ALEXANDRIA, Va. — TRSA, the association for the linen, uniform and facility services industry, has cancelled its annual conference due to Hurricane Irma, the association reports.
The executive committee made the decision to cancel the event, which had been scheduled for Sept. 12-14 in Miami, because the hurricane is forecast to make landfall in Florida on Sunday, Sept. 10.
“With regret and sadness in missing the opportunity to spend time with friends and colleagues, the executive committee feels cancelling the annual conference is the most prudent decision to keep TRSA members safe,” writes Joseph Ricci, president and CEO of TRSA, in a letter. “We apologize for any inconveniences.”
The association says the current, best information from the National Hurricane Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows Irma, currently a category 5 storm, impacting southern Florida on Sunday as a category 4 storm.
A storm of this magnitude could cause personal harm and significant damage to the local infrastructure, resulting in flooding, power outages and travel cancelations. Even if the storm is downgraded, the personal safety of attendees and guests would be at question, says TRSA.
In maintaining TRSA’s tradition of supporting charitable organizations in member communities, the association says it would like to donate all or a portion of the $250,000-plus collected in registration fees and sponsorships for the annual conference to local charities as identified by TRSA members in the affected areas of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Any fees donated will be tax-deductible contributions, and TRSA says it will provide a letter indicating the amount of the contribution for company records.
TRSA says that those who were planning to attend the conference should contact hotels and airlines directly to cancel reservations. If requested, registration, event and sponsorship fees will be refunded by Oct. 6.
TRSA says the board of directors meeting and committee meetings that were scheduled to take place at the conference will take place via teleconference. The TRSA staff will communicate directly with the board and respective committees to reschedule. In addition, members will receive mailed ballots pertaining to bylaws revisions and elections.
The association says that industry recognitions that were to take place at the conference, including Ronald Croatti, UniFirst Corp., with the Operator Lifetime Achievement Award; James Pellerin, Pellerin-Milnor, with the Maglin/Biggie Associate Lifetime Achievement Award; and other members and respective companies to be recognized for length of service to the industry, safety, sustainability and service, will be honored during TRSA’s Leadership & Legislative Conference, March 21-22, 2018, in Arlington, Va.