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2012 AANR Voter’s Guide–Officers: President

Name: Susan A. Weaver

Home Club:  Avalon Resort

Length of AANR membership:  Elite Life member since 1982.

In my 1st term I have initiated a revitalization of the AANR office, selection of a new Executive Director, introduction of technology that will enable AANR to operate efficiently.  I have appointed committee chairs who share my commitment to promoting nudity as a civil liberty in order to protect us in our homes, clubs, and on areas of public lands recognized as suitable for nude recreation.

AANR must embrace current technology for public education, advocacy, marketing and operations.  If you give me a second term I can complete the necessary bridge to take AANR into a stronger and more effective future.

AANR/regional/club offices held:

AANR President 2010-2012

AANR-East President 2005-2009

AANR Trustee 1998-2004

AANR Secretary/Treasurer 1995-1997

ESA Director 1991-1995

AANR Public Relations Chair 1995-2010

Business/background experience: My 36 year career with the U.S. government included high level legislative/political and media/public relations positions.

I worked on Capitol Hill for several Members of Congress and for the Appropriations Committee; later as a political appointee at the U.S. Department of Interior and then a career employee at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Department of Interior before retiring to run for AANR President.

Educational Background:  B.A. from Catawba College




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

  1. David Cheek says:

    Hi Susan – I asked this of Brian and wonder what your thoughts are. 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?

  2. Susan, I’ve loved soooooo many things that you’ve done during your presidency, including getting this new website going, helping to find & hire Jim Smock as Exec Director, putting your own life on hold as you “filled in” as Exec Dir for a year until he was hired, making the AANR offices more professional in so many ways, and truly being there for the AANR members. So often these days I’m hearing “AANR needs HUGE change” and, from talking with you, it’s obvious that you agree with this and are working to implement numerous changes within AANR. Yet there are many who are so, so, so resistant to change for various reasons. What specific changes do you think might be possible within AANR over the next two years should you be re-elected to lead us? Also, I’ve seen a lot of wonderful new membership initiatives lately and I’m wondering if you have any ideas on what new initiatives might specifically bring in younger members (young= people in their 20’s-40’s- my age?)

  3. Susan Weaver says:

    David, under advice of AANR Legal Counsel, we are not addressing the specifics of the situation you referenced.
    I can tell you, however, how I responded to another club last year when I was called and told that they were considering restricting their membership to adults. I urged them not to take this action. I told them that children and families are what differentiate us from adult recreation, and social family nude recreation is the basic principle on which AANR is based. It is inevitable that restricting membership to adults is going to be perceived by the public as a place where inappropriate behavior is taking place, even if that is not the intent of the club. I provided the club with data to present to their membership in support of maintaining their family membership, and am glad to say they voted to remain family.
    In any one weekend there are probably thousands of people visiting AANR clubs, campgrounds and resorts with their families and friends. This demonstrates that AANR clubs can and do provide a wholesome atmosphere for families.

  4. Susan Weaver says:

    Melissa, I am so glad you asked these questions. The president is supposed to set the vision for the organization, including appointing chairs who will apply their own knowledge and experience to carrying out the vision. The staff support implementation, and the Board directs all decisions relating to budget and policy. So a president is only as good as her vision and her ability to bring it about.
    My vision is to use all current resources and technology to make AANR strong enough to carry nude recreation forward to the point where it is socially and legally recognized as a legitimate personal choice, that cannot be challenged due strictly to nudity in any legal case, including custody issues. AANR has made incredible advances in creating greater public understanding and acceptance of nude recreation. Our clubs have demonstrated that millions of average people enjoy recreation au natural with friends and families. It has been over 20 years since an AANR club was closed by legal action simply because it involved nudity, although we can never fall into the danger of complacency, but must keep our legal alert system operating 365 days a year.
    However, challenges against nudity in the home and restrictions of nude use on public lands have grown, even with the greater understanding and acceptance of nudity. We need to create a strategic initiative that will lead to translating the social acceptance of nudity into a personal right and civil liberty. This will not happen overnight, but we must create and implement a plan that will lead to this goal.
    A major part of this is enhanced public outreach, using today’s technology. Under my Administration AANR has created the Geek Team and Blog Squad (thank you for being part of this, Melissa). But there is so much more that we need to do.
    AANR also needs to work with TANR (Trade Association for Nude Recreation) so that we can provide our clubs with greater marketing, management and outreach tools.
    These are just the most immediate and urgent goals. I have put into play actions that will lead to them, but need another 2 years to establish strategic goals and see them implemented. A bridge half-way across a river is not enough.

  5. Bob Pelc says:

    Susan, after the resignation of our previous executive director, you spent much of the last year in the AANR office doing your job as president as well as that of the executive director. How has that changed your perspective of the job of president?

