Dear Fellow Evaluators,


We Minnesotans invite you to join us in the Land of 10,000 Lakes (well, really more like 17,000 lakes) this October for the AEA Annual Conference.


Consider sharing your very best work by submitting a proposal. Pick your favorite format-demonstration, skill-building workshop, or idea exchange; expert lecture; panel or multi-paper; paper, roundtable or ignite presentation; poster; or think tank. More information about the conference and proposal submission can be found online at Note that the deadline to submit is coming two weeks from today on Friday, March 16!


When you visit Minnesota, you can enjoy ethnic foods, jazz and classical music, live theater, art museums, lake walks, and much more. In addition to being the land of Mary Tyler Moore, Prince, Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, the Mayo Clinic, and the Mall of America, Minnesota is home to Michael Quinn Patton, Dick Krueger, Jean King, and the University of Minnesota's Evaluation Studies Programs. The Minnesota Evaluation Association, one of the oldest and strongest AEA affiliates, was established 25 years ago and today is a thriving community of practice.


We think there are many reasons program evaluation thrives in Minnesota. Here are our top ten:


10.   Like deer hunters, Minnesota evaluators know how to camouflage themselves in the field.


9.     Many Minnesotans believe they are made in the image of G-d, the ultimate judge.


8.     You betcha it thrives. Minnesotans have an intense need to know what they could be doing better.


7.     Minnesota is the land of 10,000 nonprofits and collaboratives.


6.     L'étoile du Nord (the Star of the North) is home to several evaluation "stars."


5.     Minnesotans are too nice to say "No" when asked to participate in evaluations.


4.     The extreme temperature range from sweltering heat to frigid cold ensures that only the toughest studies survive.


3.     Former Governor Ventura likes to wrestle with data and results.


2.     In Minnesota you are never more than 315 miles away from Michael Quinn Patton.


1.     This is due to an ongoing attempt to validate Garrison Keillor's claim that "all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children-and evaluators-are above average."


See you in October!


The Minnesota Local Arrangements Committee