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Why did you leave PPFA? What would bring you back?

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by Paul Cascio, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    After years of frustration, and complaining, that our trade association was not doing enough for the industry at large, I ended my membership. However, I've recently seen signs that maybe our one and only trade association is starting to improve. I've also been thinking that maybe I should stop complaining, get involved and see if I can't become a contributing member.

    However, for the PPFA to provide increased benefits to the industry, it will need more funding. Typically, this means it would need to grow its membership. The best way to do that might be to get former members back into the fold, which leads to the topic of this thread.

    If you left the PPFA, why? Would you consider coming back? What would encrouage you to do so?
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  2. mik

    mik SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I left (again) because of the costs of the PPFA dues and the expense of driving 100 miles to and 100 miles back for meetings. Those meetings I attended: I enjoyed and I learned from them. But not for the price. Maybe I would join again, but right now I got other things on my plate to do and pay for.
  3. AnneL

    AnneL SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I left for some of the same reasons as Mik. Not so much the cost of meetings as the travel involved and there always seemed to be conflicts with meetings for other organizations I was involved in. When I was only able to get to at most one meeting a year, I figured it was just more cost effective to pay the little bit extra to attend as a non-member than to pay the dues and meeting fee both.

    These are problems many organizations are facing right now. I'm currently treasurer for a small professional photographers association that if things keep going the way they are with lack of new members and lack of participation (as far as helping to run it) by the existing members, we will probably have to dissolve it soon. Gary's default president for the 3rd year in a row because no one else will do it and he just doesn't have the time anymore himself.
  4. DVieau2

    DVieau2 PFG, Picture Framing God

    Give me a break.

    OK.... I deleted my nasty post about Paul C and I just can't think of any other response that wont get me banned. Carrry on.....:)

  5. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    Can we PLEASE keep this thread civil and focused on its intended purpose?

    I thank Paul for starting this thread and welcome Paul's solicitation of this information, his positive efforts to improve and grow the association, and his renewed membership.
  6. cvm

    cvm PFG, Picture Framing God

    Ooooooh, Doug, that really makes me want to join again.
  7. Cliff Wilson

    Cliff Wilson SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Please don't fight about this.

    Goodness knows I don't agree with many of Paul's posts, but if we can have a civil discussion about things PPFA could do to get people back, I'm all for it. I don't care who starts it.

    This is exactly the kind of question we need to understand.

    Please try not to just bash. Give us some constructive information. Please.
  8. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I signed up in October 2011 and did not sign up again this year. The cost relative to the benefit was why, since I did not go to Vegas this year and, although some of the opportunities for meetings looked really great, they were too far away and not with my chapter. I think Randy had a excellent opportunity with a Museum up in Michigan, or was that in Wisconsin? (Even if it wasn't Randy's chapter it looks like he works extremely hard on it) and there was another one on the east coast somewhere. The local chapter had a meeting in October 2011 but I don't believe there has been one since. They did do something in conjunction with another chapter, but I didn't wish to go to a distributor in Kentucky for it since that's maybe 5 to 7 hours away each way. Both of these were strong, excellent draws but I couldn't make the long trips during the time they were offered.

    It seems like a tough situation. I think it's hard to get traction and get things going because a lack of activity keeps people from joining. Maybe everyone is thinking like I do, I don't want to drive 10s of hours round trip for one of these. There isn't much happening locally. There isn't any real reason to pay just for national benefits. So I didn't renew and I would probably renew the year I'm going to Vegas or if there was local stuff going on. If I join up it has to be the local chapter that provides the reason because national isn't cutting it. Reverse that and the local chapters grow, I would think.

    I probably would have paid $100 or so for a local meeting. I sat quietly and just observed, had a few quiet conversations. But that was just me wanting to just watch my first time in, the people were great and friendly. I figured I'd be more outgoing at the next one. I was kind of expecting a date for the next one but there wasn't one, and I don't think there has been one. Not going to pay $250 with nothing going on locally because I don't see a reason to write the check.
  9. MichaelMixonPhotography

    MichaelMixonPhotography MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    A wise organization would welcome input from any and all willing to provide it.
  10. cvm

    cvm PFG, Picture Framing God

    Why wouldn't web conferencing work in lieu of meetings? It'd cost, like, a buck or two a person. You could WC once a month and then have one big meeting at a central location/year spnosored by a vendor(s). Cheap. Productive.
  11. DVieau2

    DVieau2 PFG, Picture Framing God

    OK...OK.... I deleted my nasty post (albeit too late) about Paul C and I just can't think of any other response that wont get me banned. Carrry on.....:)

  12. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    It's okay Doug. It's not like I didn't have it coming. When you spit, you have to realize the wind might bring some of it back to you. :)
  13. MichaelMixonPhotography

    MichaelMixonPhotography MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Great Idea!

