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What do YOU want from the PPFA

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by Rob Markoff, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    With the upcoming PPFA Convention in two weeks and the upcoming advisory committee meeting next month, I thought I would open a (hopefully) CIVIL dialogue as to what people would want/expect from their trade association. FULL DISCLOSURE - I am on the advisory committee and will take this information (good and bad) to the committee with the intent on making PPFA a better association.

    This is your chance to be heard.

    I ask that when you post, you first identify yourself as a member or non member-

    I am looking for reasons for you to be a member - and what is missing?

    What would motivate you to be a member or continue membership.

    What should PPFA be doing that you think they are not?

    What is PPFA doing well?
    Sponsor Wanted
  2. Framehouse Boutique

    Framehouse Boutique CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Former PPFA Member.

    I stopped renewing my dues when they stopped sending out the newsletter.

    I know they have an electronic version now, but it is poorly executed.

    I would sign up again if they started sending out printed versions of the newsletter, or re-worked the electronic version into a user-friendly website or blog.
  3. FramerDave

    FramerDave PFG, Picture Framing God

    Apologies for the threadjack...

    If you prefer a more conventional view of the newsletter, it can be downloaded as a PDF and viewed like any other document, or printed off if you wish.
  4. janetj1968

    janetj1968 PFG, Picture Framing God

    I've always wondered why they didn't pair with equipment vendors to give out free memberships (or extend existing memberships) with purchase. :shrug: Seems they could capture more of the newbie market doing that. They're also the people, I believe, who need it the most.

    My use of PPFA is simply through purchasing items from their library. I'm not a member.

    To reach me? Membership would probably have to be free for a trial period (like 3 months or six months) to enable me to really see what the benefit would be vs what I've been able to do for 20 years on my own.
  5. Cliff Wilson

    Cliff Wilson SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Actually, here in New England we did that. Any new framer that signed up at the Don Mar Day event ($50) received a $50 credit with Don Mar.

    We're working on some other similar partnerships here at the chapter level.

    But, please keep posting. As some of you know I'm on the ballot and expect I'll be on the board after the up coming convention and I, like Rob, am interested in what you'd be interested in!
  6. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    For the record, Cliff Wilson is a professional framer. Really. I've met him and talked with him. He knows all the buzzwords and everything.
  7. surferbill

    surferbill SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I agree. Make it free, like the G.
  8. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    PPFA Member

    >Group discount on Workers Comp (I'm in Ohio)
    >Health Insurance group status for those who want to purchase a group plan
    >Possible buying co-op for supplies
    >Coordinate a resource bank of consultants (located by state or regionally) who could make on-site visits to retailers for help with things like equipment maintenance, setup/implementation of POS/Vis. systems, merchandising, etc. (This could be a potential income source for qualified people who have retired or closed their shops for various reasons.)*

    :kaffeetrinker_2: Rick

    *Maybe this could be called Vivian's List
  9. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    I honestly don't know. In fairness my interest in framing is giving way to photography. I don't expect the PPFA to overcome that hurdle but it's possible that they could.

    It's been a while since I was a member. Other than the monthly newsletter and their involvement in framing competitions and certification, I can't name much they offer. Now I go to the website. Man it looks like an amazing program. If they do all the things they list well, why doesn't framers bring it up often as a benefit they participate in?

    I'd suggest that they narrow down the list of offerings and focus on a few benefits. Make those so valuable that one would be foolish to run a shop without being a member. Fine tune, tweak, and perfect the post card program. Framers struggle with having in store signage and professional print media. For a creative industry we collectively may have the worst websites on the internet. Those that do have great looking sites often paid a mint for them. That could be streamlined and not only offer a much needed service but offer a revenue source for them. A group buying oppertunity maybe?

    Things like "Strategic Insights" and "Insurance Discounts" should be deleted right off a list of "reasons to join". How many members use their credit card processing and discounts on office supplies? Get that stuff off there. If you have to list those things then it doesn't sound like that strong of an association to begin with.

