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2012 AANR Voter’s Guide–Officers: President

Name: Brian Spence

Home club: NudistClubhouse.com

AANR/regional/club offices held:

4 years as AANR Club Trustee (current)

5 years as AANR-West Director

2 years as AANR-West Vice President

1 year as AANR Singles Chair

2 years Glen Eden Board (VP and Dir. of Marketing)

Director of “Nudes in the News” at ClothesFree.com.

Owner of Naturally California Travel Club

Owner of SingleNudist.com

Owner of NudistClubhouse.com

Business/background experience applicable to position sought: I have been the owner of AANR affiliated clubs since 1999:  Naturally California in 1999, SingleNudist.com in 2001, and NudistClubhouse.com in 2008.  I am also the organizer of the first ever nudist trade show, taking place in Las Vegas this June.

Length of AANR membership: I have been an AANR member since 1996.

Candidate statement:
After discovering nude recreation on a beach, and then as a club member, a club owner, and a regional official, I am currently serving AANR as a Club Trustee.  As the youngest member of the board, I would like to bring my ideas to the office of President to assist in membership growth, and to build a strong future for the association. AANR has so much potential, and it is time for a fresh approach to keep the association strong.  I would appreciate your vote for the position of AANR President. More information can be found at www.AANR2012.com.

 

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13 Responses to 2012 AANR Voter’s Guide–Officers: President

  1. Brian, it’s great to see people my age (or so you look?) running for AANR Office! I’ve considered this myself but run in to the issue of TIME. Basically, how do I fit all of the responsibilities in to my days while working so that I have food and shelter and helping with my family. I’m wondering if you could give some information on you will be able to do this, both so that I can feel comfortable in knowing you have time for this HUGE job as well as to give me some ideas on how I might be able to do this in the future. BTW, I’m a member of both of your sites: LOVE THEM!

  2. Brian Spence says:

    Melissa,

    Thanks for writing. As you pointed out, I am a bit younger than the other candidates, and younger than the average AANR member. I see this to be a terrific strength, as AANR is in need of younger members, and perhaps having a younger President will help counter the image that AANR is only for retired people. I do believe I am slightly older than you. I’m 41 years old, and if elected will be really close to 42 at the time of convention this summer. I’d like to point out that JFK was elected President of the United States at the age of 43. While I may seem very young in some AANR circles, I believe that at my age, and with the positive relationships that I hold with many of our members and officials, I am ready to hold the office.

    You are very correct that this office has the potential to require a substantial amount of time. I already dedicate 100% of my time to Nude Recreation between my two websites NudistClubhouse.com and SingleNudist.com, and the first ever Nudist Trade Show that I’m producing in Las Vegas this June. The nice part about all of this is that I am self-employed, and therefore I do not have the problem of explaining to a boss why I need to spend time working on other projects. Also, since all of my work involves nude recreation, this is something that fits right in.

    The other thing that makes the time commitment a bit easier is that I am completely mobile. I am not tied to a physical office. With my smart phone, laptop and iPad, I regularly work from hotel rooms and airports. Should any time in Kissimmee be required, it would not be difficult to make it happen. I also believe that through the use of technology, and the professional skills of the staff at the AANR office, that travel to Kissimmee should be able to be kept at a minimum.

    It is my desire to help set the direction of AANR in conjunction with our mission statement, inject the association with new ideas to help grow the membership, further promote and evangelize the Nudist Bill of Rights, and to preside over efficient meetings of the Board of Trustees and be the conduit by which their ideas come to fruition. It is not my intention to personally run the office. This is why we hired an Executive Director.

    I hope that this answers your questions Melissa. If you, or any other readers of this blog have further questions, I welcome them. Feel free to ask away! Also, don’t forget to visit our campaign website at aanr2012.com.

    Brian Spence

  3. David Cheek says:

    Brian – I don’t see a separate place for asking questions, so here it comes. As next year’s AANR leader you will need to deal with the developing situation in Palm Springs. What is your opinion of AANR clubs barring membership to anyone other than adult couples, no children being permitted?

