From our Board President
May 26, 2012
I’m just home from a seven hour strategic planning session for board and staff at the Ink Spot. Our excellent facilitator was Paul Van Dolah, and with the help of Peets’ coffee we got off to a fast start and kept moving until the end. Some of what we covered wouldn’t interest you, I’m sure, but there are a few items I really want to share.
You may know that several of our valued board members have termed out or had to resign with regrets. Judy Reeves, Marivi Blanco, Zoe Ghahremani and Kim Schultz have served this organization in so many ways over the years, I won’t even try to list all they’ve done. I’m so grateful to each of them. And I’m happy to say that they’ll continue to be part of our organization in new and creative ways.
Now, I’m happy to introduce four new members of the board of San Diego Writers, Ink.
Dean Nelson comes to us from Point Loma Nazarene University where he is director of the journalism program and hosts the annual Writers’ Symposium by the Sea. He’s traveled all over the world, writing about some of the most wrenching issues of our time. He is the author of several nonfiction articles and books including God Hides in Plain Sight: How to Find the Sacred in a Chaotic World.
Patrick Stewart is the ED of Words Alive, a local nonprofit specializing in literacy enhancement. Prior to this, he was Producing Artistic Director for Sushi Performance and Literary Arts and in Washington, DC he was Executive Director for the Atlas Performing Arts Center. Some of you may also know him as Tammy Greenwood’s husband.
Listeners to KPBS’ “A Way With Words” will know Grant Barrett whose funny and informative public radio show can be heard around the United States, Canada and the world. He knows all about words because he’s a real life lexicographer and dictionary editor who specializes in slang and new words. Besides being widely quoted about language, he’s written on the subject for “The Washington Post” and “New York Times.”
Finally and about time, Kathryn Fehrman, a retired naval officer and JAG Corps attorney, is our fourth new board member. Kathy has practiced law in a number of venues and is currently a Legal Skills Professor at California Western School of Law. Before law school, she studied voice at the New England Conservancy and theater at the National Theater Institute and Harman Theater Conservancy and performed in theaters across the country.
New and old members of the board are excited about the year ahead and at our meeting yesterday the ideas came fast and furious. But again and again we asked each other, what do our members want and how can we better serve the needs of writers at all stages of their careers? We want to hear from you. What classes would you like to see on the schedule, what perks for members and what events would you like to celebrate? Should we offer classes in South Bay, in Escondido? I’m serious when I say that your creativity and opinions are really important to us.
I’ve saved the sad news ‘til last. Kelli Wescott has been our ED for almost exactly two years and she’s done a fantastic job, but like a lot of people these days, she and Jared and adorable Henry have to go where the jobs are. In their case it’s about as far from Southern California as you can get: Maine. This is a great opportunity for the family and I know you join me in wishing them happiness and success in their new venture.
At times like this, Facebook doesn’t seem like such a time-suck. We’ll all get to see the video of baby Henry’s first snowball fight.
Change is always a challenge but it’s exciting too. Part of the excitement comes from the sense of new possibilities. Change stimulates the imagination as well, and for writers, that’s always a good thing.
Our search for a bright, dynamic and qualified Executive Director begins today.