    I believe there is a glaring error on there also. For “Chapters” it says, "Available only to PPFA members, PPFA Chapters give you an opportunity to network with local framers...". Those events often list two prices - one for members and one for non-members. I don't believe they are accurate when they say "Available only to PPFA members...".

    The PPFA should look for more offerings that assist framers where the rubber hits the road a little better and that would encourage more framers to join. That's my .02 anyway. Good luck.
  10. BatesMotel

    BatesMotel MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I am a member of the PPFA and have been for a few years now. All in all I find it a very beneficial organization and plan to continue my membership.

    I agree about the newsletter. I want to sit down wherever I want, not in front of a computer, and read the newsletter. I HATE the online version, very rarely read it and miss the paper version. By not reading the newsletter I know there is alot of information I am missing out on. I understand the cost's in printing and mailing it but I think I am getting cheated in this department.

    I enjoy being a PPFA member and think it is wonderfully organization. I know there are services I don't take advantage of and others I do utilize. I like the new marketing emails that are being sent out and hope they continue to help framers in the business aspects as well as the technical end. I don't like the + membership at an additional $50 a month. I'm a member and we should all receive the same benefits, not pay additional fees for services I think should be included in the membership. A good example is the web seminars, free to + members, $10 for regular and more for non members. I signed up for one of these seminars and had a dog of a time logging on. I then had even more problems connecting on the phone. I missed half the session and got nothing out of it but frustration. I will never sign up for one of those again. I would utilize more of the benefits we do get as regular members but always get frustrated on the web site. I have tried to use some of them and run into problems, get discouraged and leave the site. I do think the web site could be a bit more user friendly for us computer illiterates.

    I wish our Chapter had more meetings, I think it is important educationally as well as in the networking aspect. I'm thankful I have met so many great people in our chapter. I know I can call them when I have a question or conundrum and not feel like I am putting them out, get honest answers and solutions. The meetings we do have I learn alot from and find it very beneficial socializing with the other framers and vendors. For me it doesn't have to be all about "framing" but can also be about the business aspects, marketing, art, as well as education. The meetings don't have to always be so formal but can also just be a gathering of the minds, an outing to see an art show, or attend another framers event they are holding. I can understand the discouragement the officers must feel when they plan a meeting and the same few people attend. Unfortunately that seems to be that way it is no matter what organization you are in.
  11. janetj1968

    janetj1968 PFG, Picture Framing God

    Just took a peek at the "Find A Framer" option on the website.

    I think most people use something like 411 to find people..but its a good option. Again, nothing that a business couldn't inject somewhere else to be found on their own....

    What I can see that it doesn't do... is for all those people who have went to MCPF, it doesn't reward them. Using the search, you get anyone who has CPF designation. What if the customer is looking for someone with more experience than that? Where's the reward in being joining PPFA, investing in becoming a MCPF if there's no promotion (through PPFA) beyond CPF?

    Also... if someone has been a framer for 20 years.... and obviously (or should be, I'll say) able to take the CPF exam and pass.... WHY make them wait 4 years to take the MCPF? If someone passes, they pass, period. They have the knowledge. They pay the fees for testing.

    There's just no advantage for experienced framers to join and then have to wait for "status" and be grouped with framers with just a year of experience. It's like getting a learners permit after driving 20 years. (Please know that I don't underplay the experience required to take the MCPF exam, just that anyone should be able to test to move up, at any time as long as they have the knowledge.)

