I made a deal with myself, my wife and my business partner when I accepted the nomination for Presidency of GDC/BC back in 2006, promising that I would work hard for one term and hand the reigns to a qualified successor.
Well, here we are at the end of my two years and it’s time to reflect on what we accomplished together. And I say “together” because without the committed group of talented individuals I’ve had the fortune to serve with, none of it would have been possible.
In the last couple years, our chapter has become decidedly more organized and reinvigorated. We finally have a new permanent home, thanks to our friends at Emily Carr. Executive meetings are filled each month with the smiling faces of volunteers keen to make things happen. Our exposure to the public, business and media is more pronounced than ever before. Our online presence has improved immensely and our ability to grow our network and influence increases daily through the use of tools such as our new website, blog and wiki, as well as via our FaceBook, LinkedIn, Flickr, Video.ca, and YouTube pages.
I’ve been proud and somewhat astonished to watch our membership and sponsorship grow to the degree it has in the past few years. Since 2006, the BC Chapter has grown about 40% and sponsorship revenue has nearly doubled, making BC the largest, most active and most well-funded chapter in the country.
Another aspect of what we’ve accomplished the past two years has been our increased involvement in local communities outside our own industry. Through supporting other associations such as SIGGRAPH, CAPIC, BCID, and sponsoring local charities such as NABS (National Advertising Benevolent Society), Canstruction Vancouver, and The Food Bank we’ve made a real difference in numerous lives. For this I am especially proud.
Over the last couple years our team has planned and hosted numerous sold out industry events with international speakers, vendor and studio tours, movie screenings, exhibitions, conferences, workshops, student and professional design competitions. I was honoured to serve as a Chair of Graphex 2008, leading our committee to produce the largest and most successful national design competition on record. What a year to remember!
Someone asked me recently what I hoped my legacy would be after my time as President. I quickly reminded them I wasn’t done yet and not going nowhere, so don’t rush me! But if I had to pick one thing it would be the great honour of initiating the bid for Vancouver and our chapter to host the 2010 Icograda Design Week. As an opportunity to raise the local, national and global awareness of Vancouver as a significant design city, this opportunity is significant. With the help of others, we’ve managed to open dialogue and receive support from the Ministry of Arts & Culture, Tourism Vancouver, British Columbia Innovation Council, and Vancouver City Hall—all keen to showcase Vancouver’s design community to the world!
I cannot adequately express my respect and gratitude for each of the volunteers, be they VPs, Chairs, committee members and students who come out to help make events happen. Their reports in this, and previous years’ annual reports, stand as a testament to the effort it takes to run an association like ours. I invite each of you to consider if it is time for you to get more involved and help GDC and your industry.
And that “successor” I mentioned earlier? I’m so happy and proud to nominate my friend Marga Lopez as she takes her turn as the leader of our group. I will remain as Past President and support her as we move our association and our industry forward. Never before has design been as important or as powerful as it is now, and there are amazing days ahead. I am humbled and inspired by Marga and am confident she is the leader we need for these times. ¡Felicidades y buena suerte Marga!