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What do YOU want from the PPFA

DTWDSM

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
John,

I may have misrepresented my feelings, I think that new people definately need to join the PPFA, there are many resources there that they woud not have access to if they were not a member. There are things that even a veteran framer such as yourself have access to that you would not if you were not a member. The PPFA offers many tools for people in our industry of all degrees of experience, my point was that i think that if someone is newer in our industry, it is pretty much a no brainer to join.

Jim,

The employee was not mistaken unless, as I suspect, she represented herself wrongly by saying that she was a CPF. I had my doubts soon after she was hired and the PPFA would not confirm or deny that she was a CPF, only that she had been a member of the PPFA in the past, when I inquired. All I ask is that if any organization is going to "certify" someone, that they can at least verify that the person did pass the test. If they will not verify then what value do those 3 letters after a framer's name really have?
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
...If they will not verify then what value do those 3 letters after a framer's name really have?
But Tim, PPFA will gladly provide verification for the person who holds the credential.

It would be in the CPF's interest to prove the credential's validity, so why would the framer not get the information for you?

The burden of proof rightfully rests with the person who claims the credential, and not with anyone else. That's only my opinion, but it does agree with the established policy.
 

Kkastorf

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
I am a member and have been for years mostly because I think it is vital to be part of your professional association I read and enjoy the newsletter on the web.

As framers, we can become isolated in our shops - we don't always "see" the dust on or frame samples, or that a labor process has been improved with the advent of a new tool or product. That's why you need to belong.

For the future, I think that the CPF program ought to evolve from just the certification of individuals to the certification of shops. This could be done by peer on-site review much like the process used for JCAH (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals). No single Chapter could accomplish this; the national organization could.

Good luck at the meetings!
 

Pat Kotnour

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
If you are a professional picture framer or make a living from the industry, PPFA is one of the best expenditures you can make. Because even those who have been in the industry for 30 years still have things they can learn, and what better place to learn than with a group of your peers who come together to bring new ideas and education to you. The education that the organization offers alone is worth it's weight in gold. Whenever I go to a PPFA meeting I am always amazed at the amount of knowledge and ingenious ideas people bring with them to share.

Another great benefit in belonging is that you can get an education without having to get on a plane and spend a lot of time and money on travel to get it.
 

Mike Labbe

Member, Former moderator team volunteer
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.

Susan MCPF
I had the same problem, until I realized the PDF link up on top.

In my opinion, the default viewer is terrible and text is too small, but the PDF version will fill your whole screen. (and you can print it if you wish)

The emails announcing each month's newsletter now contain direct links to the viewer version, AND the PDF version.

There is a lot of great content in each month's newsletter.

Mike
 

etlock

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Happy with PPFA !!

PPFA member since 1974.
I would like to see PPFA increase it's membership and member participation. " I know, I know," so would they!

I would like to suggest the association go back to more regional representation at the board level. Elect a director from each region of the member geographic base. 9 directors to represent, #1 Canadian Region, #2 Northeast Region, #3 Northwest Region, #4 Mid-Atlantic Region, #5 Southeast Region, #6 Southwest Region #7 Southern Pacific Region, #8 West Central Region, #9 International Region.

The chapters within these regions would serve as the source of talent recommendations to the board nominations.Funding for the regional directors expense could be accomplished by a reduction in the national dues rebate to chapters from the National association. This reduction would be minimal at best.

Directors would carry the wishes of their region to the board of directors. National information would be carried back to the chapters by the directors. Recruitment programs would be developed at the grass roots level. Trade show participation could be promoted and organized at the regional level. Creation of regional delegations to conventions and conferences could be organized.

In order to encourage a greater participation in PPFA programs we have to involve more people at the local level. Member get a member, business to business , person to person, the word travels much faster and perpetuates a louder buzz.

Please spare me ,"BEEN THERE , DONE THAT ! "
 

Grey Owl

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
1. I am a PPFA member.

2. I joined like 3 years ago, when they had a trial subscription for $50.00. I liked it, and I have renewed.

3. I believe the CPF and the MCPF are good, but they are not the primary reason or only reason to join PPFA.

4. I don't have the CPF yet (but I will). I signed up to take it last year, but a family emergency surgery stopped me. Once I am a CPF, I would like to have others confirm this, without me being informed. For example I can find out who is a doctor by going to the AMA.

If I was dishonest, I could say I was a doctor, and submit certificates of graduation, etc. to my future patients. ... I believe they cost $35.00 on the internet. I can get a diploma from anywhere. Written certificates from the doctor are worthless unless they can be verified.

I'm sure, maybe for $50.00 I can get a CPF certification documentation from the internet. It would cost more than that for a Doctor.

