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2015 WCA Presidents Report

Hi WCA friends!

Many of you were not able to be with us at the convention for our annual membership meeting and are unaware of much that we’ve worked on this past year. That’s why I’m sharing my “President’s Annual Report” here for your viewing. I believe you’ll find a bunch of interesting information here from the “inside” of WCA.

Seriously Clowning, Randy Christensen

Randy Christensen – WCA President 2015-2017

It’s been an incredible year for the World Clown Association. I’m so proud of our members, our officers and our progress. During this year I have witnessed wonderful collaboration amongst many members who have served on committees, in “think-tanks,” and on projects.

Our officers have worked tirelessly (…and at times, tiredly…) investing their time on a volunteer basis to help our organization make wise decisions. There’s been non-stop work on the upcoming Orlando convention since we left Reno. Our convention committee, chairman, and officers all have had a significant role in preparing this “memory-maker” for our members. I’ve been “hands on” through this process also.

One of my goals has been to involve many WCA members who are not currently holding an office, but who offer quality insights and aid as we strive to accomplish our goals. I personally have worked with over twenty non-officer members who have provided feedback and solutions during this past year. This information has then been carried to our officers for further evaluation and possible implementation.

One of these projects has been a development of “position papers.” A number of years ago, President Joyce Payne began a series of short articles to help WCA communicate our values and thoughts as an organization. I’ve expanded on that process and involved the Past President’s Council in answering questions and giving insights on different topics. After their work, these articles were sent on to other experienced, credible WCA clowns for further review and input. You have seen some of these “position papers” in the Clowning Around magazine, and more will be upcoming. These position papers will also be available on our website.

During this past year, a “think-tank” of officers, our business manager, and non-officers worked on an official statement concerning the WCA logo usage. I took the lead in this area also, but relied heavily upon the professional insights of others. Our official guide for logo usage is now posted on our website.

Another project in progress is an evaluation of our current “Clown Code of Ethics” which you see in every “Clowning Around” magazine. Numerous high-quality WCA clowns have given feedback on these statements. Their thoughts are being consolidated and will be reviewed by our Board of Directors and ultimately will be shared with our members.

The aid of our members (and not just our officers) is crucial to our association. I send a big “thank you” to those that have served us voluntarily, giving hours of consideration and work as we continue to craft positive processes for our association and reach well-informed decisions.

Here at the midway point of my presidency, I want to reflect on some goals that I shared on the night of my inauguration as WCA President. (You may watch the short video in “President’s Corner” on the WCA website.) Let me comment on some of the goals I listed at that time:

  1. GOAL: Have a stronger online presence providing resources for our members around the world. During this past year we have seen the development of the members section on our website, primarily guided by our Marketing Director, Norm Barnhart. Soon after our last convention, our webmaster decided not to renew his contract with WCA so our Executive Committee, under our Marketing Director’s advice, chose to offer the new contract to CHD Management LLC. Our website continues to expand and become a resource filled with educational articles, videos, and information. I began placing short informational pieces in a new area of the Member’s Section called “The President’s Corner.” There you may watch short tutorial videos and read articles which are developed only for our members in this online venue.
    Martin D’Souza and his team continued to build an international online presence for the WCA through Facebook postings. Many of the graphics on our WCA Facebook page were designed by Martin and his team. I’m so proud that WCA can offer this type of quality image with good, fun, information on a daily basis. Being a world-wide organization, we realize that timely information can be shared quickly in online formats. Kuddos to our Social Media Director, Martin D’Souza. Excellent job!
  2. GOAL: To resource our members in all areas of family-friendly clown entertainment. We want to provide opportunities and quality resources in every area of clowning to help our members excel at what they do. This applies to every area of family-friendly entertainment.
    I’m proud to say that I see this happening in our Caring Clown Department. I see this happening in our Clown Ministry Department. I see this happening in our local alleys. One of the decisions made by our Executive Committee (as motioned by our Alley Director, Andrew Davis) was to financially invest in our WCA Alleys by providing quality training resources to them annually. This is new. In the past, an alley would receive some training resources upon their initial charter, but when renewal time came, nothing more was offered. We are now sending resources a couple times a year to encourage and equip our alleys.
    One of our greatest methods of resourcing our members is through our world-class magazine, “Clowning Around.” Graphically, “Clowning Around” is excellent. We have added a section on practical clown ideas and routines called “Back To The Basics” in response to members suggestions. I share my appreciation with our Publication’s Committee and our Editor for their excellent work. Also, thank you to all the officers and authors who freely give of their time and talents to make this the finest clown publication in the world.
    We realize that the one drawback concerning “Clowning Around” was the lateness of various issues. Please know that we are working hard at implementing processes that will guarantee a more timely delivery. In the future, many of the educational articles will be archived on our website so that members can read them around the world.
  3. GOAL: For WCA to be the most supportive, most networked, best resource providing organization that you can find. Let me comment on those first few words… “most supportive.” We are aiming at providing whatever support our members need. Our Business Manager and I often speak about how we can improve our processes and communications with our members. We don’t want to frustrate people, but enable them to gain the information they need in a convenient process.
    This discussion has been happening with our Membership Drive Chairperson (Diana McCurtain) and also is being considered by our Vice President, Pam Moody, as she is considering a “Member Care” initiative.
    In about another month I will be sending another online survey for our members. Last year we gained valuable insights from our convention attendees and our non-convention attendees through this online survey. It’s not my goal to dictate my objectives, but simply to listen to our members and provide them with the support they need to go and be excellent clowns in their area of the world.
  4. GOAL: Offer the finest world-class convention at a reasonable rate for our WCA members. We strive to offer quality competitions, world-class performances not found anywhere else, and networking opportunities with clowns from around the world. Each of our officers and convention committee have united to see this happen. I give a huge “shout out” to Kolinda Zander-Hussey and Team ZED for their incredible work. Our Education Director, Aurora Krause, has gathered the “cream of the crop” for all of us at our Orlando convention. Our Convention Committee Chairman, Bob Neil, has worked behind the scenes to assure a smooth-running convention. Pam Moody, as Vice-President, has ongoing convention responsibilities and she has done a stellar job. Many other “behind the scenes” folks are contributing their time and efforts with no remuneration. I’m proud to have these folks working with us to offer this upcoming convention to our members.
  5. GOAL: Understanding we are NOT just an American organization, we strive to grow our association internationally and resource clowns around the world. Over the past 12 months the WCA membership has grown its membership from 23 countries to 30 countries. Much of this is a result of our overseas regional directors. Our Vice President communicates with our Regional Directors regularly. I also have ongoing conversations with many of our regional directors. WCA is truly an international organization. This is verified once again as we prepare to go to Thailand for our 2017 convention! Come and join us!
    Lastly, let me mention that as President I also help guide and approve the fiscal process in cooperation with our Treasurer, the Business Manager, and our Executive Committee. For a number of years WCA has done well. I’m happy to say that WCA is in a good place financially. Thank you to Vicky Cross for her years of service to WCA as our WCA Treasurer. I also say “thank you,” to Ed Estrin for stepping in and accepting the appointment to now serve in the role of WCA Treasurer.

To our officers who have completed their terms, thank you for your service to our organization. I look forward to having your continued collaboration. And welcome to the new officers who are stepping in to official capacities.

Respectfully, Randy ChristensenWCA President (2015-2017)