Richard Yep

Next month, thousands of professional counselors, counselor educators and graduate students will convene in Pittsburgh for the ACA Annual Conference & Exposition, cosponsored by the Pennsylvania Counseling Association (PCA). We will be joined by hundreds of exhibitors, publishers and employers. Many roads lead to Pittsburgh (literally), so I am aware that a number of counselor education departments and others will be caravanning to the event.

In addition, US Airways uses Pittsburgh as one of its main hubs in the United States for both domestic and international flights.

I really do hope you will be part of the year’s largest gathering of the counseling profession. Each year, we strive to make sure this “big event” includes components of community and networking so attendees will feel both welcomed and comfortable as they decide which of the more than 400 Education Sessions and Learning Institutes to attend. This year, the conference will also feature major keynotes by world-renowned counselor educator Gerald Corey and internationally acclaimed author Patti Digh.

Not to sound like an infomercial, but if you haven’t been to Pittsburgh in a long time (or ever), you will discover a very vibrant, robust city full of great restaurants and galleries, plus some of the nicest people on Earth. Pittsburgh has great theater and music venues, the Andy Warhol Museum, a world-class science museum for kids of all ages and eateries featuring various cuisines.

Because we want to do our part for the environment, ACA and PCA are pleased to present this year’s conference in the world’s “greenest” convention center. We will be meeting in the “Gold LEED-certified” David L. Lawrence Convention Center located on the banks of the Allegheny River in downtown Pittsburgh. This is a very walkable city, but we will also have a shuttle that runs at scheduled times between our conference hotels and the convention center.

Because we know that you value social time, we have built in gatherings that will allow you to dance, eat and mingle with friends both old and new. For those who need that digital tether to their friends and loved ones who will not be in Pittsburgh, the Expo Hall will have computers hooked up to the Internet so you can check your e-mail.

As you may have guessed, ACA and PCA have really tried to respond to your suggestions and input. We have also gone the extra step and will be introducing services, benefits and conveniences designed to enhance your attendance at the conference.

The only remaining special ingredient we need is you. I know many of you are facing various economic challenges, so we have tried to be sensitive about the costs involved in attending our event. I think you will find there is great “bang for the buck” when you compare our conference with others. In fact, by attending sessions, keynotes and other learning events at the ACA Annual Conference & Exposition, you can actually leave with 38 continuing education credits!

So, if you haven’t registered for the Annual Conference just yet, I hope you will go to and do so right away. If you have already signed up, I hope you will be successful in bringing at least one additional colleague with you.

The staff, volunteers and leadership of ACA and PCA have worked very hard to make this the premier event of the year for professional counselors, counselor educators and graduate students. Our guiding vision was to provide all that you need to be the best at what you do.

The ACA Annual Conference & Exposition is a labor of love for many of you. It really is a unique event in regard to the speakers, education sessions, presenters and resources you will find. But in my 20-plus ACA Annual Conferences, I have always found that one of the most special things about the event really is the attendees! Having thousands of counselors in one place for a number of days always results in some very positive dialogue, networking and information exchange.

I look forward to seeing many of you in Pittsburgh next month at the Annual Conference. Please contact me with any comments, questions or suggestions that you might have via e-mail at or by phone at 800.347.6647 ext. 231.

Thanks and be well.