As summer comes to an end, this is my last letter to the membership as President of the American Society of Marine Artists.
Having served on the Executive Board for ten years, it has been a humbling experience for me, as well as a learning opportunity. It has broadened my perspective about the importance of service. I had the privilege to serve with some of ASMA’s finest colleagues. Ian Marshall was at the helm when I started, and set a great example for me to follow.
Six years ago, I was asked to serve as Vice President under Russ Kramer. I recall telling Russ and our Board that I was not the right person for the job. I believed I was not qualified to follow in succession as President. I am a Colorado native with no maritime roots or background, feared public speaking and the social challenges. Living so far away from most of the membership did indeed make the job more difficult. But knowing the Society needed a President, I could not walk away.
Three years have passed, and the time spent has been very fruitful. Reflecting back on our Board accomplishments include: ■Two successful National Marine Art Conferences, (which for the first time in our history, we welcomed artists outside of ASMA and the public to attend). ■A successful Anchor to Windward capital campaign fundraiser was established and surpassed our expectations to reach a goal of $100,000. ■Developed a long term capital fundraising goal of $250,000 over the course of a ten year period. ■Increased artist participation on all levels. ■Higher levels of membership services provided to all members. ■Created a proper budget and kept well within our means for all three years. ■ Improvements for board accountability, including a record retention policy to assist future board members to have access to important documents. ■Protecting our board and membership with proper insurance resources, such as Directors and Officers insurance and Event liability. ■Implementing General Liability coverage for ASMA beginning in 2019.
My thanks go out to our ASMA Directors and Fellows for their contributions and service to the Society. Without you, ASMA could not have stood the test of time for forty years, and to our Members, you are part of one of the most exceptional arts organizations in America! Some of you may not have had the privilege to get to know and appreciate the talented individuals we have in our midst, but there may still be a time and opportunity for you to share in this great wealth!
As I come closer to the end of my tenure as your President, it is clear that absorbing knowledge from our membership is part of the key to our success. Precious knowledge is accessible to all of you by sharing your own passion for art with other members. Some members may have forgotten how important it is to give time to others. We all lead busy lives and take on many responsibilities. Even so, we can always find time to volunteer in some capacity. If you do, you will discover the rewards are greater than the burden. Serve on a committee, help recruit new members, look for show opportunities in your area. Such small things do add up and help our cause. My hope is that by encouraging other members to volunteer, you too, can make a difference for ASMA.
With my sincerest admiration and thanks,
Kim Shaklee, President