I am honored to be taking the reins of the Artist Blacksmith's Association of North America. I have the good fortune of serving with forward-thinking, dedicated leaders on our board. I feel that those who choose to participate in what ABANA has to offer also epitomize these qualities.
Clearly there are many professional organizations and educational opportunities competing for your time and money. The unique thing that ABANA offers is the framework for an educational experience at its biennial conference. The 2016 conference theme is education. Education is at the very core of ABANA. The by-laws state that ABANA ". . . is organized exclusively for educational purposes, including the following: to encourage and facilitate the establishment of training programs for aspiring smiths, to disseminate information about sources of material and equipment; to expose the art of blacksmithing for architects, interior designers, other interested groups, and the general public."
This is your organization! ABANA directors want to know its members and conference attendees so that we can be of better service. What has spurred your interest in ABANA and educational opportunities? What would you like to see us offer in the future? Would you like to be more involved?
I am thrilled to report that last November, we had another successful board meeting in Salt Lake City, the site of our 2016 conference. We pulled off two days of sharing ideas, opportunities, and challenges! One voice can be powerful, but a collection of strong voices will always prevail. That's exactly how I see the collected efforts of our board of directors as we formed the committees that will work together to meet the needs of the organization. One of the goals set at the meeting was to develop new and innovative ways to serve the ABANA members and their affiliates. This is a critical, and rich time for us to reach a new generation as we ourselves regenerate. Our numbers are up and our resources have never been stronger than right now. We now have options that have never been available to explore. More on these as they develop through our committees.
In July, we will be heading west to the truly stunning Salt Lake City. I look forward to meeting you there. The accommodations and the city offer a great setting for an outstanding educational conference. I look forward to seeing old and new friends at the 2016 ABANA conference, Salt Lake City, Utah! In the meantime, let us know who you are. Share your thoughts and ideas!
Letter of Appreciation to Bill Clemens and David Hutchison
On behalf of the membership, I would like to express our appreciation to both of you for the dedicated support you have given to ABANA over the past years. Your trust, concern, and encouragement helped ABANA to flourish as an organization dedicated to the education and art of blacksmithing.
Bill, as Secretary and Treasurer, you guided the Board of Directors and Central Office. Your attention to detail, understanding of our By-Laws, and ability to think-outside-the-box has resulted in continued improvements to our database, website, and everyday processing. We are so pleased that you volunteered to stay with ABANA as the web administrator. Your thoughts and acute sense of logic will guide us to a better and more interactive website for our membership.
David, as President, you led our organization with fairness, resolved issues with tact, and suggested alternatives for growth that made ABANA what it is today. Your unwavering loyalty to the blacksmith community by donating your time, your farm, materials, and equipment is an inspiration to others involved with our organization. You have become a role model for future generations of blacksmiths.
As Co-Chairs for past ABANA Conferences, both of you have given our membership excellent memories of great times, inspiration to engage in unknown areas, and acknowledgement for their demonstrations and volunteer services. Our members may have no concept of the time required or the commitment needed to create those spectacular events, but each and every attendee confirms our belief that you are among ABANA's finest.
Thank you for being ABANA's backbone!