    That never made sense to me.
  12. wvframer

    wvframer MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    PPFA member

    1. I would like to see some meetings scheduled in the Eastern half of the country.
    2. I would like to be able to verify that a job applicant is a CPF. Currently, only the individual can verify this.
    3. I would like for there to be some movement toward giving the code of ethics some enforcement teeth. Currently, there is little PPFA can do if a member is not voluntarily complying.
    4. I realize that the MCPF program is gradually addressing "grandfathered" CPF's, but it is a constant thorn in my craw that folks who certified years ago don't have to do anything but write an annual check to share a credential I worked hard to achieve and work hard to maintain.
  13. Rhonda in MT

    Rhonda in MT MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I really miss the newsletter. Also, although my local chapter has officers it seems they aren't much interested in having meetings that people will actually attend. Weird dates with vitually no notice makes it very difficult to plan to attend. They just don't seem to know how to put on an event and let people know about it.
  14. wvframer

    wvframer MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    PPFA member

    Things PPFA is doing well:
    1. The Framers Corner works well and provides technical advice in a timely way. Sniping is almost non-existent there.
    2. The educational offerings are continuing to improve. There is a wide range of offerings for beginners through very advanced.
    3. The staff is responsive and helpful.
    4. I am impressed with the webinar concept and that we can cherry pick the things we are interested in. The plus concept seems to keep membership dues low while offering more to those who feel they can afford it.
  15. janetj1968

    janetj1968 PFG, Picture Framing God

    Honestly, the biggest reason for obtaining the CPF certification is for public promotion because anyone can have the skills without passing your tests if we work hard enough.

    I am honestly trying to help you find gaps in your membership. There are many.

    1. You're not promoting garage framers who take the CPF. They get zero referrals online. Why?
    2. You're grouping 20 year old experience framers with those with one year of experience (so we abstain).
    3. You're not offering the MCPF without a time constraint.
    4. There's no real recognition (online) for those who pass the MCPF.
  16. Cliff Wilson

    Cliff Wilson SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I don't want to argue, but there seems to be some misunderstanding

    Members get listed on the Find a Picture Framer site no matter what kind of business they run. Possibly the person you were looking for are no longer a member?

    When I enter zip code and distance parameters that cover an MCPF member they are listed first. Why do you think they aren't?
  17. janetj1968

    janetj1968 PFG, Picture Framing God

    No Cliff, I appreciate your answering. Perhaps there's just some things I can't see because of the zip code I'm typing in.

    Everyone I can see either says "Picture Frame Retailer" or "Picture Framer with Art Sales". These both sound like storefronts. What does it say if its not a storefront? I may need to do a larger sampling.

    Also, as far as the CPF's coming up, I had to expand my distance to get that to come up. (I tried a few different zip codes, so perhaps I typed in something remote.)

    There is nothing on the page, however, to tell the customer (if no CPF OR MCPF comes up) that the places which are listed have neither designation. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding what it is presenting. Is this supposed to be a listing of just CPF's and MCPF's or anyone who is a member of PPFA? This is an example.

    This is also a little bit of an enigma...because if its a complete list of PPFA members, on the search page for framers it states why the CPF and MCPFs are important, but then it leads you to a search where someone with neither could pop up. In other words, without other framers popping up with CPF or MCPF, there's no real way to understand what info its giving you.

    Either way, I think a person should be able to do an advanced search to find all framers based solely on their certification....I mean..they've earned it!

    Thanks for addressing this for me.
  18. RParrish

    RParrish PFG, Picture Framing God

    1. Janet how many home based framers do you know and how often do you compete with them?
    I have known two and they are better framers than anyone else I know (except me of course)
    2. Don't understand this one, but let me ad that many framers are grandfathered into their CPF and never have to retest to keep thier designation. That should end.
    3. Don't understand this question either, do you mean you have to wait 4 years to be tested, once you have your CPF?
    4. Of course there is real recognition, you get a certificate worthy of framing and boost to everyone you passed the MCPF test.
    Both the CPF and MCPF are difficult. Have you tried taking the sample quiz? http://www.pmai.org/content.aspx?id=10580
  19. Cliff Wilson

    Cliff Wilson SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Ahh, ok ...
    Home/garge/whatever still says "Picture Frame Retailer." Why wouldn't it? They are Picture Frame Retailers

    Try using zip 02771 (Seekonk, MA) and 100 mile radius
    Bob Warshawer will be at the top of the list. A Home Based Framer with and MCPF.
    You will also see other members with CPF and without.
    The designations simply don't show up if none exist.