5. Benefit number 1 from PPFA is the competitions. I learn much from these, and I take pride in entering. My best showing is 2nd and tied for most popular, but I'm going to take first one of these years.

6. Benefit number 2 from PPFA is the classes, locally at the chapter, and at the national PPFA convention. Although the classes at the WCAF are good, IMHO, they don't compare to those at the PPFA convention. Where else can you get instructions from Hugh. Any by taking some of the classes that are needed to help with recertification, I really learn alot.

7. Benefit #3 that I have not heard mentioned, is, at least at our chapter, you get vendor prizes when you participate / win the local competitions. This year I got a case of 32 x 40 Museum glass, matboard, etc. While this does to cover all of the cost of my dues, it does more than help cover the cost of entering the competition.

8. Benefit #4 is that I have found some wonderful other members in our chapter that I can call and ask questions. Yes I can do this on the grumble, but if I have seen their work I get a much better idea of being able to get competent answers when I ask questions.

9. Some people might complain about home based being in the chapters. One of the benefit of having home based in the chapters, is they may have more free time, so they can spend the time arranging for meetings, guest speakers, etc.

10. The people at the PPFA in Michigan have always been wonderful to me whenever I call. Jim is great, as are others.

11. I do wish there were more classes at the National PPFA, but I can't go this year [surgery on my foot today], so I guess it doesn't matter.

12. I don't really access the Ask a Framer website, as I use the Grumble instead.

13. I do miss Miss [Pam?] Day.

I have kind of had diarrhea of the keyboard, but I hope I have answered your question, Rob.
 

susang

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Thanks Mike for the PDF sugestion. It is much better using that option. Still I prefer the old paper version. Although I'm still in my 40's I prefer to read in print. My laptop or PC just doesn't go to the bathroom, the beach, the deck or the to BarcaLounger with me. If possible I try to stay "unplugged."

I used to get a gift trade magazine and they had a monthly feature in which they ran submissions of where you were seen reading their publication. It was very cute as folks would show their photos of them reading the magazine in the Islands, on a mountain top, on a cruise... It gave incentive to take your magazine with you in your travels and show it off! To me reading FMO is now a bit of work.

Susan
 

wvframer

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
PPFA Member

Some other things I would like to see:

1. Chapters could use some help in building their membership. In chapters not near major metropolitan areas, it is very difficult to have a face to face conversation with framers that are 150 miles away on mountain roads. I know before I ask that there are not funds available for development and it is a wild dream to think we could have regional staff to build up membership. But it might be possible to find some money over time to fund some pilot projects in the hinterlands to see if we can come up with some methods that work.

2.There is a lot of persistent misinformation about PPFA posted on the Grumble, and it may be that PPFA needs to address this in some official way. I think this is more harmful to membership than we might think. After reading some of the threads over the last few days, it seems that there are a surprising number of comments from apparently neutral parties that suggest PPFA has an image problem among many framers.
 

Jay H

PFG, Picture Framing God
Don't worry Tim. Jim's opinion will change if and when the PPFA's opinion changes.

I recently registered to go back to school. The college wouldn't accept my copies of my transcripts. I couldn't even pick them up in a sealed envelope from my previous school. They had to be mailed directly from the school. I'm really glad my previous school didn't refuse that information. What you requested from them was nothing new or exotic.

Perhaps each certification could have a serial number. If you were to call with a name and a serial number the PPFA could confirm or deny the accuracy of that certificate. If they would refuse that, I would refuse to accept the certification from anybody ever again as those letters would have no value whatsoever.

I'd think that a potential customer would want some assurance of authenticity as much as an employer. What if somebody came to your shop and needed some important framing done but required a CPF or MCPF? Would a piece of paper that comes with 0 assurance of authenticity suffice? I suspect that type of request is unheard of but how cool would it be for the PPFA if the public were that savvy?
 

Kenneth Link

Grumbler in Training
Thanks for all the input

First, I would like to thank Rob for initiating this thread. The responses have provided some valuable insight to topics and issues that can be addressed to make PPFA a more valuable asset to our industry.

Next, by way of introduction, my name is Ken Link. Barring the unforseen, I will be elected President of PPFA for the 2010 term of office at the Anaheim Convention.

Since this is my first time posting to this forum, please take it easy on me, but I want all of you who have responded to this thread to know that your voices are being heard. I will be chairing a series of Advisory Committe sessions and Board meetings this year and have printed off this thread to assure I do not loose the inputs that all of you have shared.

There are some great ideas and comments on this thread. Some of these ideas are easier than others, but we will attempt to address those that can significantly improve the Association and make it more valuable for the members and demonstrate sufficient benefit to non-members to make it worth their while to want to join.

