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There will be no mistaking you’re in the Big Easy when you attend the AAE’s 2017 annual meeting, April 26-29. From local keynote speakers to the Celebrate! event to a special jazz brunch, AAE17 is taking advantage of its location in every way. “AAE17 will be pure New Orleans from beginning to end,” said Dr. Donna J. Mattscheck, general chair. “Beyond the outstanding education and networking opportunities that the annual meeting always offers, attendees will experience the sights, sounds and tastes of New Orleans in all of our events.”

CarvilleMatalin_new Louisiana native James Carville and his wife, Mary Matalin, will provide an enlightening look at today’s most important political issues as the general session keynote speakers. Carville, the “Ragin’ Cajun” liberal, and Matalin, a staunch conservative, are one of America’s best-loved political couples. Today, they make their home in New Orleans and will entertain AAE17 attendees with behind-the-scenes stories of politics in Washington, and join everyone for the Welcome Reception afterward. “Later in the week, we’re going to have our own second line parade with a marching band leading us from the hotel to the Celebrate! event,” explained Dr. Mattscheck. “It’s going to have that classic New Orleans feel, like a Mardi Gras celebration, but with an AAE twist!”

Celebrate! takes place at Generations Hall, an historic New Orleans building dating back to the 1820s. The event will include a variety entertainment and something for everyone.

Wrapping up the New Orleans theme on the closing day of AAE17, attendees are invited to a special jazz brunch to honor the Association’s 2017 award winners. The Coolidge Brunch will feature a local jazz band and provide another opportunity for attendees to enjoy New Orleans’ unique culture and entertainment. And, if that’s not enough, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival – Jazz Fest – starts on April 28. “We chose New Orleans, these activities and venues because we think they’re ones that the membership will want to experience. We try to take advantage of the location in every way,” said Dr. Mattscheck. “And I hope our members get to take advantage too and take some time or stay a few extra days to enjoy Jazz Fest.”

Of course, AAE17 also offers a breadth of educational programming, including live 3-D surgery and top-notch presenters, some of whom have never spoken at an AAE meeting before. “The vision from the beginning was again to have it be very New Orleans in tone and also to be very heavily clinically oriented,” said Dr. Mattscheck. “I believe our programming achieves both goals.”

Look for more about AAE17 in upcoming issues of the Communique. Meeting registration will open in December.