    Randy, You must hold the CPF designation for 4 years before you can take the MCPF exam.
  20. janetj1968

    janetj1968 PFG, Picture Framing God

    1. Quite a few in this area...and often. Some have started out as photographers, others as artists doing their own framing. Whether someone is home based or not doesn't bother me. It only bothered me thinking they were being excluded from being listed. If they're not, I have no problem with it. (I was looking for holes in their membership and promotion.) As far as how often, probably daily in one way or the other. But how do I know for sure? Those are the customers I don't see.
    2. Why?
    3. Yes.
    4. I don't downplay the difficulty. The thread was began asking us what they could do to reach us. For many , the only advantage to joining the PPFA is to work towards certification..not just for the knowledge (which we may already possess) but for the promotion of the certification. In other words, the benefit to me wouldn't be owning the certificate, but attracting customers. To me, the biggest thing would be seeing how PPFA would promote me to the public.

    And since its been mentioned, is re-certification free as long as you're a PPFA member? If there's a fee, how much is it? Can you be re-certified if you're no longer a PPFA member? Do I have to remain a member of PPFA to retain my credentials?
  21. FramerDave

    FramerDave PFG, Picture Framing God

    No, the one-day recertification class is not free. I don't have the exact numbers at hand, but when I took the class last I believe it was $150, which includes the PPFA member discount.

    The CPF, MCPF and recertification do not depend on membership. You do not have to be a member, but the fees are lower for members.

    You do not have to be a PPFA member to keep your credentials as long as you adhere to recertification requirements.
  22. janetj1968

    janetj1968 PFG, Picture Framing God

    $150 a year with membership?

    Is access to the knowledge base (necessary for studying about those upgrades the certification covers) free?

    Or now am I buying the materials to study and paying $150 a year + optionally being a PPFA member?

    $150 for a 20 question quiz?

    Let me put it this way... while I respect everyone who gains and earns those PPFA credentials as well as the organizational methods behind gathering the knowledge.... one of the only reasons I really see for myself to join PPFA would be to seek certification.

    But do you have any idea how much framing reference material I could buy myself for $150 a year?

    If we're honestly looking how to encourage more people to join PPFA, I think this is one of things you should look at.
  23. FramerDave

    FramerDave PFG, Picture Framing God

    No, the recert class has to be taken once every four years to keep a CPF or MCPF current.
  24. Cliff Wilson

    Cliff Wilson SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    No, if you are not in the group that recieved CPF before the recertification requirement was put in place, you must take a recertification class at least every four years.

    I believe the class fee is over $200 right now ($245??), but I'm not sure either.

    There was a tele-recert class, but I believe it was discontinued.
    There is (to the best of my knowledge) a DVD that can be purchased to accomplish recertification.

    The fees essentially cover the cost of the instructor and in the case of the DVD production.

    You do not have to be a PPFA member to recertify.
  25. janetj1968

    janetj1968 PFG, Picture Framing God

    Okay, I agree... $150 every four years sounds more reasonable. $200 or $245 ... maybe. (p.s. you might want to clarify the frequency of the recertification on the website...)

    I'd be a DVD person myself...and I do know from my work in media they can be expensive to professionally produce.

    Thanks for answering my questions. You're helping me to get over the hump of uncertainty.
  26. FramerDave

    FramerDave PFG, Picture Framing God

    Ok, just found the numbers. The recert class is $140 for members, $200 for non-members.
  27. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Not a current PPFA member, CPF from 1986 but I rarely trumpet it because my customers all look at me like I am crazy when I tell them what is means; might be interested in rejoining PPFA if there was a chapter in my area but in over 30 years of asking, no framers I have spoken with around here express even the slightest bit of interest.
  28. janetj1968

    janetj1968 PFG, Picture Framing God

    Anyone but me think it might encourage a few people to join if all of those prices for certification/recertification were just listed on the site? (As well as the time frame for recertification?)

