2017 SEAC Conference

cropped-2017-logoYour SEAC officers and planning committee have been hard at work creating the first-ever State Education Association Communicators conference, to be held in Vancouver, Washington—just across the beautiful and historic Columbia River from Portland. The conference begins with an opening reception on Sunday evening, June 4 and concludes on Wednesday, June 7.

Conference registration/hotel reservations

Our conference takes place in the city-owned, union-staffed Hilton Vancouver Washington. A 10-minute drive from downtown Portland, the Hilton Vancouver is within walking distance of more than 30 restaurants, 8 coffee shops, and more than 20 boutique, consignment, retail and antique shops. It’s just three blocks from the Columbia riverfront and adjacent to Loowit, one of the region’s top microbreweries. Several other microbreweries are within walking distance as well.

Our room rate is $169 per night.

You can reserve your rooms at bit.ly/seachilton or call 360-993-4500.

Download SEAC Dues and Conference Registration here. The deadline to register for the conference and pay dues is April 3.

Awards luncheon and explore Portland

This year, we’ve planned a different approach to the Awards program. Rather than coming at the end of the conference, it will be an Awards Luncheon held mid-conference on Tuesday at the Portland City Grill. Offering stunning views of Portland and the Willamette River, the Portland City Grill is on the 30th floor of the Bancorp Tower.

Shuttle Buses will take SEAC members to and from the Bancorp Tower. After the luncheon shuttles will provide free loop service between downtown Portland and the Hilton Vancouver until 10 p.m. so that SEAC members have the opportunity to explore Portland.

We’ll release a more detailed schedule in early March. In the meantime, here’s some of what we have planned.

A taste of the conference

Here’s a sampling of what to expect at SEAC 2016.

Making Your Case: Strategic Public Affairs Communications in the Trump Era
Ragan Communications Consultant – Nick Lanyi will lead this session. Based in Washington, D.C., Lanyi is a former journalist and who has worked in public affairs and local news.

Panel Discussion Around Friedrichs and the Cases to Come – The panel will include those who worked on Friedrichs v. CTA and others to address new cases making their way to the U.S. Supreme Court as well as California’s campaign around Friedrichs and the communications lessons Friedrichs provides going forward.

A session with Brett Bingam – Brett Bingham, a special education teacher and Oregon EA member, was the 2014 Oregon Teacher of the Year. He came to national prominence when his school district ordered him not to say he was gay publicly, demanded the right to monitor his speaking and writing both personal and public, and attempted to fire him when he refused to allow district control of his speech. Bingam is an inspiring and entertaining speaker who will also address the OEA’s role in protecting his interests.

Pro-Action Café – Hosted by NJEA staffers Rich Wilson and Mike Ritzius, Pro-Action Café is part of a larger movement known as The Art of Hosting and Harvesting Conversations That Matter. The Art of Hosting is a highly effective way of harnessing the collective wisdom and self-organizing capacity of groups of any size. Based on the assumption that people give their energy and lend their resources to what matters most to them—in work as in life—the Art of Hosting blends a suite of powerful conversational processes to invite people to step in and take charge of the challenges facing them. Pro-action café is a process by which you can harness the “wisdom of the room” for projects you may be working on back home.

Additional programs and activities will be provided as they are confirmed.


We’ll continue this year to organize breakout sessions into tracks to ensure that programs serve the diverse job descriptions of SEAC members.

  • Digital Communications
  • Media and Messaging
  • Design and Visuals
  • Writing and Editing

Details are coming in early March on breakouts. In addition to the survey data received earlier this year, we have paid attention to the questions that tend to come up in state-affiliate communicators.