2018 SMTA Chapter Officer's Leadership Forum

March 9 - 11, 2018
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Atlanta Downtown
Atlanta, GA

March 9 to 11, 2018: US officers
March 9 to 12, 2018: Student & international officers

SMTA Officer Leadership FORUM 2018

The SMTA invites all Chapter Officers to join your peers at the 12th Chapter Officer's Leadership Forum

You will learn to:
Develop leadership skills, learn from focused breakout sessions, network with your peers and move forward with enthusiasm and confidence as effective leaders in your career, community, and as an SMTA leader.

View Full Agenda Here
View Full Agenda Here

DRESS CODE: The FORUM weekend dress code is casual.



Funding & Sponsorships



The SMTA Officer’s Leadership Forum is free for all officers. The SMTA will cover two hotel rooms for two nights (4 total room nights) for officers from your chapter. International chapters are covered for two rooms for three nights (6 total room nights.) If your chapter requires more than the allotted hotel room nights, those charges will be at your own or your chapter’s expense. Rooms at the hotel are at a negotiated rate of $119 plus taxes and fees ($144.11 inclusive) per night. The hotel will charge your credit card for additional room nights upon check-in. Your credit card will also be charged by the hotel after the program for any incidental charges not covered by the SMTA (for example, gift shop charges or minibar use). Rooms are double occupancy. If you are traveling with another officer and are comfortable sharing a room, please indicate your desire on the registration form or online registration site. Sharing rooms is encouraged by the SMTA to save costs. Unused room allotments are not transferable.

Each officer (chapter) is responsible for his or her travel expenses. We hope that your employers understand the value of the benefits of SMTA membership and will support your trip. If not, Forum expenses are acceptable chapter expense items within the SMTA and Chapter Bylaws. Make all room reservations through Karen Frericks (do not go directly to the hotel) and purchase your travel tickets early. If it is impossible for your company or chapter to fund travel expenses, ask Karen (karenchapters@smta.org or 952.920.7682) about our financing assistance. We want to work with you to ensure that all chapters are represented.



We are looking forward to an outstanding Forum in 2018. Please make attending the Forum happen for other chapter officers, and help us bring this caliber of entertainment and education to everyone.


Chapter Sponsors: $100 - $1000+ (multiple sponsors)
Any amount is welcome! Help officers from international, student, and domestic chapters to attend. Please help us support those chapters whose treasuries are insufficient to send anyone to Atlanta. We want to have 100% representation from all chapters – you can help us make that happen! Contact Karen to find out more about which chapters are in need. You can direct your contribution toward a particular chapter or just donate it wherever it will do the most good.

Facility Tour Sponsor: $1500 (2 sponsorships)
Help us provide buses to take interested officers to Delta Airlines for the TechOps Tour. We have buses from two locations, so we would like sponsorships for both.

Welcome/Networking Reception Sponsorship:

  • $750 (Your chapter name will appear on one round of drink tickets at the event – 2 sponsorships)
  • $350 Photo Booth Props (1 sponsorship)
  • Help us make the Welcome Reception more fun with adult beverages or fun props in the photo booth.

    Skyline Park Sponsors:

  • Transportation Sponsorship $1500 (1 sponsorship)
  • Drink Ticket Sponsorship: $750 (2 sponsorships)
    Your chapter name will appear on one round of drink tickets at the event
  • After a long day of Breakout Meetings, our officers deserve a chance to kick back and have some fun! Please consider a sponsorship to make this a wonderful event.

    All FORUM Sponsors will be introduced at the Welcome Reception, receive verbal recognition and signage recognizing the sponsors during the event to show our appreciation of your chapter’s support of your peers.

    Your generosity will be greatly appreciated by chapters, officers, and the SMTA. Coordinate your sponsorships through the SMTA with Karen. Thank you for your consideration.


    Logistics: Hotel, Travel & Events


    HOTEL MEETING SITE – Reservation Information

    The American Hotel by DoubleTree, Atlanta Downtown
    160 Ted Turner Drive NW
    Atlanta, GA 30303
    Make your hotel reservations through the registration website. Do NOT reserve directly with the DoubleTree!


    TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS – Reservation Information

    If you plan to attend the 2018 Chapter Officer Leadership Forum, SMTA requests that you attend the Welcome Reception Friday, March 9, at 7:00 p.m. and be present at all sessions until Sunday, March 11, at 12:00 noon. Please do not make airline reservations earlier than a 2:00 p.m. departure on Sunday. If you are staying for the International/Student Focused Breakout Sessions on Sunday, you can make your departure arrangements any time after 6:00 p.m. on Sunday or anytime on Monday.

    You can arrange rental cars if you wish, but Atlanta has a city-wide train system called MARTA that will be more budget friendly. Uber or Lyft can also be used for your airport transfers. Your final trip information will include detailed instructions for all those options. SMTA will have bus transfers for all group events.




