Steve is welcoming us to the 12th annual winter conference in New York--a tough trip for a lot of people thanks to the crazy snow.
He's promising to make the conference worth our while (apparently he has some sort of deal going with Mother Nature). Oh, wait. That wasn't it--Lin Oliver shoveled the runway at JFK. What a lady.
Steve is reminding us to pay attention, get to know people, network, and have a good time.
The good time begins with a patented Lin Oliver chicken breast jokeTM. She's telling us about the upcoming 40th annual summer conference in Los Angeles, where it is warm and dry. The organization has come a long way in 40 years. There were only about 30 people at the first conference, and Lin's mom cooked the chicken.
Lin just polled the crowd. About 60 percent of 1,100 or so people in the room are here for the first time, and Lin is welcoming the newcomers to our warm and supportive community (seriously--we're like a fur bra).
After telling us about the conference bookstore (where we can get books to be signed by the incredible faculty), she introduced our first keynote speaker, Lois Lowry.