It has been my privilege to serve on the ASDP Governance Board twice, most recently for about 3 1/2 years as president-elect and president. When I roll off the board in January, I will do so with the knowledge that a productive board will transition peacefully to the leadership of Teresa Nieswaag. Teresa has spent the last 14 months learning the ins and outs of the association’s operations. I will miss communicating regularly with the ASDP members who are serving with distinction to keep ASDP running smoothly and “moving forward,” as my predecessor Joyce Hittesdorf liked to say.
We are entering our fourth year of self-management, which has allowed us to balance the budget in spite of a severe recession. Every member who did not renew for the last 2 years was called by a governance board member and we heard sad stories about the difficult economic choices our former members were having to make. As a professional association, we endeavor to support each member who takes advantage of the opportunities offered through membership and we are always trying to add additional opportunities. I speak as one of those members who benefited from that support. New to the profession, I joined PACC (ASDP’s former name) in 1995. I was insecure about my skill set and trying to discover opportunities to expand my business. Becoming involved in the Baltimore Chapter and then the national organization was instrumental in the growth of my business and my confident personal persona as a sewing professional.
Have you told someone new to the profession about ASDP and encouraged them to join? Share the flyer you received in the mail with someone in your community, perhaps even your competition. Personal contacts are the single most productive way to recruit new members and the more members we have, the more we can accomplish. The more members we have involved and taking an active role, the more quickly we can move forward with our goals.
I hope to exit my leadership role gracefully with the knowledge that Teresa Nieswaag cares as deeply for the organization as I do and she will do everything in her power to nurture current and new members as they develop their sewing related businesses. Teresa will present a positive professional image to the greater public representing the expertise of our members and the benefits of using their services.
Written by Rae Cumbie