Richard YepIn just about three weeks (if you’re reading this at the beginning of March), more than 4,000 professional counselors, counselor educators and counseling graduate students will gather in San Francisco for the ACA Annual Conference & Expo. Among the highlights will be more than 450 education sessions, 100 exhibits and plenty of opportunities for networking, reconnecting with old friends and making new contacts. The keynote speakers are counseling legend Irvin Yalom and Craig Windham, the award-winning National Public Radio newscaster who also happens to hold a doctorate in counseling.

In celebration of ACA’s 60th anniversary, the ACA Foundation will play host to a Gala Awards Dinner as part of its fundraising efforts to support the profession. This will be a very special gathering, and I am certain a few surprises will be in store for those in attendance. In fact, if you read through this column, I have a surprise of my own, so read on.

I wanted to update you on another milestone. It looks like ACA will have 50,000 members by the time we complete our fiscal year on June 30. Given that we had slightly more than 40,000 members five years ago, this growth is significant. As I said last month, what this means to me is that we have all of you to thank. Your support is something for which we are all very appreciative.

Another recent development is the expanding continuing education opportunities that ACA offers via the Internet. Thus far, we have produced three webinars featuring some of the seminal experts in various areas of counseling: Sam Gladding, Courtland Lee and Gerald Corey. The response to these initial offerings has been overwhelming. Stay tuned to read about our next offerings!

If you are still looking for my “surprise” announcement, here it is. Because the ACA leadership and staff are committed to those who are new to the counseling profession, we wanted to reach out to those in this group who might not be able to afford to attend the ACA Annual Conference & Expo in San Francisco from March 21-25. If you are an ACA Student member or New Professional member, send me an email (subject line: ACA Conference Contest) that includes your name, mailing address, ACA member number, phone number and email address anytime between now and March 11 by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time. Once I receive your email, you will be entered into our drawing for a free registration!

I will select four winners each day from March 7-11. Please note that you only need to send me one email because your entry will be good for all of the drawings in the ensuing days.

Here is the proverbial “fine print.” You must be an ACA Student or New Professional member in good standing to win. If you win and are already registered for the conference, you will not receive a refund. However, you may give the registration to a friend or colleague. The registration is only good for this month’s event in San Francisco. You will be responsible for any other fees related to
the conference (travel, lodging, meals and so on).

This is just one way in which the leadership and staff want to say thank you — by providing an opportunity to those who can benefit from the great offerings at the ACA Annual Conference & Expo but might be unable to afford registration otherwise.

As always, I hope you will contact me with any comments, questions or suggestions that you might have. Please contact me via email at or by phone at 800.347.6647 ext. 231.

Thanks and be well.

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