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Chapter Bulletin - April 2015
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Chapter Bulletin - April 2015

This email is being sent to all chapter officers.
The contents should be shared with club members as appropriate.
April 6, 2015

Hello Chapter Officers:

Appended to this Chapter Bulletin is an AAW Pittsburgh symposium feature spread taken from the April issue of our journal, American Woodturner.


We encourage you to help us spread the word about the symposium’s wealth of programming and events by distributing this information to all of your chapter members.


Additional topics covered in this Chapter Bulletin include:


  • April Issue of American Woodturner
  • New, Revised Best Practices
  • Announcement of the 2017 AAW Symposium Host City
  • New Services – AAW Connections Map
  • New Service – AAW Online MarketSpace
  • 2015 AAW Pittsburgh Symposium Announcements



The April issue of American Woodturner will arrive beginning the first week of April. Each issue of the journal attempts to balance the varied interests of our 15,000 members. The April issue offers a number of articles that exemplify this balance, along with practical and informative features that have broad appeal. The April issue features:

  • Build Your Skills by Understanding the Skew - Jim Scarsella clearly explains the anatomy and dynamics of the skew chisel
  • Skew Chisel Primer: Learn the Basic Cut - Keith Tompkins simplifies the basic cuts made with the skew chisel, and John Lucas offers an accompanying video illustrating the techniques.
  • Windsor Chair-Making for Woodturners - Five top-tier makers incorporate the hands-on satisfaction of shaping well-proportioned spindles in their instruction courses, by David M. Fry.
  • Custom Tool Handles - Make your own tool handles, with just the right grip, length, and heft, by Carl Ford.
  • William H. Macy: Working in the Moment - As with his acting, Macy, currently starring in Shameless, lets his creative subconscious play, unfiltered, as he turns, by David Heim.


We would like to emphasize that selected written articles in each issue of the journal are now being supplemented with accompanying videos. With a limited number of pages for editorial content delivered six times a year, we are forging ahead in transforming the journal into a portal to access the vast wealth of information the AAW has available online.

For the April issue, John Lucas offers a behind-the-scenes look into his expertise in a video illustrating skew cuts. Also included is a short video by Kevin Wallace about Giles Gilson, an iconic woodturning artist who died in January. Our thanks go out to AAW member Dave Mueller of Texas for his ongoing video editing contributions.




AAW has published a new 501(c)(3) best practice. This resource was written to conform to the new streamlined application process (“Form 1023EZ “) introduced by the IRS in 2014. What once required months, a myriad of application materials, and often hired legal assistance, has now been reduced to a simple online application form. AAW’s revised best practice offers step-by-step instructions to guide the application process. We have recently received feedback from two of our chapters who have already followed the new 1023EZ process to successful completion. They report that the process is straightforward and resulted in confirmation from the IRS in less than three weeks.

By introducing this new application process, created solely for smaller nonprofits, the IRS presumes a certain degree of diligence has been undertaken by the applicant. This includes adopting bylaws that support the nonprofit and its charitable mission, which are essential to obtaining and sustaining 501(c)(3) status. For this reason, the AAW also replaced the previous bylaws best practice standard for our chapters with a new version designed to best ensure it meets the IRS requirements. (It is important to note that existing chapters are not required to revise their bylaws.)


These resources may be accessed on the Best Practices webpage at http://www.woodturner.org/?page=BestPractices

The advantages for a chapter to seek charitable organization status include:

  • Income earned by the organization is exempt from federal income tax;
  • Donations are tax deductible for donors;
  • Qualification to receive private and public grants;
  • Lower postage rates on mailings;
  • Reduced rates for radio and public service announcements in the local media;
  • State and local officials may grant exemptions from income, sales, or property taxes.

Before filing for 501(c)(3) status, the chapter needs to carefully evaluate whether it has plans for seeking grants or obtaining donations that are tax-deductible to the donor. This status requires more burdensome filings initially and ongoing.

Finally, the 501(c)(3) revisions were intentionally crafted to apply to the new 1023EZ application process because, in the vast majority of situations, nearly all chapters will benefit. If a chapter should need to pursue the traditional 501(c)(3) method, the AAW home office is equipped to provide counsel to chapters with interest in pursuing this application process. We encourage chapters to contact the office before engaging the traditional application method.

We want to acknowledge the research and document development that Denis Delehanty, chair of the AAW Best Practices committee, and his team put into this important new resource. For those chapters who intend to seek 501(c)(3) status, we ask that you please keep the home office informed of your experiences.



In December the AAW board approved the selection of Kansas City, Missouri, as our host city for the 2017 AAW Symposium. The city presents an excellent value for us. The facilities are exceptional and the financial pro forma is favorable. This will bring the event back to the central time zone for the first time since 2011.

The 2005 AAW symposium was held in Overland Park, Kansas. We’ve outgrown that facility and will be holding the event at the Kansas City Convention Center in the central downtown district. The Kansas City Marriott hotel will be our host and will accommodate most, if not all, of our lodging needs. The major contracts are now in place and arrangements with the local chapter leadership team have been finalized. This is the first public announcement by AAW about the 2017 decision.

