A Needed Change of Venue

A Message from our Executive Director

Hello Friends:
From the earliest weeks and months of the coronavirus pandemic, the NWA has strived to keep our members’ safety top-of-mind while we navigate through the unknowns of COVID-19.  Keeping our members safe when we gather is paramount to our efforts, and that assurance will continue.
Following a series of reviews with numerous professionals, a legal review of the New York City vaccine mandate, and a one-day member survey with an overwhelming majority ‘unwilling’ to go to NYC, it became perfectly clear that we had to take action.  The city-wide mandate will not allow over half of our attendees to access the convention space, which required us to seek a new location outside of New York City.  While this move may disappoint some of our members, it is necessary and prudent to allow the NWA to be able to hold a ‘complete’ convention with access to all.     
The Association reached out to our hotelier contacts in eight (8) states in an immediate effort to seek a new home for our national convention.  We are very fortunate, thankful and pleased to announce to you that the 107th National Watermelon Convention & Annual Meeting of the National Watermelon Association has a very welcoming, new home in February.  Our new hosts are located in ‘downtown’ Nashville, Tennessee at the beautiful Sheraton Grand Hotel on Union Street. 
Just four years ago the hotel completed a $35 million renovation, placing the 28-floor hotel in the most elite classification in the Sheraton brand, as one of only five Sheraton Grand's in the United States.  Take a look: https://www.marriott.com/hotels/hotel-photos/bnand-sheraton-grand-nashville-downtown/.  This beautiful property will be our hosts in just four (4) months, and we will be the exclusive group that will meet in-house. 
A significant change like this will require a delay in our normal timing to open the convention up.  We have a goal of November 1st to open hotel room reservations, convention registrations, sponsorships, exhibit space, speaking opportunities, and more.  You will find all of the pertinent information posted on the convention page at www.watermelon.ag by that kickoff date.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to anyone of us on the NWA Team.  Thank you in advance for your patience, and we look forward to seeing you in Music City USA – Nashville in February for what will be another great national convention.  See you soon.
Bob Morrissey
Executive Director, NWA