1000+ place management professionals united in Vancouver for perhaps the most comprehensive and diverse IDA Annual Conference & Marketplace ever. It was incredible, but it was not the only outstanding accomplishment of 2022. As we begin a new year, I want to thank the amazing IDA staff team for their great work. This past year was both our comeback year, emerging from the pandemic, as well as our breakout year with some very exciting new programs.
2022 marked the launch of the new Executive Leadership Retreat, where the top executive in an organization can explore and focus on new leadership challenges amongst a cohort of peer CEOs. IDA welcomed the 2021-2022 inaugural LPM Certification holders, signifying to the world that this is without a doubt, a profession; and three Emerging Leader Fellowship cohorts met in-person this past summer. The Downtown Revitalization Act was introduced in the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate. And both Canadian and U.S. policy platforms for the year ahead were approved. Not to be left behind, the Top Issue Councils and research teams delivered new issue briefs covering Inclusive Entrepreneurship, Bold Placemaking, Parking and Mobility, Public Safety Initiatives and Evolving Homelessness Services.
In addition to new programs in professional development, advocacy and research, the new IDA Foundation delivered its first-ever grant program helping small international restaurants recover from the pandemic with financial support from American Express Philanthropy. Thirty-six independent restaurants in Mexico City, Toronto, London, Sydney and Tokyo represent a diverse group of underserved proprietors receiving financial support to jump-start their recovery after COVID-19.
Clearly, a monumental year for our organization, matching the multitude of successes witnessed in each of our member districts. Thank you to all the IDA member volunteer leaders who make it all possible: IDA’s Board of Directors, committee members and Top Issue Council authors. We also thank our event volunteers, conference and webinar speakers, sponsors and partners, and contributors to IDEA Connection.
As we begin this new year, having bid a fond farewell to 2022, let’s remember everyone who helped us succeed. We stand on the shoulders of the great leaders of the past for whom I am grateful daily. Collectively along with the IDA staff, you all make this organization the most special of places. Here on the IDA staff, we have been fortunate to have Rebecca Bishophall, IDA Senior Membership Services Manager, with us for over 16 years. She remained the heart of the team for these many years, welcoming new team members including myself, with open arms and helping teach about the membership she holds dear. Rebecca has begun a new chapter in her professional career. She will be missed, but we’re forever grateful for the good fortune she provided us each day. Best of luck, Rebecca, on your next adventure as Senior Manager of Membership & Administration for the National Community Action Partnership.