In a matter of days, we will finalize our program for next year, calendar 2023. Hopefully, by the time you read this, the full program will be listed on our website. Did you know that you can register for a program now, even for a program scheduled months away? If your plans change, that’s no problem, and more likely, when the automated reminders come, there may be a pleasant surprise, a pleasant reminder.
Contrary to any suspicions, our annual program is not assembled in the middle of the night with a Ouija board at hand. Rather much work goes on in the background. We have a great program committee comprised of Steve Reinhard, Wade Saadi, Kathy Johnson, Kimberlee Fuller, and Behruz Nassre. This is a superlative group that has not only worked hard to craft an exciting season of programs, but they worked together seamlessly.
We seek to construct a balanced calendar. We are balanced between US and non-US presenters, a good mix of topics that span between and amongst traditional stamp-focused presentations, postal history, and topicals and thematics. We also want to ensure we insert presentations from specialist societies and national postal museums. We want a varied and diverse set of programs and presenters. Ultimately, the test and whether we succeed is your response. There are two ways we can judge whether we are pointed in the right direction. One is from the number of registrants we have for these programs, and the other is your feedback. You should “know” that the “numbers” are holding up very nicely, and we consistently attract many people. Yes, this is down from where they had been at the pandemic’s peak when everyone was locked up. We believe ours is the largest live philatelic audience. Consistently. Now, in terms of feedback, we get emails and comments from folks after every program, but I would encourage you to let us know what you might like to see. Maybe you could even volunteer yourself or someone else. One of the obvious delights of the virtual Zoom environment is that there is no cost of travel or lodging as there would be for a visit to New York.
We were very disappointed that we had to cancel our annual single-frame competition. This has proven to be one of the most popular events we hold, but with everything going on with the old clubhouse, it was impossible. We very much want to find a way to hold this event in 2023.
Turning to New York, we are fully moved out of our old clubhouse at 22 East 35th Street, and most of our “stuff” is safely in storage. Our office is fully operational and running at our temporary offices at 11 West 42nd Street. We do have facilities to host local meetings of New York chapters of large national groups; the first amongst these will be the New York chapter of the American Revenue Association. We expect that as the pandemic continues to recede, in-person meetings will start to resume. We hope this will be slow at first, but there is a natural need, tendency, and desire for the social element of our hobby. But, doubtless, it will take a while.
We continue to plow forward on the process of moving into our next home. We are exchanging draft lease contracts with a landlord and hope this will be rapidly concluded. Once we have a signed lease, we will proceed to a build-out of the space to suit our needs. Much of New York real estate in midtown is focused on offices and the like. We are a meeting place, a library, and much more, such as a classroom-like setting. Nothing would ever be “move-in” for us. The design will need to be custom. We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding. This has proven to be a massive operation that has been subjected to the complexities of governmental oversight and multiple parties we have had to contract with. We are committed to doing this right and are very excited about the opportunity to bring all of this to completion.
Lastly, before this message concludes, I wish you a wonderful holiday and a safe, healthy, and philatelically rewarding new year. Please also make sure you join us for the last program of 2022, a holiday triple header with short programs on Christmas, Hanukah, and Kwanza-related philately. I cannot wait.
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