Conference Highlights


Adventures on the Gorge

On Sunday, July 27th, a whitewater rafting/ziplining excursion is planned for those attendees and guests who are in town before the official start of the conference. Shuttle vans will depart from the Charleston Marriott Town Center at approximately 8:00 am for scenic Fayette County, West Virginia, and the rim of the spectacular New River Gorge, where a thrilling, fun-filled day awaits with Adventures on the Gorge, one of the state's premier outdoor adventure resorts. Special group rates are as follows:

Choice of One:
Rafting Trip - six-hour New River whitewater expedition:  $99/person* (lunch included)
Ziplining - half-day Treetop or Gravity plus half-day New River Bridge Walk:  $99/person* (lunch included)

Reservations/Payment are the responsibility of individual guests. Please contact Savannah Gale, Group Coordinator with Adventures on the Gorge, at 304-574-4446 to reserve a spot on or before July 25th (mention Reservation #142186).
Videos will be available for purchase @ $16 ea.

Clay Center Summer Fun Day

n Sunday, July 27th, from 12:00 noon until 5:00 pm, the Clay Center will be offering an afternoon of FREE activities, including giant-screen films and planetarium shows, as part of the annual Charlie West Summer Jam. The center is located in the heart of downtown Charleston at 1 Clay Square.  


Monday morning's general session, scheduled to begin at 8:00 am, will open with the Charleston chapter of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Honor Guard there to present the flags, followed by a performance of our national anthem by the West Virginia Appalachian Children's Chorus. The ceremony will be held in the Grand Ballroom of the Charleston Marriott Town Center. 

 Charleston Marriott Town Center Social Event Space


Please join Snap-Tite® at Vino's Bar and Grill in downtown Charleston on Monday evening, July 28th, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Food and drinks provided!


On Tuesday, July 29th, following the morning breakout session, all participants and guests are invited to attend a group facility tour of the West Virginia Turnpike Memorial Tunnel located at Standard, West Virginia in Kanawha County, guided by staff members of the Center for National Response. The Memorial Tunnel is a 2,802-foot, two-lane vehicular tunnel that formerly carried the Turnpike through/under Paint Creek Mountain in the town of Standard. Closed to interstate traffic since 1987, the tunnel currently serves as the Center for National Response, a multipurpose exercise facility for military and civilian first responders to train for various crisis situations. The state-of-the-art facility is designed to meet a wide range of weapons of mass destruction consequence management and counterterrorism requirements for the Department of Defense, federal, state, and local organizations and houses bunker and cave areas as well as training scenario venues such as Collapsed Structure, Aircraft Fuselage, Highway HAZMAT, and Tactical Maneuvers.

For those interested in joining us on the planned Technical Tour, please be aware that this will be a walking tour covering an approximate one-half mile distance through the complex, with an additional one-half mile return to the entrance, and is not recommended for young children. Certain areas do include stairs and are not wheelchair accessible. Also, it is strongly cautioned that all visitors wear suitable casual clothing and avoid open-toed and/or open-heeled shoes for the tour. Box lunches are included and will be provided upon departure from the Marriott to enjoy aboard the motorcoach during our trip to Standard. Travel time is estimated at approximately 30 - 40 minutes, with the site tour approximately 1 hour in length.

      For more information on the Center for National Response and the Memorial Tunnel, please visit:





On Wednesday evening, July 30th, a banquet will be held for all participants and guests at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences' Grand Lobby in downtown Charleston. Dinner will be served buffet style with an Italian theme and will include a generous antipasto display, three types of salad, a seafood stew, a variety of entreés, breadsticks, and a dessert display. The event will be catered by Embassy Suites of Charleston.




An after-dinner show is also planned for the evening's festivities in the form of corporate magician and entertainer John Slicer. John's specialized brand of "corporate wizardry" combines high-energy wit with interactive audience participation to create hilarious, jawdropping fun and captivate the viewer while tailoring the performance to the specific theme of the event. An evening definitely not to be missed!



                                         For more on John Slicer and his unique style, please visit:



There are several exciting excursions planned for guests and family members on the days of Monday, July 28th, and Wednesday, July 30th, as well as a variety of offsite activities throughout the week for those interested in venturing out to see what Charleston and its surrounding areas has to offer. Shuttle services will be available to guests for the duration of the conference.

