It has been a fun and exciting year so far at PSRI. We have had some great presentations and mentoring nights, and I have been blown away by your images at our three competitions. It has also been a year of growth – as photographers, and as an organization.
PSRI has been in existence since 1927, and has undergone many changes over the years. While the name of the club and our meeting location has changed numerous times, the fundamental goal of advancing our art and our skills as photographers has never changed. The medium and the tools we use are different, but the passion for our hobby and our quest for growth as artists and photographers has not wavered. As time marches on PSRI will continue to grow and change.
Our club exists to serve the needs of its membership, plain and simple. You pay your membership fee, and the club provides a variety of services that you benefit from. You network with other photographers, you make new friends, you learn new techniques, and you become inspired to grow as a photographer. The club strives to provide you with the programs and activities for you to learn, and an environment for you to connect with your peers.
This year has seen tremendous growth at PSRI, perhaps more than any other year in club history. As digital photography has exploded as a hobby in the past 5 years so has our club. We currently have over 180 active club members, of which close to 50 are new this year!
As the membership grows, the club must grow as well. Part of growing the club will be looking at what we are doing and how we are doing it. We will be looking to you, our membership to help us as we take on this new challenge.
So what exactly does this mean? In all honesty it is going to mean a lot of things. Some things will be obvious to the membership, while other things will be changes behind the scenes that most members won’t even see. Some changes are well under way, while others are only just beginning.
For example, PSRI has made significant investments in both time and money to improve our competition systems this year. While we have had some glitches along the way, these changes have made it significantly easier for us to manage and run our digital competitions. This allows more people to compete, while reducing the workload on the volunteer that needs to do all the work to prepare for a competition. Updating to this system took hundreds of man hours by several members of the club to put into place, test and roll out. And we still aren’t done.
We will continue to look at the systems and procedures that we have in place today. We will evaluate if we can make changes to improve our member’s experience. We will evaluate if we can make changes that make it easier for our volunteers to do their jobs. Can some jobs really only be done by one person, or could the job be split up such that multiple people could share the work load? We are talking with other photography organizations and art clubs to understand how they conduct business, sharing ideas and finding new ways to solve old problems.
As an organization PSRI will start to take a longer term approach to planning. We have already begun exploring putting together a business plan for the club – one that will allow us to do great things, not just in the coming months but in the coming years. Like with all great things they do not happen overnight and are not easy to accomplish. It will take time, and hard work. Putting together this plan will be the first step towards these goals.
Our club is run by a group of volunteers, who perform a large variety of tasks to help make each PSRI event a success. It has truly been an honor to work with and get to know these volunteers, and to see the passion with which they serve. It is humbling, and I am proud to work with them. I encourage you to thank them at our next meeting. We will be looking for more volunteers going forward and I hope that you will consider becoming one.
As we move forward and grow as an organization, I ask for your patience and your assistance. There will be hiccups along the way. We will work, we will grow, and we will learn. We will have success, and we will have some failure. Most importantly we will do it together.
As always, if you have any questions or suggestions I encourage you to grab me at the next meeting to bend my ear. If you prefer, you may contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.