As we welcome in 2017, AACG also welcomes in a new slate of officers and several new board members. Words alone cannot express our heartfelt gratitude to Harlan Fischer, who led AACG as our president for five years with a great team: Fred Schomer provided years of financial leadership as AACG’s treasurer; Judy Bendoff has been our thoughtful secretary; and we have benefited from talented vice presidents for six years: Dennis Dubois, Harvey Lapin, and Bonnie Roth. Harlan and his team led AACG as it grew in membership, community, grant outreach, financial stability, and on social media through our award-winning AACG website, contempglass.org. Let me also thank Linda Greene, our administrator, for her countless hours of dedicated work and administrative efforts for AACG!
With my first President’s Message, let me thank the many board and advisory council members who are rolling off this year. Also, let me welcome to our board the following: June Heller, Knoxville, TN; Lee Hakel, Bowling Green, OH; Dan Tenn, Scottsdale, AZ; and, Sharon Schomer, Scottsdale, AZ. This brings our board leadership to 35 members and helps our strategic goal of reducing the board’s size to a more manageable level. Rounding off AACG’s executive committee are our new treasurer, Lee Hakel; secretary, Diane Farber; and, continuing as a vice president, Dennis Dubois. Of course, Harlan Fischer remains on the executive committee in his role as immediate past president.
2017 will also be a banner year, as AACG marks its 30th anniversary. As you may recall, AACG has provided grants for over $1,000,000 since our inception. We sincerely hope to further that mission and expand the number of grants dramatically in the next few years. The 30th anniversary celebration will kick off at SOFA in November 2017 and will be a year-long celebration. We are forming a “Blue Ribbon” committee to organize this 12-18 month program, and all ideas and suggestions are most appreciated.
Your executive team and committee chairs are also in the process of developing long-term goals that will focus on: strengthening AACG committees, how to support and interface with “regional” groups, the possible establishment of an AACG endowment and glass donation program, and enhanced support and administrative structure for all members. This is just the tip of the iceberg…. (No Eisenberg pun intended!)
We are also thrilled to share that our Seattle/Tacoma annual AACG members’ trip, September 13-17, 2017 is almost fully subscribed. There is space for 112 participants and we now have more than 90 registered. Please consult our website for details. We also hope you are making plans to attend GlassWeekend ’17 at WheatonArts in Millville, New Jersey, June 9-11, 2017 (see page 1 for more information).
So, since receiving the gavel from Harlan at our AACG board meeting at SOFA in Chicago on November 4, I have received a tremendous outlay of best wishes and offers to support our global organization. Thank you to all of you who shared your thoughts during SOFA and have e-mailed or called since early November. I pledge to you that I will do my best to support AACG with your new leaders. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at any time by e-mail at LarryEisenberg.AACG@gmail.com. Best wishes for a great year in 2017!