It is hard to believe that 2019 is only half over. It feels like this year has already been a full 12 months long with all that is happening – and not happening – in D.C. However, with the end of summer approaching comes the time to turn our attention to the annual Hardwood Federation Fall Fly-In. Trade, tariffs, and transportation will likely still be in the headlines when September rolls around, as well as a few new issues we cannot predict. The 2019 Fly-In will be another excellent opportunity for members of the hardwood industry to tell their stories and let their members of Congress know just how businesses and employees are affected by the decisions being made on Capitol Hill.
The annual Fall Fly-In is the Hardwood Federation’s biggest, most anticipated, and most important event of the year. Giving the hardwood industry the opportunity to gather in Washington D.C. and meet with the senators and congresspeople from their states and to tell their stories rings louder than anything else we can do. Our goal is clear and consistent: To give industry leaders the opportunity to provide their personal and professional perspectives about the most important issues affecting the industry and how businesses are being impacted, and what Congress can do about it.
September 2018 saw the largest turnout in the Hardwood Federation’s 15 years of Fly-Ins with a great mix of Fly-In veterans and eager newcomers. We don’t intend to stop that momentum now. No political experience is necessary to join us in D.C., just a willingness to tell your story and a good pair of shoes, because it is a long but satisfying day, covering the Hill from side to side. Our goal this year is to top last year’s 123 office visits.
The 2019 Fly-In will be held Sept. 17-19. We look forward to welcoming any and all hardwood industry members who are interested, whether new to the event, returning after a couple of years away, or our trusty perennial stalwarts.
The Fly-In is a busy few days, but we make every effort to prepare and brief attendees. This year’s agenda includes the following:
Welcome Reception (Sept. 17)
Participants gather the night before to meet and network with colleagues old and new.
Breakfast Briefing (Sept. 18)
The Hardwood Federation provides a detailed briefing on issues to be covered during meetings on the Hill, navigating the congressional office buildings, and what to expect during your meetings.
Capitol Hill Visits (Sept. 18)
Prior to the Fly-In, Hardwood Federation staff will schedule meetings with your elected representatives or those you are interested in meeting. Participants attend meetings in small groups to demonstrate the depth and variety of the industry.
Hardwood Federation Political Action Committee (HFPAC) Events (Sept. 18 & 19)
Participants will gather for an evening reception with Republican members of Congress on the 18th followed by a dinner on Capitol Hill. The next morning, we wind up the Fly-In with a morning breakfast reception with Democrats. These are additional opportunities to speak directly with
members and acknowledge their support with a donation from the HFPAC.
We hope you will take the time to join us in Washington. Hardwood industry members are spread throughout the country, and their experience, insight, and ideas should be shared directly with those who write the laws and legislation impacting their businesses and employees. While it is a commitment of both resources and time, it is a commitment that can have direct impacts on your bottom line. The Hardwood Federation staff is proud to represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and over the years we have built excellent relationships with key members of Congress who look to us for advice and counsel on issues impacting the hardwood industry. But when members hear from you, their constituents, employers in their district, and community leaders, the message takes on a special significance and impact.
Our special rate at the host hotel expires Monday, Aug. 12, so be sure to make plans before it is too late. Please don’t hesitate to contact the Hardwood Federation staff at 202.463.2705 or firstname.lastname@example.org to register, if you have any questions, or if you would like more information.
Dana Lee Cole is Executive Director at the Hardwood Federation, a Washington, D.C.-based hardwood industry trade association that represents thousands of hardwood businesses in every state in the United States and acts as the industry’s advocacy voice on Capitol Hill. She can be reached at email@example.com.