Well, another Standards of Excellence conference is behind us, and what a resounding success! A number of records were broken this year: we had the largest number of exhibiting suppliers than at any previous conference; we recorded more 'visitors' to the vendors' hall than ever before (many of whom will, we hope, become members now!); and we had close to, if not the highest paid registration on record. Those of you who were not able to attend certainly missed out on a wonderful meeting, but at least you will be able to read about it in the various reports forthcoming, and yes, eventually see the video.
A real treat this year was what I hope will be considered our 'First Annual Auction'. Several dozen members donated nearly fifty items to the auction, including lovely blank books, tools and supplies, books on binding, printing, conservation and more, posters, scrolls, artists' books, a marbled vignette, handmade papers, and much more. The auction was conducted after the banquet by GBW member Bill Drendel, who kept everyone laughing and in a generous mood (and not to be forgotten were the three assistants, Laura Wait, Dominic Riley and Louise Genest who glided about among the tables displaying the auction items). Barbara Wood, in Los Angeles, received all the items in advance, stored them at her house, and delivered them to the hotel, where they were put on display prior to the auction time. My personal thanks to these two great members, Bill and Barbara, for helping out.
Now for the best part: the auction netted just over $2,000! We have not yet decided what to do with these special funds, although several suggestions have been made, including scholarships for next year's meeting, or perhaps partially underwriting a yet unspecified workshop that could travel to several chapter sites. Members are encouraged to pass their suggestions on to me.
A tremendous amount of work goes into organizing these annual conferences, far more work than most of us realize. Monique Lallier begins site and program preparations nearly two years in advance, and the local host volunteers live, eat and breathe the conference for twelve solid months. Our thanks to Monique, Joanne Page, Mel Kavin, Kitty Maryatt, Janet Takahashi, Alice Vaughan and Barbara Wood, plus numerous 'behind the scenes' volunteers who made the Pasadena conference such a success.
Karen L. Crisalli, President