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2009 Membership Minutes



Meeting of the General Membership, Pen Collectors of America,

6 November 2009, at the Ohio Pen Show


Meeting called to order approximately 8:06 EST by Carla Mortensen, outgoing President.


Carla began by thanking Terry Mawhorter for his efforts and his family’s assistance in organizing and holding the Ohio Pen show.   She then recognized the other continuing PCA Board of Directors and Officers:


Joel Hamilton, incoming President

Kim Sosin, outgoing Vice President

Bill Hong, continuing Secretary

Richard Binder

Deb Kinney (in absentia)

John Jenkins, continuing Treasurer

Allan Quiat, continuing Volunteer Coordinator


as well as the new Directors and Officers:


Vance Koven (also continuing Counsel to the PCA)

Lisa Hanes

Aaron Svabik, incoming Vice President

Ralph Stilwell, Pens for Kids Coordinator

Kim Svabik, continuing Assistant to the PCA


Carla also recognized the retiring Directors:  Rick Propas, Ernesto Soler and Linda Bauer (in absentia).


Carla then presented the following speakers to provide news and updates to the membership:


Volunteer Forms


Allan Quiat notified the membership that he has distributed volunteer interest forms, encouraging attending members to provide him lists of activities in which they can assist the PCA.


Pen Collection Gift to the PCA


Rick Propas announced to the members that arrangements were underway for a substantial pen collection to be donated to PCA by an anonymous member.  The purpose of the donation is to sell the collection and channel the proceeds for unrestricted use by the PCA.  A first batch of 200 pens (out of approximately 1200 total in the collection)  has been chosen for initial display at the LA Pen Show this coming February.  Afterwards they will be subdivided into smaller groups for sale by a number of dealers who will generously donate space on their websites for these sales.


Pens for Kids


Ralph Stillwell presented his vision for the PfK program, noting that demographically the PCA lacks a pipeline of younger members in sufficient numbers to sustain the hobby.  Kim Svabik has been instrumental in helping to bring in new members and young people, making them more aware and enthusiastic about writing instruments.   Ralph sees PfK  as a vital component to this rejuvenation, if the organization takes the time to teach young people about pens, the purpose and history behind them, and passing the legacy of pens and interest about them to the next generation as a means to individual and free expression of thought and style.  Letting “kids write the way they talk” is one of the ways in which PfK can help this sense of self-expression.


Ralph offered a syllabus that he has assembled (which will be available from PCA) for anyone to freely use in creating their own workshops and other activities in their own locations, not necessarily tied to a pen show.  In addition, Ralph feels that the pen manufacturers can be recruited (as some already have) to help make their products and attributes more visible to kids, beyond the concept of the pen as a disposable item.  He also envisions bringing more writing-related books and other resources to public libraries, and a volunteer roster of speakers that can be engaged to spread the concepts and messages in the PfK program.


More on these ideas will be forthcoming; in the meantime Ralph can be contacted for information and suggestions on how to immediately move forward.


Pennant Editorship


Carla announced that Richard Jarvis has notified the Board that he will be retiring as Pennant Editor sometime in 2010.   The search is underway for a new Editor and Carla said anyone who has an interest/background in applying for the position may do so; passing along the word to other members is also encouraged.  Rick offered to discuss the Editor’s duties with anyone who may be interested in applying.


PCA Partnership with the Smithsonian


Kim Svabik informed the membership of a new relationship the PCA has established with the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum, the result of a chance encounter she had with a Museum staff member during the Washington DC show.   A V-Mail exhibit at the NPM brought about the interest, and suggested the possibility of a connection between the two organizations, with the relationship between writing, correspondence and the mails being a common theme.  This partnership with the PCA is bringing about the opportunity for a festival event in May 2010 in concert with National Card and Letter Writing Month.    The PCA will have a number of tables at the event, where different aspects of the hobby, its relevance to correspondence, and the history of pens and American pen making can be highlighted.  On a broader scale, PCA will be able to consult with NPM on new exhibit ideas.

Kim asked the membership for volunteers who can bring their expertise and assistance to the event; one of those who have already agreed to participate is David Oscarson.


There is the possibility of a followup event in August (in conjunction with the DC show?), as an added way to pass along the legacy and bring greater attention to the hobby.


Incoming President’s Remarks


Joel Hamilton expressed appreciation to Carla as outgoing President, which included the presentation of a Tibaldi Iride pen (to replace one Carla lost at a recent show) as a special symbol of this appreciation.   He praised Carla’s ability to keep the Board focused on achievement this past year, and then asked the membership for their input on where the Board should take PCA in the long run (ten years hence);  anyone can contact him or other Directors with their thoughts.


PCA Endowment?


As a followup to the new President’s remarks, the question came up about a permanent PCA endowment.  The response was that this was indeed a possibility for future investment, and should be considered by the membership.  Ray Okoniewski asked if a collection for such an endowment could be initiated, and there was acknowledgement that this was a possibility.


The General membership meeting was adjourned about 8:45 PM EST.


Submitted by Bill Hong

PCA Recording Secretary


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