National Guard March 2011 : Page 32
A Milwaukee Meeting Plans for this year’s NGAUS conference include all that made the host city famous —and so much more By Richard Arnold OU WILL FIND plenty of beer and brats at this year’s NGAUS conference in Milwaukee, a city famous for both. Packer Pride will be evident, as will that distinctive roar of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The city’s famous for both of those, too. “We are all excited to show off the city,” says Col. Mark Michie, the Wisconsin National Guard’s conference co-chairman. “They [conference attendees] should really take advantage of their free time here.” Attendees of the 133rd General Conference and Exhi-bition, Aug. 27 to 29, are in for a special treat as Wis-consin and Milwaukee play host to the annual NGAUS gathering for the ﬁrst time since 1998. Y T HE C ITY Situated on southeastern corner of the Badger State, Milwaukee rose from a collection of scattered settlements on a site familiar to the Native American tribes in what is iStockphoto(2) 32 | Na tional Guard
A Milwaukee Meeting
Plans for this year's NGAUS conference include all that made the host city famous –and so much more<br /> <br /> YOU WILL FIND plenty of beer and brats at this year's NGAUS conference in Milwaukee, a city famous for both.<br /> <br /> Packer Pride will be evident, as will that distinctive roar of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The city's famous for both of those, too.<br /> <br /> "We are all excited to show off the city," says Col. Mark Michie, the Wisconsin National Guard's conference cochairman. "They [conference attendees] should really take advantage of their free time here."<br /> <br /> Attendees of the 133rd General Conference and Exhibition, Aug. 27 to 29, are in for a special treat as Wisconsin and Milwaukee play host to the annual NGAUS gathering for the first time since 1998.<br /> <br /> THE CITY<br /> <br /> Situated on southeastern corner of the Badger State, Milwaukee rose from a collection of scattered settlements on a site familiar to the Native American tribes in what is now eastern Wisconsin. Local historians attribute the name to a word derived from the Potawatomi Tribe, who pronounced it Mahn-ah-wauk, meaning council grounds.<br /> <br /> The first immigrants were French and French Canadian traders and trappers. During the 1830s, settlement occurred rapidly and in earnest as the population grew to several hundred by 1837.<br /> <br /> Germans began to arrive during the 1840s, followed by Polish immigrants and African-Americans from the South after the Civil War. Influxes from Ireland, Italy, Russia, Sweden and Serbia arrived later. The city retains the flavor of all these long-ago arrivals.<br /> <br /> Once known almost exclusively as a brewing and manufacturing powerhouse, Milwaukee is much more than that now.<br /> <br /> In recent years, it has added the Milwaukee RiverWalk, the Frontier Airlines Center, Pier Wisconsin, an internationally renowned addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum, and Miller Park, the home of the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team.<br /> <br /> Milwaukee's past and present take shape in a downtown skyline on the shores of Lake Michigan.<br /> <br /> THE CONFERENCE<br /> <br /> Most attendees will arrive by air at Milwaukee County's General Mitchell International Airport (MKE), nine miles south of downtown. Several major airlines offer service (Registration, Travel, Hotel and Exhibit Information, page 36).<br /> <br /> Government aircraft will arrive at the military side of the airport, which is home of the 128th Air Refueling Wing.<br /> <br /> Ground transportation from the airport to hotels will be provided by the Wisconsin Guard on the traditional conference travel days (two days before and one day after).<br /> <br /> Milwaukee is within a day's drive of nearly 20 percent of NGAUS members. And free offsite parking will be available.<br /> <br /> Thirteen hotels will accommodate visitors, and the Frontier Airlines Center, formerly the Midwest Airlines Center, will be the conference site.<br /> <br /> Most hotels are within walking distance, but transportation will be provided. More than 2,500 rooms have been contracted.<br /> <br /> The industry exhibition will be held in the Frontier Airlines Center Exhibit Hall with more than 152,000 square feet of display space.