AORE Annual Report 2015 - Page 24

I attended my first AORE conference back in 1993 in Corvallis, Oregon. To say that I enjoyed my time and learned a ton would be an understatement, because what it really did was change the direction of my life. Looking back at what the Association was then and what we have become today is awe-inspiring. Back in 1993, the Oregon State University hosted conference had 166 participants and was the 7th conference. Today we are getting close to 700 participant conference attendees, have over 600 members who employ over 8,000 staff, who in turn serve over 1.5 million participants each year. Oh, the places we have been and thanks to our amazing volunteers, we have and will continue to succeed with our strategy of meeting the needs both inside and outside our Association in the areas of Access, Organizational Health, Relationship Engagement and Education.

We, the Board of Directors, continue to listen to member’s voices concerning their needs and also attaining success for their national and international programs. Our directive was given to us by the membership in the form of our Strategic Plan (the four Pillars: Access, Organizational Health, Relationship Engagement and Education). Every decision the Board makes relies on this lens to filter, process and develop where best to apply the limited resources that are available.

Our organization's financial strength currently relies mostly on income from membership fees and conference income. Progress rests heavily on volunteer work efforts and value from sweat equity of committee members and chairs, Board of Directors, conference presenters, and conference hosts. We as a Board of Directors believe that 2016 will be a pivotal year to push past our previous income sources. We are preparing ourselves to learn the ways of being a group educated on how to be better at the art of philanthropy, where we are able to expand our current development activities and strategies to achieve the 2016 development goals.

One goal that we will continue from last year will be the pledge of 100% Board of Directors giving, with the added goal of getting the highest percentage possible of committee chair giving. In order to do this and many more development initiatives, the Board has asked Mia Axon, a seasoned development director and gift consultant (not to mention a professional rock climber back in 1996 sponsored by Five.Ten, Prana, Clif Bar, Marmot, PMI/Petzl) to help educate and execute the successful development efforts for this year and beyond. We hope that each of you will want to likewise educate yourselves on how you can better support this Association in ways that you already feel passionate about and are willing to expand upon.

We would like to take a moment to recognize and thank all of our members for supporting the AORE. A special shout out needs to go to our Vendor members whose support is critical for advancing the profession of outdoor education and recreation. Thanks to all Vendor members who were with us in Atlanta and also to those who have already signed up to join us in at the 2016 annual conference in Minneapolis.

Sincerely,

AORE Board of Directors

Russ Watts - Board of Directors,

President Elect

dear aore supporters,