We are not all in the same boat...

SUBMITTED BY JILL KENIK, APMM PRESIDENT 

"I heard that we are all in the same boat, but it's not like that. We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat. You could be shipwrecked and I might not be. We are going through a time when our perceptions and needs are completely different. Each of us will emerge, in our own way, from this storm. It is very important to see beyond what is seen at first glance. Not just looking, actually seeing. We are all on different ships during this storm experiencing a very different journey. Realize that and be kind."
- Unknown author

Our model making community, like so many other communities, continues to be challenged by the COVID storm. As model makers, we are seemingly genetically encoded with ingenuity, adaptability and the fortitude needed to overcome obstacles, getting jobs done under any circumstances and moving on.

With single-minded determination to overcome the current challenges in typical model maker fashion, the APMM Board of Directors has gone far beyond casually managing the positions to which they were elected during the 2018 Grand Rapids Conference. They are deeply committed, passionate about APMM, and willing to do what they can to assure the survival of our community.

During this storm, the Board has been exploring questions of what our members want, what they can afford, what they need, all the while balancing our volunteer time against the reality of individual journeys through this storm. Of course, the firmest commitment to our community remains with our Executive Director Samanthi, who continues to be our cornerstone and the glue that holds the APMM together.

We have started to make important changes to APMM’s direction. Networking opportunities have increased through informal online meet-ups, which are growing steadily in popularity. Our worldwide appeal is broadening through the addition of country specific Membership Ambassadors, which will globally unify and strengthen our community of professional model makers. Membership costs and benefits have been restructured. With the huge success of the virtual Student Model Making Competition and increasing outreach, we are more actively supporting young model makers. Many of them are regularly joining our online meet-ups.

Our biggest news is shifting the conference to a virtual format. Large groups of attendees would have been unable to attend a March 2021 conference due to travel restrictions. Likewise, tour locations could not consider hosting in-person events before mid-year 2021. We look forward to returning to an in-person conference format in 2023. In the meanwhile, savings in traveling costs and time away from work, combined with the reduced virtual conference registration fees, sets up the March 2021 conference to be the largest gathering of professional model makers ever.

Shifting to a virtual conference was a risky decision for the APMM, and we discussed the possible membership reaction for months before accepting the conclusion that there was no other answer. Conferences provide the income APMM needs to supplement annual dues, guaranteeing the continuity of our organization.

As we began reaching out to members that had paid more than what we were proposing as a reduced virtual conference registration fee, we found support by more than 98% of the membership with whom we spoke! Importantly for the financial survival of APMM, MORE THAN 94% of our members and vendors DONATED the balance from their reduced registration funds to APMM to help sponsor the virtual conference, ensuring that our association would survive the financial storm! Undoubtedly, the APMM is an important and necessary part of our professional lives!

Make plans to join us for the March 2021 Virtual Conference, where we will share workshops, tours, networking opportunities and even continue the tradition of conference t-shirts (real ones!). Between then and now, join us for one or more of our occasional Zoom meet-ups—they are a great way to reconnect with your model making friends, or meet new model makers. Consider presenting a workshop for the conference, or hosting a lunchtime tour of your shop.

The APMM will continue to adapt and adjust to weather this storm, and will land as a stronger, more encompassing community, prepared to embrace the journey with all the skills of model makers. We still want and need your ideas and suggestions to make your APMM work better for you.

Fasten your seatbelts, wash your hands and join us virtually -

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