The FLABOTA Executive Committee has made the difficult decision to cancel the Annual Convention scheduled to take place at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes on July 23-26, 2020.

The average age of our members is 65 years of age, the majority of whom would be required to travel to Orlando to attend the Annual Meeting. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people 65 years of age and older are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.  Further, according to the CDC, travel increases the risk of getting infected with and spreading COVID-19. The CDC recommends that persons 65 years old and older stay home if possible, avoid large gatherings and avoid non-essential travel.

Needless to say the safety of our members has to be our top priority as an organization. It has become more and more obvious that our Annual Meeting would involve exposing our members to unnecessary health risks from COVID-19. Even if we attempted to have the meeting the safety precautions necessary to promote social distancing, limitations on table seating, reduced room capacity, wearing face masks, etc., would essentially eliminate the socializing and networking that makes these experiences so special for our members and attractive for our sponsors. A meeting under these circumstances is clearly not the event we had planned for you. Furthermore, the feedback we have received from many of our members has made it clear that the meeting would be poorly attended given the ongoing safety concerns and limitations necessitated due to COVID-19. Many of you who reached out simply felt it was too soon to attend an event of this nature.

On the bright side, we are excited about our FLABOTA Fall Retreat on October 23-24, 2020 at the World Golf Village Renaissance St. Augustine Resort. Our preliminary plan is to move our FLABOTA Awards ceremony to the October meeting and we are hopeful for an outstanding turnout from our membership. Stay tuned for updates with regard to the Fall Retreat.

We will still have a FLABOTA Board of Directors meeting in July via Zoom where we will swear in our new FLABOTA Officers President Chief Judge Nelly Khouzam, President-Elect Joseph Kalbac and Treasurer Raúl Alvarez. We may move the date of the meeting as the originally planned date falls on a Saturday. Stay tuned for the new date.

For those of you who made room reservations at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes for the 2020 Annual Meeting please remember to cancel those.

Scott Costantino
FLABOTA President