    Larson has tried a few of these and my only request is they be archived.

    The chances of me sitting through an entire webcast without a customer coming in is close to nil.
  14. Framing:

    Framing: In Corner

    Perhaps some did not fully join in the first place...

    This is just me thinking out loud... and the interaction I had with the PPFA... the message was never very clear to what the PPFA could do for me... if I could not attend meetings.
  15. Tommy P

    Tommy P MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I've been a board member of our local chapter and the other board members in my chapter have been fantastic. But I got tired of beating our heads against the wall to get others interested. So I reluctantly resigned. The only perk I realized about being a PPFA member was the discount at WCAF classes. Other than that the so called member discounts for insurance, credit processing, etc. were not of value. I could do better by myself. If it could help get me discounts loke a buying group that could be different.
  16. FrameMakers

    FrameMakers PFG, Picture Framing God

    I used to be an active member way back when, but then the local chapter fell apart and I saw no benefit from national. I joined again about 8 years ago and found that nothing had changed, there was still no local chapter and the promises of discounts on things like insurance really didn't need a membership after all, so again no tangible benefit from national. For me is comes down to the cost benefit ratio and ROI. While I see things improving at the PPFA, I still don't feel it is worth my dues.

    Now if something that Rob spoke to me about happens, I would join in a heartbeat just to take part in this.
  17. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I think part of my problem is when I hear that I'm filled more with dread than I am with excitement. Because historically it's been something like trying to direct which shops the consumers go to, and then we're all guns blazing to World War III.

    But I hope it's not! That's all I can think of that would set me against them at this point.
  18. osgood

    osgood SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    The one thing that seems to plague any organisation is that some members and prospective members expect that by signing up and paying their dues, they just have to sit back and "THEY" will provide!
    "THEY" are actually volunteers who spend an enormous amount of their time, and often their money, making a contribution in an attempt to provide benefits for members.

    The Au/NZ chapter has arranged a number of benefits, including discounted business insurance, low merchant fees and others. The amount saved with business insurance discounts amounts to several times the cost of joining PPFA, even for a one man business like mine, but still many framers are not members and some join for a while then drop out. IMHO it's a no-brainer that there are enough financial benefits to membership, but obviously some people don't or won't see it that way. IMO financial benefits are only one aspect. There are many other benefits too, but a lot of framers are only interested in the financial benefits. That's why some of us sought to gain those financial benefits.

    I would like everyone to remember that it's generally volunteers who work to improve PPFA!

    I'm not sure how many members we have in our chapter at the moment, but I'm guessing 140-200. Our members are spread over a land area, very similar to USA, so it's almost impossible to conduct meetings on a regular basis.
  19. FrameMakers

    FrameMakers PFG, Picture Framing God

    Nothing like that at all Johnny.
  20. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Good enough but there has to be a reason to join and a structure to work in. If people think there isn't any value or way to get the ball rolling then something is missing.
  21. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Awesome, lets GO! GO! GO!
  22. Julie Walsh

    Julie Walsh MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I have in the past joined twice; currently, I'm not a member. Volunteerism comes from within; it takes a special kind of person to put in the effort, ususally having to do more than their share for the good feeling they get for helping out. Mostly, it takes having time left over in the day to work on volunteer stuff.

    I've volunteered, been on boards, and have gotten satisfaction from it. What I don't have is time! PPFA is basically non-existent in Ontario. We tried to get a new chapter going a couple of years ago, but it failed to take off. Creating a chapter is a lot harder and time-consuming than being elected to an existing board where everything is in place and becomes a place where the new board can leave their mark and make it better for the next board.

    I wish something existed here, but it needs to be headed by a full-time person dedicated to ensuring that programs (like business insurance) and quantity buying are Canadian based. It would be well worth it if an extended health group plan could be created!!!

    Distance is a fundamental problem....Ontario is pretty big! About the size of Texas and Montana combined (yes, alot is covered in snow ;)). Video conferencing would be the way to go

    For fun, here are some more fun facts about Ontario! enjoy
  23. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    What you really need to do is look at the renewal system. Why take money every September or October? I forget which month it is... but really? The time of year when framers are usually at their most cash starved? Then if you join during a later month you don't get a full 12 months?