<br /> <br /> The Sponsors' Golf Tournament on Aug. 25 and NGAUS Golf Tournament on Aug. 26 will both be played at the Silver Spring Golf & Banquet Center, one of Greater Milwaukee's premier courses.<br /> <br /> A unique event at this year's conference will be the Freedom Ride, a motorcycle road trip from the streets of Milwaukee to the scenic countryside of Holy Hill. The ride starts the morning of Aug. 26 and will return in the afternoon.<br /> <br /> Organizers emphasize the city as the home of Harley-Davidson. If you want to ride, but don't have a motorcycle, rentals will be available.<br /> <br /> Other events that evening include the Adjutants General Reception at the Discovery World Museum, home of the Reiman Aquarium, and the Company Grade/Warrant Officer Mixer on the shores of Lake Michigan. Transportation will be provided to both venues.<br /> <br /> Hopefully, runners will save their energy for the 5K Fun Run at 6:30 a.m., Aug. 27. The out-and-back course will take runners through McKinley Park along the shores of Lake Michigan.<br /> <br /> The annual area meetings and caucuses will begin at 9 a.m., Aug. 27, followed by brunch and the ribbon-cutting ceremony that is the grand opening of the trade show at 10:30 a.m.<br /> <br /> The First Business Session starts at noon. The popular and unpredictable Roll Call of States will take place at this time.<br /> <br /> As always, elected officials, defense leaders and senior Guard officers will speak during the three main sessions, separate sessions and professional development workshops.<br /> <br /> One of the highlights of the conference figures to be the Governor's Reception on the evening of Aug. 27 at the Harley-Davidson Museum. Conference attendees will have the place to themselves and plenty of food, drink and music.<br /> <br /> Much more than a nostalgia trip for motorcycle enthusiasts, the museum houses more than 450 motorcycles and thousands of artifacts. Take home a souvenir of the night from the museum gift shop.<br /> <br /> The Spouses Luncheon will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Aug. 28, in the Hyatt Regency Hotel ballroom, which will be converted into a farmer's market.<br /> <br /> All attendees are invited to Osh- Kosh Defense's "Beer & Brats" tailgate party at 3 p.m. outside the convention center to kick off Hospitality Night. Buses will start running between the hotels at 6 p.m. so attendees can enjoy the camaraderie of this spirited tradition.<br /> <br /> The Army and Air separate sessions are scheduled for 8 a.m. Aug. 29. The last of the three business sessions will follow.<br /> <br /> As always, the conference will close with its annual States Dinner. After two years of western wear in Nashville and Austin, the appropriate attire in Milwaukee will be dress blues, mess dress or black tie.<br /> <br /> The fun begins with a 5:30 p.m. reception and dinner at 7 p.m. More details on the entertainment will be provided at a later date.<br /> <br /> BEYOND THE CONFERENCE<br /> <br /> If you want to venture out on your own, the Milwaukee County Transit System is known for its efficient bus service. There is also a free downtown trolley that runs in a loop from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday.<br /> <br /> Of course, Milwaukee is a pedestrian- friendly city, and Michie notes, "There is always a nice cool breeze in the evening."<br /> <br /> There is also plenty to see from morning to evening. Miller Brewing Company, now MillerCoors, has been a staple in the city since 1855. Tours are available Monday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Plan to stay at least an hour for a video, tour, product sampling and gift shop visit.<br /> <br /> Another Milwaukee tradition, Brewers baseball, will be in town during the conference. Miller Park was completed in 2001, and its stadium design followed the trend of retrodesigned ballparks, enhancing the enjoyment of America's pasttime.<br /> <br /> But get your tickets early. The Cubs will be coming up from nearby Chicago and they bring plenty of their fans for a weekend series. It's sure to be a hot ticket.<br /> <br /> Downtown nightlife includes the excitement of gaming at Potawatomi Casino. Try your luck at slots, poker or other table games. Complimentary shuttles run to and from most hotels.