Happy New Year fellow members!
As I write this letter to you, a good portion of Virginia is covered with snow, and the temperatures are at record lows. I hope that all of you are warm and safe.
Our State Convention is right around the corner with a Steampunk Twist theme. The dates are Feb 16-19, at the Renaissance Hotel in Portsmouth. The speaker lineup is fantastic; we have Amy Feick, Elizabeth Homan, Gregory and Lesa Daniel, Christie Newell, and Robert Behm! Additionally, there will also be a 2 day seminar, just before the convention, put on by Jeff Dachowski, called “Two Days to a Profitable Studio.” So, make sure to mark your calendars and fill out the registration form. Many thanks to Erin Clark and her convention committee for all their hard work to create this event.
The Summer Seminar will be Aug 9-13, in Fredericksburg. Your Governors are working feverishly to bring you another jam packed seminar.
Aside from the convention and seminars, the Board of Directors is committed to implementing a number of new ideas. The list includes a new website, The Virginia Reel, an expanded Mentoring Program, a modernized Degree Program, and The Virginia Speaker Library.
The new website is phenomenal! Charles Hartman is the new webmaster. He, along with Debbie Fisk and Don Aittama, have contributed an amazing amount of time and energy preparing the website. The goal is to make it user friendly, i.e. easy to check all events going on around the state, manage each members merits as they approach earning Virginia degrees, as well as allowing for payment of dues and programs online. Additionally, there is a slide show of all the blue ribbon prints from the 2017 Convention.
The Virginia Reel is a program where highly qualified speakers from out of state come and speak to all 4 districts within 1 week at one of the district’s monthly meetings. To date, we have 5 speakers lined up to give programs this year, make sure to check the calendar on the website for your district; you do not want to miss these opportunities for enrichment and growth. Many thanks to Mary Fisk Taylor and the Education Committee members for their time and energy in creating this program.
The Mentoring Program is expanding, with more mentors available for anyone who might need help in all of the different facets of this changing business! Please contact Erin Clark for information or volunteering opportunities.
The Degree Program is getting a whole new look with new lapel pins, medals, braids and replacing the stars with bars. More information about this will be coming soon.
The Speaker Library is an opportunity for members to do presentations throughout the state and other affiliates. As a speaker, you will create a packet of information about your program, upload it to the online library, and then other affiliates can look through the library and decide which speaker they might like to use. This is a wonderful merit earning program. You will be hearing from Jeanie Hobbs about this very soon.
My desire for this year is to increase our membership, and retain the members we already have. Bringing in great speakers throughout the year, having a website that is fresh and full of great information, as well as developing new relationships and reaching out to the next generation of photographers is a goal I think, as an association, is completely attainable.
2018 is looking to be one of the best years to be a member of the VPPA! Here’s to a Happy New Year, looking forward to see all of you in February,
John B. Warters
Certified Professional Photographer
Fellow of Photography