Again, thank you for your inputs.

Ken Link, CPF
p.s. For the record, I am a "current" CPF and do have a storefront.
 

DVieau2

PFG, Picture Framing God
I'd like to hear from some of our industry vendors and get their perspective on PPFA.

Doug
 

osgood

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
G'day Ken. Looking forward to meeting you very soon!
 

Baer Charlton

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Ken is a big guy..... let's pile on :D

Welcome Ken, looking forward to saying I personally know the President, and not have to bring my interpreter.... :D

If you ever want a question answered from the heart, foot, wallet or close to that wallet.... this is the place to ask.

See you in 14 days.
 

annaluna

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
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.
I've also had plenty of job applicants, who had worked at M's, who honestly thought that they had a CPF. They were "M's Certified Picture Framers."

Oh, and my answer is: not a member, no local chapter, haven't taken the time to look into it, because it doesn't seem convenient, but I do believe I'm probably missing out on something.
 

Ian Goodman

Grumbler
I wish the PPFA would warn us about changes they make let me explain:
1. We used to get a PPFA membership Certificate which could be framed and hung in your establisment, they stopped this without warning.
2. In Australia we get two copies of Profile Magazine when I asked the Editor of that magazine why it is because of my PPFA membership even the PPFA President in Australia does not know about this.
This is what I mean about telling its members what is going on.
 

JRB

PFG, Picture Framing God
I'm starting to think that PPFA should join up as part of the Grumble. I have a hunch that The Grumble is actually the premier association for our trade, with more active members than PPFA. Many PPFA members are already signed up on The Grumble. The Grumble also seems to be one of the major communication conduits for the PPFA to contact it's members.

If the PPFA membership thinks this is a bad idea, they should at least offer to help Bill finance this website, since they use it so much, I mean fair is fair.

I'm a member of The Grumble, but not a member of PPFA. Do not misunderstand me, The PPFA has long been our industries trade association and it is an excellent source for information for our trade. They have done a great job over the years and I highly recommend it to anyone new to our industry.

I just think that our industry would be better served if PPFA was under the guidance of Bill and The Grumble. I think using Bill's organizational philosophies, you would see a tremendous growth in the PPFA.

Free membership and the members running it on behalf of the industry, rather than on behalf of the organization.

PPFA claims you get out of it what you put in to it. The Grumble claims you can lurk all you want, glean all you want, and not a thing is expected from you. Lurk or participate, it's up to you. That is what really builds an organization, not a bunch of self serving rules for it's membership.

It really is time to dissolve the PPFA and merge it with The Grumble.

John
 

Kirstie

PFG, Picture Framing God
Member for most of our 33 years in framing. I think most of what PPFA could do depends upon budget, so my suggestions would be meaningless unless we had a much larger membership or a an even larger financial pool to draw upon from PMA. So these suggestions are pipe dreams:

PPFA could promote our industry in national publications.
PPFA could promote the CPF qualification to the public.
PPFA could have enough money to update, print & send the magazine.
PPFA could offer a health plan. Many of us really need that.

Besides all that, you get out of it what you put into it.

One suggestion: Would it be possible in future years to have the CPF class one day and the exam the next or on another day during PMA?

Welcome Ken and thank you for probably being the one to take on so much work. We hope to be at PPFA/PMA next year so that we can meet you. This year we are working our way out from the recession with less staff, so we are not traveling.

Regarding verification of the CPF, the web site's Find a Framer does put the CPF logo next to those shops with one on staff. I know this does not answer the question of individual verification.
Would a web site listing work?
 

JRB

PFG, Picture Framing God
I nominate John Baker for President of the new "Grumble/PPFA" :)
Under the new Grumble/PPFA there would be no need for a president. The PPFA would cease to exist as it now is and would be managed much like the Grumble is now. Moderators to keep things civil, no cussing unless you use little ****s, etc.

Rather than paying an annual dues, members would simply pay for the services they want to participate in individually. Perhaps one of our members could make framing books part of his framing business, and members could simply purchase them from him.

The Grumble would be supported by the increase in advertising that would occur since our entire industry would be members automatically as soon as they register on to The Grumble.

Another member could absorb the CPF testing as part of their business.

A framing book library could be established where a list of what is available would be posted then anyone who wanted a book could simply order it and pay the shipping costs. When they are through with the book, they just post it on the availability list and send it off to the next person who wants it.

The library already exists, it's on a shelf somewhere in our shops. We all have framing books we haven't looked at in years. A new library forum could be set up, then we could all just list the books we want to loan to the library. It could be set up like a spreadsheet so each book could be instantly tracked to who has it. If you decide you want your book back, just pay the shipping and it will be sent to you, then take it off the list.

