Conrad Obregon was born in Chicago and raised in New York City. He started taking photographs in 1951 and bought his first Nikon SLR in 1961. “My principal genre is birds,” he says, “and while I have had a few shows and sold some images, I consider myself an amateur.” Conrad photographs in New York City’s Central Park every week of the year, but he’s also traveled as far as Japan and Central America for photography.
Do you have a “day” job? What do you do?
After five years in the Army, I went to law school and a school of public administration. I practiced law in the public finance area and served as the treasurer of Fordham University until my retirement in 2003. Currently, I am the book forum moderator of Nikonians.org, and I write many reviews of photography books for Amazon.com.
How have you been involved in NANPA?
Although I’ve attended many Summits, I most enjoy regional events where I get a chance to photograph with knowledgeable leaders in new locations. I have attended regional events from Alaska to Texas.
What NANPA committees have you served on?
I am the chairman of the NANPA Finance Committee.
The committee’s job is to review the annual budget and make recommendations to the NANPA board. I don’t regard the budget as “bean counting” but rather as a long-range planning tool to help NANPA serve its members and the community to the greatest possible extent.
The NANPA committee chairs start the budget process when they submit their annual budget requests. The problem is that, like the majority of NANPA members, both the committee chairs and the board are photographers first and program administrators second. As a result, some don’t see the relationship between planning and the budget. Most of my time is spent prodding the treasurer and the committee chairs to move the budget process along.
What was it about this committee that interested you?
My background in finance made this committee an obvious choice.
What were your greatest accomplishments or the highlights thus far of what you have done for NANPA?
The heavy lifting in the finance area is done by Bruce Haley (former NANPA president and current treasurer) and the staff of NANPA. Seeing the success of those efforts is the major highlight of my job as committee chair.
How long have you been a NANPA member?
I joined NANPA in 2004 at the recommendation of Brenda Tharp, who was teaching a class I attended in nature photography at the Maine Photographic Workshops.
Do you have a goal for the Finance Committee?
Two of my highest goals are to have the budget on a two-year planning cycle and to get all involved to take NANPA’s finances more seriously.