    Behind the Scenes Delta Airlines TechOps Facility Tour (optional)


    Friday, March 9

    The Atlanta SMTA Chapter is graciously coordinating a behind the scenes tour of Delta TechOps offered to the first 60 people to register. Although Delta TechOps has certified aviation repair stations all around the world, you're going to tour the one located at Delta’s Atlanta Headquarters in the world's busiest airport!

    Delta TechOps is the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) division of Delta Air Lines. With more than 9,600 Technical Operations employees and 51 maintenance stations worldwide, Delta TechOps is a full-service maintenance provider for the more than 750 aircraft that make up the Delta Air Lines fleet. In addition to maintaining the Delta Air Lines fleet, Delta TechOps also provides MRO solutions and support to more than 150 third-party operators around the world, making it the largest airline MRO provider in North America and the third largest worldwide.

    Delta At Delta TechOps, you will tour:

  • Jet engine repair operations
  • Air craft maintenance
  • Engine Testing

SMTA will provide bus transfers to Delta TechOps from the DoubleTree Hotel and from Atlanta Airport.

ONLY those registered and TSA-cleared can attend.


On the Flight Deck Welcome & Networking Reception:

Friday, March 9, 7pm

Get ready to board your flight into SMTA Adventure at this evening’s Welcome & Networking Reception. This evening will feature some time for you to re-connect with old friends and make new ones, along with introductions of the Board of Directors, and SMTA Staff. Come prepared with some success stories you can share with other chapters. Also be sure to get your picture taken in our photo booth area, so future generations can see all the fun that was the Chapter Officer’s Leadership Forum in 2018!


Leadership Workshop

Saturday, March 10

"Flying Through the Surface of the Future!"

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Travis S. Taylor

Most futurists give bleak visions of a future filled with overpopulation, suffering economies, and worse. Many discuss the so-called "Singularity" where humans will no longer be human and will become something different like human minds in robot bodies. Join Dr. Taylor to see a completely different and much brighter vision of the future and for humanity. See how SMT has played a part in shaping that future since the Apollo era and come along for the ride as Dr. Taylor pilots our journey across and through the surface of the future!

Dr. Travis S. Taylor was born in the Rocket City, a.k.a. Huntsville, Al, while his father was working inside the Saturn V rocket that would go to the Moon. He celebrated his 1st birthday as the Apollo 11 astronauts splashed down in the ocean on their return from the first manned lunar mission on July 24, 1969. Inspired by the great space era and his hometown, he embarked on a lifelong endeavor to explore the universe. He earned his bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Auburn University, and then went on to complete Masters degrees in Physics, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Astronomy. He earned two Ph.D.s, one in Optical Science and Engineering and one in Aerospace Systems Engineering. Dr. Taylor has written two dozen best-selling science fiction novels, two text books, and two popular science books. He has appeared in, starred in, and co-produced several hit television series including “The Universe,” “Life After People,” “Rocket City Rednecks,” “3 Scientists Walk Into a Bar,” and is currently finishing up the first season for a new series on The History Channel.



Breakout Session Topics

SMTA is preparing individualized learning for you on a variety of topics you want to know about with Breakout Sessions throughout the day on Saturday. You will have the opportunity to choose the Breakout Sessions that interest you the most and tailor it to your current position and needs. We will be offering special Breakout Sessions on a "New Officer Track" for first-time officers and a "Professional Development Track" for veterans.



Saturday Evening Activity

Saturday, March 10

Fun & Games at Skyline Park Overlooking Atlanta

Located on top of the Ponce City Market, Skyline Park is a new entertainment space in Atlanta that is like no other! Skyline Park is bringing old-timey fun to the heart of Atlanta, Georgia. Perched high above the hustle and bustle of Ponce de Leon Avenue on the top of the magnificently restored Ponce City Market, Skyline Park is a premium destination for good food and great fun. Dinner, drinks, and unlimited games are provided. You’ll delight in carnival amusements and marvel at the breathtaking views of beautiful Atlanta.

Your guests are invited and the cost is $100 (FORUM attendees no charge). Please plan to pay for guest fees upon your arrival at the Friday evening Welcome & Networking Reception. Skyline Park is a short bus ride away from the American Hotel by DoubleTree. SMTA shuttle service will be provided.



"Wheels Up: Wrap Up and Closing" General Sessions and Officer Breakout Meetings

Sunday, March 11

To wrap up all you learned this weekend and to look forward to the future, we have a content-packed General Session for you this morning.

Mid-morning will feature some honest dialogue in one final round of Breakout Sessions. You will have a chance to get together with others in your same officer position to talk about obstacles and to strategize on ways to overcome them.

