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A Message from Gil Gordon about the TELECOMMUTE Conference

After a lot of hard thought and looking at pros and cons, I decided not to schedule a TELECOMMUTE '99 conference - and have not begun doing the conference again since then.

The reasons are a combination of the changing (and rapidly declining) market for multi-day on-site conferences on all subjects, the uncertainty of attendance which creates incredible pressure (financially and otherwise), and the fact that when I add everything up - even though we had a profitable conference in 1998 and every prior year - the projected profit from these conferences simply does not justify the amount of time I have to put into them.

This was a very, very difficult decision for me, for lots of reasons. For one thing, after doing the conference seven years, my conference partner ICMI and I finally figured out how to do them very well. For another, there was a terrific sense of community and networking among the people who attended, even for the first time. I wavered back and forth on the decision about the 1999 conference for a few months, and to this day have mixed feelings about not continuing the conferences.

I continue to participate in and speak at other conferences in the US and elsewhere, and have also been making use of the Web-based conferencing tools that are available and are increasingly powerful. They certainly are not as good as being there in person but - if done well - help meet the need for providing updated information and stimulating discussion.

For those of you who attended, exhibited at, or presented at past TELECOMMUTE conferences, I want to thank you profusely for all your support over the seven years of the conference. Each year after the conference I felt like it subtracted a year from my life (in terms of the time and energy commitment) but in reality, it added much more to my personal and professional life, in terms of all I have learned and all the friendships I have made.

In recognizing the many pioneering successes enjoyed as a consequence of Gordon's leadership, it is important to note that he was not been timid about disclosing the pitfalls and downfalls of telework. In no uncertain terms, Gordon tells it like it is... "Not a panacea for all the problems, not for everyone, and not easy to execute without understanding and caring for all involved." His knowledge, enthusiasm, energy, and impeccable integrity characterize his leadership and dedication to using telework as means to better ends for now and for the future.

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