As feedback is coming in about the initial issues of the Chapter Bulletin, we are seeing a generally positive response. Please feel free to speak up and let us know if there are specific topics we should address. This is the fourth Bulletin published since the first issue was launched in September. We envision using the Bulletin as a primary means of communicating material of general interest and we are hopeful that each month it reaches all chapter officers. We realize this is the time of year when many chapters hold their elections and experience considerable turnover in officer roles. We ask for your support to make sure that at least one individual is assigned responsibility for updating your chapter information on the AAW website. We strongly encourage each chapter to designate a chapter communication officer, with primary responsibility of serving as the point of contact between the chapter and the AAW.
2015 Craft School Scholarship Winners
We were extremely encouraged by the level of support shown by chapters in nominating candidates for the 2015 scholarships to John C. Campbell and Arrowmont craft schools. In total, 138 individual nominations were submitted by the November 15 deadline. These scholarships are made possible through the investment earnings in the AAW Endowment Trust Fund. Using our endowment earnings to give individuals world-class learning opportunities is a very real and important illustration of the enduring benefits we can realize by reinvesting funds donated by our members.
On Monday, November 24th, by way of random drawing 28 names were selected by the AAW headquarters staff from all nominations received. The honor of notifying each awardee has been extended to the nominating officer from each chapter. We will allow a short period of time for those notices to reach the winners, after which we will post the names on the AAW website. Look for the announcement naming all the winners to appear during the first week of December.
2015 Chapter Insurance Programs – Early NoticeOne of the more important areas of concern noted in the 2014 recommendations report from the Chapter Relations Initiative (CRI) workgroup was the need for AAW to simplify information about insurance options and present it in a more timely fashion. In this spirit, we can offer some insight now about what to expect for 2015.
First, we will continue each of the two existing current general liability insurance programs, the Group Plan and the Private Plan. We do not anticipate changes in the basic coverage of each plan. The renewal notice from the underwriter of the Group Plan is expected to be sent to us after the start of the New Year. We have planned for a 5% premium increase in insurance premiums for the Group Plan. Accordingly, the contributions from chapters who elect to participate in this plan will increase to $95 (from $90 in 2014).
The Private Plan, which chapters purchase directly from an AAW-endorsed agent representing The Hartford, will remain available without any expected changes. The premium for that policy has been $425 (and slightly higher in a few states). Under that plan, because chapters purchase their policies directly, annual renewal will depend on the date that each chapter purchased the policy. We expect to confirm by January 1st whether chapters can expect to see the premium increase for 2015.
New for 2015, a third insurance program option is being added and will be available only to chapters in Canada. The AAW will promote this insurance coverage in cooperation with the Society of Canadian Woodworkers (SCW). This plan is structured similarly to the AAW Group Plan in that the SCW purchases the policy and allocates the cost to participating chapters at a cost depending on overall participation levels. The insurance coverage is more comprehensive than the AAW Group Plan. In addition to chapter general liability insurance, it also contains property damage coverage and directors and officers' liability insurance. I would like to thank Colleen Samila, Stouffville, Ontario, for her generous assistance in coordinating this new program.
By December 31, the information presented on the AAW chapter insurance webpage will be reformatted to achieve more simplified explanations of coverage recommended by the CRI workgroup. We will include more detailed information in the January Chapter Bulletin.
2015 Pittsburgh Symposium Registration Information
The Pittsburgh symposium webpages are up and running and the “Early Bird” registration period is open. By one measure, the selection of Pittsburgh as our host city was a difficult decision because the other finalists, Cleveland and Columbus, also presented us with very attractive proposals. Following three successive years in which the symposium was held in corners of the U.S., we are pleased to bring it back to where nearly half of all AAW members are within a single day’s drive. Holding an international event during the summer in the Mid-Atlantic region presented the reality of higher operating costs. Pittsburgh is a high-demand setting for summer conference business. For this reason, we have increased the general registration fee to $325 for the “Early Bird” registration period (until May 22nd). Setting registration fees at this level will ensure that we can confidently cover the higher operating and site services costs, as well as allow us to expand programming and add to the number of rotations to accommodate expected historically high attendance levels.
After a thorough review of considerations surrounding the offer of free symposium registration for chapter officers, it has been decided not to continue this for Pittsburgh. While this offer was generally well received by those who took advantage of it at the 2014 Phoenix symposium, the overall financial performance of the symposium did not meet expectations. Therefore, the AAW board and staff decided that the offer was not sustainable beyond Phoenix. All current information about the Pittsburgh symposium, including a list of invited demonstrators, hotel reservations, and symposium registrations is now live on the AAW website.
Below are buttons which may be embedded on your chapter website or in your club's newsletter.