Health insurance could be arranged with a provider at a discount, members could take advantage of it.

If members want meetings and shows, they would have to pony up with their share of the money to do it. If suppliers want a show to strut their stuff, they could put it on.

We could all send in ten bucks and have a cool little sticker made for our windows.

And so on.

John
 

wvframer

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
cpf exam and class

Kirstie, when I took the exam in 2007, the prep course was offered the previous day. I didn't take it but the offering was there. I think the prep course and the exam are offered together at least once a year.

And health insurance is right up there as something that would really change things. In fact, I think we would have folks standing in line to be PPFA members. There is a committee working on this. Finding a plan that is affordable for most is tough slogging. I admire them for taking it on.

I am delighted to see than Ken has joined the Grumble and this thread. While some kind of merger seems an unlikely event, a little more cross communication would be a good thing.
 

Pat Murphey

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
...And health insurance is right up there as something that would really change things. In fact, I think we would have folks standing in line to be PPFA members. There is a committee working on this. Finding a plan that is affordable for most is tough slogging. I admire them for taking it on...
Insurance for this type of organization is a complicated issue. The plans would have to be different in every state under current law, and rates would likely be in line with individual policy rates. It is not true group insurance where participation is optional, which creates high risk of adverse selection to the carrier(s). Other than possibly providing a clearing house for available insurance sources, there is probably very little value in pursing this.
 
I have not posted in a long time.

I used to be a PPFA member. Maryann and I sold our shop.

I had my MCPF. Testing for your MCPF is one of the best learning experiences that you can go through as a picture framer.

Being a member of PPFA and being on the grumble were important to the success of our bussiness. The education from both of these sources are invaluable.

Another thing thing that is great is networking on the local level with chapter members. Maryann and I used to drive two hours each way to chapter meetings to be able to network with other framers.

PPFA members also have have the ability to network with other successful members on the national level. It's great to swap ideas with people from around the country.

What could the PPFA do, add, change to gain members?

Offer group insurance.

Continue to offer top notch education.

Verify certification status.

Team up with WACF to do one "Framers Show".

Ask vendors to promote CPFs and MCPFs in advertising.

Now I'll share one of my dreams... I always wanted to do a segment on the Oprah show promoting professional framing. I'm no longer in the bussiness, somebody needs to do this.
 

wvframer

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Ok, everyone who was in Anaheim has had enough time to settle into their normal routine and reflect on the experience. Were any of the ideas gathered here seriously discussed?
 

Rob Markoff

PFG, Picture Framing God
1st advisory teleconference is this Thursday - though I know there were many discussions at the Board level.

A "pre-conference" memo was sent out and it referenced this thread - so I know that everyone who posted and had suggestions will have them read - and Ken Link, the new President has made a commitment to address many of the points made.
 

Rframer

Grumbler in Training
I am Ron Mason current Vice-President and member of the Advisory Board of PPFA. I like Ken welcome your comments, they will help us plan for the future. I would however, like to pose a question: " As a framer, what is your contribution to your profession?" You are proactive in your business; if not, you will not be successful. So why not be proactive in your professional organization? Remember, we are an organization of volunteers.....join, participate, and contribute!
 

Emibub

PFG, Picture Framing God
I am Ron Mason current Vice-President and member of the Advisory Board of PPFA. I like Ken welcome your comments, they will help us plan for the future. I would however, like to pose a question: " As a framer, what is your contribution to your profession?" You are proactive in your business; if not, you will not be successful. So why not be proactive in your professional organization? Remember, we are an organization of volunteers.....join, participate, and contribute!
This is a great question! It's gonna be buried in this thread. Maybe start a new one with that subject. I think it is great the PPFA is attempting to participate in the Grumble Rumbles on our only trade assoc. Your voluntary efforts are much appreciated!
 

wvframer

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Thanks for the update, Rob. And Ron, thank you for your post and the questions you posed.
 

Rob Markoff

PFG, Picture Framing God
Update re: Advisory Committee Meeting-

There were many more agenda items than time - but attention was called to this post and the key action items that were brought up in this specific post were identified and deemed important and actionable.

This was the first of three meetings that was held via internet and telephone with committee members from across the US and Canada. I think we are off to a good start and the new Board is motivated and ready to make the association more relevant and accessible than ever.

It is a reciprocal relationship, however - the more dues paying members and participants we have, the greater level of service and offerings that can be provided.

It can't just be "show me what you've got" and then I will decide on whether or not to join/participate. It is "our" trade association and it can only be what WE make of it.

