I have been serving as the synod's Chief Technology Officer for over ten years now, and there hasn't been a summer I have more highly anticipated than this one! This year for the first time during my time here we are going to be hosting a technology conference. We are calling it WELSTech and it will be hosted at the Country Springs Hotel and Resort in Pewaukee, Wis., on July 9 - 11. The conference website is www.wels.net/welstechconf and registration is open right now.

Yes, there will be some fantastic presentations offered. Over 100 sessions in all. But one of the reasons I'm excited is that many of our ShopWELS vendors have agreed to sponsor the event. We value each of these partners and they are eager to meet you at the conference and share what they might bring to your ministry. A number of them will be offering giveaways or conference discounts on their goods and services.

Here are the ones who have agreed to join us so far:

  • Concordia Technology Solutions: creators of Shepherd's Staff and Member 360 church management software.
  • DVI Consulting: providers of computer hardware, networking equipment, telephone equipment and general technology consulting for churches and schools.
  • FinalWeb: our web hosting partner who allows many of our churches the ability to have professional looking websites without having to know a lot about technology.

Note: There will be representatives from all three of the above partners who will also be leading sessions at the conference.

  • Troxell: our newest partner and reseller of Google Chromebooks among many other classroom technology products.
  • Enterprise: our only rental car partner that provides consistently lower prices on rental cars, vans and trucks.
  • DSH Audio/Visual: our consulting partner that provides design services for churches looking to add AV to their facility. They were called on to assist with the AV in The Chapel of the Christ at Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minn.
  • Infocor: a valued partner who has put countless Smartboards in WELS elementary schools across the synod. They also provide AV solutions and products.
  • Central Office Solutions: a provider of office copier and printer solutions. One of our newest vendors, this WELS owned business understands our churches and schools, which helps them suggest the right product for your situation.
  • Complete Office (formerly OS2U): our newest vendor and primary provider of office and cleaning products. We'd really like for you to get to know these friendly and "customer first" people.

While not a ShopWELS partner, I did want to mention one other vendor who will be sponsoring our Thursday evening mixer, and that is Logos Software. Logos is one of the leading Bible software makers in the world. They will be offering great discounts on their software to those who attend the conference. They too will be hosting a session on how to use their excellent product.

I so hope you can join us in July. You will learn a lot, meet our wonderful ShopWELS vendors and network with like-minded people from all across the synod who want to reach the lost by all possible means . . . technological or otherwise.

Your brother in Christ,

Martin A. Spriggs
WELS Chief Technology Officer