- Registration page link: http://www.woodturner.org/?page=2015SymReg
- Main page link: http://www.woodturner.org/?page=2015Pittsburgh
AAW Membership Campaign
The results of our renewal and new membership efforts during October exceeded our target. For October, we secured just over 2,001 memberships (renewals and new) or about 12% higher than planned. As of this date, our progress for the month of November is on track to exceed expectations. The new association management system that we introduced earlier in 2014, together with the new website, is yielding highly valuable data that is already giving us new insights into the attributes of our membership. For instance, nearly half of all members report that they heard about the AAW through their involvement in a local chapter. We are grateful to all of our chapter officers for your local support in getting the word out and promoting the benefits of AAW membership. As a reminder, AAW has easily downloadable resources on our website available to assist you in promoting the value of AAW membership. These resources are available for you to incorporate into your club’s newsletters, website, and email messages to club members.
December Issue of American Woodturner
I’d like to call your attention to several feature articles and important association announcements included in the upcoming issue of American Woodturner.
- Bending Alternatives ~ John Lucas reviews four methods that he uses to bend thin-turned spindles.
- Compressed Wood Can Expand Your Horizons ~ Malcolm Zander illustrates with many examples how this amazing product offers creative possibilities for your work.
- Turning and Decorating an Heirloom Ornament ~ Pat and Karen Miller outline their approach to creating treasured holiday ornaments.
- Scaling Down for a New Perspective ~ Andrew Potocnik demonstrates how downsizing larger concepts can create wearable fashion accessories.
- Christmas from the Sea ~ Dennis Belcher illustrates the use of urchins to keep the spirit of Christmas alive.
- Applying for an AAW Educational Opportunity Grant (EOG)
- AAW’s 29th Annual International Symposium in Pittsburgh
- End-of-Year prize drawing for AAW members
Chapter Relations Initiative (CRI) Implementation Plan
We are pleased to report that implementation of the CRI workgroup recommendations is on schedule. A current status report outlining progress made in the implementation of the CRI workgroup recommendations has been posted in the Chapter Officer section of the website.
Printed 2015 AAW Resource Directory
In addition to AAW's online member directory, AAW’s printed 2015 Resource Directory is a valuable resource which enables AAW members to connect with others in the AAW community. The directory features contact information for current members and general business members, local chapters, demonstrators, key organization contacts, and more. The directory is printed every two years and the next printing is scheduled for early 2015. The 2015 Resource Directory features:
- Member contact information
- Chapter contact information
- Member card (new for 2015)
- Woodturning business resources
- Woodturning demonstrator information
A printed copy of the Resource Directory is available to members with payment of $5 to cover shipping and handling. Members may order one or more copies in the online store for delivery in April 2015.
Tips for Woodturners
I’d like to call your attention to the monthly rotating woodturning tips that can be found on the top of the right column of secondary website pages. A complete library of past tips can be found in the “Tips for Woodturners” library. If you have a tip to share with your woodturning colleagues, please send it along with any photographs to firstname.lastname@example.org.
End-of-year Drawing for AAW Members
Please remind your club members that all AAW members who have newly joined or have renewed as of December 31st are eligible for a chance to win a Powermatic 3520B lathe. At the end of each year, the AAW draws the winner’s name from its current membership roster. The lathe winner also has the privilege of naming a local chapter to win either a JET 1642 or five JET mini-lathes, donated by Powermatic/JET. The program includes free shipping in the continental USA or up to a $500 allowance for international winners. This serves as another reminder of the invaluable contributions made by Powermatic to the AAW and its members.
New Offering for New AAW Memberships and Renewals
We are pleased to offer a free digital download of our newest book, Sharpening Turning Tools, to new AAW members and those who have renewed their memberships beginning the second week of December. A link to the book download will be made available in the welcome email they receive from the AAW confirming their membership dues have been processed. A printed copy of Sharpening Turning Tools is also available for purchase ($12.95 for members and $14.95 for non-members) in the AAW’s Online Store.
Final Notice – 2015 AAW Educational Opportunity Grant (EOG) Applications
This is a final reminder that December 31st is the deadline for EOG applications to be considered for the 2015 grant period. Recipients of grants will be notified in the second quarter and must acknowledge acceptance of the grant within 30 days of the notification. To expand and share woodturning resources, the Board has established the EOG program from which grants are awarded to individuals (adults and youths), chapters, and other woodturning-related associations. The grants cover expenses such as tuition, registration, demonstrators' fees, travel, lodging, and meals, with each individual grant not to exceed $1,000, and with each chapter, school, or "other” grant not to exceed $1,500.
Please note, applicants may submit an EOG grant application to attend the AAW’s 29th Annual International Symposium, June 25-28, 2015, in Pittsburgh. The AAW will award up to 10 certificates for symposium registration. More information may be found on the EOG grant information page.
Chapter Holiday Raffles
Carter and Son Toolworks is pleased to support AAW chapters in their annual holiday raffles. Click here to contact Carter and Son and they will ship you a special gift package for your raffle, including a signature Carter and Son shirt and 15% off coupon.
Wishing you a peaceful and safe December.