<br /> <br /> There will be no excuse for going hungry as 26 restaurants are located within four blocks of the convention center. Try some of the local ethnic fare, and make sure to stop by Lakefront Brewery and Great Lakes Distillery for tours to complete your taste of the city.<br /> <br /> You can pick up your host state souvenirs at the Wisconsin Store.<br /> <br /> The Historic Third Ward is known as Milwaukee's Arts and Fashion District and offers the city's most dynamic array of restaurants, spas, theaters, galleries and unique shopping, all in a historic warehouse setting. The neighborhood is also home to the awardwinning RiverWalk and Milwaukee Public Market.<br /> <br /> The Milwaukee Public Museum offers three exhibit floors of natural history and science and a six-story tall IMAX Theater. The Shops of Grand Avenue are only a few steps from the convention center and connected to the Hilton and Hyatt via a skywalk.<br /> <br /> To beat the heat, take a boat tour or an urban kayak excursion. There are also three family water parks in the area. Or enjoy the local sport fishing for Coho salmon on a Lake Michigan charter.<br /> <br /> Every weekend in the summer, Henry Maier Festival Park hosts an outdoor festival. Mexican Fiesta is scheduled during the conference and will bring the sound, culture and taste of Mexico to Milwaukee's lakefront for three days of food, Mariachi and fiesta. Everyone is welcome at this family-friendly event.<br /> <br /> And make sure to visit the War Memorial Center, dedicated to the men and women who served our country. This stunning structural landmark overlooks Lake Michigan and is open daily and is free to the public.<br /> <br /> Conference room rates will be extended to three days before and after the conference to encourage longer stays. This gives attendees more time to explore the greater Milwaukee area.<br /> <br /> So take a trip to the Jelly Belly distribution center in nearby Pleasant Prairie, or the famous Wisconsin Dells, recognized as the Waterpark Capital of the World and home to several theme parks. As always, don't forget to ask for the military discount.<br /> <br /> So pack your swimsuit for the 133rd General Conference and Exhibition. And maybe bring your Harley along.<br /> <br /> "Wisconsin is a cultural melting pot, and it has a lot to offer," says Michie. "As always, the conference will be well planned and organized. We're ready for it."<br /> <br /> And this one is sure to be a roarrrrring success.<br /> <br /> Richard Arnold can be contacted at (202)789-0031 and email@example.com.<br /> <br /> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------<br /> <br /> Registration, Travel, Hotel and Exhibit Information<br /> <br /> Registration<br /> <br /> NGAUS members must register through their state or territory Guard association. Exhibitors and industry representatives must register at www.ngaus-registration.com. Individual conference registration for NGAUS members is $165 and $330 for nonmembers. This covers all business sessions, the exhibition, the Governor's Reception, the Company Grade/Warrant Officer Mixer, the Spouses Luncheon and the States Dinner. Most other activities are extra.<br /> <br /> Flights<br /> <br /> Use Milwaukee County's General Mitchell International Airport (MKE) for commercial air travel. AirTran, American Airlines, Continental, Delta, Frontier, Great Lakes, Southwest, United and US Airways offer service to MKE. Please consider using NGAUS Travel (www.ngaustravel.com) when booking your flight as it shares profits with NGAUS and the state and territory associations.<br /> <br /> Transportation<br /> <br /> Free transportation will be provided to and from the airport for all conference attendees on the main travel days (Aug. 25, 26 and 30). Taxis and van shuttles are an option for other days.<br /> <br /> Hotels<br /> <br /> A complete list of the 13 conference hotels is available at www.ngaus. org. Most are in the downtown district. NGAUS members should check with their state or territory association for delegation hotel assignments.<br /> <br /> Exhibit Booth Sales<br /> <br /> Prospective exhibitors should contact the show manager at Exhibit Promotions Plus Inc. at (410) 997-0763 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. A prospectus and registration forms are available at www.ngaus.org/milwaukee.