  4. Thanks for answering my question, Brian. It’s helpful to know where you’re coming from and that you do have the time and work flexibility to manage this office. In case you were wondering, I’m 36 and will be 37 come July, so you’re 5 years older than me- that makes you an old man, yet still one of the younger people working for AANR. I’m glad to see that there ARE young people within AANR who are hoping to bring more of us younger folks in. Do you have a strategy to get more young people in? I have a few ideas on how to get people our age in but no ears to listen. I’m not sure why people aren’t asking those of us who are younger and AANR members why we choose to be members and if we have ideas. I guess that leads to another question: any ideas on how to increase communication within AANR and get more people to really listen so that we can better serve our members and get more members?

  5. Brian Spence says:

    David,

    Thank you for taking the time to write a question.

    Unfortunately, due to the fact that this is a current issue, we have all been advised by the AANR Legal Council to not publicly address this specific issue at this time.

    The present issue aside, kids are natural nudists, and are a big part of the identity of AANR. We are a family based organization. The dictionary definition of the word “family” when used as a verb is “designed to be suitable for children as well as adults”. I believe that the AANR principles and standards are clear that this is the type of environment we desire at AANR chartered clubs and participating businesses whether or not children are present.

    Nude Recreation is a part of the tour and travel industry. One does not have to look very far into this industry to find many adult only forms of tour and travel, and those environments can still be called “family” by definition. Many hotels, resorts, and even cruise lines have areas set aside for adults only. Even the Disney Cruise Line has sections of their ships designated as adults only. The “Sanctuary” adults only section on Princess Cruises is so popular, they are extending it fleet wide, while still maintaining a very active youth program and family atmosphere everywhere on board. These places are not turning into places for adult entertainment, but rather cater to those who have already raised their children and/or are looking for a quiet place to relax.

    Should a larger club in Virginia choose to designate a swimming pool area as adults only, or a smaller club with very limited space and only one pool in New York choose to be adults only, that is fine with me as long as the AANR principles and standards are maintained. With over 250 clubs, resorts and participating businesses in the AANR family, it is a good thing that we have diversity, and offer a broad selection of destinations to choose between. If every location was a “cookie cutter”, then what benefit would there be in going on vacation to a nudist destination, when they are exactly the same as the one in your home town.

    I’m sorry that I am unable to directly address the current event that you mentioned, but I hope that this will illustrate that I believe that kids are very important to AANR, its principles and standards, and its future. And also that diversity in choices makes for a larger and stronger organization.

    Thanks again for writing, and I hope to earn your vote.

    Brian Spence

  6. Brian Spence says:

    Melissa,

    Thank you for your comments and for writing in again. I must argue, that I don’t yet believe I am an “old man”. 😉 However, I do tease that after my trade show in June, and running for AANR President, that I will probably be totally grey before New Years Eve. *smile*

    The average age of members on my website, NudistClubhouse.com, is 41.56 at this moment in time. It changes daily as people join or leave the site, but this number is a pretty good average. I’m sure you will agree that this is a younger age than the people you see poolside at most nudist clubs and resorts. I’m working hard to develop a younger age group among my own membership, and encourage them to purchase association membership. Hopefully many of the lessons learned, and experience gained in my own business will translate into success for AANR.

    Working with people starts out with one action on my part. Listening. You have to listen to the members to hear what they want. AANR members themselves are one key to membership growth. While it is impossible to please all of the people all of the time, listening is so very important in determining the best ways to grow. You have my ear Melissa, and I hope that we succeed in turning the membership numbers around with some of your ideas, and the ideas of other members of the association.

    No one person can do all of this on their own. An association is a group of people with something in common. Working together we can ALL build a larger and stronger AANR.

    Brian Spence

  7. Don Martin says:

    Brian: I’m now 73 years old but have been a ‘closet’ naturist for nearly 50 years. Family and professional biases which equate ‘nudism’ with perversion have kept me from finally ‘coming out.’ This may be a prime reason why younger individuals involved with a skeptical public never declare themselves as naturists or join AANR. I have conversed with many ‘senior citizen’ naturists at landed AANR-affiliated resorts, and many have shared the same opinions with me. I believe that if AANR is going to attract the “working class” age group (those between ages of 25 and 60) it must work diligently towards changing attitudes of the mainstream media concerning AANR activities and objectives—and convince them that being nude is wholesome and natural.

