Natural Vision Educators - Our Second Conference!








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(Don't ask me why the first gathering was a Symposium, and the second was a Conference... except that this was a gathering of practitioners only - after much work and unfortunate delay, the decision was made to hold a West Coast Conference that was much smaller. By having only practitioners there, we did a lot of defining of the Association,  organizing it and deciding where we want to take it in the future.)

Here is an email I set out to everybody afterwards:

"...and a Good Time was had by All!"

Hello Everybody!

This email is intended for 1) those who couldn't make the conference in Portland, AND 2) to let EVERYONE know some business decisions that were made by the group. I want to start by saying how much fun I had, and how inspiring it is to have everyone working (and playing!) together. It is so empowering and motivating to hear stories, learn new things, tell my own stories, and meet people whom I have cherished from afar for many years, like Jerriann Taber! and a BIG Thank You to Elizabeth Abraham for furnishing 90% of the following notes....

Those of us who could come to the conference a little early met for a business meeting about the Association of Vision Educators. First on the agenda was "What was the agenda?" We brainstormed for a few minutes and came up with a list of items. The next day we brought the list of items and ideas/decisions to the group as a whole and came up with the following: 

Decided the time has not yet come for a Newsletter, although it was considered a great idea for the future. Instead, a Library of articles will be made available on the website. Anyone who has anything they would like to contribute should send it to Kate. ()

Kate reported that 40 members are paid up (and then we got 4 new members from the conference!).

Decided that the criteria for membership should be inclusive rather than exclusive, and that everyone who teaches some form of natural and integrative vision care is welcome to join. 

Discussed the benefits to being a member. Among them: listing on the Association website, professional support via questions directed to other members, professional development via conferences and workshops, discounts on other AVE members products and services.

Decided to add to the website a page listing the criteria for membership, the benefits of membership and the application form.

Decided to attempt to increase the membership as a large association has more political clout, greater research possibilities, will further public awareness of the field and have a larger pool to draw from for referrals and collegial support.

Decided to offer newly trained teachers membership for $20 in their first year.

Decided to add a disclaimer on the AVE page saying that the Association is not responsible for its members.

Discussed the structure of AVE and decided on a 5 person Steering Committee whose mandate is to further the mission statement and benefits to its members.

Marty Sussman and CJ Wilson agreed to write articles on holistic vision improvement and submit them to magazines on a regular basis. Marty informed us that February is Better Vision Month.

It was decided to hold the next Conference in San Francisco in the Spring of 2003, and that it would be open to the public as well as providing workshops for professionals and time for AVE meetings. Dror and Meir Schneider said they have the experience, knowledge and staff to put in a lot of effort towards this (Kate said she would/could help, having grown up and lived in the Bay Area until 8 years ago). Other members in the Bay Area have worked with the Schneiders - Tom Quackenbush and Grace Halloran specifically on a one day workshop.

Decided to have a Specialties listing for each practitioner on the website (send short paragraph to Kate - )

Dror Schneider, Marty Sussman, Kate Keilman, Sena Karamazov and Judy Vanderbeck were elected to the Steering Committee. Rosemary Gaddum Gordon, 
Esther van der Werf, Azalea, Martha Rigney and Janine Riggle agreed to help out on other committees as needed. (Others are welcome to join in, too!) 

Side notes - The changing of the treasurer to Martha Rigney.

So you can see, lots of progress and planning into the future was made, in a
cooperative and non-competitive way!