We will end by 12:00 noon and will serve a boxed lunch before we send you out to reach for the skies on your flights home.



International and Student Officer Focused Breakout Sessions

Sunday, March 11

We would like to extend a special invitation to our international and student officers to attend our FORUM weekend. Because of the unique needs of student and international chapters, we decided to include some special events just for those officers. After all the domestic officers depart, we are planning special one-on-one Focused Breakout Sessions. Come prepared to discuss any pressing issues or concerns you have. At this session, you will be paired with Board Members, SMTA Staff or experienced chapter officers who will work with you, making phone calls, sending emails, whatever it takes to solve your most pressing problems. After a good afternoon’s work, your reward is a special dinner at the Sun Dial Restaurant located just steps away at the top of the Westin Peachtree Plaza. A tri-level complex, The Sun Dial features an upscale restaurant, a cocktail lounge and an observatory level with a breathtaking 360-degree panorama of the magnificent skyline from 723 feet above.

Business casual attire is requested in the evening by the Sun Dial.


Thanks to our current chapter sponsors!

Central Texas Chapter


Dallas Chapter


Empire (NY) Chapter

Intermountain Chapter

Mexico - Guadalajara Chapter

Michigan Chapter

Ohio Valley Chapter

Penang Chapter

Rocky Mountain Chapter


Space Coast Chapter

Upper Midwest Chapter

Wisconsin Chapter

West Penn Chapter



Frequently Asked Questions

1. When should I arrive and depart in Atlanta?
All officers should arrive in time for our “On the Flight Deck” Welcome Reception on Friday, March 9 at 7:00 p.m. If you plan to attend the optional Facility Tour at Delta Airlines TechOps Facility, you need to be at either the DoubleTree Hotel or Atlanta Airport in time for the bus which departs at 1:15 p.m. from the Hotel and 1:45 p.m. from the Airport.

If you are a domestic officer, the conference ends at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 11. Please book your return flights no earlier than a 3:00 p.m. departure. If you are a student or international officer, the conference ends after dinner Sunday evening. You can book your return flight for anytime the next morning, March 12.

2. Should I rent a car in Atlanta?
If you plan to do business or sightsee before or after the conference you may choose to rent a vehicle. If not, the MARTA train or an Uber or Lyft transfer to the DoubleTree Hotel may be more economical. Your final trip information will include detailed instructions for navigating the Airport for each of those options.

All our events with the exception of the Delta TechOps Facility Tour and our fun evening out on Saturday to Skyline Park will be held at the DoubleTree Downtown Atlanta Hotel. We will have buses to take you to the offsite events. If you are taking the bus from the Airport to the optional Delta TechOps facility, your bags will be stored on the bus during your tour.

3. 3. Should I reserve a room directly with the American Hotel by DoubleTree?
No. Please register through the link at the top of this page and let us know how many nights you need at the hotel. SMTA HQ will make all reservations at the American Hotel by DoubleTree by means of a rooming list. If you need to pay for your own hotel room nights, that will be noted on the rooming list. The hotel will charge your credit card upon arrival. If your room is paid by SMTA, it will be applied to our Master Account.

4. Can I bring a guest?
Yes. Guests are welcome to attend the “On the Flight Deck” Welcome Reception on March 9 at no charge. If you would like your guest to attend the evening at Skyline Park, the cost is $100 per guest. That amount is payable by check or credit card when you arrive. Guests are not invited to any other activities, but the Atlanta area boasts lots of great activities that they can enjoy.

5. What is my financial responsibility?
SMTA is taking care of all your food and beverage, training, and entertainment for the duration of the program. We are also paying for 2 rooms for 2 nights for domestic chapters and 2 rooms for 3 nights for international and student officers. Sharing a room with another officer is encouraged to save costs. If your chapter requires additional rooms or room nights, those will be charged to your credit card upon arrival. Our contracted room rate is $119 plus taxes and fees per night ($144.11 inclusive). We also ask that you pay for your own travel arrangements to get to Atlanta.

Your first option to obtain reimbursement for your expenses should be your employer. You will receive excellent training that will not only make you a better SMTA officer – it will make you a better employee as well. If reimbursement from your company is not possible, then you should obtain reimbursement from your chapter treasury. Please be sure to consult with your President and Treasurer to decide how many people you can send and how much you can be reimbursed for. If neither option is possible, please contact Karen Frericks at SMTA HQ. We will try to obtain sponsorship assistance from other chapters. We want to make sure all chapters are able to send at least one representative.

6. What are our sponsorship opportunities?
Please see the section on this page for some suggested sponsorship donations, but any amount, directed toward any aspect of the Forum is appreciated.


SMTA Headquarters
6600 City West Parkway, Suite 300
Eden Prairie, MN 55344 USA

Phone 952.920.7682
Fax 952.926.1819