The Education Committee is already planning for next year's show/classes. If there are not class offerings that you want to see - now is your chance to post suggestions to the committee to make it happen. The deadline is May 1st. I will start another thread for this topic.
 

Pat Kotnour

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
If you are a professional picture framer or make a living from the industry, PPFA is one of the best expenditures you can make. Because even those who have been in the industry for 30 years still have things they can learn, and what better place to learn than with a group of your peers who come together to bring new ideas and education to you. The education that the organization offers alone is worth it's weight in gold. Whenever I go to a PPFA meeting I am always amazed at the amount of knowledge and ingenious ideas people bring with them to share.

Another great benefit in belonging is that you can get an education without having to get on a plane and spend a lot of time and money on travel to get it.
I wanted to post this again because Rob is right, if you are a framer, or make a living from the industry, you should belong to PPFA. Why would you not want to? It is well worth the investment.

:help: But when you join don't just sit back and say "ok, now I'm a member". BE a member!.....take advantage of your membership by atttending the meetings and being involved in the chapter. Your investement is only as good as what you are willing to put into it.

I have given classes to several chapters around the country and the one thing that is abundanly clear is that every chapter has someone who is capable of teaching something that is worth coming to the meeting for. You didn't get to where you are alone and there is always something to learn.

And, when you become so knowleable that you don't think you have anything more to learn, don't keep it to yourself.....teach a class for your chapter. Share the knowlege by passing it on.

Don't just be a memeber....Be a GREAT Member by helping others and by being involved.
 

BatesMotel

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
I agree with Pat 100%. I think the key is to be an ACTIVE member. If you aren't active you wont get anything from the organization. Without your involvement the organization can't grow. The PPFA needs ideas from everybody on what can and should be done. You can only get from it what you put into it.
 

Jay H

PFG, Picture Framing God
I don't understand this. Then why have a national trade organization? Most of us may have 10 – 20 framers in a 200 mile radius that would have the time, interest and resources to “get active”. Even if we were extremely “active”, then so what? I guess we could do some small localized things to help our shops but that wouldn't require membership.

Please go back to my list. What can a small localized group do to streamline websites for shops? How can they develop a more cost effective and well designed post card program? Would it be a better use of resources to have 10 framers design and print in store signage or a group of 1000? A national group could offer these services much more effectively than and small group of really “active” members. What's more is that these types of things would also create more revenue.

I'll add to my list from before. Even a small group of “active” framers can't really afford to produce really excellent tv, radio, and ad-copy. This is more services that would almost force a framer to consider membership if they were priced and produced well.

The simple fact is that a national group has the distinct ability to offer more real meat then a small group of “active” localized members can do for themselves. “Why don't you get active” is just a justification. I see clubs all the time fail because they offered their membership nothing then blamed the few remaining members for not being active enough. Is sad to see this trade organization in it's final chapter of a familiar story.
 

Rob Markoff

PFG, Picture Framing God
Jay-

Have you looked at PPFA + and the content that it provides? PMA/PPFA has listened to the membership and is actively developing programs that will "drive customers into stores" and also to "raise the consciousness of the buying public about custom framing."

"Being Active" could mean participation in PPFA+ and the utilization of the tools provided or, if the tools aren't what you are looking for, contacting a board member or the national office and letting them know why you don't like them, or what they are missing so you would use those materials.

I agree that there would be strength in numbers to produce a generic type of tv ad that could have a personalized tag added. Would you like to head a committee to get it done? That's being active.

The reality is that PPFA is mostly a voulnteer organization with the support of a terriffic group of staff members in Jackson. They want nothing but for the PPFA to thrive and for framers to see value in what they do. And what they do is based on what we as a group want them to do (within the financial feasibility of budgetary constraints) - based on MEMBERSHIP and participation.

The more people who join/participate, the more money there will be for projects. Many ideas need to be "seeded" and the development money has to come from somewhere.

A portion of the advisory committee meeting yesterday was devoted to determining if the PMA/PPFA is going in the right direction and what additional programs should be established.

One of the points being looked at is making the CPF/MCPF important in the public's mind - and that includes a verification process so the public or a potential employer could verify if a framer is certified, and more importantly, whether or not the certification is "current." This directly came from a post on this thread.
 

Cliff Wilson

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Thanks Rob! I read Jay's post at work and didn't have time to respond, so I tuned in tonight to see you've said pretty much what I wanted to say.

I've sent in some inprovements I'd like to see to the Marketing Support Program (PPFA+) that PPFA has just started! It has many of the right intentions and ideas, but needs some refinement in my opinion. So, I review, watch, comment. That's being active.

