Letter From the President
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.
Hello everyone, and a warm welcome to our new members. This is my first letter as President and I want to express what an honor it is to lead this great organization. I hope SNAG gives you the connections, education and joy it has given to me over the past 25 years.
Dear Members, It is with both joy and sadness in my heart that I write my last letter to you as the President of SNAG. What an adventure it has been! So much has happened during my term as President and some of it, to be honest, was challenging. I would go as far as to say that it has been one of the most challenging things I have ever done, but it has had its rewards. I take many priceless things with me, such as:
- a deep sense of satisfaction having given myself to a cause other than my own immediate concerns
- giving back to my community, a community that has supported me over the years
- building new friendships and camaraderie
- an improved sense of self
- a deeper appreciation for those that serve
- a deeper knowledge of SNAG that could not be acquired without serving on the Board
- strengthened ties to our community that I have come to call my family.
I want to thank you for having faith, electing, and supporting me over the last few years. It has been a great experience working with the Board, Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith, and the rest of the staff in this capacity. I have learned so much from my role serving on the Board and as President. Yes… volunteering comes with its challenges, but the rewards far outweigh these. I ask each and every one of you to consider the tremendous benefits of volunteering and to think about your role in this organization. I hope that you will consider SNAG when you think of where and how you spend your time volunteering. SNAG really does need you! If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Katie Poterela.
President-Elect Nicole Jacquard will be taking over the reins in May. It has been a pleasure working with Nicole over the last year and getting to know her better. For those of you who do not know Nicole, she is a sincere and kind person, she is diplomatic, level headed, and has a very balanced perspective. I wish Nicole the very best and will be lending her a helping hand and advice if she asks.
As you can imagine, Nicole gives me confidence to step down knowing SNAG is in her capable hands. I will pass the torch to Nicole during the Membership Meeting at our Boston Conference on Friday, May 22nd. If you are at the conference, please consider attending this meeting, not just to see the passing of the torch, but more importantly, to learn what is happening in your community. This is one of the most important events at the conference. It is imperative to educate yourself on what has happened over the past year and what we’ve been planning for the future. It is also a great opportunity to meet Board members, talk with them in person, and learn about Board service.
Since I am on the topic of the conference, I would also like to mention that there will be several significant SNAG members honored at the conference, including:
- Fred Fenster will be awarded the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award during the opening ceremonies. Fred is a Founding Father of SNAG, jeweler and silversmith, as well as Professor Emeritus at University of Wisconsin-Madison.
- The Volunteer Recognition Award will be presented to Harriete Estel-Berman. This new award was created to publicly acknowledge and honor volunteer contributions to the highest extent. Harriete is known for her outstanding work on the Professional Development Seminar Leadership Committee, which she was part of for many years before becoming its Chair. The award ceremony to honor Harriete will take place during the membership meeting.
More about the pin being created for the Volunteer Recognition Award: Grand Valley State University’s Department of Art and Design student Ross Tanner (Graphic Design, 15′) won a design competition held by GVSU’s Jewelry and Metalsmithing Area. As well as GVSU donating the materials to create this gorgeous pin, the students in the Intermediate/Advance Jewelry and Metalsmithing class will work together to create five pins for future award winners.
In closing, I cannot express how much it has meant to me to be able to serve you and the organization as a whole. It has been a humbling, fulfilling, and productive experience and most importantly….one that I will always hold close. I would like to thank the Board, Gwynne, and staff for their countless hours given to the betterment of our community.
I hope to see you all at the conference in Boston!