “The Magic of Family Engagement.”

Transitioning to a virtual conference offers so many exciting opportunities for our members! Including:

  • More educational options, including live and on-demand sessions

  • Reduced registration fees and no travel expenses 

  • Opportunities for new participants, such as graduate assistants, interns, student leaders, supervisors, and campus partners

  • New networking opportunities

AHEPPP is a non-profit organization. With a small staff and a tremendous volunteer effort, AHEPPP is the premier association for higher education for family engagement professionals. Since inception in 2008, AHEPPP has invested in developing family engagement professionals and will continue even within a new modality. We ask that you stand with us and your colleagues by joining us for this virtual 2020 event. Your partnership and registration will ensure that we will reconnect face-to-face as soon as it is safe to do so.

Registration is LIVE and details will be added to the conference website as they become available. 

AHEPPP remains committed to you, your campus communities, and to the parents and families of college students everywhere. We look forward to your continued partnership and presence and are forever grateful for your support. Should you have any questions, we encourage you to contact us at [email protected]

With sincere gratitude,

Amy Swank, President

Lindsey Bray

Alexandra Brown

Kerri Fowler

Maureen Hurley

Ryan Lovell

Andrea Mitchen

Chelsea Petree

Tasha Talton
The AHEPPP Board of Directors

Lindsay McKinney
AHEPPP Executive Director