VGM to Offer Alternatives to Heartland Education Sessions

Following devastating storms and floods last month that caused The VGM Group to cancel a portion of its Heartland conference in Waterloo, Iowa, the member service organization announced it will offer "alternative educational opportunities" aimed at helping Heartland attendees to earn the continuing education units (CEUs) they need.

In a memo sent to Heartland attendees, VGM President Ron Bendell promised to "fulfill our commitment to you with alternative educational opportunities."

Bendell said VGM, and notably its VP of Education Sara Bauer, contacted the organizations that were to award CEUs and explained what had happened.

"They were understanding and agreed to offer the same amount of CEUs for the sessions that were cancelled," Bendell noted. "In order to earn this credit, the attendees are required to attend Webinars for each of the sessions they wish to earn credit for. The accrediting organizations that were gracious enough to accommodate us, under these unusual circumstances, are AARC, BOC, IACET, IBON, NRRTS, RESNA and the University of Pittsburgh."

Bendell advised Heartland attendees to "watch for e-mail informing them of upcoming Webinars. This information (is) also posted to the Heartland Web site - www.vgmheartland.com."

In light of the circumstances, Bendell added that the originally scheduled presenters were glad to participate in these alternate educational sessions. "The presenters have all said they are more than willing to help," Bendell said. "All sessions will be conducted by the original presenter, and the planned learning objectives for each session will remain the same." So will the lengths of the sessions, he noted.

Bendell said VGM offices and operations "were not affected" by the storms, though some employees "were affected by the flood. Fortunately, no one was injured." As for attendee praise for VGM's efforts to evacuate participants safely and quickly, Bendell said, "We appreciate all the attendees', vendors' and presenters' patience and understanding during something that we could have never planned for. The associates at VGM do not think we did anything out of the ordinary given the circumstances. We always view any situation as our responsibility to insure that our members are our first priority."

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