An Interview with Larry Slatky, Summer Leadership Conference Organizer

IMG_0381Larry’s History with the Summer Leadership Conference

In the early 1980s, while working at Parkview Nursing Home (Larry started there at 17!), I got more involved in the American College of Healthcare Administrator’s. Young managers and administrators couldn’t afford to go to national/regional meetings. So I volunteered on the conference and education committees for the New York Chapter of ACHCA. Back then, some companies would sponsor events to get access to SNF administrators, so I started asking destinations and transport companies to help with college events. Partnerships were developed, including with Eastern Airlines.

The first summer leadership conference was in Barbados in 1982. After looking at 2 to 3 destinations, I took the risk and planned the first Summer Leadership Conference for Barbados. It was called the “The American Series.” It was a terrific success, with 45 attendees and program was hit. After the second successful program in Barbados, we experimented with locations and even cruising. After 9-11, we settled on Bermuda as the consistent location. Hamilton was the site for many years, then the conference was forced to switch to Southampton when the Hamilton location was renovated. The conference has been there ever since!

What Are the Best Things About the Summer Leadership Conference?

The best thing about the Summer Leadership Conference after all these years is being there with my friends and colleagues. We’ve grown close over the years – much of this commenced and centered around the SLC – at the professional development level, there’s a level of honesty and openness. This is a great place to see first-hand different styles – no unions, different approaches – you really get close to people from different cultures. I love watching people stay young with you, while we’re all growing old! Everyone’s comfortable, safe, and secure. Each year when I leave I can’t wait to get back! Four Ways is a great restaurant to dine at during the conference. And, playing golf at the executive course, Southampton is always a highlight of the event – the scenery and the course itself is great.

Do you have any suggestions for new attendees / first time participants?

The rates at the hotel are great, because we’re one of their oldest groups there, so newcomers should plan to linger a few days and take advantage of this. The water sports available are amazing. Bermuda is great at night, but it’s also a day-centered destination where families go – it’s where my kids and I go to get together. It’s a great place to renew all types of relationships – including your wife!

Take advantage of the mornings – they’re beautiful. Take a walk or a jog, or a walk up to the lighthouse. Of course, you need to go to the beach. Make a visit to the aquariums. Go into town, it’s so clean and family friendly, and old – it’s been there 400 years! Summer is the high season for weather and water sports – this is their season! Take advantage of the water sports, make sure you take a ride on a jet ski!

Looking forward to seeing everyone and a great conference!

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