PCA Board Election Results 2011
We have three new members of the PCA Board of Directors. Congratulations to Danny Fudge, Jim Rouse and Ron Zorn! A big "thank you" to the outgoing board members, Joel Hamilton, Bill Hong and Kim Sosin.
Each Board Member serves a three-year term. During that time, he or she serves on at least one and possibly more committees, and participates in monthly conference calls, which are supplemented by meetings at pen shows when possible. One meeting, usually directly after the DC Show, involves the annual Board retreat, which is a several-hour gathering to discuss larger strategic issues. This is not a "title-only" position. The current and former Boards have worked hard to establish and maintain key projects, including the evolving website, Pens for Kids, and the partnership with the Smithsonian National Postal Museum. We have several exciting things in the works. We are looking forward to working with our new board members on these and also hearing their new ideas for our PCA!
I have been a member of the PCA for a number of years and have really appreciated the contribution that the PCA has made to our hobby. I began collecting fountain pens when I received my father’s and grandmother’s pens in 1997. I had used fountain pens in elementary school when the Sheaffer school pens were the rage; at least in my little town.
I began repairing pens in 2002 and have enjoyed serving the pen community for a number of years. I founded the Arkansas Pen club and served as its president for several years. During that time, we re-established the Arkansas Pen show. Pen people are among the best in the world. You can find me on the web at FPN as The Write Pen.
I stumbled into pens when I was a district manager of a shoe company and I used to peruse Yafa novelty pens in the White Flint Mall outside Baltimore. (A certain Bert Oser seemed to be in the picture. I particularly remember a cool skeleton pen with incredible mechanics.) My first fountain pen purchase was a grey vintage Parker 51 set I bought from Menash at the first DC pen show, so I go 'way back. But one day Bert and I managed to spy a jewelry store going out of business in the mall and we decided to buy and flip the store's display cases as a way of generating some quick cash. At some point during the flipping process, though, we looked at each other and asked "Why don't we just open a pen store instead?" And the rest, as they say, is history. Bertram's Inkwell continues to this day, although I have moved in some new and different directions. Currently I work for Hampton-Haddon in Philadelphia, the Sheaffer distributor in the U.S. as well as the importer for a number of other brands.
In terms of my personal collecting interest, I started out with a passion for Cross pens of the 1920s and 1930s, particularly the pastels and lacquers, and at some point I had nearly 200 of those. I moved into an interest in high-end ballpoint pens (nearly 100 at my collecting peak) and now I have and use about 50 fountain pens (some Sheaffers, no surprise). Some people collect pens purely for the visual aesthestics of them; I'm fascinated by the design and the mechanical details.
So why the Board of Directors? My company handles a line from Germany called 'Online," which is designed for pen users under the age of 21, and that has recently lead me to an interest in Pens for Kids program of the PCA. This company allows buyers to get involved with the design and the pattern of the pen; a creative innovation that allows young consumers to have a hand in the creation of the pen they will ultimately use. My desire in running for the Board of Directors of the PCA stems from this experience -- I want our hobby to find new, unique, and different ways to reach the next generation of writers; to have a hand, so to speak, in making sure young people find, buy, and use a range of writing instruments that will help them express their ideas and their creativity.
One could be excused if they were to say that my interest in pens is genetic. Even at age 10, if my mother couldn’t find me in a store, she just went to the stationery department. There I was looking at pens. (true)
My interest in fountain pens dates to elementary school, and became a serious hobby when a co-worker gave me her mothers pens over 20 years ago. I learned how to repair pens so that I could use the pens that I bought. The skills developed, the hobby turned into a business at the prodding, and with the encouragement of, friends already deeply involved with the pen community. The motivation to do so was as much to help others enjoy their pens as anything else. One of the reasons why I agreed to be a moderator of the repair forum on the Fountain Pen Network was so that I would have a medium to encourage and advise those who are interested in repairing their pens.
I’d like to build this on the PCA board. Pen collectors are bright, fun to be with, great people, but there are a lot of pen users and collectors who don’t know the value of the PCA. I’d like to find ways to overcome the resistance of the current age to join anything. The PCA is already working to reach out and become more relevant to today’s collectors. I’d like to see that expand.