    Also, I am now single and would like to visit some AANR landed resorts in the country which prohibit single individuals of either sex to attend their facilities. I’m hoping that perhaps you can have a positive influence in conforming these clubs that all single individuals should not be lumped into one group and to judge each prospective visitor on his/her own merits.

    PS: I am also a CFI member and enjoy your ‘Nudes in the News’ segments.

  8. Brian Spence says:

    Don,

    Thank you for writing. I know that for each person that writes in, there are many more with the same questions and/or comments that have not taken the time to write. So thank you for voicing your opinions and concerns.

    First of all, thank you so much for watching the show. My work with ClothesFree.com is a lot of fun. And, I hope that it goes a long ways to making nude recreation more acceptable in the mainstream. The other nudescasters and myself are nude on the show from the second the show starts, all the way to the end. We try to show us having fun, and being confident being nude, even though we know the show is being placed on the internet and viewed by thousands of people. We get a lot of e-mail of how helpful the show is for introducing nude recreation to friends and neighbors. Instead of just talking about it, the show gives our viewers a way to show others into the resorts they like to frequent, and we hope makes it look a bit less unusual to them, and perhaps even fun.

    In the past, I believe AANR has done a very good job trying to get nude recreation into the mainstream. The various news agencies that have featured AANR is impressive. From the article in Time Magazine, to USA Today, to the featured cover story of the travel section of The New York Times (and yes, that’s me in the photos), to a member of staff being on the O’Reilly Factor. AANR truly is the credible voice of reason to the news media, and this is something that we need to continue to be able to address the concerns that you wrote about. Some of this comes from our wonderful volunteers, and professional staff, but I do credit the big articles to our hired PR firm. This being said, we still have a lot of work to do. As much as we push the words club and resort, the word colony is still ever present and largely associated with us. We are also constantly struggling to keep the divide between ourselves and adult entertainment. There is still much work to do here.

    With regards to singles, I want you to know that for more than half of my time as an AANR member, that I have also been single, or without a relationship. While I am still not married, I am currently in a relationship, and as a result am viewed as a couple when I visit our clubs. I totally understand the difficulty and frustration when there are some places you can not visit as a single. But at the same time, as I travel around the country, I can not tell you a single time that I have not been permitted to visit a club as a single. I know that those clubs are out there, but I believe that they are few and far between. I agree with you that singles should be judged individually, and not blocked as a group. It has been my experience that singles tend to volunteer more at the clubs they are allowed in, and become valuable assets to the organization.

    Thanks again for writing, and I hope that I have earned your support.

    Brian Spence

  9. Don Martin says:

    Brian,
    Thanks so much for your reply to my concerns. You definitely have my support. I forgot to mention that I am also a member of Nudist Clubhouse but have not been too active yet. I will be in Oakhurst, CA at CFI HQ May 12th to meet the crew and possibly be a nudecaster. If you are in the area, we may get a chance to meet. I honestly believe that your ideas and platform would make you the perfect choice for AANR President.

  10. Tony says:

    Brian:

    My name is Tony and I live in the Chicago suburbs, I was a member a few years ago and chose not to renew because I really didn’t see much involvement or activities in this area or really much in Illinois for that matter. What are your thoughts on how to help membership growth where there are currently low numbers as far as membership and events.

  11. Brian Spence says:

    Tony,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write.

    It is critical that AANR reverse the trend of membership numbers and start to grow again. I have many ideas on how to take on this task. One way is to find new ways for our members to have a relationship directly with the association. For many, AANR is something they are required to join at home club, and they see no value. This needs to change. Once a member joins AANR, either directly or through a club requirement, we need to work to build that relationship so that if the member ever leaves that club for any reason (job relocation, club closes, etc..) that they will want to continue their relationship with AANR.

