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Forward Progress

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BY ROBIN GINER
I’d like to express my sincere appreciation to all those who have responded in earnest to our 85th anniversary “$85 for 85” fundraising campaign. It’s never easy to ask for money, but I strongly believe in the mission of OWAA and I can tell you the funds are going to a great cause: A long-lived organization dedicated to the benefit of outdoor communicators. In addition to the list printed on page 21, donors are also being listed on the OWAA website at www.owaa.org/85-for-85. Although the goal is high, I know that the goodwill of our members makes it fully achievable. Please contribute to the cause and add your name to the quickly growing list of contributors. As of press time, the fundraising campaign has raised almost $5,300. Donations are split evenly between the Managed Operating Fund and the Restricted Endowment Fund. All funds are being deposited into investment accounts until such time as they are needed.
I’d also like to thank the 252 people who took the initiative this year to return electronic ballots for the 2012 OWAA elections. We took a chance with the new platform — online balloting — in hopes that more voting-eligible members would participate. And they did! The official results of the election were announced via email press release on May 7. My March column detailed some numbers I dug up from past studies on increased responses using electronic balloting and our results reflected those studies pretty accurately. Thirty-five percent of eligible members participated in this year’s election — up from an average of 15 percent over the past decade. Although I understand that some people have an aversion to the switch of doing everything online, I hope you found this year’s election process easier and more convenient.
Speaking of the switch to online — what do you think about our “switch back?” By this, I mean the move back to more print issues of Outdoors Unlimited. This is the second issue of a new bimonthly printing schedule and I believe this to be a good move on the association’s part. It had become clear that not many members were reading the online editions of OU, which many people list as the No. 1 benefit to membership in OWAA. Seaber Turner Associates, a decade-long supporting group, extended a hand to OWAA by sponsoring some of the printing costs associated with bringing OU back to a full-color publication, and increasing the print schedule from four issues annually to six. What do you think? Please share your thoughts and opinions via Letters to the Editor and let us know how we’re doing.

EIC CONTESTS:
CALL FOR COMMENTS

The returns for the 2012 EIC contest submissions were very encouraging! Headquarters received more entries per contest this year than the past few years on average. Winners will be announced this month, with awards distributed at our 2012 annual conference at Chena Hot Springs Resort this September.
We recognize that changes are best addressed over time, and the increase in entries this year is proof that the new format and rules are beginning to take hold. That said, we also recognize that the new rules are a work in progress. We’ve received feedback on this year’s rules and are looking to make some minor refinements to reflect the needs of our members in time for the 2013 contests.
Send your suggestions and feedback to eicfeedback@owaa.org. The deadline for input is June 30. The rules for the 2013 contests will be published in the October/November issue of Outdoors Unlimited and will also be also be posted online this fall. Thank you for taking the time to comment. Your input is important! ♦
— OWAA Executive Director Robin Giner, rginer@owaa.org
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