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AANR 2014 Fall Board Meeting

The weather in Las Vegas, where the 2014 AANR board meeting was held, was mild and inviting. But your AANR board wasn’t interested in the weather. In fact, they were hardly aware of it because their attention was focused on the issues facing AANR today.

Immediately following last summer’s convention, the President appointed teams that examined and analyzed issues identified by the former Executive Director (ED). The teams presented their conclusions and recommendations at this meeting, and your AANR board made decisions regarding these initiatives:

  • Adult clubs: The former ED advocated a rating system for AANR clubs that included identifying those that pursued sexually oriented activities, feeling this would increase membership and especially revenue.  The team concluded that this approach does not match AANR’s core values, which are clearly expressed in AANR’s Bylaws. The team acknowledges that AANR messaging to the public often looks remarkably similar to that of entities pursuing sexually oriented activities. The team recommended that AANR revisit core values, and then create short- and long-term goals based on those values. The messaging that grows out of this work will differentiate AANR and its clubs from these other entities. The Trustees recommended the formation of an ad hoc committee to do this work.
  • Carver model: The former ED, a certified Carver trainer, strongly recommended that the AANR board adopt Carver, a well-known governance model used by many non-profit organizations. The team quickly realized that, to properly do their job, they needed to examine multiple governance models to determine the best match for AANR. The team determined that AANR currently uses a constituency model, but doesn’t use it well. The team ultimately recommended that AANR continue operating under the current model and provide training to the board in being more effective under this structure. The Trustees voted to establish an ad hoc committee to identify a facilitator to do this training.
  • Name change: The former ED advocated a name that would dominate the nudist/naturist marketplace. The team recommended that AANR first determine their direction going forward. Only then can decisions regarding whether a new name is warranted and a  name that reflects the new direction. The team pointed out that any name should be inclusive of more than just “America.”
  • Trade Association: Changing AANR’s structure was essential to implementing many of the ED’s other initiatives, and would provide a foundation for AANR to provide revenue-producing services to clubs. The team detailed current AANR club benefits that could move under the trade association, should it become a reality.
  • Facility: The former ED recommended that AANR sell the headquarters building located in Kissimmee, Florida and relocate, preferably to a nudist venue. After thoroughly examining this multi-faceted issue, the team recommends selling the building. The board will rely on research by staff regarding the best approach to take in this endeavor.
  • Pricing structure: The former ED pleaded to reduce the number of membership types available to AANR members and to standardize the cost of regional memberships because of confusion, increased chance of errors, and increased cost to enhance and maintain the computer code that supports this. After analysis and discussion, the team recommended a simpler slate of membership costs with price based on a calculation of basic membership plus regular cost-of-living adjustments.

In addition to addressing the former ED’s initiatives, the board:

  • Decided against producing an updated Park Guide until further investigation is completed.
  • Approved capping the Life Membership fund and putting the excess in a Capital Improvements fund.

Because the board spent only one day together, they were incredibly focused and tenaciously on-task. An unexpected but pleasing product of deliberating and deciding AANR’s future was increased cohesion and respect among members of the board.

Next steps include further research for some issues, and implementation plans for others. Stay tuned for updates on your AANR Board’s next actions.

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21 Responses to AANR 2014 Fall Board Meeting

  1. Bravo! Not only a lot of work done in a short time, but work well done!

    Thank you for reassuring many, many concerned American nudists that AANR will continue in the right direction and work for nudism/naturism as it should be! It’s far too easy to take the low road for profit instead of maintaining the high standards expected of North America’s largest nudist organization.

    Those who would lower those standards for the sake of ‘saving’ social nudism (or making it into their type of playground) will cost us a hundred years’ worth of struggles for respect, and destroy all of our credibility in the process. Our nude lifestyle is no different than that seen at any Textile camp or resort, other than we don’t wear clothes! It’s no more about sex than camping at KOA or staying at a Hilton; overt sexual activity is neither expected nor tolerated there either.

