Looking Forward

Update on the last 2 years at MAHC and the conference.

As you know the conference in Denver in 2020 was canceled and the one for New Orleans in May of this year was moved to September due to covid. 

A little history on how the conference is set up.  we go out 2 years in advance to the city selected by the board and review 4 to 6 hotels.  we then negotiate a contract with the hotel for the best price we can.  the requirements are as part of the contract is that we must use a certain number of rooms for the event. if we do not use 80%, we(MAHC) haves to pay the amount below 80%.  we also must cove the required food and beverage minimum.  We must get the AV equipment from the hotel and guarantee the numbers at the luncheons 60 days before the conference. 

for the New Orleans conference, we had to cover 1,285 rooms nights. in return we get the lower rate for the rooms and 1 for 40 rooms (1 free room for every 40 guest rooms) this is to help cover some of the  MAHC board members and keep the cost down,  we pay for the rest.  

The room rental charges will be waived with Food and Beverage minimum met of $50,000.00 and in addition to that we must pay tax, gratuity, and service charge.  MAHC must pay the difference of what we don’t meet.  (By the way the luncheons meals were $71.00 each) plus break cost and the reception cost.

Group and Hotel, therefore, agree that the following amounts plus applicable state and local taxes will be due to hotel as liquidated damages based on Total Anticipated Sleeping Room Revenue and Total Anticipated Food & Beverage Revenue.  $273,750.00.  We also have a $18,934 for AV equipment cost.

We had a $5,000 deposit we had to put down.    This is the standard contract we have been using for the last 19 years that I have negotiated the contracts.  the reason for allowed cancelation is very limited and basically only if closed by state or federal government. 

We tried to change or amend the contract due to covid restrictions, but the hotel would not let us do it. they said the governor did not close the city so the conference must go on.  Also talked to them when there was a threat of the hurricane and was told it was not a hurricane and we did not know the path it would go, and it could miss us.  If we did not have the conference, it would cost us $273,750 plus tax and gratuity as he had his staff there to handle the conference and food ordered.

We are fighting the cost due them.  Also, we are funded only by our members with membership fees (we have not increased them in 59 years) donations, and conference cost.   in 2020 we did not have the conference and we refunded the money or credit.  but we had to prepare things for the conference , mailings, equipment, and other things. we also had to pay our 2 staff employees , building rental, gas, electrical, water Phones copier and other normal cost.  We had $50,000 in savings and we had to pull it out to cover expenses.  And we still lost money for that year.  We keep serving our members with free webinar classes , added more books for free on our web site and increased our informational articles from 200 to 1,856.  We went out and help a few member in trouble at their coop with training online, on the phone ands sent a lot of training information out to them at no cost. 

Now in 2021 we had to prepare again for the conference, and we could use some of the things we had for 2020 but only a few.  also, all of the office cost and employees shipping and flights to conference.  As you can see there was a big out lay for the conference and we did not have any money in savings to fall back on. 

Because the city was not shut down and the hotel did not close, we had to go on with a limited version of the conference.  because the hotel went to lock down on Monday due to the hurricane.  the Board Staff and some members were in the hotel for 3 days with no power, water, lights, or no elevators, no food. I had to call the local TV station to get help because the hotel was forcing us out at 6PM.   finally, FIMA came and got us the next day and brought us to Huston.  Everyone slept on the floor.  I had gone out Sunday morning before the hurricane and purchased 12 cases of water, POP and breakfast bars, cookies, and cracker Which we put out for everyone on Saturday to help get us through it. 

Due to our financial situation, we cannot give refunds or credits for next year.  if we did, we would have to close our doors.  We still have our equipment and supplies in New Orleans due to a shortage of Gas.

We are sending out  to our members who have paid for the conference the conference bags with the items donated by our venders.  we are allowing our venders to put in a one-page flier about the company do to not being able to have the conference.  We will be sending out the certificates for those who attend and completed the CCS class.  we will send out hometown heroes awards for those we were going to honor at our conference. (Watch for them in our newsletter).  We will send out the members awards that we were going to give out at the conference.  see them in our newsletter.  (As soon as the equipment gets back from New Orleans)  

We thank you for your support in the past and look forward with your help to keep serving you.

Richard Berendson
MAHC Vice President.