    If you absolutely must make it a once-a-year-only-on-this-date thing at least do it in January when framers are flush with cash. Prorate late joiners if you're not going to give them a year from sign-up. It's not like I'm going to pay a full dues of hundreds of dollars now just to join for 7 months or whatever it is. Makes no sense.
  24. FrameMakers

    FrameMakers PFG, Picture Framing God

    I also remember one of the other things that ticked me off about the membership. When I joined last time it was in July. I had no idea that my membership would only be good for 2 months and not a year. This made me feel like I was being ripped off. The way they do their membership is stupid IMO.
  25. Kyle Henson

    Kyle Henson CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I left the PPFA about 3 or so years ago. I was an active member and served as an officer for two years. I left because of the general lack of interest locally in the chapter. Much too much of my precious time was being consumed planning events, bookkeeping, emailing, etc with low turn out for meetings and events. I felt that you pretty much had to bribe people to attend meetings/functions with food, drink, and door prizes. The benefit socially and economically just was not there for me. I would consider re-joining if I thought local membership might become more involved.
  26. AnneL

    AnneL SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    In the photography association I'm treasurer for, we include the next year's membership with that of anyone who joins halfway through the year. Our renewals go out in January so if someone joins in September, they wouldn't owe dues for another year and a half.
  27. i-m-chickie

    i-m-chickie SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Paulie, you alright. ;)

    The strength is numbers. Listening twice as much as talking. Presenting a problem with a solution and willing to listen to others take on the problem for OTHER possible solutions. Realizing people are stronger together than apart. Realizing that if you want praise, ask yourself when is the last time you gave it.
    Wanting to better the cause, our industry.

    If your chapter is off, how can you fix it?

    Either part of the solution or the problem...that is a decision each of us has to make.

    People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones...unless they make enough money to make that same house out of TruVue Optium. Can I say that?:smiley:
  28. Pat Kotnour

    Pat Kotnour SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    As one of the founders of the North Central chapter and the first president I had the oppertunity to talk to many former members who had quit PPFA years ago. I spent many hours on the phone calling to get support and new members to join so that PPFA national would charter our new chapter. One of the main things that many former members said was that they quit because they weren't being kept informed or involved and didn't see any reason to stay in. Many of the complaints were that the meetings were too far away and they couldn't get to them. It really wasn't hard to get many of those former members to come back. It just took a little time to tell them about what we were trying to do. Most were very open to the idea of another chapter. Our first tabletop show brought in 28 new members. Only about 15 were for our chapter. The rest went to WI and Heartland. What we did was give them everything free, classes, lunch and dinner if they joined. The vendors paid for most of our food and with the $25 per member that came back from national, we did very well. The thing was that we didn't care if the new members were from our chapter or not. If they joined it was a good thing for everyone.

    In traveling around the country to PPFA events, it has been my observation that the chapters that do the best are the one's who have a couple of go getters at the helm and several others who take the load off the board by being good committee members. It has to be a joint effort among the entire membership to keep a chapter going. Some chapters do this very well. Sometimes people leave because no one ever bothered to ask if they would like to help at a function or be on the board or a committee. Osgood is right, some will join and then just sit back and expect that the rest will provide. Getting members isn't as hard as keeping them. I think the answer is in the asking that every member in every chapter to be part of the success of the chapter, not just a member waiting around for something to happen.

    One other observation that I have made is that there can only be 1 chief and that is the most difficultin keeping balance in a chapter. Everyone who has ever been the preidient of a chapter knows what I am talking about. Trying to be the leader of so many others who are used to being the boss.....let's face it, just about every member of PPFA is the boss of their world and that can be problematic at times. But it doesn't have to be. If everyone would just remember that we are all out for the same thing, to keep PPFA strong. It will take a joint effort on the entire membership to do that.
  29. RParrish

    RParrish PFG, Picture Framing God

    I completely agree with this and it is where I am at, but this might just be par for the course. What have I gotten out of membership is the comradery of like minded professionals. It's not about what the organization can do for you but what you can do for it. The membership fee weeds out the givers from the takers.
  30. John Ranes II CPF GCF

    John Ranes II CPF GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer


    I can't respond to your question as I never left the PPFA. 35 Years of National PPFA Membership since 1978. Heck I even paid dues to two different chapters when they functioned as separate entities.

