I am pleased to announce that after a careful and extended site selection process, NAATBatt International will return to The Wigwam resort outside Phoenix, Arizona for its NAATBatt’s 2017 Annual Meeting & Conference.  The dates of the conference will be March 14-16, 2017, with the Advanced Battery Golf Tournament and tournament dinner held on Monday, March 13.  Please mark your calendars now and save the date for what will be the best NAATBatt annual meeting yet.

As many of you will remember, NAATBatt held its annual meeting at The Wigwam resort in 2015.  The Wigwam is a scenic, 85 year-old Four Diamond resort that is included on the national list of historic places.  One of the original resorts developed in the Phoenix area by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company for its visiting executives, The Wigwam has the dubious distinction of being located on the “wrong side” of Phoenix, away from the high end areas that subsequently grew up around Scottsdale.  Accordingly, it presents an extraordinary value for the money and happens to have ideal meeting and exhibit space for the 300 person target size of a NAATBatt annual meeting program.  The remarkably beautiful grounds and Robert Trent Jones golf course don’t hurt either.

I expect that the 2017 program will include some new features that we have not included in earlier annual meeting programs.  Based on the results of the survey of our 2016 meeting, we will try to include an offsite tour of an energy storage-related site in the Phoenix area in the meeting.  The availability of such sites in the Phoenix area, as opposed to southwestern Florida, where we had originally anticipated holding the 2017 meeting, was one of the factors that pushed us back to Arizona.  Also, NAATBatt will host meetings of several standing industry committees on the morning of Tuesday, March 13, including our super capacitor committee, Kilofarad International, the Electric Bus Safety Committee, and the NAATBatt SD Committee.  As a trade association rather than a for-profit conference company, NAATBatt wants to encourage its members to take an active role in shaping our industry, not just sell product.  More committee work and opportunities lie in NAATBatt’s future.

The 2017 meeting will also feature many of the same programs and activities that have made NAATBatt meetings the place for top executives to be and to do business.  The golf will be excellent, the food and amenities far better than at any trade show by a wide margin, the presentations thoughtful, and the opportunities to network and build personal relationships within the industry unparalleled.

More information about the 2017 meeting, and an invitation to serve on the organizing committee, will be sent out to members soon.  Please keep an eye out for it.  I look forward to seeing you all next year in Arizona.