The Kansas City-area chapters requested the honor of first announcing this during their AAW Chapter Leadership Summit in Springfield, Missouri, on April 4th. We want to express our sincere appreciation to all of the Kansas City-area chapters for their early expression of support to our event.

Here is the confirmed line-up of AAW symposia through 2017:

  • 2015 Pittsburgh: June 25th - June 28th
  • 2016 Atlanta: June 9th - June 12th
  • 2017 Kansas City: June 22nd - June 25th




AAW is extremely excited to announce that another new service related to the 2014 recommendation report from the Chapter Relations Initiative (CRI) work group is ready for launch. We have created a one-stop, web-based tool for viewing information about each of our over 350 chapters, as well as scheduled demonstrations, chapter events, craft and woodturning schools and organizations, and regional symposia schedules.


The original need expressed by the CRI was for a graphical display of all of our chapter locations that included brief information about each chapter, including regularly scheduled meeting times. The platform selected uses an easy-to-navigate Google Map application. The map was released to a test audience in March to test usability. The reactions were overwhelmingly favorable. Presenting a vast amount of data in one place elevates the necessity to ensure that the source data feeding into the map is accurate. And for a large part, we will need to rely on all chapters to help us ensure that changes are incorporated.

The AAW home office remains committed to supporting chapters with this to the best extent possible. We remain open to your ideas on how this new tool may be added to or improved.


Please send your suggestions to Linda Ferber by email or at 877-595-9094 (toll-free).




    AAW is pleased to announce a feature has been added to the AAW website, called the Woodturning Marketspace.

    The Marketspace is an advertiser and exhibitor hub that consolidates all of our business supporters and allows members to “click-through” directly to their websites, making location information about products and services simple.

    Additionally, our advertisers and exhibitors will have the opportunity to extend exclusive offers and discounts to AAW members. Over the coming months, you’ll see a growing variety of special deals from our business partners. These special offers will be available on a Woodturning Marketspace “members-only” page at http://www.woodturner.org/?page=MktspOffers2.




    Each month leading up through June, we will furnish updates and information about the AAW Pittsburgh Symposium. Our end-of-March registrations remain precisely on-pace toward the planned target of 1,800 attendees.

    April Journal Symposium Preview

    We have appended to this Chapter Bulletin the five-page symposium preview piece from the April journal. We encourage chapter officers to distribute this preview to all club members as a way to help us more broadly inform all woodturners about the event.


    Special Request of all Chapters

    It is extremely important to take every available opportunity to highlight the great charitable work happening throughout our chapters. As we plan the Friday and Saturday evening social events, we intend to create a visual presentation that illustrates all of the charitable projects and activities occurring within each of our chapters.

    To make this happen, we strongly encourage every chapter to send:
    • A list of the charitable organizations you serve. Examples may include Beads of Courage, Wounded Veterans, and Tops for Kids, etc.
    • Brief statement (a few sentences) describing the charity or  charities benefited.
    • Photos or video clips (if you have any).
    Please send these items to Kim Rymer at kim@woodturner.org by May 7th. We will include a reminder in the May Chapter Bulletin.


    Additional Downtown Pittsburgh Hotel

    AAW has added reservation information to the symposium webpage for the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center Hotel, an additional downtown Pittsburgh hotel giving us 200 additional peak night rooms with a $156 discounted group rate. The Marriott City Center Hotel is located about eight blocks from the convention center and AAW will have a shuttle service running throughout the event. We still have an option for adding a fourth hotel, but we will be closely monitoring advance room sales before making any commitments. Please visit our Pittsburgh Symposium webpage at http://www.woodturner.org/?page=2015HotelVenue for more information.

    Pittsburgh Panel Discussions

    Through the feedback we’ve obtained from attendees at recent AAW symposia, we are aware of the critical importance of our demonstrations to the overall symposium experience. The evaluations consistently rate demonstrations as the number one benefit of attending, as it should be. But not to be diminished are the opportunities also available by attending one or more of the panel presentations sponsored by the Professional Outreach Program (POP). These sessions are not reserved only for those who consider themselves professionals. They are open to all attendees and are considered an excellent way to complement the more instructional and technique-oriented topics typically presented in the demo rooms. The panel discussions are sources for inspiration and motivation, as well as for exploration of process and individual expression. The subject matter is universally important to woodturners at all stages of development and abilities.


    Volunteer Opportunities Still Remain

    We ask all attendees to consider donating time to volunteer. A variety of tasks remain to be filled both before and during the event. Volunteering need not require a significant devotion of your time. Even two hours will be appreciated. We’ve made it convenient for volunteers to sign up in advance through this link to our webpage: http://www.woodturner.org/?page=2015Volunteer#VolunteerSignUp


    Annual Chapter Meeting in Pittsburgh

    AAW has begun planning the agenda for the annual meeting with the AAW board and staff. This year, we want to express our interest in hearing directly from you, our chapter officers, about any particular topics or issues you want to be addressed. Time will be devoted to providing a thorough update on the service and communication improvement projects recommended by the Chapter Relations Initiative (CRI) work group in 2014.


    It would help if you respond directly with your ideas to Phil McDonald before May 28th.


    Yours respectfully,



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