    After all, that's one of the things that attract a person to PPFA....
  29. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    Thanks for all the responses but we are getting off track. Also, please say when you are responding if you are a member or non-member.

    One point re: recertification- the knowledge base is constantly changing and what was state of the art in 1986 may not be so today. I know many professions that require CEU (continuing education units) to maintain certification and I don't think that recertification every 4 years is unreasonable and it provides additional validation that the recipient is current with the knowledge base.

    In addition, even those (like me) who have been "grandfathered" as a CPF and do not have to recertify, MUST DO SO (be recertified) if they want to sit for the MCPF exam.
  30. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    What about topics for education - are there areas that are not covered that you would expect your trade association to provide for you?
  31. Kyle Henson

    Kyle Henson CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I am a member and current officer for the Deep South chapter. I too miss the print version of the magazine. I usually delete the email or may quickly skim through it. I have never read one of the digital articles.

    I don't have a problem with the + membership, however, I don't see the added value there. I utilize the services of my own graphic designer and prefer my branding in my advertising.

    As far as classes, I find the business side often takes the back seat to the conservation and creative classes. I try to catch as many of the business oriented classes as possible. I got a lot of useful info from the seminars at PPFA L.V. last year.

    You really only get out of PPFA what you put into it. We have about 35 members at present. There is a very small core of members that really seem to want to be involved with the local chapter and others who only want to bemoan about paying the dues but only show up to the annual "free dinner" meeting.

    National needs to find a way to help promote the value of being a member. I don't think that offering a + membership is gonna help with keeping the members who are already on the fence about continuing there memberships.

    My two cents anyway.
  32. mikki

    mikki MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Member hold a position in my chapter.

    I LOVE the framing competitions! Some moulding companies have offered competitions but did not seem to follow through. Where else can you get inspiration form such great top framing? And a chance to win $$!

    How many other ways do you want to be offered education? Book store with a discount...PPFA classes and look at the prices at other events ( WCAF ) you can't beat it nad we have alot of the same teachers! From most classes I have the e-mails for the the top people in the field! Webinars! great!

    I think it is great that we continue to try to iencourage people to become involved.

    Also there is a scholarship available for the CPF test for the person asking about the price of the materials and the test. What is it 6 or 8 scholarships awarded a year?

    Jay if you are more interested in photography did you miss that PPFA is mixed in with PMA ( professional photographers association) The whole deal is more for photographers overall than framers but you get it with your PPFA. I'm taking a class at PMA/PPFA under the photographers list of classes and they can take some of ours if they want.

    I only wish for a magic wand to get more people to attend local and national events. In every group you will get people with agendas and attitudes but with that you also get people willing and able to share their knowledge and I thank you all!
  33. osgood

    osgood SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I'm a member and hold a position on the Au/NZ chapter.

    I have benefited from a 'knowledge gained' point of view, by gaining CPF in 1991 and MCPF in 2008.

    I have promoted these designations to my customers for many years, so that they know what it means to them and their precious items.

    Participation in PPFA in some way will be a benefit to any member.
    I enjoy the participation and it can be quite gratifying to be able to help someone else in some way. "What's in it for me?" is not the only way I view my membership!
  34. Terry S Williams

    Terry S Williams CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Member on my second year.

    I want to increase my skills and knowledge of Picture Framing and had hoped that could have been accomplished locally. However, the closest chapter is across a mountain range in Montana and has not been very responsive to request for info in the past.
    A local chapter would be more appealing and possibly better attended in a more populated area like Spokane.

    Early on I found the PPFA website difficult to navigate and have rarely attempted since.

