2019 National Convention
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2019 National Convention

9/26/2019 to 9/29/2019
When: 26-29 September 2019
Where: Des Moines Marriott Downtown
700 Grand Ave
Des Moines, Iowa  50309
United States
Contact: Diane Markham

Online registration is closed.
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Registration Information

Advance registration will be open through midnight, Wednesday, 18 September 2019.
There are 2 categories of registration:

2019 NC - Standard Registration: $225
Standard Registration includes the welcome reception, all meetings, coffee breaks, lunch on Friday, and the option to purchase tickets for the Memorial Breakfast and Banquet.

2019 NC - Awardee Registration: No charge
Awardee Registration is for awardees and finalists and includes the welcome reception, all meetings, coffee breaks, lunch on Friday, and the option to purchase tickets for the Memorial Breakfast and Banquet.

Optional Events:

The following optional events are open to all members on a first-come, first-served basis:

- Memorial Breakfast: $35 – Saturday, 28 September, 7:00 am
- Banquet (with reception): $65 – Saturday, 28 September, 6:00 pm
- ROA Academy: no cost – Thursday, 26 September, 8:00 am – 3:00 pm


Conference Hotel

Des Moines Marriott Downtown

700 Grand Ave.

Des Moines, IA 50309

Phone: (515) 245-5500



ROA’s room block offers a rate of $109 (single) plus 12% applicable tax. The group rate is also available three days before and 3 days after the convention based on hotel availability. Reservations must be made by 5:00 pm (central), Wednesday, September 4, 2019 to enjoy the group rate.



The easiest way to make your reservation is by calling the hotel directly at (800) 228-9290. When calling, be sure to reference the meeting to get the convention rate.



Click here for a full agenda. This is not a final program. We will provide updates as they become available. Please be sure to check the program on site to confirm meeting times and room locations.


ROA Academy

Are you a leader of your department or chapter? Or perhaps you are considering a run for office? Don’t miss this opportunity to learn the nuts and bolts of leading your group. From finances to legislation policy, seasoned members and staff will provide you with the knowledge, skills and tools needed to perform the functions and responsibilities of your office. This event has no cost to the attendees, but you do need to get a ticket when you register. A light working lunch will be provided.


Resolution Process/Deadlines

Resolutions recommended by departments, service sections, and standing committees will be considered by the convention body. To be properly filed, a resolution must be received in the prescribed format at National Headquarters no later than Monday, September 26, 2019. Resolutions recommended by the National Resolutions Committee for presentation to the national convention will be provided to delegates. For more information, contact Susan Lukas, ROA’s Director for Legislative and Military Policy (slukas@roa.org or 202-646-7713).


Proposed Amendments to Constitution/Bylaws and Policy

Several proposed amendments to the C&B and policies will be considered by accredited convention delegates on Sunday, 29 September 2019, at 8:00 am. Click here for a full list of proposed amendments.


Every member is encouraged to apply to their department leadership to become a delegate. Delegates cast votes on behalf of their department on issues such as resolutions, proposed changes to the constitution and bylaws, and the election of national officers. To find out who your department leader is, visit your department’s group webpage or contact Ashika Grimes at agrimes@roa.org or 202-646-7700.

Departments should submit their completed delegate reporting form to national headquarters no later than September 13, 2019. Click here to see the number of delegates and votes each department is allowed. Forms and questions should be sent to Diane Markham at dmarkham@roa.org or (202) 646-7728.



Convention delegates will elect 12 new members of the National Executive Committee. For each service section, the convention will elect a vice president, a junior vice president, and two executive committee members. For the Naval Services section, one Executive Committeeman will be from the Navy, PHS, or NOAA; the other will be from the Marine Corps, PHS or NOAA.

Be sure to check the Candidates’ Corner regularly to see who has been added to the list of endorsed members running for office.

To be considered for an elected office, you must be endorsed by your Department. Endorsement letters must be signed by your department president or secretary should be sent to Diane Markham (dmarkham@roa.org or 1 Constitution Ave NE, Washington DC 20002).



Recommended dress for all meetings and welcome reception is business casual. Members in uniform are expected to adhere to the grooming, physical and uniform standards of their respective services. The ROA Banquet is formal/black tie.


Getting There

If traveling by air, you will fly in to the Des Moines International Airport (DSM), which is approximately five miles from the hotel.

The hotel offers complimentary airport shuttle service from 4:30 am to 11:00 pm daily. Upon arrival call (515) 245-5500 to request your shuttle.

Alternate transportation:

Taxi – Fare is approximately $20 (Capitol Cab: 515-282-8111; Yellow Cab: 515-243-1111)

Uber/Lyft – Fare is approximately $15.00

Car rental – Click here for more information.


Valet parking is available at the hotel for $25/day with in/out privileges. Self-parking is available in nearby garages. Public garages' hourly rates are $1/hour with a $10 daily max.


Getting Around Town

There are many dining and entertainment options within walking distance of the hotel. However, if you would prefer to ride, the hotel offers complimentary shuttle service within the downtown area. Simply visit the bell stand in the hotel lobby to arrange for your shuttle. When you are ready to return to the hotel, just give them a call (515) 245-5500) with your location and they will pick you up.


What to Do

Get your FREE Des Moines visitor’s guide. Click here!

Whether you are looking for arts & culture, spas, zoos, sports, outdoor adventures, shopping, or nightlife, Catch Des Moines has your guide for what to do while in Omaha. Click here and start planning your visit now.


Eating in the Hotel

Des Moines Marriott Downtown dining options:

In-room Dining – A new take on in-room dining, food is packaged “take out” style. No carts to fuss with and no more dirty dishes sitting in the halls waiting to be picked up. Place your order, then pick it up at the restaurant or wait in your room and they will deliver it. Available 6:00 am – midnight. See the menu.

Rock River Grill & Tavern – Browse the innovative menu of American cuisine at Rock River Grill & Tavern, the acclaimed downtown restaurant in Des Moines. Start your day enjoying an extensive breakfast buffet or, on select days, enjoy the popular all-you-can-eat pasta bar. Open for breakfast and lunch. See the breakfast menu. See the lunch menu.

Mash + Marrow – Experience a modern twist on American classics at Mash + Marrow. Located in the Great Room of the hotel, the downtown Des Moines restaurant is the ideal place to sample seasonal cuisine or sip a handcrafted cocktail unwinding with friends and colleagues. Open for dinner. See the menu.


Going out for Dinner

From burger joints, to craft breweries, to steakhouses, Catch Des Moines provides many diverse options.