MONDAY, July 28:

(Scheduled Departure Time - 8:00 am)

Join us for a morning walking tour of historic downtown Lewisburg, a quaint, picturesque district that offers an array of unique specialty shops, trendy boutiques, award-winning galleries, and dining with an eclectic flair as well as opportunities to explore the area's rich history. From there, we travel a short distance to Beckley for an afternoon of lunch (paid by guest) and shopping at Tamarackthe nation’s first showcase of handcrafts, fine art, and regional cuisine. It comprises a warmly decorated retail store, working studios for resident artisans, a fine art gallery, a theater, and A Taste of West Virginia food court, managed by The Greenbrier Resort. A truly distinctive and memorable destination that offers the very best of West Virginia!


(Scheduled Departure Time - 9:00 am)

The morning begins with a tour of J. Q. Dickinson Salt Works, a family-owned- and -operated business located in nearby Malden, where gourmet finishing salt is harvested, produced, and packaged for sale on the premises. Dating from 1813 when founder William Dickinson settled along the Kanawha River, an area rich in brine from ancient sea springs located deep below the Appalachian Mountains, the company's salt making is a unique and innovative process, completed by hand without the use of big machinery or additives and resulting in an extraordinarily pure product. Afterward, it's on to Charleston's Capitol Market, home to a year-round outdoor produce market and an eclectic collection of indoor shops featuring locally crafted items as well as fresh fish and meat, books, wines, chocolates, and much more. We will be breaking for lunch while at the Market (paid by guest) with casual dining options available onsite, including Soho's, one of the city's most popular restaurants. Finally we head to Uncork and Create, in downtown Charleston, for an afternoon of fun and creativity, where visitors are encouraged to bring along adult beverages and snacks to help release their "inner artists"! Events are led by talented local artists/artisans who guide participants step-by-step in the creation of their own masterpiece...No experience necessary, and all materials are provided. Registration cost for the two-hour session, scheduled from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, is $35/person (paid by guest) and will include painting a pair of wine glasses guests can take with them.*

* Parcel shipping available compliments of the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau

To register for this event online, please click on the following link:

**PLEASE NOTE** Standard cancellation policy for Uncork and Create requires three days' minimum advance notice to reschedule a session and does not typically offer refund of pre-paid registration fees (as noted on the registration form); however, as most participants in this event are in town for a brief period only and will be unable to reschedule, the studio is prepared to make an exception to this policy and review any refund requests on a case-by-case basis.  



For the teen or young adult looking for excitement and adventure in the Metro area, we recommend the following:

Memorial Ice Arena

Single Admission: $6.00
All-Day Admission: $ 12.00
Skate Rental: $2.00
Newly opened, state-of-the-art facility located in South Charleston, West Virginia. The arena has all the amenities, from an arcade to a heated seating area that will accommodate 500 spectators. Groups of all sizes welcome.
Galaxy Lanes (Bowling)
With their pro shop, game room, snack bar, and sports bar, they have everything to make your visit a great fun-filled experience, regardless of skill level.
Hours of Operation:
Monday & Tuesday: 10am to 10pm
Wednesday & Thursday: 10am to Midnight
Day: $3.00 + tax                           Night: $3.50 + tax                          Shoe rental: $3.00/pair
The Southridge Grandprix and Family Fun Center
A variety of exciting activities await, including lazer tag, miniature golf, go-karts, and roller skating. Loads of fun for all ages!
Lazer tag: $7.00 per session or 4 sessions for $24.00
Grand Prix Track: $8.00 per ride or 3 rides for $22.00
Minature Golf: 18 Holes (Under age of 4) $3.50
                           18 Holes (Ages 4 and up) $5.50
Skate Sessions: Range from $4.50 - $7.00                          Skate Rental: $2.75/pair
Coonskin Park
The park includes over a thousand acres of woodland, hiking and biking trails, a handicapped accessible 18-hole par three golf course, an Olympic-size pool, picnic shelters of all sizes, tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, bike rentals, pedal boat rentals, and a modern playground area.
* Refer to site for activity rates
Marquee Cinemas (Southridge 12)
To check current movie listings and show times, please visit:



Registration for guest/spouse and teen activities will take place on Sunday morning, July 27th. There will be a designated table located in the venue foyer for those wishing to register.

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