All posts by SteveM CompChair

President’s End-Of-Year Message 2022

December 8, 2022
Dear Members,
As we prepare to celebrate 2022’s member accomplishments at tonight’s EOY Awards Banquet via Zoom, I would like to take some time, and more written pages than usual, to reflect on the club’s accomplishments over the last year and to thank the members who made them possible.
This year 2022 has certainly been a tumultuous one. In my view our club’s activities have continued to be impacted this year by the presence and perception of Covid in Sonoma County and our nation. In addition, SRPS had to grapple with tight finances earlier in the year. A problem SRPS as a club still needs to address in 2023. The tight finances in 2022 created a challenging situation and the SRPS Board made the difficult decision to leave our meeting place after 44 years of gathering at the Luther Burbank Art & Garden Center, and switch to an- All-Zoom Meeting format. The Board’s efforts to replace the in-person bonding experience of meeting at the LBA&GC initiated planning for social events specifically dedicated for members to meet and converse with each other. SRPS has also developed an on-line Forum for our members to better facilitate communications and bypass the SRPS email chain links. To increase our public presence SRPS has upgraded our website software to allow a more vibrant SRPS web presence. SRPS has added an Instagram account in 2022 to go along with our SRPS Facebook page and Meetup announcements. Throughout this challenging year SRPS has continued to offer our monthly Photo Competitions, Monthly Programs, Field Trips and YouTube Channel. The modernizing of our club structure has attracted much-needed new members. However, the downside of the changes we have made in 2022 is that we have also lost some long-term members due to the re-structuring of our club as well. The movement to a digital club world has changed how we offer our existing Club’s products and benefits and created challenges on how to maximize our upgraded digital presence. This movement has also resulted in the elimination of no longer required volunteer positions such as the LBA&GC representatives, the House Monitors, Food Service Coordinators, and Raffle Coordinators. This simultaneous effect has caused an increased pressure for the need of Club Volunteers to help support our new efforts. Despite these concerns going forward, I would say kudos for all of us in getting through this year of re-structuring SRPS while maintaining and expanding our club offerings. So let us get to some specific “thank you’s” to our members who have really put in a great deal of effort for all of us.

As mentioned, our in-person meetings were eliminated 2022 in favor our All-Zoom meeting format. Making sure the technology of Zoom is available for all our members whenever we need it takes a great deal of time and effort on people’s part. I want to thank for service beyond the call of duty Bill Stacy and Steve Muench who coordinated the digital logistics of the Zoom Meetings during 2022.

Leaving the LBA&GC effectively translated to removing, discarding, making choices to retain any and all of our stored equipment, books, and old records from the Center. I want to personally thank the efforts of Elizabeth Springs, Cris Gondak, Liz Lawson, Anne Abrams, Trisha Brown, Tim Allen, Jennifer Marano, Steve Muench, and Bill Stacy. (& if I forgot someone, sorry…but great thanks!!)

The new volunteer position(s) of “Title Reader” was created due to going to All-Zoom Meeting format was formed in 2022. Like the job position of computer technician was formed from nowhere in 1978. Saraj Cory, Amy Levine, Pat Carlsen, Lynda Stuber, Phillip Hann, Bill Stacy (coordinator) stepped up in 2022 to provide those services to our Competition Nights Programs. Job well done!!!!

Steve Ruddy took over managing our SRPS Website in 2022 and simply did a wonderful job. The website software upgrade that he advocated for has been a success. In addition, Steve was able to develop the digital structure for our Forum and has made the Forum’s structure very “user-friendly” for members. The Forum enables a multitude of photography discussion topics and opportunities for our members to communicate with each other.

Ronnie Rosenbach, I want to thank her for being willing to take on the SRPS Marketing Coordinator position and SRPS Instagram Coordinator in 2022. She also has took on the role of the N4C Instagram Coordinator in 2022. Her efforts in helping the Exhibition Committee to advertise for Sebastopol Art Center Exhibition were just super. The new business cards with “QR code” she designed will help immensely going forward. Just Thanks!!!

Jennifer Marano, also thanks! She quietly just continues to be our front door presence for New Memberships and coordinate our Meetup Announcements. In addition, I want to point out the truly behind the scenes efforts of Phil Hann (E-Group Manager) & Jennifer Marano (E-Group Mgr. – alternate) in keeping track of our “group email listing”.

Tony Reynes served as our Field Trip Coordinator in 2022 and will return in 2023. A return to normal from our county’s Covid experiences has continued to dog attendance numbers for this SRPS program. However, Tony is steadfast about continuing to offer Club members interesting field trips to places near and far in 2023. The post-field trip critique sessions utilizing Zoom & Visual Pursuit software will only occur monthly in 2023 and a thanks to Bill Stacy & Steve Muench for helping Tony in this effort. We may not say it loudly Tony, but the Club deeply appreciates your service and your enthusiasm.

