More than 450 participants and spouses gathered for the 2014 ANNA Conference (September 28 - October 3) in saguaro-studded Tucson, Arizona. Apache Nitrogen did a world-class job as host of this year's meeting, leading off with an entertaining patio reception at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass and concluding with a tour recounting the fascinating history of its Benson-based plant.
In between the opening and closing remarks, the ANNA Executive Committee provided the international audience (36 countries were represented at the 2014 meeting) with an information-packed agenda that included 21 ammonium nitrate presentations on AN technology, safety and environmental issues, and 16 nitric acid papers focused on production technology, emission abatement and operational issues. Each year a best paper is selected from the AN and Nitric Acid Portions of the meetings. This years winners were;
AN -Steve Helfensteyn (EuroChem Antwerp) and Peter Hein (CSBP)
NA - Arvid de Weweire (Yara)
During the sessions, breaks, and exhibition hours, industry suppliers provided potential solutions for the producer member representatives. Highlights included a special award presentation to longtime ANNA Executive team member Leif Kjaergaard-Rasmussen, who retired from his role on the organizing committee. Other festivities included an offsite Monday evening reception, hosted by the Exhibitors Group, that featured entertainment and a taste of the west in Old Tucson, a movie set location.
That wasn't the last chance to sample the local fare. In fact, breakfast and break sponsors and the Exhibitors Group did a commendable job of ensuring that no one went hungry at ANNA 2014. Participants were treated to a variety of cuisines, everything from regional Mexican dishes to some of the best in Southwest barbecue. Tuesday an Thursday evening receptions, held in the Exhibit Hall, mingled business with food and fun.
Overall, participants found plenty of opportunities to consume valuable information, interacting with old friends/colleagues and new acquaintances at the industry's premiere conference. No matter what continent the annual meeting is held on, the week-long event continues to flourish. The best in the business, experts from the supplier or the producer sides, mark their calendars to attend ANNA each fall. Special thanks to everyone who helped continue the tradition in 2014.
We will look forward to seeing you all again at the Jasper Park Lodge in majestic Canadian Rockies next year. No doubt, ANNA 2015 organizers along with host company Agrium will help take the one-of-a-kind meeting to new heights!