IOA's 2020 Conference Ombuds

Need Someone to Talk to?

IOA is pleased to announce that we will provide ombuds services at its 15th Annual Conference, “Vision 2020: Innovation, Importance, and Integrity in Ombuds Work” in Portland, Oregon March 30–April 1, 2020. This action is taken to support the IOA’s goal of promoting the profession, providing service to all members and conference attendees and to set an example for other professional associations.

#IOA2020 Conference Ombuds: Elaine Shaw, CO-OP® 

Elaine Shaw, CO-OP® a former IOA Board Member, has been selected to be our first conference ombuds. She recently retired from Pfizer where she worked for 18 years, the last six years as an Ombuds. In her “semi-retirement,” she is coordinating small claims mediation at the county level in Michigan, doing independent contracting as an Ombuds and providing conference ombuds service to the Society for American Archaeology. She is a general civil mediator, conflict coach, world traveler, and free spirit; known to many around the IOA.

At the IOA Conference

Elaine will be available at the conference and for a limited time following the conference. She will serve as an independent, neutral, off-the-record, and confidential resource for conference attendees to discuss any concerns they may have regarding conference-related activities and behaviors.  She will be able to provide information and a safe place for people to discuss their concerns in a confidential way to explore options for any further action.  She will not be authorized to serve as a place where notice of claims can be given to the IOA.  Likewise, she will not have the responsibility or authority to investigate any issues raised. 

In addition to serving as a resource to assist individuals attending the conference, Elaine without breaching the confidentiality of any communications by people using the services—will provide the IOA feedback on the nature of issues raised at the conference and any insights or observations about systemic issues relating to the conference or to the IOA.

Room: Sunstone on the 3rd floor away from the meeting rooms


IOA Conference FAQ

IOA will publish contact information and office location to attendees prior to the conference. IOA will be posting a list of frequently asked questions in the coming days. Please check back for more information. 

View the 2020 Charter

Additional Information About Conference Ombuds

On 5 December 2019, the IOA Board of Directors unanimously voted to launch a pilot program and issue an RFP for the purpose of securing an experienced organizational ombuds to provide this service to participants at the 15th Annual IOA Conference 30 March – 1 April 2020 in Portland, Oregon, USA.

IOA wishes to provide excellent organizational ombuds services to participants at the IOA Annual Conference. In addition, IOA seeks to provide an exemplary model of professional conference ombuds services and inspire other organizations to avail themselves of such helpful services at their own conferences and within their own organizations.

More information about this year's conference ombuds will be posted shortly. IOA leaders are currently in the process of choosing a candidate. Check back soon!

If you would like more information about conference contract ombuds. Please visit the IOA website to check out IOA's Guide for Setting Up a Conference Ombuds Program.