There are many activities, committees, and task forces trying to take root at this time. One hard part is how to focus our limited time and money. The more help we get the more we can do

It's not just going to local meetings, although I believe that's also benificial and important.

I am on the International Board for the next three years and I'm listening in the hopes that I can help implement some of the things people want. I've been tyring not to comment too much because I'm so close to some things. It helps to listen to ideas from other directions.

I hope you will all keep feeding us ideas! It helps!

Jay, getting active is exactly what we need. We (the framers of PPFA) want the same things you want. It's US trying to do things! It's US that has to decide and implement. It's OUR organization, and the more of us that get active the more and the better we can do.
 

Jay H

PFG, Picture Framing God
Have you looked at PPFA + and the content that it provides? PMA/PPFA has listened to the membership and is actively developing programs that will "drive customers into stores" and also to "raise the consciousness of the buying public about custom framing."
No I haven't. If it works well then I suspect we will all be hearing about it in framing circles very soon.

I agree that there would be strength in numbers to produce a generic type of tv ad that could have a personalized tag added. Would you like to head a committee to get it done? That's being active..
No. That's not my area of expertise and a reason why I would join. I will say that I was not aware this program has already begun and they are forming a committee to begin work. I hope I'm wrong but I get the feeling that no such thing has begun and you're passing on the canned "well then you go do it" response.

I'm taking your questions seriously. In my heart of hearts it's always bothered me a little that I dropped out. You asked what would motivate me to be a member. I carefully considered that and offered practical suggestions. I question the sincerity of the inquiry when that is met with “well go do it.” That is illogical. Why would I be motivated to become a member when I'll be asked to go do the work myself? Unlike the chicken and egg we know which comes first. Before I would join I would need to hear about and see benefits. Only then would I be inspired to join and participate. It never works the other way.

As I consider my past membership it seems that the PPFA spent a lot of resources redoing what others were already doing better. For example I did like the FMO but we have other trade mags that are far superior to that glorified newsletter. The “exchange” was a mess and there are 2 or 3 online forums that are far superior. You would have to attend 20 local events to equal the education opportunity of one trade show. Maybe this redundancy and wasted resources are being traded for more meaningful tasks as you indicate in the first sentence? If so then I see good things for the PPFA.

Cliff I understand what your saying about the members playing a roll in the success of the program. But that requires a very very strong and organized head. I was asked to do a website for our local chapter about a year after my dues lapsed. I agreed and wasn't even a member. It's interesting to me that I keep hearing from members, “you get out of what you put in” and “we need volunteers”. But I rarely hear what specific help is needed. Are you guys calling shops and asking for specific help for your programs and getting denied?
 

Pat Kotnour

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
You know Jay H, from what I'm reading, it seems that you want to be a member who is guaranteed that you will recoup your money before you sign on again. It is true that you can get a lot of information from a trade show, but there are many shops who don't have the employees or the time to go to one. And yes, there are some great magazines, and forums where you can go to read about framing issues, but they can't begin to give you the same type of one on one feedback you get when you attend a meeting with other framers who are facing the same problems you are. PPFA offers shops a great opportunity. From the sounds of things you have skills that could be helpful to other framers. Maybe you should teach a class on designing web sites. The fact that your chapter came to you for help after you quit tells me that they were reaching out and telling you what kind of help they needed. It is wonderful that you helped them even though you were no longer a member. Just think of what you could do for them if you were in charge.

Not everyone has the organizational skills that it takes to run a chapter. There are times when I feel very overwhelmed by it all, but the fact is I have a lot of help from our board and our other chapter members . No president can run a chapter alone and the chapter is only as good as the members who belong and are willing to participate. I have seen this time and time again as I travel to the various chapters to speak.

The NC chapter has added about 20 new members since we started last summer and I receive calls every week from people interested in participating or becoming a member. This is not the final chapter of PPFA, it is the beginning of a new chapter for the entire industry. The opportunities are endless if you take the time to look for them. PPFA needs people like you who are willing to share your skills. Don't be part of your chapter's problem, be part of their solution to becoming a strong, well organized unit.
 

Cliff Wilson

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
... “you get out of what you put in” and “we need volunteers”. But I rarely hear what specific help is needed. Are you guys calling shops and asking for specific help for your programs and getting denied?...
A reasonable question.

Here in New England we have what I believe is the largest board in the country. When I need help I ask and people usually help. (I still haven't got a newsletter editor though. :shrug: )

At other chapters, as I understand it, it's often much harder to get help. In some cases I suspect the officers are not accustomed to asking, and in others personal interaction deficiencies may have caused some reduced participation.

On the national level it's usually the particular people who are already putting in a lot of effort locally who get asked. THis is simply because they are the most visible and known. People rarely offer themselves for a task.