    There were some good topics discussed here, and we’ll be watching to see how it all goes. Again, well done!

  2. Alan Christensen says:

    I would like a explanation as why the former ED was fired. I don’t believe you adequately answered that question in this release. A disagreement over direction is not a good reason to terminate. I feel this is a case of throwing the baby out with the bath water. There is definitely more to this story. I suggest coming clean with the members. Honesty is always the best policy.

    • Shirley Gauthier says:

      I have never worked in any profession where an employees termination was discussed. I read the post and felt like it provide plenty of information for me to be satisfied. Reading the Executive Directors comments in the Bulletin assured me termination was the correct thing to do.

      Shirley Gauthier

  3. Allan says:

    We congratulate the board of AANR on making the correct and obvious decision to protect core values. Nudist organisations across the globe are in decline, for many reasons, but to blur the boundaries of nudism and sexual activity would be crazy. As adults we can tell the difference without passing judgement on either side, and as an organisation, AANR is right to maintain a clear focus.

  4. Bill Bowser says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with the Board’s action. For some time AANR President Bev Price has been vilified on certain Internet nudist forums for firing Executive Director Bill Schroer while no one involved in the discussions had any real knowledge of what happened. It seems to me that it was entirely appropriate based on the conflict of basic principles.

    While trying to expand our membership we must not abandon our principles. Why give those who oppose our lifestyle more ammunition to use against us. Undoubtedly there are some members who believe that we should embrace everyone who is willing to take their clothes off, but I believe that if we become more activist we can attract more members who believe that family-friendly nudism is the key to our success. We need to stop concealing our identities and openly admit to our participation in what is a lifestyle that is worthy of respect. We have to correct the news media when they refer to some drunken moron who takes his clothes off in the street as a nudist. We need to keep reminding the American public that naked exhibitionists in public are not nudists. We nudists are pretty much like everyone else except for our choice of attire.

    Bill Bowser
    Cincinnati

  5. Jasen says:

    Great update. Thank you.

    The name change is very interesting. Does “more than just ‘America'” mean AANR will continue to distance itself from INF-FNI? That sounds like a very poor move. Naturism is far more vital in Europe. The United States should be working with our fellow naturists across the ocean, not try to dominate the naturist marketplace.

    • Jasen says:

      Let me echo the appreciation for the Board holding steady the moral compass of AANR. The ED may have had some good ideas on the administrative side, but not sacrificing the definition of nudism.

  6. Southern Skinny-Dipper says:

    I am very pleased that AANR has taken a firm stand for preserving traditional nudist values. Embracing adult clubs would have unraveled decades of hard work and confirmed the worst suspicions of those who question our movement.

    Nudism is an iconic American institution. We have a rich history filled with fascinating characters. Our clubs are embraced by their communities. More and more nudists are speaking out about our way of life. Nudism is cool, classic, timeless and authentic. We have a great brand, we just need to get out there and promote it!

    The number of college-aged members at my club grew at an incredible rate over the past three years, blending seamlessly with the “old-timers” who had been visiting the club for twenty years or more. We were a small, rustic club, but there was never a shortage of urbanites willing to drive a hundred miles to camp, cook out, swim in the lake, breathe the fresh air and be a part of our diverse, ever-growing, extended family.

    We’re an amazing community, just as we are. We have a respected, trusted brand. That’s priceless. Marketing that is the easy part.

    Thank you, AANR, for refusing to sacrifice our principles. I renewed my membership this morning.

  7. I just want to echo the comments above and thank the good people who run AANR for keeping the positive course. Embracing the “adult” community would have been devastating to the nudist world. Stay strong, stay the course.

    Thank you!

  8. I am impressed with which the board, new President and Vice President moved to retain our long history of family nudism. The prior 2 months’ of Bulletin columns were pointing the way of his desired direction, totally opposite from where we are and should be. The many times I’ve spoken to our State Legislators in South Carolina, once in NC, and once in Oklahoma and the few times in legal situations (lawyers, judges, juries) I had to make a case for what we truly are. When the lines are blurred, it would be difficult to defend.

