Letter From the President
Happy Summer Everyone!
I wanted to send everyone a quick note to say how great it was to catch up with so many people in Portland and I hope you all enjoyed the conference line-up as much as I did. The program was packed with inspiring speakers, exhibitions and workshops in addition to the wide array of goods and tools in the vendor room.
I also want to officially welcome aboard President Elect Brian Ferrell, Michael Brehl our new Treasurer, as well as our new and returning board members: Dominique Bereiter, Kat Cole, Jack da Silva, Diane Hulse, and April Wood – in addition to Sharon Massey who will be joining the Nominations and Elections Committee.
These are exciting times ahead as we work toward ambitious fundraising goals for the exciting programming commemorating SNAG’S 50th Anniversaries over the next two years.
SNAG was officially founded in 1969 with its the first meeting in Chicago, and in 1970 the first conference was held in Minneapolis, St. Paul.Therefore, the programming and conference committees have been working diligently on events for the next two years highlighting these significant achievements of the organization. And the entire board, staff and all our volunteers are stepping it up a notch in regards to their personal commitments to fundraising, and responsibilities to ensure the events are a success.
The significance of reaching 50 years is huge, when you think that most small business don’t make it past 5 years, and that is with people pouring the heart, soul and livelihood into them on a daily basis. With all that in mind, we will be calling on the entire membership to help — and this is in addition to our annual appeal. This organization is something that you created. It quite literally is a safe-haven for like-minded people who are generous, thoughtful, inclusive and supportive of all creative activities.
So when we reach out to you over the next few weeks — please reflect on what SNAG means to you — how it has benefited you personally through its events, resources, and overall comradery of the membership. And when you think of these things in addition to all the other things SNAG does — please be generous in your giving — in whatever amount you can to an organization that only exists because of your support.
Again, I hope you are all enjoying the summer and being productive in all your creative endeavors.
Society of North American Goldsmiths
Hello everyone, I hope this finds you all enjoying some crocus, daffodils or even snowdrops!
With this spring letter, I wanted to first say thank you to Brigitte Martin and her service over the past year. I know her decision to step down from the position of President was extremely difficult, and one that she struggled with. However, the board is thankful for her leadership and I am thrilled that she has graciously agreed to fulfill her term on the board, where SNAG can continue to benefit from her experience and vast skill set.
In addition, I must say that I am humbled again for the opportunity to serve as your President. It is a job that was not taken lightly, and as with any organization there is still much work to do as we approach the 2018 conference and in the next two years celebrating our 50th anniversaries of the organization.
It is also hard to believe that another year has passed and many of you will be making your way to Oregon in less than two months. I am really excited for this year’s conference; the lineup of speakers, events and exhibitions as well as the opportunity to experience the city of Portland for the first time. In addition to the amazing program that the conference committee has put together, there will also be the recognition of two distinguished awards. Professor Sharon Church will be receiving SNAG’s Lifetime Achievement Award during the opening ceremony of the conference, and Anne Havel will be receiving the Volunteer Recognition Award at the Membership Meeting. They are two greatly distinguished artists who have left an indelible mark on SNAG and I personally have admired them for their leadership, creativity in their personal practice, and their impact on the jewelry and metalsmithing community. The Membership Meeting will be held on Friday May 25th, and I highly encourage all of you to attend to find out what is happening with YOUR organization. It really is one of the most important events of the conference and imperative that you stay informed about what is going on and how we are moving forward.
In addition, several people will be finishing their terms and I would like to say thank you for all your hard work, your dedication and your commitment to SNAG. Members of the Board of Directors completing their terms are: Dominique Bereiter, Kat Cole, Brian Ferrell, Anne Havel, and April Wood. Also finishing up her term is the chair of the Nominations and Elections Committee, Tara Locklear. Thank you as well, the job of the NEC is crucial as we ask members to step up and be a part of what makes SNAG a great organization. I would like to thank our previous editor, Suzanne Ramljak, who has given her insight and skills for 17 years and extend a warm welcome to Emily Zilber our new editor who is working on some very exciting publication projects.
To all of the members of SNAG — thank you for your patronage. Please keep in mind as we all move forward in this unprecedented time that can leave organizations vulnerable, each of us needs to stay vigilant, and continue to support the things that are meaningful to us in our lives. And this organization that you created is a safe-haven for like-minded people who are generous, thoughtful, inclusive and supportive of all creative endeavors. SNAG will need you even more in the future to continue to financially support the programs you enjoy, be active and share your successes, and of course volunteer in whatever capacity you can to guarantee the Society’s success.
In closing, I am looking forward to catching up with many of you in Portland. It is always a wonderful feeling as people start to arrive and you see them in the hotel lobby, at registration, catch up before the official start of the conference where you start to see all the familiar faces, meet new people, laugh, enjoy old stories and of course create new memories. Overall, I think THAT is the beauty of the Society of North American Goldsmiths, and I am happy to be a member of this tribe.
Best wishes to you all!
Society of North American Goldsmiths
Dear SNAG members,
All good things must come to an end. And sometimes the end is sudden and rather unexpected. As many of you know, I recently accepted a new full-time position as the Executive Director of the Furniture Society. Despite my best intentions, I found myself immersed in my new job to such a degree that fulfilling the SNAG presidency at the same time became no longer possible. The lead role on the board deserves more attention than I can give it at present and I therefore decided it was in SNAG’s best interest if I stepped down.
After following the protocol outlined in our by-laws, the board has unanimously voted to accept the nomination of Nicole Jacquard to fulfill the rest of my term as President. The good news is that Nicole Jacquard, our past President, graciously agreed to retake the wheel as President. This ensures that the organization continues to benefit from experienced leadership and that the membership, board, and staff will be well taken care of and we can continue the great work we have been doing to support each and every one of you, our members.
I will continue to serve on the board through the remainder of my term to lend support in any way I can, albeit in a much less visible role.
Please join me in thanking Nicole Jacquard for her renewed service!
Society of North American Goldsmiths
First off and most importantly: if you are getting this message today, that means you are a valued SNAG member and I cannot express enough how happy and grateful our whole Board of Directors and staff are to have you with us! Thank you! Advance warning: This is going to be a longer-than-usual letter. Important changes are currently being made at SNAG and I encourage you to pull up a chair and get informed.
At the board’s last meeting, we looked at one of our major membership benefits: Metalsmith magazine. In our most recent survey, over 46% of you said you joined or belonged to SNAG because you want to receive our magazine; you like its quality and overall effectiveness as a tool to communicate what metals is and can be. Thank you for responding with your interesting and encouraging comments! We read them all.
We also recognize, however, that every good thing needs to continually evolve and get better; nothing should ever be taken for granted. That means that our wonderful magazine needs to continually evolve and adapt to changing landscapes within the world of jewelry/metalsmithing as well as the publishing world itself. The board has looked at the revenue and subscription number trends as well as growth potential. Many options for change were discussed to keep the magazine what it is and to make it better while remaining profitable.
The board of directors decided to restructure current operations of Metalsmith (but not alter the content focus itself) AND to add a new companion publication, Metalsmith Tech, to our portfolio of membership benefits. Metalsmith Tech will focus on technical processes, educational topics, professional development information, and usage of new tools and supplies — all things you have asked for in past surveys. Starting in 2018, Metalsmith Tech will automatically be sent to all members and subscribers! Be on the look-out for it.
SNAG embodies our desire to be supportive and inclusive, as we celebrate our membership’s diversity and common goals as makers and creative thinkers. I would urge all of you to keep this in mind and continue to support one another’s growth and celebrate each other’s successes as we all move ahead.