NANPA VOLUNTEER: Mark Lukes

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Lukes_PortraitMark Lukes is the founder and president of Fine Print Imaging, a printing company specializing in printing for fine artists and photographers.

What NANPA committees have you served on, when, and what positions have you assumed?

I was the first NANPA board president, from 1994 -96, and the first NANPA Foundation president. I’ve served on numerous committees, including the Environment and History Committees, and I chaired the Fine Art Exhibit and College Scholarship committees.

What were the responsibilities you assumed?

In whatever committee I served, I attempted to use my skills to help move the committee’s mission forward.

What were your greatest accomplishments or the highlights thus far of what you have done for NANPA?

I could write a book about all of the experiences I’ve had being involved with the NANPA community. It’s been both exhilarating and challenging, and as any board member can tell you, very time consuming. But I can honestly say that I have never regretted the time spent in support of the organization. Well, OK, there may have been a few bumps and bruises along the way, but that pales in comparison to what NANPA has given to me and the rest of its members. And as anyone who knows me will tell you, my wife and best friend Linda Helm was there with me every step of the way.

Of course, serving on the Founding Board would have to be the highlight of my time with NANPA. It was an honor to work with such a dedicated and knowledgeable group of nature photographers, editors and professionals. The energy/synergy that came from NANPA set the stage for photographers to come from all corners of the continent to communicate, collaborate and educate. NANPA created the first forum to recognize and celebrate nature photography as a profession and an avocation.

At one of our early Summits, then-president Jane Kinne stated that we as an organization were not doing enough to promote photography as a “medium for environmental protection.“ Jane challenged the membership to step up to the plate. Linda and I had been sponsoring a program called Images for the Environment and decided that the Philip Hyde Grant, named in honor of our friend and pioneering environmental photographer, was a perfect way to acknowledge NANPA and its Environment Committee’s focus on promoting photography as an essential tool in promoting conservation causes. That prompted Linda and I to start the Philip Hyde Conservation Grant.

How long have you been a NANPA member and how or why did you join the committee(s) you are on?

I am NANPA member #7, and I’ll never forgive Larry Richardson for somehow getting to be Member #1.

Once I left my roles as president of NANPA and the Foundation, I felt that my historical perspective on the organization would be helpful to NANPA. Serving on committees seemed to be the best way to serve in this capacity. While I have enjoyed working on all of the committees, the College Scholarship Committee has been the most rewarding to me personally.

NANPA would be nothing without its unsung heroes, our committed volunteers. Many have been associated with NANPA for years and have worked for the organization in a variety of ways. This column focuses on a NANPA volunteer in each issue. If you know someone who should be included or wish to be included yourself, please email newsblog@nanpa.org.

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