Exciting things are happening this year. But before telling you about them, let me do a little updating and inform everyone about a few organizational changes.

First, you may wonder why Brett Templar’s name isn’t at the head of this column. Brett, as you know, has been Chairman for the past two years and has done a superb job guiding RWS to new highs. While still an active member and workshop instructor, Brett has taken on outside responsibilities that preclude him from continuing as Chair. Thank you Brett, we’ll miss your steady hand at the helm.

Another long-time member of the Board, Rich Towsley, will step down as Newsletter Chair and instead devote his efforts to starting a luthier’s SIG. Al Kupchella, our newest Board member, will take over as Newsletter Chair as well as Co-chair the luthier’s SIG with Rich.

Finally, Juan Ruiz will do double duty continuing as Membership Chair while taking over for me as Webmaster as I ease into the role of Chairman. Keep your eyes open for a new and improved website with additional member-interactive features.

Now, for the exciting things happening this year. We have seven National Speakers, six with workshops, as well as a full program of local work-shops. We begin in September with Ron Herman. Ron is a self described “master housewright, toolwright and carpenter”. If you’re a little fuzzy on these topics, and I admit I am, then come to the September meeting and learn all about them. We also have several returning speakers. Darrell Peart was last here in 2007 and will talk in October about one of his favorite topics – Greene and Greene furniture. In November, period furniture maker Allan Breed will return and fill us in on his activities since his last visit ten years ago. Greg Johnson, nationally known finisher and Wendell Castle protégé, will visit in January and present a finishing workshop at his shop in Avon. As someone who attended Greg’s last workshop, I can tell you this is one you don’t want to miss. RWS member and master craftsman, Jim Altemus, will talk about his many activities, including those at the Genesee Country Village and Museum, at our February meeting. John Beaver, a newcomer to RWS, will bring his unique perspective on turning in March and lead both a demonstration and hands-on workshop open to members of RWS and FLWT. Finally, we end our season in April with Steve Latta. Although it’s been nearly six years since Steve’s last visit, long-time members still rank his workshop as one of the best in recent years.

We also have a full lineup of local workshops which can be reviewed on our website. I’ll leave their discussion for another time except to remind everyone about the ‘Making Kitchen Utensils with Hand Tools Workshop’. It meets in September and fills up quickly, so sign up early. Also, I hope everyone will take advantage of the $5 membership discount offered until August 31 and make this year as successful as the last.