    What about breaking down what is expected for someone to know for the CPF into 12 separate lessons that could be studied over the course of a year, along with "practice" kits that could help someone prepare for the test as well. Wouldn't something like this help elevate our craft as one that could rightfully be trusted with the safe care and protection of some of our customers most prized possesions?

    For the most part the Grumble has been the best source of help and information for techniques and proper ways to frame.

    As for "Find a Framer there are only two listed in my area. I am not one of them. Is being a CPF or an MCPF required to be on this list?

    BILL WARD SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I'd like for them to put in a concerted effort to vet their membership list for a lot more accuracy. Our chapter has attempted to use it as the basis for contact for 2 years and have found an alarming number of undeliverables----for what ever reason-out of biz/moved or changed name(altho these should really never happen if the shops keep the membership). a good list of non-members would also be helpful....and is even more difficult to keep up---even the sales reps have a difficult time keeping their lists straight. not an impossible effort but a time consumer--but really necessary
  36. couture's gallery

    couture's gallery PFG, Picture Framing God

    Since you asked.....Former member who "quit" for the following reasons:

    for years I asked for extra decals ( I have 3 main entrance doors ) and it was pulling teeth to get extras..and I insist that all my info is displayed on all my doors. I realize that is a minor thing, but it's irksome.

    I entered and won the PPFA framing comp. 3 years in a row..the first year I never understood the procedeure to get my entries to national comp, but finally figured it out after getting no help from calling PPFA...long story short..it cost me $80 to overnight my entry to get it there in time after PPFA finally sent me the paperwork at the last minute.

    2nd year..surely they would get the paperwork to me in time this 2nd year...short story.. I had to make numerous calls again and finally got the paperwork 2 days before deadline..again over $80 to overnight it.

    3rd year (Last year ) ..same thing...and I know they had the info because the winners were in the newsletter over a month before national deadline...and I never did get info or paperwork....but I decided it wasn't worth my time to call again and again ( and , yes, I did make my chapter president aware of it )..so I decided then and there no more entries, no more PPFA.

    As far as customers, could not find one who knew or cared 9 after explaining what it was to them ) if we were in PPFA or if we were CPF's.

    We did not renew this year and will not enter the comp again...

    We did enjoy the Sunshine Chapter meets and think the chapter did a very good job....too bad the national org. wasn't upm to par on thier end...

    Had the question not been asked, I would have remained silent as to my reasons for opting out of the PPFA.
  37. JillHCPF

    JillHCPF Grumbler

    I am a former member.
    I would like to see New education topics. New educators being nurtured at a local level as well as nationally. The well established speakers are just repeating the same tired versions of what they have already done.

    A firmer following of the membership criteria. It clearly states that 50% of your income must come form framing. I too believe we have to many members that are just doing 5 or six pieces a month not making a living at this. It is a Professional organization.

    A lower cost member ship of individuals. so Employees of store can belong on their own. While working for others I Have had to purchase them memberships when they did not have one.

    Competitions divided into 2 categories Hand done and Machine done. There should be more weight given to the true artists among us that can really cut and carve mats by hand then framers who are really good at cad programs and automatic joining machines. Also with so few people really competing at the local level a straight to national competition would be nice. Like the open class used to be.
    It also opens the floor to competitors who are up against the dame people over and over again. It lets us all see more regional pieces and gives us more innovative ideas to take home from a national competition.

    I do believe in this organization however consideration must be given to the price of local meetings, advance notification, and location.

    We Need to use the, trademark or copyright I am not sure which word is right, to defend our CPF when it is used by others (I mean Michaels).

    I still use the network of framers I have met to help me, case in point a local framer has offered to help me with a complicated set of mats, as I have a shoulder injury and can not do them by hand write now.

    A national advertising campaign would be nice (perhaps as a co-op thing) Pointing out The Value of custom framing.

