When I was called by the nominating committee in their search to fill the President-elect position, my first inclination was to say, “No way, I could never do that!” After speaking with that nominating committee person and other members, including current and past presidents and board members, I decided to take the position. In 2006 when I joined ASDP, PACC at that time, our conference was held in San Francisco. Since I had not budgeted for an expensive conference, I could not attend during my first membership year, but I did manage to get to conference, held in Denver, Colorado, the following year. Yes, I did say expensive; however, as many of our members will agree, conference is one of our biggest perks and so very worth the investment in ourselves and our businesses. Since that first conference I attended, I have missed only one, due to family circumstances. Each conference location has its own style and flair and at each one I have met numerous inspiring, interesting members. I found it very fun to meet members and put faces with the names I had come to know through the online discuss list. The Nashville, Tennessee location for our 2013 conference promises to be another unique experience that I hope you are all trying to plan and budget for.
Our current board is comprised of members from across the country, including Canada. All of these ladies are very capable, hard-working individuals who truly care about ASDP. Any of them are open to member’s comments and ideas. In the past we have met monthly by telephone conference calls. Recently board meetings were changed to be held via “Go to Meeting” software that enables us to see each other’s faces online. For the most part I believe we like this format, since it replicates our twice a year face-to-face meeting style. More importantly, the plan is to utilize this software for website videos/webinars. The logistics of online use is still being ironed out, but our hope is that members will be able to submit their own informational videos so that other members may benefit from their expertise.
As I contemplate writing this, I find that I am all by myself in a very quiet room. Many times as a small business owner, I am isolated in my own little sewing studio. ASDP has changed this feeling of isolation by connecting me with others with similar interests and varying levels of skill. I have learned more than I can even comprehend from ASDP members. Many times a client has a “puzzle to solve” in construction or alteration that I can reference from a class, online discuss, or face-to-face experience gleaned from our association. As the commercials state, “this experience is priceless”. ASDP is very important to me and I will do my absolute best for this organization. I will continue to introduce myself to faces I don’t know at conference. I have found that these “strangers” are only friends that I haven’t met yet, and these faces all have information to share with each and every one of us! I wish every member a great, productive, inspirational New Year!
Written by Teresa Nieswaag, President-Elect