The conference for campus innovation.
We are the business of higher education: bookstores, dining halls, campus card systems, housing, and more. This is the conference where our professional peers gather from around the world, where over 180 companies share tomorrow's solutions, and where new inspiration and ideas are discovered in over 100 educational sessions.
The NACAS Annual Conference is where institutions and business partners work together to find solutions. It’s not just an exhibit hall, it’s a Business Solutions Center. Whether you are showcasing a product and service, or you are looking for a new idea for your campus, this is where the higher education industry moves forward. So join the more than 700 institutions and 200 business partners who are gathered to make out industry a better place. Network with key decision makers, attend cutting edge education sessions, and enjoy the rich San Antonio culture!
Founded in 1969 as the National Association of College Auxiliary Services, NACAS is the largest auxiliary services support organization serving higher education. Our membership includes 4-year and 2-year colleges and universities in the United States, Canada, and around the world. NACAS provides extensive opportunities for members to share ideas, develop business solutions, enhance programs and revenues, and develop meaningful professional relationships.
NASA Astronaut/NFL Hall-of-Famer
“Houston, we have a problem.” Leland Melvin was 25 feet under water in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, a 6 million gallon pool, training to perform spacewalks as a NASA astronaut when he called the test director and asked him to turn the volume up in his headset. He never heard a reply and was immediately hoisted out of the pool to learn that he was deaf. Emergency surgery resulting in only partial recovery to his hearing led him to being medically disqualified to fly in space by NASA flight surgeons.
This is just one of the many career ending challenges Leland has overcome in his life. Before becoming an astronaut Leland was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the 1986 College Draft to play professional football but a hamstring injury thwarted his NFL career with Detroit and then later with the Dallas Cowboys.
Hear his fascinating story of perseverance and how he ultimately traveled off-planet twice on Space Shuttle Atlantis to help build the International Space Station. Leland is the only person drafted into the National Football League to have flown in space. The Pro Football Hall of Fame honored his athletic and academic accomplishments by placing his Detroit Lions jersey under glass in Canton, Ohio. Through these professional experiences working on high stakes teams, he developed a deep and nuanced understanding of effective team dynamics.
The average college student is not the same as they once were. They represent a diverse range of races, socio-economic classes, religions, ages, and preferences. They think and act differently. As auxiliary services professionals, it’s our duty to make sure we are reaching each unique student and telling their stories. In her general session, marketing guru Kelly McDonald will provide tips and actionable takeaways you can use to ensure your marketing efforts are reaching every student. These steps will help you build a better experience for students on your campus.
Kelly McDonald is considered one of the nation’s top experts in marketing, customer service and consumer trends. Her client experience includes brands such as Toyota, Subaru, Kimberly-Clark, Nike, Harley-Davidson, Miller-Coors, and Sherwin-Williams. Kelly was named one of the “10 Most Booked Speakers in the U.S.” and she was also #1 on the list of “26 Hot Speakers” by Successful Meetings Magazine. She has been featured on CNBC, in Forbes, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Fast Company, on CNNMoney.com and on The Focus Group show!
She is the author of three bestselling books:
Kelly lives in Denver and when she’s not on the road speaking, she enjoys hiking – and shopping for high heels.
Chief Executive Officer, NACAS
Public Private Partnerships: Moving Forward Together
“Experience” is the hot buzzword these days. Virtually every industry is preoccupied with improving experience for their customers and clients, but what exactly does that mean? In auxiliary services, integration is the name of the game. Innovative auxiliary professionals across the country are creating new revenue streams, allowing them to form a seamless integration of quality services/products, brand identity, and student experience. This blend makes for a well-oiled machine that churns out successful, skillful individuals who are prepared to take on the future. In order for this to happen efficiently, the current funding model has got to change.
In her eXpress presentation, NACAS CEO Kelsey Harmon Finn will explore how campus leaders can leverage public and private partnerships to build the best student experience possible, meeting demands and fusing brands into all areas of campus to maximize partnership opportunities. The ways in which we approach this integration should be (and CAN be) different. We need to envision a merging of higher education and business that benefits all parties involved. Kelsey will address the future of the industry and how student experience is limited by avoiding the creation of robust campus partnerships. Higher education is not the end of the line for students; the work that we do prepares them for the real world and life beyond the classroom.