Looking back … moving forward

I want to start by talking about the Showcase: The Showcase is a way to show the Public what we do, show them our skill levels and pick up some additional RWS members. We are all RWS Ambassadors. So, while at the Showcase, we want you to wear any RWS apparel you have in your possession. Hats, Shirts, that RWS Logo Tattoo you’ve been hiding from your wife … Be ready at all times to answer any questions the Public may have about our Showcase and RWS in general.

The Showcase is a community event designed to attract a variety of guests — woodworkers, potential woodworkers, those who may be curious about woodworking and their families and friends. In order to publicize the showcase please consider inviting a wide range of people you know to attend. This is an opportunity to generate interest in the activity we all enjoy so much and to expand our enrollment. Also, mention that we have woodworking demonstrations going on all day long. These are great for kids and grandkids.

More on our Showcase below….

As we come to a close of another successful RWS woodworking season, it is time to reflect on what has happened and where we are headed.

With membership on the rise for the past 3 years, we are on sound financial footing. Paul Wilkins is our RWS Treasurer and is doing a fantastic job keeping our finances in-line and our accounts in order.

Having sound finances enables us to bring in the best woodworkers out there for our National lectures and workshops. It allows us to keep the tuition for these workshops low. If you don’t believe me, do an internet search on woodworking guilds and see what other organizations charge for their workshops. I hope you take advantage of these workshops, not only do you learn the skills directly related to the subject at hand, but there are always unexpected “goodies” picked up over the course of the workshop.

Mike Medianowski and his National Speaker team did a fantastic job developing the lineup of speakers we had this year covering nearly all aspects of woodworking. But, there are many things this committee does but is hidden from view. Not only do they line up the speakers on available dates, but negotiate on expenses. But it does not end there, they coordinate their arrival and chaperon them to the required destinations.

Even though you may have attended one of our workshops, you probably do not know about the coordination that goes into them: The set up/tear down, roster of students, lunch orders and coordination with CP Rochester and more.

Our Workshop Coordinator, John Alescio takes care of all of this and has done a fantastic job this last year.

Another benefit of good finances allows us to have probably the best woodworking library in the Nation. Connie Gates, RWS Librarian has everything cataloged and sorted for easy access. Plus she lugs many titles to each of our National meetings. Our library is truly a marvel thanks to all her hard work.

In case you forgot, you can download a spreadsheet right from our website. It contains everything we have in the library in a sort able format and can be borrowed by any RWS member.

Our Web Master is Dave Sumberg. Dave does a fantastic job at keeping things current and relevant. We always get comments from our National Speakers on the quality of the website and ease of navigation. Check it out. There is a load of great info.

Juan Ruiz is our Membership Chair. You have seen him at Our National meetings handing out name tags, but he does much more. He has developed a Welcoming package for our new members and does a fantastic job of handling the workshop signup activities.

Rich Towsley is our Newsletter Chair. Rich works with all of us on newsletter content then organizes and publishes one of the best newsletters in the Nation.

The newest member of our Board of Directors is Jim Begley. Jim is our Publicity Chair and has been doing an outstanding job over the last year. He keeps our Advertising brochure current and stocked around many places in the community.

There are many other folks to thank that make our club a success: The Special Interest Group (SIG) Leaders that coordinate their monthly discussions and presentations: Rick Diehl – Furniture SIG, Dave Gilbert – Turning SIG, Chuck Rinehart – Carving SIG, Tim Talma – Period Furniture SIG and Mark Rakestraw – Boat SIG. They all do a great job in expanding our knowledge of the finer points of woodworking.

We also have a Volunteer core that help with special assignments as well as volunteers that donate finished items and time to organizations like CP Rochester, Lollipop Farm and Others. This is what it takes to make RWS run well.

As you know, we have been in the planning stages for our upcoming Showcase for over a year and an undertaking such as this is no small feat. We have had a working committee dedicated to the Showcase for nearly that length of time. The following folks have devoted many hours of their time to made the Showcase happen: Denise Dee – Demonstration Coordinator, Jim Altemus – Facilities Coordinator, Tom Ward – Documents Coordinator, Bob Anzalone – Publicity, Gene McCabe – Volunteer Coordinator, Dave Beaty – Judging Coordinator. Rich Towsley has been our mentor and Greg Miller has assisted with some vital details.

As we look forward, our plans revolve around our mission: ” … provide a forum for the learning and enhancement of the woodworking skills of its members. ” As we prepare for next Season that starts in September, we have another great line-up of speakers and workshops. More on that below.

It has been a real honor for me to have worked with these outstanding volunteers, in some cases, for over 3 years. Their dedication and attention to detail is what is making the RWS Such a success.

As we move forward, you can rest assured that whatever changes are made in the makeup of the Board or other areas, there is a continuity that allows our club to proceed without a hiccup.

Please take the time to thank the board members and our other volunteers when you see them and consider volunteering yourself when the opportunity arises.