The Success of JAG Conference

by Cynthia Hahn, C-NET Executive Director

Myself and two others of the C-NET staff were fortunate enough to be able to attend the 2023 JAG  Conference in Edison, New Jersey.  This was, for all practical purposes, the return to in-person conferences for JAG, after a fully remote conference in 2021 and a “hybrid” conference in 2022. Gathering together in person was as exciting and satisfying as I had hoped.

I had previously been a member of the JAG Conference Committee until 2021, and I know that the conference is a tremendous amount of work.  Hats off to the dedicated volunteers who planned this year’s conference – finding vendors, creating workshops, arranging for speakers, coordinating with the hotel, booking entertainment, handling registration and payment logistics, and a hundred other details.  They are to be thanked for their patience, hard work and stamina!

There were several changes to this year’s conference, which I think turned out to be quite successful.  Holding some workshops in the same room as the vendor booths gave the vendors increased exposure to attendees, and created a more intimate environment in which we were literally “in the same space”.  And the consolidation to a one-day event, with a lower registration fee, may have provided additional people the opportunity to attend.

One of the highlights of the conference was, of course, the JAG Awards!  The entertainment by Simon Mandel left the audience astounded, mystified and even downright scared!  Simon defies the laws of physics while reading minds and creating laughter….he is amazing and always leaves us wanting more!

Congratulations to all the JAG Award winners!  The awards highlight the high quality work which PEG organizations consistently produce, but do even more.  Attending the JAG Awards ceremony is a “bonding experience” for everyone who works in access.  Access employees and volunteers are often underpaid, overworked and undervalued.  But when we share our work with each other, we know it is appreciated.  When we share our work, we share the best of ourselves and our communities.

Thanks again to all those who had a part in putting together the conference and the JAG Awards.  Only 10 months until we meet again in 2024!

Editor’s Note:

Cindy Hahn was presented with JAG’s 2023 Ovation Award.

In acknowledgement of your unrelenting commitment to the members of Jersey Access Group, PEG Access and local governments throughout the State of New Jersey.