It’s hard to believe I am writing my last letter to you as your Connecticut Chapter President. I have been thinking a lot about how I began my journey at ASMP. In 2013, when I left my full time job at This Old House to start my own photography business, I knew I needed to join a photography organization that would support me as a new photographer. Although I had a BFA, I needed to learn what it was like to practice business in the real world. These are the things they don’t necessarily teach you in school. In my search, there were many organizations that I found, and ASMP felt like the right fit. I had no idea, however, just how much ASMP would mean to me after all these years.
Through this organization, I have been given the tools and resources to learn and grow more than I ever could have imagined, but the relationships that I’ve fostered with my colleagues and peers are what makes my heart sing. Especially in a year when a pandemic was upon us, and loneliness and fear crept in, I always felt supported and encouraged by those around me. Yes, ASMP has taught me about licensing, pricing, marketing, and has inspired me to be a better photographer, but the community that I found at ASMP is unlike any other I have been a part of.
I started the Programs Chair, then moved into the Vice Presidential role, and these past two years I’ve been grateful to serve you as President — in these roles, some of my proudest and most joyous moments were seeing the Photo Annual come to fruition, the feeling of accomplishment after every portfolio review (which in the past we could cheers with a beer, and will again someday), and looking around the room and feeling the buzz and energy at every networking event. Each new member I met, each new friend I made, and every time I saw someone benefit from ASMP — which was often — made my heart beat a little faster and reaffirmed my belief in this organization.
We each put our heart and soul into the programs we’ve planned, and to see them come to life makes it all worth it. The work that goes into every little thing we do is often not seen, but the appreciation that I have for my fellow board members, past and present, will carry with me into the future. Our Connecticut board is completely volunteer, and I have immense respect and admiration for how hard everyone works.
I won’t be far — I am staying on the board, and I am thrilled beyond words to be passing the baton to the absolute best people for the roles: Adam Coppola as President, and Julie Bidwell as Vice President. I am so excited to see what they have in store for us, along with the rest of the board, and can’t wait to be a part of it.
Please take a moment to meet your new board of directors for the 2021-2023 term by following the link below, and help me in congratulating and welcoming them:
Adam Coppola: President
Julie Bidwell: Vice President
David Gunn: Advisory
Barry Hyman: Logistics and Programs
Rob Lisak: Treasurer
Chris Rakoczy: Technology Consultant
Lea Riveccio: Outreach
Cameron Sterling: Social Media
Doug Turney: Advisory
Carl Vernlund: Sponsorship and Programs
Steve Walter: Secretary
Stephen Wang: Membership
Adam will be in touch next week via our newsletter to say hello and introduce some exciting spring programming we have planned!