by Sharon McLeod
The weather in Las Vegas, where the 2014 AANR board meeting was held, was mild and inviting. But your AANR board wasn’t interested in the weather. In fact, they were hardly aware of it because their attention was focused on the issues facing AANR today.
Immediately following last summer’s convention, the President appointed teams that examined and analyzed issues identified by the former Executive Director (ED). The teams presented their conclusions and recommendations at this meeting, and your AANR board made decisions regarding these initiatives:
Adult clubs: The former ED eagerly advocated including clubs that want to pursue sexually oriented activities in AANR, feeling that this would increase membership and, especially, revenue. The team concluded that this approach does not match AANR’s core values, which are clearly expressed in AANR’s Bylaws. The team acknowledges that AANR messaging to the public often looks remarkably similar to that of entities pursuing sexually oriented activities. The team recommended that AANR revisit core values, and then create short- and long-term goals based on those values. The messaging that grows out of this work will differentiate AANR and its clubs from these other entities. The Trustees recommended the formation of an ad hoc committee to do this work.
Carver model: The former ED, a certified Carver trainer, strongly recommended that the AANR board adopt Carver, a well-known governance model used by many non-profit organizations. The team quickly realized that, to properly do their job, they needed to examine multiple governance models to determine the best match for AANR. The team determined that AANR currently uses a constituency model, but doesn’t use it well. The team ultimately recommended that AANR continue operating under the current model and provide training to the board in being more effective under this structure. The Trustees voted to establish an ad hoc committee to identify a facilitator to do this training.
Name change: The former ED advocated a name that would dominate the nudist/naturist marketplace. The team recommended that AANR first determine their direction going forward. Only then can decisions regarding whether a new name is warranted and a name that reflects the new direction. The team pointed out that any name should be inclusive of more than just “America.”
Trade Association: Changing AANR’s structure was essential to implementing many of the ED’s other initiatives, and would provide a foundation for AANR to provide revenue-producing services to clubs. The team detailed current AANR club benefits that could move under the trade association, should it become a reality.
Facility: The former ED recommended that AANR sell the headquarters building located in Kissimmee, Florida and relocate, preferably to a nudist venue. After thoroughly examining this multi-faceted issue, the team recommends selling the building. The board will rely on research by staff regarding the best approach to take in this endeavor.
Pricing structure: The former ED pleaded to reduce the number of membership types available to AANR members and to standardize the cost of regional memberships because of confusion, increased chance of errors, and increased cost to enhance and maintain the computer code that supports this. After analysis and discussion, the team recommended a simpler slate of membership costs with price based on a calculation of basic membership plus regular cost-of-living adjustments.
In addition to addressing the former ED’s initiatives, the board:
Decided against producing an updated Park Guide until further investigation is completed.
Approved capping the Life Membership fund and putting the excess in a Capital Improvements fund.
Because the board spent only one day together, they were incredibly focused and tenaciously on-task. An unexpected but pleasing product of deliberating and deciding AANR’s future was increased cohesion and respect among members of the board.
Next steps include further research for some issues, and implementation plans for others. Stay tuned for updates on your AANR Board’s next actions.