Fall is my favorite time. It lasts long in Iowa as it starts mid-September and extends into December with beautiful leaves and sunsets. For 62 years, I have enjoyed hunting over wooden decoys, and it’s time to get the rigs ready, scout the various locations, and talk with our members across the country. I appreciate all of you!
Our organization is in great shape as we have adapted and improved in every area. We have completed our brand refresh, moved to an improved event location, updated all of our tools, added some talent to our leadership team, refreshed our website and the supporting tools, and grown our membership. Each of our communications has focused on creating better knowledge and awareness. You’ve seen that in our newsletters and member directory.
We are experiencing a unique time for sporting collectibles, which is exciting. We were pleased to welcome fifty-five new members during our show, bringing our active membership back to pre-COVID levels. New collectors are emerging with a strong appreciation for American sporting traditions and the collectibles this creates.
An important trend is that many long- time collections are becoming available and old favorites are coming to market. Several times per month, we hear from holders of old collections that they are getting ready to sell. New collectors and fresh items are trends to celebrate. Make sure that you are networking with the membership, as many are finding new things.
We are busy planning our 2023 activities. It began with our post-show follow-up and communication outreach. We apply all the lessons learned to improve, talking with dealers and auction outlets to understand trends and working to create more value for our membership. We are returning to the old format for our weekly event schedule. You can review the details on the club website.
Our initial survey indicates that tables will be very tight next year as we need to find space for new participants. Please renew your memberships for both the North American Decoy Collectors and the Call Maker and Collector organizations. Your support is critical to maintaining positive momentum.
Our show is a terrific opportunity to learn about all areas of sporting collectibles. The discussions and opportunities for learning are endless. Make your plans now and be sure to allocate the appropriate amount of time for this valuable event. Our new hotel location offers a great opportunity for networking and discussion.
We continue to grow our educational outreach and want to solicit ideas or content that will help our members gain more knowledge. We are pursuing some new ideas on how to build a better book of knowledge to capture the vast wisdom within our expert community. I appreciate the dialogue and assistance that Ted Harmon has been giving me so that we can discover better ways to share, educate and build more dialogue.
We recently lost Rose Claussen, a past board member and lifelong collector. Rose shared her wonderful wit and passion for collecting with great class. Our deepest condolences to Bill and his family.
I want to personally thank Jon Deeter for his thoughtful coaching and wonderful support in helping us land successfully at our new location. I called Jon with the request for help, and Jon was on the road that weekend to help and has been all in with his support. This change has been very challenging, and I appreciate his help.
Happy Hunting and Collecting! Stay strong and safe! Nothing is normal, but we can do more together, and our current status proves that fact.