President’s Letter

Dear Friends,

The Butterfly Catchers, 1900 Theodore Wendel, American Not on view.

As the first year of my presidency comes to a close I find myself musing about the events of the past twelve months. I have had a wonderful time serving as your president. Please know that it was you who made the journey successful and enjoyable for me.

The year started quietly with Mia closed to visitors, most of the staff working from home, and no one serving as operations coordinator. I had plenty of time to look at the files left by past presidents. Their records are invaluable and I am certainly the beneficiary of their hard work. In September Claire Goulson started as Friends operations coordinator. We are so fortunate as she brings intelligence, skill and warmth to the office.

Although it was quiet in the office, many committees were hard at work. Pam Friedland and Mary Merrick, chairs of the centennial committee, were scrambling to get the Friends history book to the publisher. Kris Bjorklund and Sheila Folkestad, chairs of AIB, were meeting with Mia staff to bring back a manageable, in-person event. Susan Arndt and Tammy Meyer, chairs of the lecture committee, were promoting and making arrangements for Dessa, the first Fiterman speaker. Sharon Secor and Allison Greene, chairs of the membership committee, were working on a plan to retain and convert our complimentary memberships into paying memberships. And Chris Vickery and Julie Scroggins, chairs of plants and flowers, were reimagining the holiday decorations focusing on inclusivity.

Other committees with critical missions worked quietly. Liz Short, chair of the vision and values special committee, very ably guided her committee through an examination of our mission statement, key messages and IDEAB goals. Maria Eggemeyer, chair of the nominating committee, held monthly meetings at her dining room table as her committee filled out the new slate of officers and board members. Kimmie Kemberling planned nine engaging Friends Only events. Lisa Mayotte restarted in-person book club meetings. Barb Mikelson, with support from the Rochester Friends, brought coffee and treats back to the Fountain Court for pre-lecture socializing. Tippy Madden and Kris Berggren made sure the newsletter was edited and emailed each month. Kristen McDougall planned an Art and Architecture outing with details found in this newsletter. Sue Stillman marshaled volunteers for ushering and other tasks. Jeanne Scheiderer, historian, preserved important documents for future reference. JeanMarie Burtness and Therese Blaine, co-chairs of transportation, braced themselves for a huge demand in reimbursements coming in this next fiscal year. Our affiliate liaisons, Pat Gale and Jim Rovner, supported our highly valued Rochester Friends and St. Cloud Friends, led by Alison Goode and Mary Jane McHardy, and Amanda Falloon.

The advisors to the board, Barbara Proeschel, Boyd Ratchye, Linda Goldenberg, and Katie Remole were always available to provide guidance. I unhesitatingly relied on the executive committee for their thoughtful opinions, discussions and advice. This highly accomplished group includes Barb Champ, Melanie Nelson, Carol Stoddart, Renee Kessler and Beverly Hauschild-Baron.

I look forward to next year and the opportunities it will bring. I welcome your thoughts, your ideas, and your continued support. Please know you can contact me in the Friends office at 612-870-3045 or by email at jholland@artsmia.org

Have a great summer!