A message from Sharyn Bowman Greberman
The Manhattan Branch sponsored a wonderful invited exhibit during December at the National Arts Club in Manhattan. Jamie Tate, National Art Chair and I were invited to participate. I found the members of the New York Branches to be extremely enthusiastic and creative. Sherrie Johnson, a member at large from Florida is exhibiting a large number of paintings in the offices of Senator Bill Nelson in the US Senate Office Building. Sherrie is a very talented painter and this exhibit displays the excellent quality of our members’ work. Sue Lynn Cotton of the Sarasota Branch gave me the original watercolor of her painting, “Venice Boat Reflections,” which appeared on the cover of the summer issue of The Pen Woman, at the Florida State Association conference in October. You may read more about this event in the article Doorway to Dreams on page 14 of the Pen Woman Magazine, Spring 2012 issue.
Our redesigned website has been up and running for almost three months. We noticed considerably increased activity compared to the old website within the first few weeks of its launch. The winners of our first online art contest for nonmembers have been notified. There are two winners and we will have a feature article on these women in the summer issue of this magazine. Twenty images of the winners and other participants appear in the Online Gallery. Jamie Tate, National Art Chair, has coordinated the entire process and brought it to its successful conclusion.
The first Pen Women Online webinar, coordinated by Candace Long, fourth Vice President, will air on February 21. Lynne Spreen, of the Palm Springs branch, will show attendees how they may advance professionally by incorporating an online presence into their career planning. Many hesitate to take advantage of online resources because the Internet can be intimidating. This webinar may help you get started with a plan that can move you forward. You may sign up for the webinar on our website.
The National Executive Board met in January. I’m happy to report that we are beginning to turn the corner and move toward a more optimistic financial picture. The Finance Committee reported that, despite decreases in dues and tenant income, the stringent fiscal management of the 2010-12 administration reduced General and Administrative costs by 77%, compared to the April 2010 fiscal year.
While this is extremely good news, we still have a long way to go.
We cannot survive without an increase in our membership. A membership drive will begin NOW. The goal will be at least 1,000 new members by April 30, 2013. Numbers of new members by branch and for members at large will be tracked on our website so you may see the League’s progress in our membership drive. We will offer suggestions for member recruitment on our website and branches may contact National if they have any questions. Let’s rebuild the League’s membership so we may move forward to greater successes.
The Biennial is very near. If you have already registered and made your hotel reservation, that’s great. If you are planning to attend but have not yet gotten around to making your arrangements, please do so soon so you’ll be able to enjoy and benefit from the excellent program that is planned. You can find registration in the Pen Woman magazine, on page 32, or download a registration form at www.nlapw.org.
The ballot is in this issue; please take advantage of your right to vote. Each member in good standing may cast her vote in the election. The ballot is on page 26 of the Spring issue of the Pen Woman. Please follow the directions carefully and mail it to Pen Arts. The ballot must be postmarked by March 15.