January 1998 Volume 20 Number 1

President's Letter

John Griswold

Happy New Year!

First of all. I want to thank Liz Welsh and all the speakers for making the Phoenix meeting at the Heard Museum and the Phoenix Art Museum such a success. Liz has worked extremely hard for WAAC during her presidency. She was instrumental in bringing to fruition the bylaws changes, which will make WAAC a more effective organization for its members. The rock art session at the meeting was Liz' idea, and the added attraction of the rock art tour hosted by her husband Dr. Peter Welsh, director of the Deer Valley Rock Art Center, made it a very successful session. Thanks are also due Claire Dean, who helped organize the session and line up some fascinating outside speakers. Now, after serving as our President and Vice President, and before that for many years as our Newsletter Editor, Liz will redirect her energy to her family and her career as an editor. I look forward to her help and advice during my presidency.

Congratulations to our newly elected board members: Vice President Jill Sterrett, and Members at Large Mitchell Hearns Bishop, Laura Downey, Cecily Grzywacz, and Linda Strauss. Mitchell and Laura join the board for the newly created 2-year term (thanks to the bylaws changes), and incumbents Cecily and Linda continue for another year of service. I want to thank Neil Cockerline, who continued to serve on last years board after being President and Vice President. That's dedication. Thanks also go to nominating committee members Lesley Bone and Jane Hutchins, and to those general members who contributed suggestions for nominations.

Speaking of the bylaws changes, the most significant changes, in my opinion, are the changes to the Member at Large positions. As you know, we increased the number or members at large from three to four, electing two new "MAL"s each year to a 2-year term. This ensures that at any given time there are 2 experienced MALs on the board and 2 new MALs. Also, the longer terms will enable WAAC board members to initiate projects knowing they will be serving long enough to carry through on results.

Next year, after two meetings in the southwestern US, we will return to the Pacific Northwest, this time to a city (and a state for that matter) where WAAC has never met: Portland, Oregon. We are presently looking for a site that will afford us a retreat-like setting with easy access to the city itself. Portland is beautiful, and an extremely easy city to get around in, and has many cultural attractions, not the least of which is what some call the best bookstore anywhere. Stay tuned as plans develop!

Please start thinking about special topics for the meeting. If you have an idea, please contact me as soon as possible. At our business meeting, we began a discussion of possible topics for a half-day session. I think it might be interesting to focus on the use of computers by conservators, for anything from digital imaging to record tracking, to database-related collections or site surveys. Another topic, quite suitable to the location and one that will also be of interest to all conservation specialties is care of collections in historic sites and structures.

This is an exciting time to become president of WAAC, and I look forward to the coming year. I welcome any suggestions or feedback.

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