The fall season is here and the year is quickly coming to a close. My tenure on the DAW board is coming to a close as well. I have served in the club leadership now for six years. I started in the club in 2005, I believe. I remember Bob Matern with his briefcase and working as the treasurer. We were meeting at the Pottery Barn I think. Then the club moved to Turning Point Industries which was a company owned by one of the members. I can’t remember all the names from back then but there were few I do remember. I think that was also the first year I went to SWAT. It was a couple of years later that Bob convinced me to become the SWAT rep for 2008. Bob and I made two trips down to Waco for board meetings and he was kind enough to drive. I had fun getting involved but I was working full time and it was tough to give more time with a full time job and a young family.
Fast forward 10 years and I find myself signed up to be the new club treasurer. I want to highlight some of the accomplishments and changes that have been made to the club during my time in the various roles with the club. As Treasurer (2017-2018) I reconciled the financial statements from the previous treasurer which were incomplete for the previous nine months. I discovered that our 501c-3 status was revoked because of lack of filling the proper federal financial reports for the previous 4 years. I compiled the 5 year history of all the financial records and filed the proper reinstatement forms (F-1032, I believe) along with a check of $850.00 to cover the fine imposed by the IRS. We have since filed the annual N990 form and remain a non-profit 501c-3 entity. Also during this time our website hosting company was acquired so we need to move the website to a new hosting company. Ken Rodgers had been managing the website and he was overworked with newsletter, AV operations and SWAT work. I created the new website adding in a new look and feel. With the use of WordPress it was easy to make changes and add functionality.
For the 2019-2020 timeframe I moved into the role of Vice President, working with Jeff Edwards as President. I carried on with managing the website along with inspiration and direction from other board members. I added a membership feature to the website that enabled members to sign up and renew right on the website. This meant that in-person transactions would be much less and reduce the wait time for membership renewal. This off-loaded a lot of work for the treasurer at the meetings. It was also timely that this feature was implemented in the fall of 2019, a few months before the start of the pandemic lockdown. I recognized that the managing of the membership emails for sending out the newsletters was not adequate. There was a great deal of hand management of email addresses and at a time where email privacy was advocated there was a solution needed. I connected an email campaign tool called Mailchimp to the membership database of the website. This way the members that are signed up will be added automatically to the newsletter. The members have the choice of receiving the newsletter or not. It also meant that they could choose to use a separate email address for the club than other email accounts. Many members do this. So now the club newsletters were coming from Mailchimp and to a distribution list that was dynamic based on the website membership database. The website membership feature and the Mailchimp newsletters were not perfect solutions but they were manageable by one or two people with minimal effort. There certainly is room for improvement with any system that is put in place. One of the traditional roles of the VP is to coordinate the Christmas Party, which I did for 2019. Unfortunately, the lockdown of 2020 prevented a traditional sit down catered Christmas party.
In my 2021-2022 tenure with the club I was elected President. It certainly was a challenging time trying to manage a club during the lockdown period. During the lockdown I learned a lot about hosting, producing and delivering virtual woodturning demonstrations using Zoom. For me professionally it was a new passion to figure out how to produce a live woodturning demonstration that would feel like those joining could see even more than they could in person. These live interactive remote demonstrations (IRD) were utilized by many demonstrators during the lockdown to teach and supplement their income. What has been discovered is the amount of turners could be reached that never were before. I can personally say that I have met hundreds of woodturners during virtual events over the last 2.5 years that I wouldn’t have otherwise. My mandate as President was to try and include all members in the monthly meetings. So those members who are not able to attend in person can join the club sponsored Zoom session and see the demonstration. We have tried to create more inclusion in the show and tell with a few tactics. We hope we are on the right track. I have relied on the other board members to drive the club forward this past year.
I hope that some of the past initiatives that I have started are a starting place to make improvements. I would like to see the membership grow and to see that all members are included in all activities. It has been a pleasure (for the most part) serving on the board for the last six years. Good luck to those that lead the club in the coming years.
One last plea to all, please get involved and help the leadership team. All areas of the club can use help. Here is the current roster of nominations for the 2023 club board. Election will take place during the November meeting. Votes will count for members in person and members on Zoom. Members participating via Zoom must have their camera on to show their face and raised hand.
President – Kevin Bassett
Vice President – Bob Fleming, Chris Cohen
Secretary – Glen Boudreaux,
Treasurer – Mike Sahl,
Director and Committees.
Librarian – Mark Montgomery,
Programs – John Holderman,
Education – Kevin Bassett,
Newsletter – Larry Harrison
Webmaster – Ron Giordano
AV – Ken Rodgers, Larry Harrison