  6. Susan Weaver says:

    The year I spent as both President and Acting Executive Director was a real eye-opener, Bob. I have been in and out of the AANR office since 1995, but I never fully realized before the complications of the office situation.
    First, the president changes every 2 or 4 years, bringing a new vision, strategic goals, and direction. The office has to be professional enough and flexible enough to meet these changes. Also, all the committee chairs are volunteers, so the office staff must be prepared to support the projects and goals of over a dozen chairs who also change on a regular basis.
    One of the most significant things I found is that our Association – like many others – has trouble differentiating governance from management. This is the reason why I created an Ad Hoc Committee to Untangle Governance from Management. We need to bring our ruling documents into the 21st century and into a situation where the Board of Trustees does not have to vote on when renewal letters are sent out, or convention volleyball rules are changed. Decisions on office operations such as renewal letters need to be made by the Executive Director, working with the support of professional staff.
    Presidents are also volunteers, of course, but we have been blessed recently with 3 individuals who are retired (John Kinman, Pat Brown, and me) and therefore can devote the full 40-60 hours a week that the job of president entails. People probably think the president’s job is simply to run meetings and write monthly columns, but nothing could be farther from the truth! The president must have specific strategic goals and maintain regular contact with committee chairs to make sure they have the resources they need, the office is providing the support that they need, and there is accountability regularly reviewed for all parties. The president also has to be in daily contact with the office for many job-related responsibilities, such as authorization of expenditures above a certain level. This is particularly true at this time, with a new Executive Director. The president, if they have been around as long as I have, acts in the critical role of bringing historical perspective and judgment to many decisions that have to be made each week.
    In many ways I feel that spending a year in the office did not allow me to give full time to the strategic goals I outlined when I ran for president. However, it was a valuable trade-off, in that it gives me a better understanding of the importance of having a president who can work closely with the Executive Director on a daily basis to ensure that committee, policy, budgetary and administrative functions are operating smoothly.

  7. Gloria Waryas says:

    Hi Susan,
    First I would like to say thank you for all you have done for nudist in North America. Your enthusiasm, endless energy and dedication is and of itself a tremendous acumen. Your wisdom in guiding AANR into the future is to be commended.
    A new way of seeing the future gives courage to experiment with new ways of thinking, new forms, new structures and practices. The roots of social nudism indicates that nudism is a movement with a political and cultural mission, which in turn requires strategic and transformational changes in the ways people think, feel and behave about their bodies.
    In the North American setting we are face to face with the most basic question about our identity as nudist. As nudists in the 21st century grasping the seriousness of the changes that need to bring about a movement and shift our focus from a vendor orientation, one must ask what vision of a desired future will guide us.
    As a nudist I envision a future that we demonstrate to the watching world a different way to be a society and that we live, plan and work together in ways that challenge the many assumptions of the world around us, including presuppositions about human sexuality, social life, privacy, transparency and morality. Our forerunners have worked and fought for the privileges nudist enjoy today, although the struggle for our nudist way of life is far from over.
    I would appreciate your thoughts on my comments and my feelings about our future as nudist.

  8. Susan Weaver says:

    I hope that many AANR members are currently reading their Voter Profiles and considering the importance of the decision they will be making about the future of AANR.

    The job of the president is critical, since it is the responsibility of the President to create a vision for change and growth, and more importantly to implement the strategies that will lead this vision to reality. I articulated my vision 2 years ago when you elected me to my first term as your president. We have made a good start on these critical changes. Taking a year to work in the AANR office as Acting Executive Director gave me even more solid data to assist in working through the changes needed to make AANR stronger and more effective.

    AANR is our strongest resource in creating greater public and legal acceptance of nudity, but AANR needs to become stronger and more focused in order to bring this about. I have the goals, the strategies, the time and ability to carry this out.

  9. Rene' says:

    Susan, I have never worked with someone as visionary as you. The position of AANR President entails someone to not only have a vision, but to have the ability to direct and guide the numerous volunteers in that direction. I have seen the pull back and forth with each new change that has been implemented. The pull between people who want the change and people who refuse to see the benefit. Growing pains are always hard to handle at times. I have seen first hand, the work that went into each change, whether it be big or small and the terrific effort you have given to AANR.

    Your skill sets with dealing with the issues and dealing with the media are amazing and your dedication to AANR truly shows.

    I have learned a lot over the years working with you. I just want to say THANK YOU for all that you have taught me and good luck with the election!


    Rene’ Niquette

  10. Susan Weaver says:

    Rene’ I am so grateful for your comments! You are right; change is difficult but inevitable, and the important thing is to have a long range strategic plan that anticipates the resources – personal and fiscal – needed to achieve the goals.

    AANR is at a critical crossroads. To quote another organization’s CEO, “What got us here won’t get us there.” With the support of the many dedicated AANR volunteers and staff, I believe I can set us upon the path to a stronger and more effective AANR.

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