Yesterday a slightly longer version of the following message went out to the CPA membership:
In January, 2009, Chuck Davis, then president of the CPA Board of Trustees, asked me to join the Board. Together with Huntington Witherill and David Bayles, I came on the Board the next month. In March, I agreed to be president. It’s been almost three years since then, and the CPA has progressed from being an organization in great financial difficulty to one that has recorded substantial surpluses for the last two years, and is on track to do well this year — quite an accomplishment in these tough economic times. It has been my personal objective for us to have enough cash in the bank to cover expenses for a year, and I can see getting there in two or three more years. The board has tripled in size since the beginning of 2009, and has achieved a measure of stability: the average tenure of the present Board is over two years.
Our workshop program, which was ably managed by Robin Robinson when I came on the Board, has grown in number and variety of offerings and is now the best-attended workshop program in the CPA’s history. With our exhibitions, we have reconnected with the vibrant regional photographic community, introduced a new artist to the West Coast, and put up the exquisite Jerry Uelsmann exhibition now on the gallery walls.
For the last three years, we’ve presented lectures at almost every exhibition opening. Their success has surpassed our expectations. Jerry’s opening-day lecture was so popular that we rented the main hall at the Sunset Center for the first time. We’re building community with our Members’ Nights. We have reestablished the juried exhibitions, now with web entry.
Over the last three years, it’s become apparent that we can’t afford to pay staff to do everything we and our membership want us to do. Instead, we have become a volunteer-driven organization, with many committees to spread the workload. We couldn’t be anywhere near what we are without the support of our volunteers, and I am deeply grateful to them.
Even with all the progress we’ve made, we know we’ve got a long way to go. We have tried things, made mistakes, learned from those mistakes, and emerged stronger. In spite of our best efforts, we’ll make more errors in the future. I invite those who want to influence our direction to volunteer to help us shape it.
It’s been an exhilarating – and exhausting – three years. My photography has suffered, with the CPA taking about thirty hours a week from my putative retirement and restricting my ability to travel. I need to step back and get some more balance in my life. In order to make that happen, I’m pleased to announce that Richard Cannon has agreed to become President of the Board of Trustees as of January 1st.
Richard is relatively new to the Monterey Peninsula, but in his short time here, he’s involved himself deeply with the CPA and the regional photography community. He’s been instrumental in several of CPA’s recent initiatives, and has served ably as the Chairman of our Education Committee. This, along with his experience as a corporate human resources executive, will enable him to manage the successful evolution of the CPA. Often the right person to lead a mature organization is not the right person to get one started (or restarted, in the CPA’s case). My more directive leadership style may have been appropriate for the past three years, and I think Richard is well suited to where the organization is today.
The Board has elected two other new officers. Tracy Morrison will serve as Vice-President and Bob Nielson will be Secretary; Doug Steakley will continue as Treasurer. I will remain on the Board. I hope you’ll give your full support and encouragement to Richard and our new officers, as well as our other Board members: David Bayles, Rex Naden, Jerry Takigawa, and Robin Ward.
A lot of changes, right? There’s more. Nancy Budd, our Executive Director for the past two years, has decided to resign and move on. She wants everyone to know how much she has enjoyed our members and learning about the world of fine art photography. We thank Nancy for her hard work and dedication to the CPA. Nancy has made great contributions to the Center. She had been the public face of the organization and had been responsible for a great deal of our internal maturation. We will miss her, and we wish her the best in her future endeavors. We will begin a search for a new Executive Director immediately.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve the CPA for the past three years. Thank you for your efforts to make the Center an organization we can all be proud of. Best wishes for a safe, fulfilling, and meaningful holiday season.