Field trips are a socializing opportunity not to be missed! They strengthen friendships within the club and expose members to stimulating new photographic opportunities. If there are some of our new members who have not participated in the past, I highly recommend them!

In response to leaving the bi-monthly meetings at the LBA&GC, SRPS made a commitment to plan social events during 2022 for members to “meet & greet”. Terry Connelly initially took the volunteer role as our SRPS Social Coordinator. The Board wants to say thanks again Terry for getting this program up & running. We had our first outing at Ragle Ranch Park in Sebastopol this summer, then a wonderful time had by all at Steve & Toni Ruddy’s home. Ellen & Rich Storz hosted a pool party at their home, and then Elizabeth Springs coordinated an after-exhibition event at HopMonk Tavern in Sebastopol in November. Finally, Jennifer & Alan Marano have invited SRPS to their home this coming weekend. All-in-all, five (5) events for 2022. In addition, there is a potential first social event hosted by Elizabeth Springs early in 2023, more info in next year. Unfortunately, Terry needed to step down as Social Event Coordinator late in 2022 and SRPS is looking for a Club member to fulfill that role in 2023.

Our Exhibition Committee put together an opportunity for us to “strut our stuff” at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts in November which was a rousing success. A big thank you to the Exhibition Committee of Ellen Storz, Trisha Brown, Tim Allen, Steve Muench, Liz Lawson, Jennifer Marano, Anne Abrams, and Bob Alwitt for dedicating the time and effort to bring this opportunity for SRPS to shine!

I want to thank Trisha Brown for her willingness to serve as our N4C Representative in 2022. Unfortunately, she will be stepping down at year’s end & SRPS will need to fill this position. She will continue to serve as the N4C Board Secretary and N4C Rules Editor in 2023. Trisha, thank you for taking on such an unsung but important job for our club.

It gets old but never repetitious to say special thanks to Steve Muench for managing our Visual Pursuit Software which underlies our photo competition entry system, remote judge review, field trip photo critiques, and transfer of club winners to monthly N4C competitions. Another competition-related role is Keeper of the Scores, and we have all benefited from Steve Muench’s service in that role. He keeps us informed of our rankings in the club on a spreadsheet he developed – thank heavens he is willing to do it. And thank you all for your contributions!
I can only say management of robust computer software requires a robust mind & our Steve will continue to rise to the challenge in 2023.

Important contributors to our club’s success are the program presenters and competition judges who help us hone our photography with educational presentations and competition critiques. Thank you to our Program Coordinator Lynda Stuber and her co-coordinators, Liz Lawson & Anne Abrams, for organizing the wonderful educational programs we enjoyed this year. I want to thank again our stalwart Bill Stacy who is also our Judges Coordinator. He diligently works behind the scenes to make sure we have talented judges who are top quality in photographic expertise and communication skills for our competition meetings each month. One heck of a job to all four of you!!!

Our Review Committee for 2022 consisted of Steve Muench, Sherri Oster, Tamara Krautkramer, Bob Alwitt, Nancy Goodenough, and Bill Stacy. Our Advancement Committee for 2022 consisted of our VP Nancy Goodenough, Gary Saxe, Anne Abrams, Liz Lawson, Michael Funk, and Steve Muench. These two committees combined with careful choosing of our Judges form the core of how SRPS measures, provide concrete praise and encouragement, and gives indirect feedback to our members on their growth as individual photographers thru the Competition & Level Advancement processes. I want to thank each of you for your service and willingness to fulfill these roles in our club.

And finally, thank you to our Board of Directors, who really were faced with tough decisions in 2022. Vice President Nancy Goodenough, Treasurer Herb Gaidus, Secretary Elizabeth Springs, Competition Chair Steve Muench, Programs Co-Coordinator Lynda Stuber, New Member and Guest Coordinator Jennifer Marano, Field Trip Coordinator Tony Reynes, and at-large board member Michael Funk. Thank you again for your service this year. All our current Board Members will be returning in 2023, except for Nancy Goodenough. Unfortunately, Nancy will be stepping down from VP at the end of 2022, so a special “shout out” to her not only for her service in 2022 but all the other un-heralded support of her time and intelligence to our club over the years. Currently, the open position of VP has not been filled for 2023.

It has been a challenge to serve as your President in 2022 and I look forward to a better year in 2023. It has been both fun & satisfying to give back some of my time to this club, which has helped me grow as a photographer and as a person. I encourage all members to get involved, keep the club vibrant, and take advantage of all the club has to offer in taking your photography to the next level in the years to come.
Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season!

Joel Brown, SRPS President