Fast Track to Milwaukee

It’s Time Now To Finalize Plans!

Our 2016 convention, more specifically the BVA 71st National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is upon us. The items of greatest importance in planning trips and arrivals are outlined below.

First and foremost, the member registration packet is currently available. It can be located on the BVA website for download and can also be mailed to you upon request by calling 800-669-7079. The deadline to register is July 22.

New this year, BVA is seeking among its membership those who are interested in serving their fellow veterans in the future as Volunteer National Service Officers. Those interested may receive a subsidized trip to the convention. Sponsored by Eschenbach Optik, BVA is able to partially fund the attendance and participation of up to four such members. If you are interested in this great opportunity or simply wish to receive additional information, please contact Convention Manager Christina Hitchcock to receive an application.

The room rate at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center for BVA members is $99 plus tax. Rooms are filling up quickly so please make your reservation by calling 414-271-7250. Group rates are available August 20-28 based on hotel space. Individuals and regional groups interested in advertising in this year’s program booklet should also contact Christina and submit their ad by June 22.

The convention Exhibit Hall will be open Tuesday and Wednesday, August 23-24. Exhibitors new and old will share their products and knowledge with our attendees. Participating this year for the first time are Designs for Vision, Inc. and E.M. Vitu, Inc. They will be joining past exhibitors Eschenbach Optik, Freedom Scientific, Hadley School for the Blind, Iron Bow Technologies, National Library Service, and Southeastern Guide Dogs.

Booths covering every topic will be present. A full list of exhibitors and sponsors for this year can be found on the BVA website.

2016 Convention Schedule

The following is a basic overview of the convention events that will later appear in much greater detail in the official program. The dates, times, and events themselves are still subject to change at the Bulletin press time.

Monday, August 22
  • Welcome Session
  • VNSO Training
  • Education Sessions
  • Leadership Training
  • Evening Shuttle to the Casino
Tuesday, August 23
  • Welcome Agenda Review
  • VNSO Training
  • Education Sessions
  • Leadership Training
  • Exhibit Hall - Open to All (10am-6pm)
  • Rules and Credentials Committee Meeting
  • BVA National President's Reception
Wednesday, August 24
  • Opening Session - Keynote addresses from VA, State, and Local Officials
  • Opening Business Meeting * Exhibit Hall- Open to All (10am-6pm)
  • Field Service Update
  • Legislative Update
  • Bylaws and Resolutions Meeting
  • Special Interest Group Meetings (Service Dog Users, Golf, Women Veterans)
  • Evening Shuttle to the Casino
Thursday, August 25
  • BVA Forum
  • Father Carroll Luncheon
  • Officer Candidate Speeches
  • District Caucus Meetings
  • Evening Trip to Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Game
Friday, August 26
  • Closing Business Meeting, which includes Bylaws and Resolutions, Elections, and Updates on Future Conventions
  • Afternoon Trip to the Harley Davidson Museum
  • Leadership Training
  • Awards Banquet

Convention Exhibitor Update

BVA is pleased to welcome several confirmed exhibitors to the 71st National Convention. At press time, a number of returnees from last year in Louisville have already registered. There are also a handful of new exhibitors who have expressed interest and later registered. The Exhibit Hall will be open August 23-24. There is still time for exhibitors to get registered and for our convention attendees to become interested in spending time in the Exhibit Hall. Please contact Convention Manager Christina Hitchcock.

Exhibitors who have already registered are: OrCam, HIMS, Freedom Scientific/Optelec,

Bureau of Engraving and Printing, LS&S, Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired, American Printing House for the Blind, The Chicago Lighthouse, Humanware, Eschenbach Optik, Iron Bow Technologies, Designs for Vision, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, E.M. Vitu, Inc., Southeastern Guide Dogs, Enhanced Vision, Wicab., Inc., Baum USA, Guide Dogs for the Blind, and the VA Office of Research and Development.