IPMBA Conference Archives
2016 IPMBA Conference
April 23-30, 2016. The IPMBA Conference was held in the “Land of the Sky”, better known to conference attendees as the “Land of the Hills.” The Crowne Plaza Asheville was situated on the top of a hill. The cone courses were situated at the bottom. Downtown was situated down the hill and up another. The off-road trails of Bent Creek Experimental Forest were situated on Mount Pisgah. It was impossible to avoid them – even the meeting rooms were named after local mountains: Mitchell, Pisgah, Pilot, and Roan. Despite the challenging terrain, the event was an unequivocal success. The weather was near-perfect. The hotel grounds offered parking lots, grassy areas, and purpose-built off-road trails. The bike check, command post, exhibit hall, and lunches were all housed in one gigantic structure. The training venues were well-appointed with cones, pallets, railroad ties, and water. The instructors were top-notch. The hospitality villa was well-stocked with Asheville’s favorite beverage and enticing snacks. Downtown, with its wide array of restaurants, breweries, galleries and shops, was just a short (free) shuttle ride away. Nearly 300 attendees representing more than 40 states and one Canadian province tested their mettle on Asheville’s hills during certification courses, workshop, recreational rides, and the competition, and they all came to the same conclusion – Asheville is indeed the “Land of the Hills."
Thanks to Our Hosts
The IPMBA board, staff, members, and conference attendees thank the Asheville Police Department for hosting the 26th Annual IPMBA Conference. We appreciate the support of Mayor Esther Manheimer and the City Council, Chief Tammy Hooper, AB-Tech, Asheville Fire Department, Buncombe County EMS, UNC-Asheville, the Asheville-Buncombe County Regional Sports Commission, and Explore Asheville, without which this conference would not have been possible. We are grateful for the generous in-kind and financial contributions from Asheville’s business community, and we extend a special thanks to Asheville on Bikes, Kolo Bike Park, and New Belgium Brewing Company.
We are fortunate that Sgt. Evan Coward was inspired to invite us to Asheville after having attended the 2011 IPMBA Conference in Richmond, Virginia. More than one attendee remarked that he and Asheville have set a new standard for future conferences.
IPMBA would like to recognize the members of the Command Staff, who stopped at nothing to ensure that attendees received a warm welcome, experienced outstanding training, and enjoyed the benefits of a well-executed event. Under Evan’s leadership, Command Staff members Sarah Baker, Todd Brigman, Mack Creson, Sean Davis, Christopher Dennis, Nathan Dietiker, Travis Duyck, James French, Brien Griffin, Heather Hine, Joe Johnson, Lucas Lovelace, Boyd McCaskill, John Radford, Sharlene Raines, Doug Sheehan, Jackie Stepp, Eric Stewart, Lisa Taube, Joshua Veridal, and Hunter Welborn demonstrated their ability to execute an excellent event. Their energy and enthusiasm were infectious and permeated the conference with a positive attitude.
They genuinely seemed to be having fun even as they worked long hours and moved a lot of cones. They were all so well-prepared that they had no difficulty overcoming any challenges that presented themselves. Their willingness to work long hours and go “above and beyond” speaks volumes about their commitment to the City, the department, IPMBA, and excellence. The team – and they truly functioned as a team – are to be commended for the manner in which they planned and implemented the event.
We also appreciate the participation of the Asheville Fire Department, which provided support personnel in the Bike Check and other venues. Battalion Chief Jeremy Knighton contributed his expertise in developing ICS-based daily Incident Action Plans that clearly defined who and what was needed, when and where, while Jeremy Edmonds served as resources liaison. The Fire Department also allowed unfettered access to their portion of the Woodfin Training Center for the Bicycle Response Team Training scenarios. The various structures provided a realistic training environment for such tactics as crowd movement and target hardening, and attendees will not soon forget the drama of the flaming car. Finally, they brought out the ladder truck for the traditional group photo.
IPMBA thanks John-Michael Keyes of The “I Love U Guys” Foundation for not only serving as keynote speaker, but also for presenting two sessions of “Carpe Audience”. John-Michael’s ability to bring humor into and good out of a tragic event serves as an inspiration to us all.
Finally, we thank everyone who attended and everyone who instructed. It is often necessary to overcome obstacles such as staffing shortages, budget constraints, and travel restrictions in order to participate. We appreciate the priority you place on IPMBA’s training programs and are confident that the experience exceeded your expectations.
IPMBA is going back to Ohio for the 27th Annual IPMBA Conference, June 5-10, 2017, in Delaware, Ohio. We look forward to welcoming you there!