Like so many turners, I loved it from the very time I tried to make something on a lathe, nearly 20 years ago. My interest in turning took a whole new direction when I joined the AAW and attended my first Symposium in Providence in 2002. I had no idea that it was even possible to do so much on a lathe, and the Symposium gave me a chance to see one great turner after another. I couldn’t get enough. The enthusiasm I gained from that Symposium led me to take classes wherever I could. I was extremely fortunate to have Beth Ireland as my first teacher. I went to Pennsylvania to learn from David Ellsworth, Colorado for John Jordan, and Maine for Jacques Vesery. What started as a casual interest quickly became a consuming passion.
It would be an honor and privilege to serve as a Member of the Board of the AAW and to give back to an organization that has given me so much. My skill at the lathe and my passion for the craft is only part of what I hope to bring to the AAW Board. I believe that the skills and experience I’ve gained through a long business career will enable me to make a meaningful contribution to the AAW and to my fellow members. I deeply appreciate the opportunity to complement and expand the talents and skills of the existing AAW Board.
Earlier this year I retired after 50 years in Information Technology. I have held senior management positions in both large and small organizations. For the past 18 years I served as the CEO of a company that does software development for clients in a broad array of industries from higher education to financial services. Our success has come from our ability to listen intently and effectively to what people want, and then motivate, organize, and manage to meet those needs. The ability to listen, understand, and communicate are skills that I have refined for decades.
In addition to my professional work, when I wasn’t making bowls in the workshop, I have had the pleasure and privilege of being a member of the teaching staff for popular Harvard undergraduate course on how technology is changing our lives. That work led to a publishing book on the same topic. I have done extensive work in fund raising for our local university, and have held a range of leadership positions in volunteer organizations.
Today’s AAW does an excellent job at every level. The Symposium continues to be a great event, and the publications are first rate. But there are always opportunities for improvement and needs to be met. Understanding and meeting the needs of Chapters, continuing to improve all aspects of the Symposia, improving how we use technology, broadening our base to include larger numbers of younger members, finding new sources of funding, and extending our international reach are a few examples.
If I am elected to the Board, the combination of my deep passion for woodturning and my business experience will carry through everything I will do for the AAW. I respectfully ask for your confidence, support, and vote.