Four decades ago, RCMA held its first conference with a budget of $1,200 and an attendance of about 100. That was then and this is now.

Holding closely over the years to its founding mission — to provide education and networking for religious conference managers — RCMA today has more than 2,000 members and $11 million in assets. Its diverse membership represents more than 800 different religious organizations. The association continues to be the instrumental organization in defining, nurturing, and elevating the profile of the religious conference market and its collective economic impact.

The architect of these achievements, Dr. DeWayne Woodring, retired last month, and a new executive director was unanimously elected by the RCMA board. Woodring will be honored at next month's annual meeting for his 30 years of service, and Dr. Harry Schmidt, a longtime RCMA member and formerly vice president of the board, will be welcomed as the association's new leader.

In this special section, we bring you a look back and a look forward, as RCMA continues its remarkable journey as the country's leading voice for religious conference professionals.