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AANR Announces New Executive Director


By Pete Williams

Dan Whicker, a nudist with more than two decades of experience in communications and marketing, mostly for non-profit organizations, was named AANR’s Executive Director on February 20.

Whicker, 47, becomes only the 12th executive director of AANR since the organization’s inception as the American Sunbathing Association in 1931 though he’s the third since Erich Schuttauf departed early in 2011 after an 11-year stint. AANR had been operating without an executive director for more than a year.

“I’m excited and ready to get started,” said Whicker, who is in the process of moving to AANR’s Kissimmee, Florida, headquarters from his home in southwest Florida. “This is one executive director that is planning to be here for the long haul.”

Whicker has spent his career in communications and organizational management, including a recent stint as director of marketing and communication for the Southwest Florida Community Foundation. He’s also worked for the government as a civilian in the Marine Corps and the Army.

“I’m used to working for boards and enjoy working for organizations that have a special mission,” Whicker said. “Obviously, AANR has a special mission.”

Born in Fort Lauderdale, Whicker spent his early childhood in Cleveland, where his mother once laid him out in the sun nude to cure a diaper rash. “From there she had a hard time keeping clothes on me,” Whicker said. “It’s always been a natural thing since then and I’ve always felt comfortable and fine with my body.”

Whicker and his wife, Ann Marie, have raised their sons Dax (16) and Vance (15) as nudists at home though they didn’t experience organized nudism until about seven years ago when Whicker visited Lake Como near Tampa. Ann Marie is a more recent convert to social nude recreation.

“She can speak to nudism from a women’s perspective, especially since that first experience is very fresh for her,” Whicker said.

The Whickers met in Orlando in the early 1990s, so the move to Kissimmee represents a homecoming of sorts. They’ve also spent time in Virginia, where Dan earned an undergraduate degree in business and a master’s in theology from Liberty University.

Whicker said he’s followed AANR for years and is familiar with the organization’s struggles to build membership and attract a younger demographic. He says he does not subscribe to the notion that younger generations are less likely to join groups, pointing out that, if anything they’re more passionate about establishing communities and social circles.

“The membership organization is not turning into a dinosaur; my marketing background tells a different story,” he said. “I come into this feeling that some of AANR’s best years are still ahead. I want to build on this rich, awesome history that AANR has. I want to honor that legacy that I’m inheriting as E.D. as well as take the organization to the next step.”

Whicker praised the AANR board for advocating for and focusing on membership in creative and targeted ways in recent years, especially during a pair of one-year stints when AANR operated with its President also performing the role of interim executive director.

“AANR has just needed the right person to be that strong leader, especially in regard to operations,” Whicker said. “I’m just so excited. I’ve been bouncing off the walls, communicating with staff. I’m excited to get started.”

AANR President Bev Price noted “Dan Whicker brings many of the attributes that were requested by both staff and officials to his new position as Executive Director.  Please welcome him to the AANR Family.”

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