We really do need people to offer. It's not easy for most people to ask.
 

Nancy W

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
I am a member, have been for 19 years. I will always be a member because I believe in the concept of a trade organization.

The PPFA has been pivotal in my growth a a shop keeper and a business professional. I came into picture framing as a freelance artist,usually working off site and small scale. I had no formal business training in college, was too busy taking art classes. Hands on art training is great but the business side intimidated me.

I began attending my local PPFA meetings with great trepidation. I knew I was a little dog attempting to run with the big dogs...or at least fool them into letting me meld in. Every time I attend I come away with an important tidbit of info that most likely would NEVER have gotten to me otherwise. Sometimes it is a product, sometimes it is one small technique, or a business concept. Over the years they add up ,big time. I am a much more confident shop keeper and I regularly flex my " add a new technique " muscles and stay on top of trends because I have been exposed to them at meetings and the magazines Decor and Picture Framing Mag. I am not a heavy user of the web site or the newsletter.

I have the PPFA styicker near my front door, I have the logo in my phone book adds, and on my web site. I like the air of professionalism they give. I have a ribbon or two around the shop on pieces that have been entered into PPFA competitions local and National and International. That is really where the PPFA logo gets clients attention. They generally grin to know there is an Association for Framers, ie, "There is an association for everything isnt there?!" So even if they are mostly charmed that an association exosts, they are also pleased I am part of it and recognized by it. It builds them up for their decision to do commerce with me.

I am up to my eyeballs in brick and mortar responsibilities. I am amazed at the volunteers that make my local group hum. I attend and I participate, but I do not actually help out. Isnt that awful, but I just cant ? I barely have the skills needed to run my shop effectively, I cannot spread my thin capabilities further abroad. There are probably a lot of framers like me.

As for the CPF and MCPF, I do not see myself investing my energies there.

In short , I like the PPFA for the meetings. I do not attend the meetings to network or make deep friendships, but to garner business wisdom and knowhow and new products . Valley Moulding often hosts the meetings and along with the meeting I can browse the warehouse a bit. It makes our distributors more knowable and familiar to have been to their locations. The more I know them , the more accessible they seem the more I like to do business with them. I like the PPFA for facilitating those opportunities.

I am content with what the Association does and has done for me. And a big "Thank You" to all those over the years and currently who make it happen! It looks ,from the outside, like a lot of meetings and brain drain after a long day being a framer. There is precious little glory in it I am sure, so those of us who benefit from your labors need to grouse less and appreciate you more!

Thanks for the question Rob and your work with the Assoc (and there you go, I would not have met Rob but for the PPFA and a workshop I took in his shop with Baer Charlton).
 

Rob Markoff

PFG, Picture Framing God
Jay-

You ask reasonable questions. I am taking a more "pro-active" stance for a few reasons- yes, I am calling people and posting.

One is that I want as many people as possible to know that there are opportunities to get involved on so many levels - I have met some wonderful people who share my passion for picture framing and I have learned so much from them. I want people to have the same great experiences I have had. Attending a chapter meeting is GETTING INVOLVED! Posting about your positive experience with the PPFA and the benefits you have received is GETTING INVOLVED :)

Going to the National Convention for me is not just about the great education or a trade show. Some of the best information about life - (business ideas and personal tips) came from the meals and time I spent with other framers. And I am looking forward to next year to get to be with these people again.

This was the first year that my wife, Barbara, attended the convention - and I believe she got a lot out of it. In fact, she may have made one connection that could have a significant impact on our business in the coming year. And, she too met some wonderful people.

Another is that I believe there is some great talent and ideas out there and I want people to know that there are ears listening who could benefit from their experience and ideas. In the past it was not as easy to get the word out - today there is the Grumble, Facebook, and Linkedin and the networking is working.

At this year's convention, with the passing of Vivian, and the awards given to so many long serving framers, it appears that there is a generational swing and if the PPFA is to continue, we need to start bringing in new faces, new perspectives, new educators and groom them for future leadership - all the way down to the chapter level.

And, I believe that with the proper focus, the PPFA will continue to perpetuate the betterment of our industry (especially in raising public awareness) - so paying my ridiculously low dues (ever look at what the dues are for ASID, CREW, Entransa membership are?) will have a trickle down effect for all - even non-members.