    As to the Recertification DVD course, I just bought it answered the questions and got re certified. Please note I did not say I watched it.
    That is a sad thing to say about the important program.

    Sorry about the High horse I do still recommend that the new shops I mentor join as this is the best place to network for information in general. Next to the Grumble that is.
  38. RParrish

    RParrish PFG, Picture Framing God

    It's more like 200 questions (maybe 400) can't recall.
  39. janetj1968

    janetj1968 PFG, Picture Framing God

    From the PPFA website on this page:
    "PPFA offers a one-day course at its annual conference; and also now offers a course on DVD so framers can recertify in the comfort of their own home or frame shop. The DVD, costing $140, features Fran Gray, MCPF; Joyce Michels, MCPF; Linda Wassell, MCPF; Kerry Wilson, MCPF; and Nona Powers, MCPF. Framers also receive a binder of articles; samples of preservation framing materials; and a 20-question 'quiz.'"

    Again, it doesn't even say how often one should be recertified.
  40. RParrish

    RParrish PFG, Picture Framing God

    For recert? Sorry back to the topic >>>>>>>>>>
  41. janetj1968

    janetj1968 PFG, Picture Framing God

    :) It is the topic.

    (I want to know if I join PPFA, how much study materials, testing materials and recertification is going to cost me and how often. I also want to know the value of what I'm paying for. We're going through it now a step at a time and I'm finding out. But as its been said on this thread already, people grow resentful having to dig for information. It's not a good way to attract new members.)

    Regardless, I agree... next suggestion...
  42. FramerDave

    FramerDave PFG, Picture Framing God

    Recertification is required every four years.
  43. DTWDSM

    DTWDSM SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Former Member

    Someone said it earlier but I will repeat. The PPFA will not verify if someone actually does hold the CPF designation. They can verify if someone was a member of the PPFA 10 years ago but will not verify if they took or passed the CPF exam. I know this from personal experience with a former employee.

    I think that the PPFA, as with any organization, has it's pros and cons, it will never be everything to everyone. I personally did not see any value to me although I can see it being valuable to others in our industry. If I were opening a shop now or was a newby in the industry I would definately join.
  44. susang

    susang SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I've been a PPFA member since 1986, when our shop opened.

    Although I was a member for many years, I have gotten the most benefit from PPFA when I got on our local board and helped out. I am the Past President of the Metro Atlantic (formerly New Jersey/Delaware Valley) chapter. I have made wonderful relationships that brought my framing and business skills to a higher level.

    I agree with many others that FMO isn't the best in the newer format. Honestly I don't read it anymore, although I try. I have a small screen and it is a bit cumbersome to read. I wish that there could be an option to get it in the mail if requested or perhaps the magazine could be handed out at Chapter events.

    Being on the East Coast, I would like to see some major education events within a day's drive. I would drive to Boston, DC, Phila, NYC, Virginia, Pittsburgh... for a worthwhile venue.

    My health insurance (Blue Cross) just raised its rates 60% and is now offering us about 25% less. I would be open to look at a PMA health plan if they were committed to continue with it.

    I feel that PPFA members (and all framers for that matter) should be giving back to the community by donating art, framing or scraps. Perhaps there could be an organized effort with Habitat for Humanity or Twilight Wish (they grant wishes for senior citizens.) Yes, I know that we all donate lots of pictures and framing to various events, charities.... Perhaps if we did it on a national level that could lead to more press releases and publicity.

    Keep the conversation going. If we don't ask (nicely) we'll never get what we want. PPFA National keep up the good work and thank you for listening to us!

    Susan MCPF
  45. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Your former employee was mistaken. PPFA has records of all CPFs and MCPFs, and will replace lost or damaged documentation if the holder of the designation requests it. And last I heard, they will do it at no charge.

