Executive Director's Message: The Year in Review
The Year in Review
December is a time of reflection. Looking back on 2016, the year has definitely been a year of transition. GWA has begun to evolve guided by our strategic plan. We hope that you were able to see and feel the change.
- Enhancing Member Value: Our priority is and continues to be about creating value for our members and growing our membership. In addition to expanding our reach within all facets of the garden communications industry, we have launched several initiatives aimed at developing our next generation, including our first-ever NextGen Summit and new Emergent Communicator Award. Beginning in 2017, we will even be featuring new student categories in the GWA Media Awards.
- Rebranding GWA: 2016 began with a new look and a new feel for GWA. In addition to a new name and logo, we launched a new membership database, website, online community, new social media channels and GWAConnect, our “Find a Garden Communicator” public directory. These and many other initiatives not only changed how members experienced GWA, but also the public and industry at large.
- Bolster Educational Offerings: We had over 20 regional and connect meetingsthis year in an effort to make it easier for members to connect. The #GWA2016 Conference was jam-packed with terrific educational opportunities including keynotes from industry all-stars, engaging roundtable topics and breakout sessions focused on the topics you need most to improve you career.
- Improving Governance & Engaging Volunteers: A large part of this year’s transition included a full review of bylaws and policies, resulting in streamlined processes and transparency measures as well as new conflict of interest and investment policies. New committees were created and existing committee were reactivated to engage even more members in building GWA’s future.
- Achieving Financial Sustainability: With improvements to non-dues revenue programs, an expanded sponsorship program and reduced expenses in many key areas, GWA is building a roadmap for financial and organizational stability that will keep GWA prospering for many years to come.
Heartfelt thanks to GWA’s leadership and committee members and all of you, our members, for the hard work and dedication to making GWA’s mission possible. This year would not have been possible without the support of so many of you.
As you look to 2017, please make the most of your GWA membership. Attend a regional or connect meeting. Volunteer for a committee. Start a conversation on the GWA Communities. Recruit a peer to join GWA. Make 2017 your year to connect, learn and grow.
Thank you for your continued support! Happy Holidays! Here’s to an even brighter 2017!