    Sure the benefits offered have been used and some years I've attended and sent employees to meeting while other years not as much. But even during those "quiet" years, I never considered NOT being a member....

    It is a small amount in the big scheme of running your business in this industry. If you really want it to do for you what you think you need...then support it.

  31. nikfrz

    nikfrz SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    PMA was the prime reason that I left PPFA. Second reason was that the local chapter was disorganized and travel was a big issue. Third reason was Capax. I sat down with my local provider, and was able to get better coverage for less.
  32. stcstc

    stcstc SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    this same discussion happens in the uk and ireland about the FATG. and the points raised here are very similar points to what is raised here

    i joined the FATG last year, it was my first time. i have made every effort to go to as many events as possiblein the year etc

    my renewel is due , i have looked at wether its a benefit, for me its quite cheap as i am classed as a international member

    but iknow for others they feelthey dont get a good return on investment
  33. auntiesarahjayne

    auntiesarahjayne MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Since there is lack of membership in Chapters, there is less financial capability to have good meetings for members.

    We (Wisconsin) are putting together a multi chapter meeting in April so we can bring in good speakers: Rob Markoff, Bonnie Pallizi, Linda Pujo. One chapter cannot afford to bring in these names, and without attendance we still cannot afford it.

    Next is the fun part of picking a venue that people will come to. It is difficult, and yes members are upset at the travel. We chose this time a location Chicago based (Lake Geneva). This leaves travel time from Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, IL, Iowa and Minnesota at hopefully anywhere from1 hr to 6 hours and it is a 2 day event to entice people to make the trip worth it.

    We won't please everyone. There is no way. But a lot of thought and work is put into bringing people to meetings. AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO GO TO ONLY YOUR CHAPTER's MEETING! I plan to go to Michigan's event at the end of April as well.

    To be a member of the organisation means some sacrifice as well. Take one of your days off to learn something new and meet fellow framers. Spend some money to better your business. It is your decision, but you are the only one hurting yourself not coming to these events and not joining.

    I personally learned a lot going to WCAF/PPFA this year and meeting fellow framers pulled me out of the slump you can find yourself getting into.

    It is give and take people. If you have issue with the organisation; you can either quit and crab about it, or stay and become active.

    Just my two cents,
  34. i-m-chickie

    i-m-chickie SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Yup, I am quoting myself. Again. I thought :icon11: was very witty....really, no comments?!?! :shutup:
  35. Baer Charlton

    Baer Charlton SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I was having breakfast with my mechanic this morning and mentioned this
    thread. He was very interested. Then I told him all of the complaints....
    He just laughed.

    He pays over $1,000 a year for his memberships, and everyone of
    his guys has to do 5 classes a year to maintain their certifications.....
    Some they can do here in Portland, others they have to go to Detroit
    or LA (for the imports).

    Neither business is rocket science.... but his is close. But maybe that
    is why his shop labor rate is $125/hr.
    And don't get him started on the six insurances he has to carry
    to cover the business.

    I asked if they had a sexy convention like ours...... he laughed...
    the last one was in Fresno, CA.... raisin capital of the world.
  36. blackiris

    blackiris SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I joined the begining of this year. I have still YET to hear from what chapter I'm supposed to belong to or what is even going on with it. So I'll just stick with the WI one.

    The only reason I have ever heard of the PPFA is because of the Grumble. And sure its taken me this long to join because I see my friends on the boards killing themselves and doing a thankless job and its so unorganized. Who wants to put their time and effort into that!? BEEN the slave on way too many organizations.... I guess you can call me bitter now in my old age. :)

    I've always thought that if you want to get new members.. you should really have a committee that either calls or visits frame shops. Like PPFA rep. A lot of people are probably confused as to why it would benifet them the join. You need a cheerleader to talk to them and get them excited about being a part of something.

