ILA Convention History

The International Listening Association has met as a body every year since its founding in 1979.

On August 23-24, 1979, Lyman K. "Manny" Steil hosted the "Listening State-of-the-Art Symposium" in Minnesota. According to a letter sent to interested individuals, the meeting would serve as an opportunity to "share important information and experiences and to establish a network of professionals." Twenty-seven people met for the symposium and decided to establish the International Listening Association. Conventions have traditionally been held in February and March. The following have been locations for the annual meetings along with the presiding President and convention theme.  

Read more: History of the ILA

Convention Planners, Themes, Venues

 Planner/President*  City  Theme
 Lyman K. "Manny" Steil  1  1980 Atlanta, GA Listening: 1980 and Beyond; Birth of the ILA
 Lyman K. "Manny" Steil  2  1981 Denver, CO Rocky Mountain High
 Sally Webb 3  1982 Washington, DC Washington Listens '82
 Bob Miller  4 1983 St. Paul, MN  
 Andrew D. Wolvin 5  1984 Scottsdale, AZ The Field of Listening: Directions in the 80's
 Marguerita Lyle  6  1985 Orlando, FL Building Bridges Through Listening
 Larry Baker 7  1986 San Diego, CA Conceptual Frontiers in Listening
 Carolyn Coakley Hickerson 8  1987 New Orleans, LA Listening in an Age of High Tech - High Touch
 William E. Arnold  9  1988 Scottsdale, AZ Listening Makes a Difference
 Kittie W. Watson  10  1989 Atlanta, GA Listening: The Next Generation
 Ethel C. Glenn  11  1990 Indianapolis, IN Centering Listening in an Oral Culture
 Wayne Bond  12  1991 Jacksonville, FL Listening as an Agent of Change
 Judi Brownell  13  1992 Seattle, WA A Listening Mosaic
 Michael Gilbert  14  1993 Memphis, TN Listening as Empowerment
 Sheila Bentley 15  1994 Boston, MA Listening: An Agent for Positive Change
 Margaret Fitch-Hauser 16  1995 Little Rock, AK Listening in the Natural State
 Phillip Emmert 17  1996 Sacramento, CA Listening: Building Foundations
 Susan Ellen Bacon 18  1997 Mobile, AL Listening: Celebrate the Past, Prepare for the Future
 Janet Cherry 19  1998 Kansas City, KS Listening: The Heart of Humanity
 Charles Roberts 20  1999 Albuquerque, NM Listening Enchantment
 Harvey Weiss  21  2000 Virginia Beach, VA The Listening Spirit
 Dick Halley 22   2001 Chicago, IL 2001: An Odyssey Toward Effective Listening
 Kimberly Batty-Herbert 23  2002 Scottsdale, AZ Listening: The Foundation of Community
 Melissa Beall 24  2003 Stockholm, Sweden Touch the World: Listen
 Ray McKelvy 25  2004 Ft. Myers, FL Listen to Bridge the Gulf
 Barbara Nixon 26  2005 Minneapolis, MN The Power of Listening
 Maria Roca 27  2006 Salem, OR Listening: The Language of Peace
 Margaret Imhof 28  2007 Frankfurt, Germany Listen and Make the Connection
 Lisa Orick-Martinez 29  2008 Portland, ME Listening Lights the Way
 Rick Bommelje 30  2009 Milwaukee, WI Growing our Listening Legacy: Treasuring Past, Embracing Present, Creating Future
 Laura Janusik 31  2020 Albuquerque, NM Transformational Listening: Listening for Change
 Chris Bond 32  2011 Johnson City, TN Listening for a Sustainable Future
 Alan Ehrlich 33  2012 Bremerton, WA We ARE Listening: Advocate, Research, Educate
 Debra Worthington 34  2013 Montreal, Canada Listening: The Art, the Science, the Joie de Vivre
 Pamela Cooper 35  2014 Minneapolis, MN The Power of Storysharing
 Philip Tirpak 36  2015 Virginia Beach, VA Listening: The Key to Life
 Kent Zimmerman 37  2016 Tucson, AZ Listening: A Labor of Love!
 Charles Veenstra 38 2017 Omaha, NEListening for Healing
 Helen Ralston 39
 2018 Dublin, Ireland Listening Beyond Boundaries
 Anita Dorczak  40 2019 Vancouver, Canada Listening to Conflict
 Lori Joubert 41 2020 Seattle, WA

Embrace the World: Listen to Build Relationships

 Melissa Beall 42 2021 VIrtual Convention

The Intersection of Teaching, Research, Service, and Practical Application in Listening

 Chris Bond 43  2022 Bloomington, MN TBD
 Raquel Arl 44 2023 TBD TBD

Each Planner Inducted as President at Convention

Executive Directors of the ILA

Several Executive Directors have served the ILA over the years.

2007-Present Dr. Nanette Johnson-Curiskis, Belle Plaine, Minnesota
1999-2007 Dr. James Pratt, University of Wisconsin-River Falls, River Falls, Wisconsin
1996-1999 Dr. Diana Corley Schnapp, Overland Park, Kansas
1995-1996 Kathy Thompson, Alverno College, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1991-1994 Dr. Mary Wise Ball, State, Muncie, Indiana
1988-1991 Dr. Charles Roberts, Lake Charles, Lousiana
1985-1987 Dick Quianthy, Pompano Beach, Florida
1983-1985 Dr. Manny & Dee Steil with Chris Anderson, Admin. Secretary, Communication Development, Inc., St. Paul, Minnesota
1981-1983 Geri Jwanousksos, Administrative Director, Telstar, St. Paul, Minnesota

Summer and Regional Venues

Conferences have been held when a particular goal or type of work is to be explored in depth by the members of the Association. Among the topics have been intercultural listening, healthcare, the state of listening research, and the creation of the official ILA endorsed definition of listening.

1984     Northwestern College, St. Paul, MN
1985     Northwestern College, St. Paul, MN
1987     King Edward Hotel, Toronto, Canada
1990     Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland (Affiliated with International Communication Association)
1995     Massanetta Springs, Harrisonburg, VA
2000     Aomori, Japan
2006     Fall Listening Forum, Kansas City, MO*
2014     Nijmegen, The Netherlands**

Regional Conferences

In an effort to provide greater access to the information and fellowship of the ILA, conferences are occasionally held in various regions of the US and other countries. These conferences are organized and function independently of the annual meeting, with members in each geographical area taking the responsibility of conducting the conferences. The first regional conferences were held in the New York/New Jersey area at Montclair State University.  Regional conferences also took place in Florida, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Nashville. 

*"The Fall 2006 Listening Forum: Measuring the Effects of Listening on Learning, Earning, and Healing" was held in October, 2006. The Listening Forum was co-sponsored by the International Listening Association and Rockhurst College in Kansas City, Missouri. The goals for the Listening Forum were (1) to develop practical instruments to measure the effects of listening in contexts and across contexts, and (2) to develop the listening research agenda for the next five years in the contexts of Business, Education, Healthcare, Religion/Spirituality, and Theory/Research.

**“Transforming Healthcare through the Power of Listening” in Nijmegen, The Netherlands

International Listening Association
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