Here's How The Tommy Douglas Conference Center Is Creating A Place For Similar Minds To Come Together
By Olivia Halevy, Patch National Staff - October 24, 2017
The Tommy Douglas Conference Center is a campus-like environment located on 46 acres of grounds that includes meeting spaces, conference rooms, banquet rooms, guest accommodations, full-service kitchens and much more. Just minutes from the Washington, D.C. area, the conference center might just be the place for your next creative meeting or special event. Patch caught up with Lawrence Hanley, international president of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), to learn more about the Tommy Douglas Conference Center, which also serves as ATU International Headquarters.
Patch: What are some of the different types of events the Tommy Douglas Conference Center has hosted?
Hanley: The Tommy Douglas Conference Center has hosted corporate meetings and conferences, birthday parties, anniversaries, political events, seminars, reunions and religious gatherings, as well as many other types of events.
Patch: Tell us about the campus's early beginnings. How has the center transformed since its establishment?
Hanley: The Tommy Douglas Conference Center was originally a family estate. It then got sold and made into Xaverian College, a junior college campus. In 1971, the AFL-CIO purchased Xaverian College to create the George Meany Center for labor studies, and later, the National Labor College. The Tommy Douglas Conference Center was established in 2015 and has since renovated most of the campus.
Patch: How does the Tommy Douglas Conference Center distinguish itself from other conference venues?
Hanley: The Tommy Douglas Conference Center is different from other conference venues because it is owned and operated by a union. Tommy Douglas Conference Center is very labor-friendly and supports working families. The center sits on over 46 acres of beautiful landscape capable of hosting team building activities, outdoor and sporting events, including a baseball/softball field and basketball court.
Patch: The Tommy Douglas Conference Center prides itself on its use of state-of-the-art technology. Can you tell us a little more about this?
Hanley: The Tommy Douglas Conference Center prides itself on its use of state-of-the-art technology, which includes: ceiling-mounted LCD projectors and screens, audio systems, wireless microphones, laptops, wireless slide advancers and many more technology selections
Patch: What are the benefits of the center's proximity to the D.C. area?
Hanley: Being in close proximity to the D.C. area offers a wide variety of arts and cultural sites. Another great benefit is the convenience to the nation's capital's history. It gives easy access to many great venues throughout D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia.
Patch: The Tommy Douglas Conference Center is more than a venue — the center also provides 160 guest rooms. What accommodations does the center offer to guests who bring along their pets?
Hanley: We do not encourage pets, but we do not discourage them either. Tommy Douglas Conference Center has designated pet rooms. We understand that pets are a very important part of the family and have many acres of land for the pets to roam. We are service animal friendly.
Patch: Can you tell us about some of the other facilities available to your guests?
Hanley: Aside from our event space and guest rooms, The Tommy Douglas Conference Center has many other facilities available to the guests. Our facilities include our newly renovated fitness center, business center, and full-service dining. We also have a lounge and recreation room that is perfect for unwinding and relaxing after meetings and conferences.
Patch: What other resources does the center provide for out-of-town visitors?
Hanley: We are conveniently located just minutes from Washington, D.C. and about 30 minutes from Baltimore, MD. Centered between three major airports, our guests have the flexibility to choose the airport that best suits their travel needs. With easy access to mass transportation, MTA buses, D.C. metro, and Amtrak stations, the Tommy Douglas Conference Center is the perfect destination for out-of-town guests.
Patch: The center offers a full-service kitchen with breakfast, lunch and dinner options. What's on the menu?
Hanley: Our full-service kitchen has a significant amount of food options that meet many food requirements for every guest. We also are able to customize menus to accommodate our guests' desires.