‘Looking back, looking forward‘
A new slate of officers will be elected by the Board of Governors at the Collectors Club Annual Meeting on Wednesday, January 8th, 2020. This marks the culmination of my three-year stint as Club President. For this last President’s Letter please allow me to reminisce for a bit before signing off.
One is never fully prepared to take over a key leadership role. No matter how well you think you know the organization, people, and objectives, the reality is often quite different. My immediate predecessor spent considerable time and effort in the leadup and events surrounding the New York 2016 International Stamp Show. But, on my taking office, the Club’s priorities immediately shifted. We were facing critical building structural problems, cash flow issues created by changing global market forces, decreasing availability of key volunteers/leadership, and fundraising/development challenges in the aftermath of a major New York international exhibition.
Thankfully, the Board rose to the challenge! In the space of three short years we overcame many, but not all, of the Clubhouse building issues (no more regular calls about water damage after every rainstorm), recruited our current Collectors Club Philatelist editor, negotiated a sharing agreement with the Philatelic Foundation that allows greater use of our landmark Clubhouse and library while providing continuing financial support and attracting increased commercial interest.
Board members have stepped up in reinvigorating the fundraising/development process to further support our programs and mission. Outreach at select stamp events continues, with greater member representation both nationally and internationally. Youth and beginning adult collectors groups are active, and membership has stabilized.
We continue to upgrade our legacy systems and web site on an ongoing basis. Meeting videos and the CCP are now available online, and work progresses in blending social media into our operations. Many have complimented us on our updated logo and image, which more closely reflect who we are. As we are able to dedicate additional resources to it, our library continues to be more user friendly.
A truly major accomplishment has been the recruitment of future leadership and talent onto the Board. We now have a depth of talent which will be a continuing resource for the future.
None of this would have been possible without the unceasing support of volunteers, members, various auction houses, advertisers, and our dedicated staff. Without them we would be a shadow of what we are. In addition, I cannot thank my fellow Board members enough; they individually and collectively supported me in making our Club a better place. Though I have had the privilege of being President, they are the force that enabled my efforts.
With all our progress, there remain several areas for the incoming team to excel in: a continued integration of social media and internet tools to enhance our functions and outreach; ongoing building enhancements to allow greater accessibility, within the scope of our landmark status; an integration of speakers’ visits with additional philatelic and nonphilatelic activities; and a reimagining of some of our outreach activities.
Every leadership team has its strengths, priorities, and vision. I am very excited for the Club going forward! I will remain on the Collectors Club Board and look forward to assisting the incoming team going forward.