    PPFA will not, however, give certification information to anyone other than the person who holds the designation. Here's a hypothetical scenario to show why that is a matter of personal privacy:

    A. Framer applies for a job; claims to be a CPF, but lost the certificate.

    B. Prospective employer contacts PPFA to verify the applicant is a CPF.

    C. PPFA says there is no record of the applicant earning the CPF.*

    D. Prospective employer rejects applicant, saying he/she lied about being a CPF.

    *In reality, PPFA would suggest that the employer have the applicant request new documents.

    In this hypothetical scenario, PPFA would have caused the applicant's rejection, and might have had to assume some liability for that. Whereas, if the applicant has to be the one to prove certification, then that is where the responsibility stops. Or, if the applicant were actually a CPF and PPFA messed up the inquiry, then the applicant would have reason to straighten out the confusion -- and would be able to provide whatever information is necessary to do that.
  46. John Ranes II CPF GCF

    John Ranes II CPF GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    What do you really get for your membership dues?


    I appreciate that you might believe that belonging to this trade association might have more benefit to a "newbie" as opposed to veterans. Well I will share with you just two reasons why I think this is a false stance...
    • Just in this past year, I was able to attend our local Chapter meeting held in Oshkosh, WI where Ellen Collins presented a wonderful program on techniques that solve damage and repairs for framing & art. This 32 year old shop owner and International educator was actually free to take in a local program and learned a bunch of new thing! - All for annual dues of less than $200? I have taught framing programs from Moscow, Russia to Perth, Australia and yet I am very aware that when we feel that we can no longer learn...we are dead.

    • Even if the majority of membership has less experience than we do, our annual dues are our contribution to the "well being" of the industry as a whole! Don't miss the significance of that statement - you draw a living from the Art & Framing industry, and when the entire playing field is raised through education and professionalism, we ALL benefit.

  47. Baer Charlton

    Baer Charlton SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I've got to go with Tim on this one. The AMA certifies Doctors, and with a simple phone call, no matter who I am, I can confirm that my doctor has been Board Certified since 1997. And I won't bore you with all of the rest of the information.

    A Certifying organization needs to stand behind a certified member, or call out a bogus poser.

    A while back there was a framer posing as a CPF. By not revealing that non-standing of that framer when the employer enquired, PPFA (IMHO) was/is complacent in the perpetration of that fraud.

    Which then, calls into question all other CPF Certifieds.

    And I know personally, for a fact that my qualifications were harshly questioned by a couple of the current board members. And because they were "insiders" they were told that my quals were in fact valid.

    Now, why can't an employer be extended the same courtesy?
  48. Baer Charlton

    Baer Charlton SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Jim, your hypothetical scenario is based on a clerical error, or a snap phone call research.

    There are things in place that could be arranged. 1) the request could be emailed so it's in writing. 2) in the case of a woman who may have changed her name or a transgender with the same - - they should remember who they were when they were certified. (in the case of a name change, I'm sure if they sent the conformed court doc, PPFA would do them the courtesy of making the change.) 3) if there is a kickback, the applicant now knows that there is some paperwork that they need to take care of. (which is their responsibility anyway.
  49. DVieau2

    DVieau2 PFG, Picture Framing God

    I'm a member and supporter of PPFA. I appreciate the good work done by the national directors and other volunteers.

    I've said this before but again.....
    I think the scrutiny and criticism aimed at PPFA is completely out of proportion to the cost of membership. If your a professional the cost of membership is a small business expense.

    The main change I would like to see is for PPFA to take back the national trade show or work in conjunction with the PFM/WCAF organization. As a small business I just don't have the budget to attend two shows, close together and I dislike having to choose between one or the other.

    I believe that PPFA is limiting their membership and participation by having their meeting a month behind WCAF.

  50. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I have nothing to do with the PPFA policy, but is sensible for the association to avoid any conflicts or confusion between a framer and an employer/potential employer.

    Baer, if you have better ideas for PPFA policy, tell the staff in Jackson. If your argument makes sense to them, they can change it. Nobody on The G can, though.
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