Re: [Harp-L] SPAH Election

The SPAH presidential campaign is
starting to warm up, and VP candidate Warren Bachman (running mate of presidential
candidate Bob Cohen) made his opening campaign statement earlier today. Iâd like to thank Warren
for his complimentary statements about me and his enthusiasm for SPAH.

But I also need to correct the record, as some of his statements about SPAH are
simply not accurate. Here are the relevant quotes from Warren, with my replies:

says: My goals are very simple when it comes to SPAH. I would like to see
the organization become more INCLUSIVE and less EXCLUSIVE.ÂÂ 

says: SPAH includes anyone who wants to join. To my knowledge, SPAH does not
exclude anyone. SPAH members self-select and all are made to feel welcome. To
imply otherwise is simply untrue, and is unfair to the hardworking and
welcoming staff and board members who organize SPAH. 

have people joining SPAH and attending the convention from Korea, India, China,
Japan, Brazil, Russia, Sweden, Germany, France, and the UK and, Iâm sure, from
elsewhere. They even let in Canadians like me.

Among our stateside members and attendees, SPAH includes folks of all ages and
ethnic backgrounds.

says: I would like to see that anyone on this planet who has any level of love
for our dear instrument finds open arms and a positive resource 365 days a year
with SPAH. Membership that provides real benefits at an affordable price
for ALL. Regardless of playing level, harmonica of choice or
personal goals. Enthusiastic fans who don't even play the instrument should
want to join the club. Besides PRESERVING & ADVANCING the HARMONICA I
believe that SPAH can also be an "INÂ MOMENT" organization.ÂÂ 

says: The devil is in the details. We all believe in these things, but dreaming
while sitting in the little red wagon will not win the Indy 500. To achieve
these objectives we need concrete plans. And the only way to formulate those
plans is to start with SPAHâs available resources of money and time. For four
years I have worked within an actual budget to plan SPAHâs annual convention
entertainment. Iâm already working on ways to extend SPAHâs reach. 

SPAH membership doesnât cost much, and membership revenues alone donât cover
SPAHâs liabilities. To do more, SPAH needs more revenue. But that canât come
solely from SPAH members. SPAH is already reaching beyond the membership to
fund existing activities, and has been resourceful in creating the Corporate
Sponsorship Program and in expanding vendor opportunities. The organization will have to find and
secure additional revenues to undertake more programs. 

says: The pros and vendors can benefit from the exposure to sell their
performances/wares and the amateur's can benefit from the ultimate
"connection" with like minded souls. 

says: SPAH already provides great benefits to pros, vendors, and amateurs, and has
done so for many years. Iâm sure SPAH would love to extend those benefits
beyond the annual convention and the quarterly magazine, but again, SPAH needs
to develop the capabilities to do those things. I already have some ideas how
to do this in a realistic way, which Iâll share in my own campaign messages. 

says: 3)ÂI understand that all of the desires in my heart for SPAH will
not happen on the "fast track". I just believe that the
"road map" of SPAH needs to be updated. Much has changed since
the early 1960's when things got started. 

says: SPAH itself has changed a LOT since the early 1990s when I joined, and
even more in the last five years. To imply that the 1960s model even faintly
resembles what SPAH is now is to ignore your own eyes and experience. 

the foreground, SPAH is far more welcoming to all folks no matter what their
generation and style preferences may be, and the SPAH convention is a far
richer experience, through better planning, expansion of performances,
seminars, and jams, and through support of individual initiatives to create
âunofficialâ events such as the offsite Harmonica Blowoffs founded by Jason
Ricci and continued each year by a new regional organizer, such as Mike Fugazzi
in Minnesota and Dennis Gruenling in Virginia. 

the background, SPAH has been putting in place the financial resources and
infrastructure that will enable the kind of growth that we all want to create.
This background stuff ainât sexy, but it makes everything else possible. And
thatâs the work Iâm already elbow deep in doing. Let me describe some of the
work going on right now, following the current 2011 roadmap: 

1. A new website under development, with a SPAH
web content manager to assure current website information and a new web
management company to execute timely updates. 

2. A new web based membership program to be integrated into SPAHâs
Website. This will enable members
to access and update their own personal information, while streamlining SPAHâs
membership and convention details. Because the new program is built on industry
standards, future SPAH administrators can assure continuity through one common
platform with minimal training.

3. A youth program. Donations are
beginning to come in, and a look at Virginia SPAH shows why we need a youth

4. Appointment of a SPAH seminar manager to assure a better seminar experience
at the convention.

5. Appointment of a new treasurer (whom I recruited) and expansion of the
current Quickbooks program

6. Search for a new membership director
continual update of Harmonica Happenings.

Winslow Yerxa
SPAH Presidential candidate
SPAH Entertainment Committee chair
SPAH Awards Committee Chair

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