Chairman's Message: Looking Back, Going Forward

As I am writing to you, ATOS begins a new fiscal year. Let’s take a quick look back at a few actions and then look to the future as we move ahead.

The Tampa Convention, as with every year, occurs a few weeks before the end of the ATOS fiscal year. As usual it was a chance to renew old friendships and make new ones. Except for the physical gathering of the Board members attending the Annual Convention, other Board meetings are web-based conference meetings. This year the Convention Board meeting was held on July 2, 2017.

Since the July 2nd meeting, we now have Tedde Gibson, Taylor Trimby and Michael Fellenzer as new elected Directors, joining on the same day the Board appointed officers of Richard Neidich as Chairman, George Andersen as Vice-Chairman, David Calendine as Secretary and Michael Fellenzer as Treasurer. Following the resignation of Mark Renwick as a Director the Board on July 26, 2017 appointed Michael Cipolletti to the remaining 24 months of that three-year term vacant directorship. Also, the Board approved a new fiscal year budget. The budget sections of Administrative Overhead, Programs and Revenue were each analyzed and changes made to the proposed draft. The November-December ATOS Journal will contain a complete review of that 2017-2018 Budget.

August is the month when the ATOS Board of Directors initiates the planning for the new year with a new budget and set of Director changes.
To begin the new fiscal year, I have initiated a set of goals development efforts for each of the dozen and more Board sponsored efforts or programs aimed at promoting ATOS mission activities in support of theatre organ promotion efforts. The purpose is to develop, define and share with you our members measurable goals for each initiative and utilize the ATOS website to better communicate the organization’s promotion efforts. Expect to see the initial results of this effort later this fall and before our mid-year.

Some of the efforts being developed include an expanded Chapter’s Liaison effort, being managed by Taylor Trimby. Taylor will be contacting every ATOS Chapter and working to establish a monthly contact cycle with each chapter. He is also planning to resume in September (now planned for Wednesday, September 20th) the bi-monthly “Chapters’ Conference” previously conducted by Ken Double. If you have a topic for one of those sessions, please contact Taylor Trimby. Taylor’s goal is to have each contain a planned presentation as well as provide a mechanism for the sharing of issues and successful efforts.

Also, as part of looking and moving forward with ATOS theatre organ promotion efforts, Tedde Gibson is undertaking an effort labeled the Membership Experience Program. The focus for Tedde’s initiative is to look at ways ATOS can expand our audience. Today, ATOS has primarily focused its promotion on ATOS members. However, our current membership is not the only potential audience for theatre organ as seen by many postings on social media. To sustain and build audience interest and understanding of theatre organs we must expand our approach to audiences. We recognize and appreciate circumstances that as a growing number of our members find it impossible to continue their traditional participation of attending conventions and supporting installations. ATOS needs to look at how someone with an interest in harmonic music can become a potential participant in one or more of the many theatre organ events across the world. Live streaming, on-line videos and internet radio can sustain and expand our audience. Perhaps new types of ATOS membership or followers options are ways to encompass those that do not wish to be a Journal receiving ATOS member.

Taking a brief look to ATOS internal systems efforts, our new Treasure Michael Fellenzer has applied his business systems knowledge and skills to successfully complete the closure of old banking accounts and implement simpler more and streamlined automated processes. High on this year’s goals for ATOS is better use of the internet, providing members and others better services in the form of membership services such as automatic membership renewal and advance renewal notification instead of today use of the Journal mailer as how you know when to renew.

Also, this year with support from our Past President, Ken Double, we will be working to expand the audience for our annual ATOS fundraising appeal and encourage other forms of giving. That effort will kick-off in late October, although planning has already begun.

Lastly, ATOS needs to expand membership participation in our programs as well as our Board membership. New people can bring their passion for theatre organ into our many and varied efforts. ATOS is largely dependent upon uncompensated volunteer services by our membership to “fuel” our engine and serve each other. In the fall, as part of our appeal for support, we will be providing more information on areas we see as needing efforts along with suggested ways you can become personally engaged and add you support. Remember, this is all about the wonders of the theatre organ music.