Mark Your Calendars!

I know many of you have seen the Your Weight Matters 2014 logo teasers on social media this week as we’ve unveiled a small piece of the convention theme and logo each day. Some of you may have already figured it out! Without further ado, I present to you the 2014 YWM theme and logo!

Together We S.H.I.N.E. stands for support, health, inspiration, networking, and education and came from a multiple places and perspectives. First and foremost, it came from the 2013 attendees via their end of Convention survey.  We saw a common call for words that represented the feeling of community and togetherness throughout the last two years.

Secondly, it came from the brainstorming of the Convention Planning Committee. The theme and logo underwent several rounds of feedback and tweaks until it was just right. We wanted something that conveyed what the conference is about and words and meaning of support, health, inspiration, networking, and education nailed it for us.

Finally, the acronym S.H.I.N.E. felt right in many aspects. From the Convention taking place in the Sunshine State of Florida to the shine and glow we feel from every attendee, including our members, speakers, and vendors. We knew it was the perfect way to celebrate and brand our third annual convention.

After two years of chairing the Convention Planning Committee and attending the event; I continue to be in awe of the community we’ve built. The Convention has quickly become one of my favorite times of year. As chair, I have a couple big goals around the Convention this year, which includes expanding access to the Convention. The committee is still in discussions about what this could and will look like – so stayed tuned!

Another goal of mine is to convince more friends and family to attend the Convention and for our attendees of the first and second Conventions to bring others as well. As someone who is both personally affected by obesity and came from a family who was and is still affected by obesity; I want them to experience the community, education, and support the Convention has given me. Last year, my twin sister Autumn was able to make the trip and it meant so much to have her here and experience the convention with me. This year, I’m hoping my mom will make the trip with us. Since we have a location that is so conducive to family vacations – I want to encourage each of you to bring loved ones and extend your trips, bring them to the convention, and really make a week of it. In the past, I’ve came for just the Convention days, but this year I’ll be enjoying the week in Orlando, Fla., and I cannot wait!

Most importantly, the convention is a time I know I will get to see and spend quality time with friends, attend sessions with incredible speakers, and continue to be part of a community of leaders who are fully committed to providing education, advocacy, and support for those affected by obesity. I’m comfortable saying that this year will be the best yet with even more surprises coming for you all!

I suppose the next question is, “So, when can I register for #YWM2014?”  Well, OAC-ers, mark your calendars for Monday, April 7th, 2014!  At this time, you will be able to reserve your spot for at the 3rd Annual Your Weight Matters Convention. It will take place September 25-28th at the Renaissance SeaWorld Orland, Fla.  On April 7th, you will have the registration pricing and much more!

And if you haven’t already done so, please book your hotel HERE. More than 50 percent of the room nights are already accounted for and having been there last month for the OAC Annual Board Meeting – I know you won’t want to stay anywhere else! If you’re thinking of travelling solo, but still want to share the costs – the rooms are definitely big enough to share (and our members have been known to find roommates on the Facebook event page!).

Keep up-to-date with all the latest convention details by joining the 2014 Your Weight Matters Facebook Group and visiting our Convention Web site at There, you can sign up for Convention E-news Alerts so you get the breaking information straight to your email! I hope to see each of you in Orlando, Fla. – because TOGETHER WE SHINE!

About the Author:
Amber Huett-Garcia is an OAC National Board Member and gastric-banding patient. She is the Manager of Institute Operations with Teach For America where she spends year-round planning for their seven week teacher training program. Her experiences include state budgeting, legislative analysis, contract negotiations, and operations of large-scale events. She earned bachelor’s degree in political science and journalism from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Illinois-Springfield. She resides in Memphis with her husband Matthew.

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