Dear NASCOE members and friends:
If you have not made plans to attend the NASCOE Southeast Area Rally in New Orleans, it is not too late. The dates are April 16 – 18. We should all be recuperated from ARC/PLC, by then. Get with a co-worker and plan your trip now. The deadline for our hotel room reservation block is 5:00 p.m. Wed., Mar 25th! Book NOW! We still have some rooms available at our reduced rate of $151.00 per night.
Thursday has several group tours available and you can still register and pay for those until 03/31/2015. Our fun family-friendly “Meet us in the Alley” social, is Thursday at 5. Be practicing your bowling skills!
Friday, both LA SED, Craig McCain, and MS’s SED, Michael Sullivan are welcoming us to the Business meeting’s General Session. Did you know Our NEW FSA Administrator, Val Dolcini, is our Key-Note Speaker? We are very fortunate to have him face-to face amongst us. Mark Rucker, the FSA Deputy Administrator for Management, and Kim Graham, Assistant to the Deputy Administrator of Farm Programs are slated for an afternoon question and answer panel with us. MS’s native FSA PLC&ARC Manager and NASCOE Supporter, Brent Orr, will be in attendance, as well. We have requested a total of 8 hours excused absence from work on Friday. Due to the number of outstanding state and agency management officials that will be speaking and participating in our meetings, the pending approval looks very promising! Our Benefit provider, Dillard Financial Solutions, Inc. is providing some much needed retirement training and giving away fantastic prizes in the popular Dillard’s Showcase Showdown.
Friday night is the group dinner with Awards presentations and auctions benefiting our Scholarship Program. You have to be present for the dinner to qualify for a chance to be in Dillard’s Showcase Showdown. Our very own AR CED, Scott Fancher, will be our auctioneer again this year and is fun, fast, and fantastic!
Saturday, Mark VanHoose, NASCOE President; and Wes Daniels, NASCOE Vice-President will be speaking and answering questions along with Cole Sims, NAFEC leadership and RASCOE.
Saturday night is open to enjoy free time in the city. The requested Ghosts & Spirits Tour is Saturday night at 7:15 p.m.
I really hope that you can work this event into your schedule and have the chance to meet our agency’s management and witness NASCOE in action. If you can’t find the time to participate throughout the entire event, attend the general assembly business meetings Friday morning and stay overnight for the Friday night functions.
1 attachment is the publicity with all of the links needed for your reservation and registrations; 2 attachment is the Business meetings agenda. 3 attachment is a map of our location with points of interest marked.
Lorie Holmes 2014-2015
2015 SEA Rally Co-Chair
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A timeless city with a unique way of life, New Orleans is steeped in European traditions and Caribbean influences. The picturesque Big Easy calls curious minds to sweet sounds of jazz and the enchanting aroma of savory spices. New Orleans is an enticing, culturally rich haven…a sensory overload…a journey and a celebration…an authentic experience. New Orleans beckons the ears, allures the eyes and enchants the hearts of all who wish to explore it. After the meeting, explore your own New Orleans. Take the historic streetcar down a line of shady oak trees on St. Charles Avenue, enhance an art collection in the Warehouse / Arts District galleries, take a buggy ride through the historic French Quarter, and feast on authentic Cajun and Creole culinary delights that call Louisiana home.
Did you know you can be in a drawing for a $150 Visa card if your registration is POSTMARKED before Tuesday, March 3? (extended due to inclement weather)
The link to the registration form is on the attachment.
Updated SEA rally info:
- All of the information is posted on NASCOE’s Southeast Area page. Visit www.seanascoe.org for forms.
- Additional rooms have been added for Wednesday night. If you had to make your reservation outside of the block for Wednesday (only) at $259, call now and change it to within the SEA NASCOE block for $151.00. Call 800-305-6342.
- There will be no extra charge for additional occupancies unless a rollaway bed is requested and then it’s $30.00 more a night. The rollaway cannot be placed in a room with 2 double beds. They are only able to fit in King rooms. Plan accordingly when booking.
- Flat rate cab fare from Airport to hotel is $33.00 for (2) people, additional $14.00 for each person; The airport shuttle is $20.00 for (1) person but makes multiple stops before reaching your destination; Cab fare from Amtrak terminal is approximately $15.00 to hotel.
- You can view the tour descriptions on the tour link, but the “purchase ticket” icon for the tours will not work on the gov’t computer. Forward it to your home computer to purchase tour tickets online. Or, complete the tour registration form and mail it directly to Grayline NOLA Steamboat Company, along with a check. Deadline for tour registrations is March 31.
- Thursday Tours: Grayline Shuttle for Swamp & Bayou tour departs hotel lobby at 9:00 a.m. Minimal walking on Swamp tour. Enjoy the ride! Grayline shuttle for the French Quarter historical walking tour departs hotel lobby at 9:15 a.m. Wear comfortable shoes! Grayline Shuttle for Hurricane Katrina Tour departs hotel lobby at 12:00 noon. Minimal walking required. Enjoy the ride!
- Meet us in the Alley! Thursday evening is a fun meet & greet social at a posh bowling boutique close to the hotel. We need 4 teams with 8 players each. You can plan a team in advance or join a team when you arrive. We have a nice social area reserved for drinks and appetizers for everyone else to visit, and enjoy watching the bowlers. This event is free with an advanced purchase of our 2015 Southeast Area Rally Jazzin’ Up NASCOE t-shirt.
- Friday we have national FSA key-note speakers and benefit provider training. Friday night is our group dinner and dance with scholarship auctions. Please plan to attend to help us meet our hotel minimum food and beverage charges and support the scholarship fund!
- Saturday we have NASCOE & NAFEC speakers and meetings. Saturday evening is the requested Ghosts & Spirits tour. Please purchase tickets in advance through Grayline Steamboat link or registration form. Our Ghosts & Spirits tour departs from the Grayline info desk on the 1 floor of the Jax Brewery, Toulouse St. entrance. Please arrive by 7:15 p.m. wearing comfortable shoes.
- Parking at our hotel is $38.00 (including tax) per day with in and out privileges. Another option is The Fulton Parking garage (covered) for $ 20.00 a night (currently) one block away with no in and out privileges. You will not need your car in the city. A car in the city is more of a burden than an asset. Parking is difficult.
- Don’t forget to check the Amtrak routes and fares for traveling to New Orleans from your area. There is also the Megabus in participating cities.
- The hotel is located in the vibrant Arts/Warehouse district in downtown New Orleans and housed in a renovated 19 century cotton mill. Fulton St Square offers a newly revitalized entertainment area of chic restaurants, retail establishments, and cozy music clubs. The one block long pedestrian-only Fulton Street Mall area offers visitors an exciting night out on the town within very close proximity of our hotel.
- Enjoy nearby famous restaurants like Drago’s, Manning’s, Mulate’s, Ruth Chris Steak House, and Ernst Café. Harrah’s Casino is close by. The Outlet Collection at the Riverwalk is across the street for shopping and an affordable food court with riverfront dining that will be perfect for our lunch breaks.
- There is a convenience store within the block and a Starbuck’s in the hotel.
- We are about 10 blocks away from the French Quarter . It’s about a 3 minute walk to the nearest streetcar access (Riverfront streetcar) which runs every 15 minutes. It will take you to the FQ in about five minutes. The streetcar is $1.25 for a one-way fare or you can get a 3-day pass for $9.00; or $8 per person cab ride to the FQ; or $5 per person pedi-cab ride for the first 6 blocks, $1 per person for each additional block; or a 10-15 minute walk to the French Quarter.