Off to the Races: GPA Annual Conference '22

As usual, Management Concepts had a blast reconnecting with all our Grant Professional Association (GPA) friends at the Annual Conference which took place November 2-5, 2022, in in Louisville, Kentucky. Over 1,100 grants professionals convened in person and online to learn, connect, and have some fun.

Coming from across the U.S. and Canada, grant professionals were greeted warmly by representatives from Louisville Tourism, who handed out bourbon chocolates and caramels to showcase local artisans and celebrate the long history of the city. Many conference-goers took advantage of personal time to visit such famous sites as Churchill Downs and the Louisville Slugger Museum. But the conference got down to business at the opening plenary and continued with three days of sessions with continuing education credits.

Among these sessions was “Stop Screaming Into the Void: Cultivating Productive Relationships with Federal Grantors” presented by Sarah Hluchan, product management director, grants at Management Concepts, and Holly Mooney, grants, HR, and emerging technologies curriculum manager at Management Concepts. In the session, Hluchan and Mooney iterated the importance of building a solid grantor/grantee relationship. They outlined strategies for effective communication, leveraging core techniques of emotional intelligence, and strategies for navigating tense conversations and building confidence and trust in relationships. Hluchan and Mooney used props and role-play scenarios to keep the audience engaged as they showed examples of common types of interactions between grantors and grantees, and took audience questions and comments on best practices what went well and what could have been done differently in each scenario. This presentation grew out of conversations that took place at the GPA Annual Conference in 2021, and was developed into one of Management Concepts newest Grants & Assistance courses, Relationship Building For Successful Grants Management.

Attendees also had fun at our exhibit hall booth, where our message board invited conference-goers to write their answers to a new question every day, and grab a few stickers to star other responses they liked the best. The questions included: “You know you’re a grants professional when…”, “What is your best advice to new grants professionals?” and “If you were a grants superhero, what would your supername or superpower be?” You can see the amusing and heartfelt responses along with other event photos in our Facebook album.

We’re looking forward to next year’s Annual Conference, where we’ll celebrate GPA’s 25th anniversary in Kansas City, Missouri. To keep up with our GPA activities and event participation throughout the year, visit our GPA partnership page.

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Grants & Assistance
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