[Harp-L] A few words from Warren Bee regarding upcoming SPAH election...

My official SPAH 2012 VP Election Campaign Statement :

I love the harmonica and the people that play them. Most of them any
way!  I joined SPAH and attended my first Convention in Dallas in
2003. I have only missed one convention since.  Every convention has
had a different flavor.  All have been incredible human experiences.
A far as I am concerned the harmonica is just a cherry on top of a
very special treat.  The yearly gathering of the tribe is a spiritual
event. As we approach the 50th Anniversary of this fine organization
we have a lot to be thankful for.  Almost every year since 1963 SPAH
has put on a convention.  The newsletters of old have matured into a
slick quarterly magazine called Harmonica Happenings.

The reason I accepted Bob Cohen’s request to be his Vice Presidential
running mate is because I think that SPAH can do more to reach out to
the international harmonica community as well as harmonica lovers here
in the United States.  Currently, almost all of the money that SPAH
brings in each year is directly spent on the convention and magazine
publishing.  This is wonderful.
 My thoughts are that if SPAH took a more proactive approach when it
comes to marketing and exposing the SPAH agenda of preserving and
advancing of the harmonica we could create new streams of income and
then offer more to those around the world and actually do more to
preserve the rich history of our instrument as well as be at the
forefront of sharing the exciting advancements the we see happening
more and more every day.

Each year we have an incredible convention that only a limited number
of people can afford to attend.  With technology and the Internet we
could do a better job of sharing the magic with those that couldn’t be
there.  During my tenure on the SPAH board of directors, as Publicity
Director, my biggest frustration was “selling” a product that I dearly
love and believe in and having no resources to share any of the magic
from the last 48 years of conventions.  It takes money to preserve. No
money, no preservation. Currently we are just an annual convention and
a magazine that is only available to members. Many harmonica
advancements are on display at the conventions. We need to find the
money so we can share some of those advancements with more harmonica
enthusiasts around the globe.  The Internet is the tool for bringing
in the funds to better preserve and advance the harmonica.

One of my visions is that within a year or two we create an “internet
SPAH membership” that lets everybody be a part of the process in their
own way.  They would have password protected access to valuable
content and sharing of some of the annual convention activities on our
website.  This membership could be only $10.00, $15.00 or $20.00 a
year, a minimal expense, and offer a copy of Harmonica Happenings
electronically.  Every hundred internet members would be a thousand to
two thousand dollars more for moving forward with our journey and
agenda to preserve and advance the harmonica. A more robust website
along with the new members would create more traffic which would make
our exposure more valuable to potential advertisers.  Artists could
sell their CD’s and promote gigs for minimal fees.  These additional
revenues could be used for creating more value for our members and
doing more for things like scholarships and helping those in our
harmonica community in need. We need to be better partners with the
manufacturers.  The more we can offer them the more they can afford to
help us.
Currently SPAH is run 100% by volunteers. These people all have lives
outside of their harmonica love. In the future it would be nice to
have financial resources so that we could afford, in certain
circumstances, to pay for some professional help to lighten the burden
on the volunteers. By creatively and affordably bringing in
professionals for some tasks we would look more professional as an
organization. Looking more professional along with increased exposure
increases the value of our stock and again can help bring in more
funds to preserve and advance the harmonica.

Bob Cohen and I are passionate about the harmonica and would like to
be a part of its future.  Our goals are not to in any way tarnish the
traditions of the past.  They are to help insure that these traditions
continue to grow and to be more inclusive in sharing the love with
everyone who wants to come along for the ride!  We would appreciate
your vote in this first contested SPAH presidential election in a long
time.  Please be sure that your SPAH membership dues are paid up so
you can vote!

Warren "Bee" Bachman

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