My, how time flies. I am coming to the end of my term as president of NANPA and it feels like I just started. It is thrilling to see how NANPA has evolved to adapt and thrive. Where many similar organizations are shrinking or dying, NANPA stands tall, and we are well-positioned for the future.
Do we still have challenges? Oh yes! We must reach new audiences and attract new members, including younger ones. We need to provide our diverse membership more relevant benefits. And we have to continue to adapt to today’s challenges while staying true to NANPA’s values.
Slowly but surely, we have been laying the groundwork to address these challenges. We finally have a full (and amazing) staff and they are just getting started. We have built a dynamic new website that will only get better. We have thriving and expanding social media networks and Meetup programs that help us connect with people new to NANPA. And all of our communications are becoming united with a fresh and consistent look and feel.
We have also spent a great deal of time recalibrating our committees, giving each one an updated mission and resources and ensuring that all of their efforts are fully coordinated across all of NANPA. We are developing a volunteer program that will better match member skills to committee and other NANPA volunteer needs. We have a renewed and better-integrated partnership with the NANPA Foundation. All this is boring stuff, I know, but it will pay big dividends over the coming years.
Through our new Conservation Committee (formerly Environment), we intend to make NANPA a leader in inspiring, empowering, and promoting NANPA members and their conservation photography projects, whether large or small. And our new Advocacy Committee, led by Jane Halperin, will help ensure that NANPA is the definitive voice for the rights of all nature photographers.
We are also working on new ways to engage and promote all of our diverse membership, from fine-art photographers to workshop leaders to those who photograph nature just for the love of it. Our next Summit, in 2017, looks to be the best one yet, and we are finding ways to keep it fresh, affordable and forceful going forward. I could go on and on, but you get the point: NANPA is dynamic! We are constantly working to address our issues and needs with creative solutions.
As I near the end of my term as president, I heartily thank Bruce Haley and Gabby Salazar, who came before me, and hand the baton to Clay Bolt. Clay is extraordinarily talented and will do an outstanding job as president. I also thank our outgoing board members Jamie Konarski Davidson and Ron Rosenstock for their many contributions and welcome new board members Don Carter, Jaymi Heimbuch, and Gordon Illg,
This is a team effort through-and-through from the NANPA board and staff to our volunteers and members. I can confidently say that NANPA’s best days are still ahead, and I am glad to have helped, if even a little.
~ Sean Fitzgerald