Well, it’s the end of July and normally your OWAC conference organizers would be hard at work right now putting together our annual fall conference itinerary. Unfortunately, the stars just did not align for us this year when the destination we’d hoped for fell through. We are, however, moving forward with planning for our 2020 spring conference. Hopefully, it will be in the Bay Area, we are just waiting on a signed contract now.
While conferences are at the core of our organization, there’s plenty of other action going on. The Board of Directors have new Board Members who are stepping up in a big way to fill some vital roles. Gigi de Jong will be working with our webmaster to redesign some areas of the website that need attention, and to update others. Josh Asel stepped up to the challenge of producing this newsletter edition, along with Bob Semerau, while our newsletter editor, Chris Langley, is recuperating from a recent illness.
OWAC’s membership campaign is also ramping up with Tom Martens at the helm. New membership materials have been drafted and will soon be available for distribution to prospective new members. And for the first time in several years, we have a new Supporting Member Chairman and Liaison, Peter Schroeder. Thanks to Peter’s long running relationships with many outdoor industry organizations, I’m sure he will do a great job of recruiting new supporting members to join OWAC.
OWAC finances are in very good shape! Thanks to the hard work of Bob Semerau and Peter Schroeder, we now have $19,797.54 in the bank, and our Endowment Fund has holdings of $14,650, earning $425 in the last month. We are invested in eleven different stocks. At this rate we can expect continuing dividends. Most impressively, this has been accomplished in just two years. Bravo Bob and Peter!
In addition to our treasury and endowment funds, we also have our Pat Vachini Scholarship Fund that by next year will fund writing contests open to high school students interested in pursuing a career in outdoor journalism. In the fall, member-at-large, Don Vachini will work with six high schools in the Petaluma area to offer their students opportunities to apply.
Finally, despite our disappointments over no Fall Conference this year, rest assured that OWAC is healthy and we now have more board and committee members than ever pitching in with enthusiasm, new ideas and support for more improvements. It’s pretty exciting! However, there’s always room for more, so if you have some new ideas to offer or an interest in joining the team. Please contact either me or Bob Semerau, and we will hook you up. We would love to hear from you!
Hope your summer is going well and that you are enjoying the long, warm and lazy days of the season, mostly outside, doing exactly what makes you most happy.
Outdoor Writers Association of California