    As far as people attending events, I have worked very hard to promote nudist events over the years. Starting with nude swims, whale watching, and even nude roller skating in San Diego. Now, I’m promoting the first ever Nudist Trade Show to take place in Las Vegas in June. I understand the importance of nudist events, and hope to use my event promotion experience to make the AANR convention one of the must attend nudist events every year. Then at the convention, we can work to help regional officials increase the attendance at their events in areas all over the country.

    Tony, I believe that all of us involved with AANR want to see increased numbers, and we all want to see increased participation at both association events and at local club events. During this election process the question we have to ask is “Is the current way of promoting nude recreation and events working, or is it time to elect someone from the next generation with tons of energy and new ideas to move us forward?”

    Again, I thank you for your question, and I hope that I have earned your vote.

    Brian Spence

  12. John Andersen says:

    Brian,

    I too am a fan of “Nudes in the News” and some of those episodes were a key part of my “nudist education” when I was began to reexamine the concept of social nudity a handful of years ago. I’m also a member of the “Clubhouse” though perhaps not as active there as I could be.

    One think I notice about the Nudist Clubhouse is that it is not a “100% club” which leads me to ask what you think of the concept of a “100% club”. One complaint that I’ve heard more than once on the “interweb” is that AANR often comes across with a “benevolent dictator” type of attitude where it’s “my way or the highway”.

    I’ve made the analogy that a 100% club is like a city that requires all of it’s residents to be of a particular political persuasion – it just doesn’t pass the “smell test”. I would love for every nudist to be convinced of the value of being an AANR member and join as an active participant but the thought of shoving it down your throat just doesn’t sit well.

    This election a recurring theme would seem to be “change” and I believe change is inevitable if AANR is to survive but the flavor of that change is also critical.

    What say you?

    • Brian Spence says:

      John,

      Thanks for sending in a question, and a big thank you for watching the show and being a member of NudistClubhouse.com. I’m happy that some of my past work has helped you to become a nudist, and I hope that many more individuals can say the same thing.

      NudistClubhouse.com is not an AANR 100% club because we do not own physical property, and our members are from all over the globe. Should a nudist in the UK be forced to join AANR to get on a website when they have never been, and may never go to a location that recognized an AANR card? People in the UK belong to British Naturism, and it is a fine organization. I would rather run a website with members from all over the globe, rather than limit the scope of membership to places serviced by AANR. For the purposes of NudistClubhouse.com, I see the 100% program as limiting. But this is not the case for most AANR clubs.

      Landed clubs do service an exact location, and non-landed clubs typically stick to an area of land in their immediate area. When I owned the Naturally California Non-Landed Club in San Diego, it was an AANR 100% club. If it were still in operation today, I would still choose to have it be a 100% club. The members of that club all lived in Southern California, and therefore it was not too far of a stretch to have them be members of AANR. (unlike requiring membership from someone overseas through my website)

      I believe that membership in AANR is important. There is huge safety in numbers and through AANR we are able to provide a membership count that says there are X number of card carrying nudists in the areas of North America that we service.

      I hear you, and I have also heard that many people do want to join a club, and do not necessarily want to join AANR. This saddens me, but I get it. I want to work to make AANR something that every nudist will want to be a part of, and be proud to be a part of. I believe that we, as an association, have lost touch with our members. We need to work harder to strengthen the relationship between each individual nudist and the association. We need to give them a sense of pride in their membership, and a good feeling about it. If we accomplish this task, the feelings of dislike towards the 100% program should diminish greatly.

      The harsh reality at the moment is that if we were to end the 100% program, and a good number of members chose not to renew, it could mean the death of the organization. I believe that having AANR in existence is a good thing, and a very important thing.

      So yes, I understand the problem. But to solve the problem, I would rather help AANR become something that the members want to be a part of, and not pull the plug on the 100% program and as a result on the association.

      I hope you understand the reasons behind this, and will help me to create an AANR that all nudists can be proud of, and will desire to be a member of.

      Brian Spence

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