  9. Jan & Gary says:

    It is important to our nudist family to retain the wholesomeness of nudism.

  10. Jan & Gary says:

    As a nudist family, it has always been important for the AANR to preserve the wholesomness of family nudism.

  11. J Walters says:

    I agree with all of the previous comments and commend the Board for at least addressing and considering the suggestions presented to them. As a longtime family nudism advocate, I treasure the legacy of the ASA and AANR. However, if a name change is seriously considered, I suggest “Association for Clothes-Free Living”. The term nude is so misunderstood by society and we are about so much more than recreation.

  12. Bob L says:

    The ED should receive a life membership as part of their compensation package. He was trying to accomplish what he thought would benefit AANR and we should continue to welcome him as a member. I suggested in the Bulletin a name change to North American Naturist Association. AANR needs to operate as democratically as possible, the members should be empowered to govern through ballot proposals. A name change and restructuring our non profit social and recreational club is a matter for the members to decide. The office should only be sold if it intended to move it into a democratic community such as Lake Como or create a new community. AANR should make an offer to purchase a parcel of land and build an office and meeting hall.

    • Jasen says:

      Both Canada and Mexico already have national naturist associations affiliated with the International Naturist Federation. Federation of Canadian Naturists and Federacion Nudista de México.

      AANR should focus on the United States and re-affiliate with INF.

  13. Tom Actipes-Taana Enterprises says:

    While I am very open minded on nudity and adult sexuality, I feel it is not in the best interest of the AANR to promote or advertise “adult clubs”. If someone wants such a club I am sure it could be found.

  14. John L. Wood says:

    Perhaps the club could make a lot more money catering to those expecting hookups. As individuals we could make more money if our wives and daughters would be prostitutes. Why should our club sell nudism for sex? The club would even lose money for a number of years while many (most?) of our present members packed up and left. That’s certainly what I would do.

  15. Southern Skinny-Dipper says:

    I would like to see us reclaim the word “nudist,” as the expression “nude recreation” can be interpreted to mean a lot of things. We should be proud of our heritage!

    Thank goodness the board rejected the notion of allowing sexually-oriented businesses to join AANR!

    The brick & morter sex industry is dead. Our city used to have dozens of seedy massage parlors, adult bookstores, a couple of adult cinemas and even two swinger clubs. All are closed, except for one bookstore.

    A lot of other businesses decided that selling sex would be their salvation. Drive-ins started showing pornos in a desperate attempt to survive the rise of the multiplexes. Few remain. Video stores added more adult films to their selection when folks migrated to cable TV. Few video stores remain. We had dozens of American nudist magazines in publication until the mid sixties, until they began to include more sexual content. Today, we have two.

    Hookups happen via smart phone apps these days, not at remote, gated sex clubs. How would embracing these relics help nudism? They would sink us. They would destroy us.

    Nudism is alive and well. Our clubs have been slow to adapt to the internet age, so we just need to do a better job of promoting our wonderful communities. Most people I have invited to my home club had no idea it existed, as its only advertising effort was a classified ad in a local newspaper.

    We don’t need to change course, we need to appreciate the power of effective marketing!

  16. Shirley Gauthier says:

    I attended the Fall Board Meeting in Vegas. It was impressive to see the Board all working together so professionally. I attended on my own dime by choice. Knowing that all the Board members are volunteers, donated countless hours preparing for this meeting, spent all day in a rather cold meeting room and reached compromising conclusions is impressive. It is my understanding that their motel rooms and airfare was paid but they were responsible for their own meals. As an AANR member I would love to see this group of volunteers be given a meal allowance. Traveling is expensive and they are already contributing so much.

    What a value the volunteers contribute to my AANR membership. I thank the Board for continuing to support credibility to my AANR membership.

    Shirley Gauthier

  17. JamesMak says:

    ___123___AANR 2014 Fall Board Meeting | The Alltogether___123___

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