Fall Convention – Social Program

Mark your calendars! 2017 Fall Convention to be held November 7-10, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Houston hotel in Houston, Texas

The Hyatt Regency Houston hotel has remained dry and fully functioning during the storm.  A couple of updates from the Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau:
• Houston’s convention campus / Avenida Houston and surrounding hotels sustained no damage (this includes the Hyatt Regency Houston, site of EMDA’s 2017 Fall Convention).
• Both airports are fully operational

We look forward to adding our support to the Houston economy with our Convention in November.

Beginning with the Joint Opening Session on Wednesday morning and ending with the roundtables on Thursday morning, EMDA Business Program registrants will fill their convention times with member-to-member contact; manufacturer and supplier interviews and informative and entertaining convention programs. The EMDA Social Program is geared toward attendees that accompany the Business Program registrants. The program includes all the social events that are part of the Business Program, plus offers optional touring events.

Download 2017 Social Program Highlights (PDF)

Attendee List: EMDA_Attendees_SocialProgram (PDF)

Spouse Program . . . Ladies Program . . . still trying to come up with an appropriate name!  So, for now – EMDA Social Program it is! 

2017 Convention schedule 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017 – Arrival day for most attendees.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017 – The EMDA and FEMA Joint Opening Session is designed to bring the members together to “kick-off” their conventions with a dynamic presentation that will set the tone for an intensive week of appointments and meetings.

Col. Mikr Mullane

The Joint Opening Session features Col. Mike Mullane presenting “Countdown to Safety.” From combat reconnaissance missions over the skies of Vietnam, to Space Shuttle missions, to climbing some of the highest peaks across the globe, Astronaut Mike Mullane knows what teamwork, leadership, and safety are all about. He has educated, inspired, and motivated tens of thousands of people from every walk of business and government with his incredibly unique talks. “One person with courage forms a majority,” Mullane delivers a powerful message on the individual’s role in keeping themselves and their teams safe in hazardous environments.

FEMA and EMDA are pleased to offer 2 great choices for exploring Houston on Wednesday:

Option #1: Rice Village Food Tour
11:00a to 2:30a: Nestled just west of Rice University, Rice Village has been a destination to shop and eat local since the 1930s. Rice Village continues to thrive today as a home to an eclectic mix of more than 300 high-end shops and unique boutiques, as well as a wide assortment of ethnic restaurants.

Enjoy a variety of international cuisine on this guided, narrated walking tour as you explore Houston’s hippest neighborhood. The Rice Village Food Tour will take you throughout this historic neighborhood, teach about its culture, and you’ll enjoy a multicourse progressive meal served at a number of critically acclaimed local restaurants. (Restaurants are subject to change)

Option #2: Houston Museum of Natural Science
10:00a to 2:30p: As one of the most heavily attended museums in the United States, and one of the most attended venues in Houston, the Houston Museum of Natural Science houses the Burke Baker Planetarium, Wortham GIANT Screen Theatre, Cockrell Butterfly Center and a fascinating variety of permanent exhibit areas that examine astronomy, space science, Native American culture, paleontology, energy, chemistry, gems and minerals, seashells, Texas wildlife and much more. The museum is one of the most popular in the United States and ranks just below New York City’s American Museum of Natural History and Metropolitan Museum of Art and the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco in most attendance amongst non-Smithsonian museums.
Highlights of the Museum include:

Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals: The spectacular Cullen Hall houses the world’s finest display-quality collection of gems and minerals. See more than 750 beautifully crystallized mineral specimens, including some of the world’s rarest and most beautiful examples. From a huge blue topaz crystal weighing more than 2,000 carats to a crystallized gold cluster that is one of the most highly coveted objects in the mineral kingdom, the spectacular specimens on display here are true masterpieces – the Rembrandts and Picassos of the natural world.

Fabergé: Royal Gifts featuring the Trellis Egg Surprise: Experience the design artistry and craftsmanship of the Fabergé workmasters in an intimate setting. Currently numbering more than 600 pieces, the McFerrin Fabergé Collection is the largest private collection of Fabergé in the world. Dozens of personal treasures of the Romanov Family including Imperial pieces owned by Nicholas II, Alexander III and their family are featured.

Smith Gem Vault: This exhibit completes the story begun by the world-renowned Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals. In selecting many of the objects for inclusion in the Gem Vault, the Museum’s curators used their extensive connections in the mineralogical world to acquire mineral “cutting rough” of precious gemstones freshly extracted from mines around the world.

Cockrell Butterfly Center: A stunning, living exhibit that showcases hundreds of live butterflies in a naturalistic rainforest setting. The central conservatory is a dramatic three-story glass cone filled with tropical plants and exotic butterflies. During a typical visit, one can expect to see 50 to 60 different species of the world’s largest and most colorful butterfly species, flying through the balmy air, hovering over flowers or sipping fruit juice – and occasionally, landing on visitors!

After touring the Museum of Natural Science, it’s off to lunch at Irma’s. Irma Galvan’s James Beard Award-winning Mexican restaurant has been a downtown fixture for more than 20 years, drawing in the Central Business District’s lunch time crowd for authentic home cooking and Galvan’s famous lemonade. [Just ask the FEMA and EMDA staffs, it’s delicious!] For more than two decades, Irma’s continued to operate as it always had: in a cozy spot filled with home furnishings, bric-a-brac blanketing and the publicity photos dotting the walls from the restaurant’s celeb clientele. It wasn’t until the fall of 2010 that Galvan decided to shake things up with expansion plans, the addition of a regular dinner service and, for the first time, actual menus!

Wednesday concludes with a fun tradition, the EMDA Partners Party bringing reps and distributors together with the manufacturers that they do business with. The party is a “Thank You” to the manufacturers who understand the value that the EMDA network of distributors and reps provides in bringing their products to the marketplace. The reception begins at 6:00p and ends at 7:00p.

Thursday, November 9, 2017 – You’re invited to enjoy a leisurely morning at the Joint Breakfast Buffet, available from 7:00a to 9:00a.

Thursday afternoon, join your fellow members for a unique experience with a special tour of Space Center Houston.

Space Center Houston is packed to the brim with amazing exhibits, theaters, virtual reality games, and interactive displays. This behind-the-scenes tour includes a visit to all of the attractions Space Center Houston has to offer including a private tram tour of NASA’s working government facilities.

Friday, November 10, 2017 – Main departure day to head home from Houston. Or take advantage of group rate at hotel and extend your stay for the weekend. With more than 10,000 restaurants, world-class theater groups, diverse culture and artistic expression; Explore Houston, Texas. The fourth-largest city in America is home to NASA, Fortune 500 companies, the largest medical center in the world and an unparalleled music scene. The Culinary and Cultural Capital of the South is an exciting place to work, stay and play.

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