This past week our team attended the 2021 National Independent Flag Dealers Association Convention (NIFDA) in Chicagoland (Naperville, IL). To say that I will never forget this NIFDA convention is an understatement.
We kicked off the convention with a fun-filled welcome reception at WhirlyBall. This is an insane game of 5v5 bumper cars, with scoop rackets, a whiffle ball and basketball backboard. Yes, we combined bumper cars, lacrosse, and basketball. Driving, passing, catching, and shooting is something else, it was a hoot. I found the flag industry is a very competitive group.
Opening Color Guard & Keynote
The next day we began with an outstanding Color Guard Presentation from a local school. This day was filled with so many sessions to help our business. That evening, during the EXPO we met with our suppliers. Discussing new products, supply chain issues, and what is to come in 2022 and beyond. That night concluded with a casino night, a fun way to mingle and laugh with our fellow NIFDA members.
The final day began with a bus ride to a local flag manufacturer. We saw how custom flags are made and stock flags are made. Along with the labor required to make a single American flag. Once we returned to the convention site, we had a few more sessions. Including a vexillologist, a NIFDA board meeting, and an amazing closing keynote.
The Betsy Ross Award Goes to…
The final event of the convention was the Annual Awards Dinner. This will forever be a highlight. After the George Washington Award was presented, I (Kim) was awarded the Betsy Ross for Service Award. The Betsy Ross Award for Service recognizes an active member of National Independent Flag Dealers Association who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to serve NIFDA, the flag industry, fellow NIFDA members and/or their community. I was surprised and completely honored to be presented with this award.
With the receipt of the Betsy Ross Award for Service along with the first convention since the pandemic, the memories and connections made will forever be etched in my memory.