Nancy- running into you at the WCAF and meeting your son was a highlight for me -
 

Pat Kotnour

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
You know Jay H, from what I'm reading, it seems that you want to be a member who is guaranteed that you will recoup your money before you sign on again. It is true that you can get a lot of information from a trade show, but there are many shops who don't have the employees or the time to go to one. And yes, there are some great magazines, and forums where you can go to read about framing issues, but they can't begin to give you the same type of one on one feedback you get when you attend a meeting with other framers who are facing the same problems you are. PPFA offers shops a great opportunity. From the sounds of things you have skills that could be helpful to other framers. Maybe you should teach a class on designing web sites. The fact that your chapter came to you for help after you quit tells me that they were reaching out and telling you what kind of help they needed. It is wonderful that you helped them even though you were no longer a member. Just think of what you could do for them if you were in charge or on the board.

Not everyone has the organizational skills that it takes to run a chapter. But everyone has the skills to be a good member. There are times when I feel very overwhelmed by it all, but the fact is I have a lot of help from our board and chapter members. No president can run a chapter alone and the chapter is only as good as the members who belong and are willing to participate. I have seen this time and time again as I travel to the various chapters to speak.

The NC chapter has added about 20 new members since we started last summer and I receive calls every week from people interested in participating or becoming a member. This is not the final chapter of PPFA, it is the beginning of a new chapter for the entire industry. The opportunities are endless if you take the time to look for them. PPFA needs people like you who are willing to share your skills. Don't be part of your chapter's problem, be part of their solution to becoming a strong, well organized unit. You might find that you really like being involved again.
 

janetj1968

PFG, Picture Framing God
We really do need people to offer. It's not easy for most people to ask.
Then perk it.

Give away (or extend) a few memberships to those people who become more involved.

I expect the older members have already given a lot over time, and newer ones might resent paying and then volunteering.

List out a block of needs and put it out there. When the task is accomplished satisfactorily (say at the end of the year), reward them.

While I don't believe you should necessarily have to ask someone to volunteer to really be an active part of an organization, you also have to recognize that without some perks most are content to just sit there (which has happened already).
 

Jay H

PFG, Picture Framing God
Rob, you and those from the PPFA who have participated in this thread, seem refreshed and vibrant. That's probably as good of a re-start as anybody could ask.

I'm not active in any big groups. I just don't have the time. I am rather active in our local photo-club. For a small group it's quite dynamic in how much it has going on at one time. The board members are only able to function with the help of the members. They make their plans and needs perfectly known to all members. On a list of plans for last year was a website. Right away I agreed to build it and made it perfectly clear that I would not update it. Somebody immediately agreed to update it after I was done building it. All the president did was make his intentions and needs known, agreed to let us proceed, and wrote our names down. To date he has done almost nothing on our site and I believe it's one of the best on the net.

Perhaps designing a system to make the needs of the local chapters and head PPFA office well known would be a good use of resources.

Pat, I was offered and unable to attend exactly one local event in my 2 years of memebership. I missed maybe 2 hours of face times with framers and 2 classes, which may or may not have had any value at all. At a trade show you are offered 20+ hours of face time with framers and your choice of 30+ classes. The cost to attend a local event, for me, would have been about $200. I spent maybe $800 at the last trade show I attended. There is no comparison. To continue to push localized, and mostly unattended, events is more redudancy. The resources used for those events would be better used in other areas IMO.

"While I don't believe you should necessarily have to ask someone to volunteer..."

I disagree. I think you should not only ask but let a would be volunteer know what is needed. People will offer their own time. They just won't offer it up unless they know what they are being asked to do.
 

Rob Markoff

PFG, Picture Framing God
Jay-

More good points- and Ken Link, the new PPFA President has voiced the same concern-

He is implementing plans to develop "regional table top shows" sponsored by PPFA in areas of the US (and perhaps Canada) that are more convenient for framers (than Las Vegas or Atlanta).

The plans are for a day of education and vendors exhibits at the local level regionally.

And to encourage other groups (like the photo group you mentioned) to also attend. You could help by letting your group know about the event - or letting the National Office know how to get the information to them when it is available.

Same for others - if you belong to a group that is not a part of PPFA, but you think the members would benefit from some of the PPFA offerings (classes, table top events, and even Chapter Meetings) let the National Office or your chapter know.
 

Rob Markoff

PFG, Picture Framing God
Hey Jay-

I just re-read Pat's post-

Your experience in designing a website for your group ( and also not being responsible to update it) sounds like something other chapters would benefit from.

Would you be willing to be "interviewed" for a potential article in FMO about your experience in doing what you did? That way you would not have to "write" an article but the context of your info could get out there?

The "interview" would not have to be verbal - a list of questions could be sent to you and you could answer them and add to them.

How about it?
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I expect the older members have already given a lot over time, and newer ones might resent paying and then volunteering.
I don't understand. Would you elaborate? Why should newer members resent paying and volunteering any more than the older members do? Are you saying framers are different now?
 
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