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BY ROBIN GINER
“Gratitude changes the pangs of memory into a tranquil joy,” Dietrich Bonhoeffer said.
It’s that time of year when we pause to acknowledge the things for which we are thankful. The good times we’ve had. The lessons we’ve learned. This year, I am grateful for so much.
First, of course, I’m personally grateful for our members and supporters. You were the first to peak my interest in fly-fishing and the first to put a firearm in my hands – both at the 2007 conference in Roanoke, Va. I now count myself among the hunters and anglers of the world – catching trout and bass in Montana’s Clark Fork and Blackfoot rivers, and putting my first wild turkey on the table last fall. My tag has yet to be filled, but I have until the first of the year to make that happen. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
I’m also grateful to you for the warm reception I’ve received since being named OWAA’s new Executive Director. The encouragement and support that has come my way in these first few months is truly heart-warming. I’m doing my best to earn your respect and hope to make you proud. I would be remiss to not say my thanks, once again, to the Board and selection committee for providing me the opportunity.
Eternal gratitude is something I also have for our small but extremely prolific staff. Ashley Schroeder and Jessica Pollett are two women with drive and determination. The skills, ideas and enthusiasm they bring to the office each day are truly inspiring. I hope you’re enjoying Schroeder’s efforts to redesign the layout of OU. Taking into consideration feedback about the first incarnation of OU Online, she came up with the new digital flipbook layout to satisfy members’ needs and suggestions.
Pollett came to our team just before the 2010 conference in Rochester, and is helping breathe new life into not only our annual conferences, but our marketing program as well. We’re working to get the word out about OWAA and all our programs, publications and membership offerings.
The constant improvement to the OWAA website is a combined effort of Schroeder and Pollett. Please visit often to see the steady stream of new information about our 2011 conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. And don’t forget to submit your Excellence in Craft contestonline entry forms via the new section of OWAA’s website that is dedicated to the revamped contests.
The Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Endowment Trustees and numerous chairs and members of OWAA’s committees work long and hard to steer OWAA’s ship. These folks are probably not thanked nearly enough for their efforts, yet theirs is the tireless work that drives OWAA forward year after year.
A word of thanks and gratitude would not be complete without a list of those supporters and individuals who have sponsored programs, meals and events throughout the year, or made contributions to OWAA’s operating or investment funds in 2010. It’s your kindness and generosity that adds much-needed resources to our programming and development and helps keep the home fires burning here at headquarters.
A hearty thanks goes out to:
Altus/ProEars, Buck Knives, Clam Corporation, Ducks Unlimited, Hunt’s Photo & Video, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Outdoor News, Rochester Convention & Visitors Bureau and Toyota Motor Sales USA for their sponsorships of our 2010 Annual Conference in Rochester, Minn.
The numerous companies and individuals who donated items for our annual Silent Auction in Rochester.
Safari Club International for their sponsorship of the Norm Strung Youth Writing Award.
Coleman, Ducks Unlimited, Outdoor Channel, RealTree and Sierra Club for sponsoring the 2010 Excellence in Craft Contests.
Alpen Optics, Altus/ProEars, L.L.Bean, Pure Fishing and Smith & Wesson for their sponsoring the 2011 Membership Drive.
David Bowman, Tim Burres, Patrick Carroll, Lisa Densmore, Thomas Dillon, Mike Donahue, Roger Eckstine, Martin Garrell, Dick Hess, John Kronfeld, Rich Landers, George Laycock, Robert Lindholm, Jim Low, Dennis Lubin, Marty Malin, Brian McGrath, King Montgomery, James Robey, Albert Rostello, Thayne Smith, Robin Tawney-Nichols, Michael Terry, Stu Tinney, Mike Walker, Luann Sewell Waters, Roy Welch, Tom Wharton and Henry Zeman for their generous donations to OWAA’s McDowell Scholarship, Restricted Endowment and Operating Funds (as of Nov. 5, 2010).
Thanks to all of you for your support of OWAA.
Taking the time to say thanks and show gratitude to those people who make our lives just that much more enjoyable is a small token that’s worth its weight in gold. Who are you thankful for this year? Make sure you let them know how much they add to your life.
On behalf of the OWAA staff, I wish you the happiest of holidays, from Thanksgiving straight through the New Year. May the season be filled with celebration and your 2011 offer much to be grateful for. ♦
— Robin Giner, OWAA Executive Director firstname.lastname@example.org