    You want people to get involved... there has to be something to keep them there. :shrug:
  37. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I guess that's another hurdle the PPFA has to overcome when looking for ways for more mass appeal or need. The pace at which your technical skills become obsolete or inadequate in the car maintenance industry has to be worlds apart from the picture framing industry.
  38. Stan14

    Stan14 Guest

    I use to be on the board of my local chapter

    I use to be on the board of my local chapter. The experience was so unsatisfying and dysfunctional I left and never renewed. The petty squabbling and jealousy of the women on the board was so ridiculous it made it unbearable. The PPFA didn't do anything to help my business nor did my CPF certification. 99.9% of the population do not care whether or not you have a certification for making a frame. To the general public it sounds ridiculous. But to us framers it's an ego boost. What works is being a straight shooter, know what your doing, having some passion at the counter, make smart business decisions, and doing great work at a great price, period.
  39. Stan14

    Stan14 Guest

    yeah, making sure your mechanic is certified because you and your family's safety depends on it. No one gives a hoot about a frame.
  40. Stan14

    Stan14 Guest

    lol. I'd say semi-witty, haha, don't worry about the PPFA. Focus on your business. It's more important to join your local business associations, etc.
  41. EllenAtHowards

    EllenAtHowards PFG, Picture Framing God

    You know those of us who are certified are going to disagree, and I am one of them. I promote my MCPF. I advertise that I am the only Maryland framer west of Baltimore (curse you, Meghan MacMillan!). And lots of times when a customer is unsure whether I sound like I am talking about, I trot out my credentials and explain what I had to do to get them. It frequently reassures them enough to make the sale.

    I also promoted my CPF, but the MCPF seems to impress the customer more...
  42. cvm

    cvm PFG, Picture Framing God

    I got my CPF in, '87 I think; I doubt it even "counts" any more, lol.
  43. RParrish

    RParrish PFG, Picture Framing God

    Your friends with the Heartland Chapter on Facebook, why dont you ask them https://www.facebook.com/heartland.chapter?fref=ts
  44. Rhonda in MT

    Rhonda in MT MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    We let our PMA membership lapse this year so didn't get our PPFA membership either. I'm not sure if I'll rejoin. As far as I know there is no local chapter in Montana. There was a meeting here in town a few years ago. The only class was on needlework lacing. I went to that. I went to the reception at another framers shop. It seemed no one was in charge of welcoming people, so we all (less than 10 people) just stood around talked a little and left. Fran Gray joined us so that was nice to meet her. Then on Saturday afternoon some of the people went rafting. I'm still trying to figure out what that has to do with framing. So no vendors, no hospitality, no sponsors.
    They were planning on another meeting in the fall. I volunteered to help out. (I've planned convention and dinners for 200+ ) I called around to get deals for lodging, lunches etc.
    As far as I know the event never happened. That's my story.
  45. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    You only have to take more classes or buy the DVDs if you got yours after 1992.
  46. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    Wow- this is one of the absolute BEST benefits of being in the PPFA; the ability to get together with a group of people who understand what you are doing and share some of the problems, challenges, stories, ideas, solutions you have.

    And getting outside the shop, on a raft might be the perfect place to relax and start a conversation with someone who might turn out to be a perfect mentor for you. I may plan a "sailing" event for framers in our area - thanks for the suggestion!

    The Chinese Dinner doesn't have anything to to with framing either - but I am sure there are those that agree that there was a A LOT of framing talk going on over dinner - and over the years I have met some wonderful framers that I intend to visit on my travels.

    I cannot discount the SOCIAL aspect of membership. I have met a lot of framers, but the ones I find I spend the most of my time with are all PPFA Members.
  47. Rhonda in MT

    Rhonda in MT MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I think the rafting was not a part of the get together. Or maybe it was so disorganized that only a handful or people knew about it. I would have jumped at the chance to go and yes the networking and social aspect is very important to me. That's why I'm debating on rejoining. Regional meetings would be a big reason for me to rejoin. I do go to the WCAF and take classes.

    The reason we dropped our PMA membership is we don't go to the national meeting anymore that is co-located with CES. We do belong to another smaller group that has annual meetings and a trade show with lots of networking and classes.

    I will have to say those that argue about the cost of membership don't realize what a great deal it is. As I said I'm on the fence about joining. I may have to check as to why we don't have a regional group anymore.
  48. blackiris

    blackiris SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    So do thier job? See what I mean? You want people to come, you want people to get involved.. you want people to participate.
    Every committee or board I have ever been on has some sort of welcoming or at least an acknowledgement that you joined something. #### you even get a certificate from the Chamber of Commerce and are mentioned in their blog.
  49. Rick Bergeron - CPF

    Rick Bergeron - CPF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

  50. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    Agree with you completely, Nic. The whole "culture" needs to be "reinvented/reinforced" - including some basic social skills. It's the "little" things that can make/break the relationship. Certainly someone within the chapter needs to be appointed to be the official "welcomer" and all new members should get a phone call and also a handwritten note with some contact info.
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