Ken's Blog, August 7, 2012

Wednesday, August 8th 2012

As happens a lot, I find myself at an airport; this time it's Denver's international airport which geographically might be closer to Salt Lake City (there's a joke there about how far out of town they built this terminal) - and I thought of ATOSer Lee Shaw. Lee was honored at this year's convention banquet, and rightfully so. There are a lot of wonderful people in the chapter centered in Denver and Colorado Springs, but there are few (not only there but anywhere) who do so many different things to help the chapter.

From booking artists, to hanging lights and sweeping floors, playing chauffeur and host, and offering some of the most distinctive and unusual monikers for concert performances, Lee literally does it all for the Rocky Mountain chapter, and has had a tremendous impact on the world of the theatre organ in this part of the country.

Of particular note are the "Stripes and Pipes" concerts showcasing the dual consoles of the Denver Paramount Theatre's Mighty Wurlitzer, in conjunction with one of the Armed Forces bands. Thousands have filled the Paramount to enjoy these events, enjoy this music and thrill to the sounds of the Wurlitzer theatre organ.

Meanwhile, I'm putting the finishing touches on a few major items for ATOS.

We will be hiring an IT Manager to oversee the ATOS website and IT operations, a job which will be posted on the website and in the journal soon. And we will also be hiring a Grants Writer to assist our efforts to generate funds.

One might ask, "Why are we hiring? Why can't we find volunteers?"

We have a lot of terrific volunteers who do a lot of great work for ATOS. But the very nature of volunteerism - people serving in an effort to help - sometimes makes it difficult to "put the hammer down" when deadlines and other issues become apparent.

Our website and the various other aspects of Internet Technology will clearly be the future of expanding ATOS and acquiring a new audience. Do we marvel at what has been achieved in the past ten years with the internet, cell phones, and what is known as Social Media? Imagine what fantastic changes we will see in the ten years ahead!

This demands that ATOS begin to get more serious about this effort, and have someone, even if it is part-time at the start, to be at the helm and steering this effort, and reporting to management as a paid staff person.

The same for grants. We will soon be announcing two new major gifts for ATOS.

We continue to approach our membership about donations and more importantly for our future, Estate Planning gifts, which could be the life-blood of ATOS in the years ahead.

Revenue from grants - be it corporate philanthropy, foundations, government grants or other opportunities - can go hand in glove with our in-house efforts and pave the way forward underwriting our programs like the Summer Youth Adventure, the Technical Experience, the scholarships and other programs long into the future.

More importantly, once these philanthropic and corporate organizations begin to work with us, and learn about us, the better chance they will partner with us repeatedly, knowing their dollars have been spent for the good of our organization, and as earmarked.

Thus, it is important to have a professional individual, reporting to management, and working on grants on a regular basis.

These two positions, IT Manager and Grants Writer, will be part-time posts to begin, funding made possible by the redistribution of funds available when the Executive Secretary’s post was redefined as Membership Secretary.

It is the belief of many in the leadership that ATOS will be best served in the future having key positions such as these as paid team positions.