Issue 68 editorial
As we approach our twentieth annual meeting, I reflect on the beginnings of the APP. When I discovered that a group—this group—had formed to take action and establish professional industry standards I was immediately interested and eager to help out in any way I could.
These first actions of the APP, organized by Michaela Grey and a small peer group, were for mutual aid against unfair regulation proposed in California. However, in a short period of time this movement became more, and this group evolved into an incorporated non-profit Association with hundreds of members and thousands of participants. And now, two decades later, I see our trade moving in a great direction—one of growth through participation and collaboration amongst peers.
With the closing of the 19th annual conference, our final board meeting vested five newly elected board members. Steve Joyner officially filled the legislative and regulatory affairs role he had temporarily covered in Mike Martin’s absence, and our outreach director Ashley Misako and myself continued our momentum from the previous election.
Our new board has already met since conference and discussed our motivations and ideas for the future. I feel confident we have a very functional working dynamic and trust in our competency to represent the needs of our membership and trade.
This year’s Conference saw Committee participation as well as Conference attendance at an all time high, and many local groups have been making significant contributions to the trade in sharing skills and discussing ethics and product quality. I’m very impressed with the ability of our legislative committee and membership to inform and persuade officials to work together to provide standards and prevent unreasonable regulations.
Membership has become more accessible than ever before, facilitated by an application process that is now online and free (no fees due until acceptance) and an active public forum for prospective member questions moderated by the Membership Committee. I’ve helped the Committee make it fast and easy for the entire application and video to be submitted and reviewed online, which along with very effective teamwork by the committee has increased both our speed and number of new member approvals.
All of this means that more piercers than ever understand the importance and absolute necessity of quality jewelry. Jewelry makers who are APP Corporate Sponsors and participants are experiencing an affluence of new customers and it is in no small part due to our member efforts to promote and advance the use for quality jewelry, both in their studios and online in our social media that reaches out daily to tens of thousands of potential clients.
Now is the time to move forward with practical projects, such as having third-party validation for our initial jewelry standards and creating long-term plans for establishing credentials for qualified piercers through hands-on supervised training, skill review and aptitude testing. I am motivated to pursue our plans to provide more experiential workshops and educational services to the membership, more often during the year, and in new locations in addition to our yearly meeting in Las Vegas. I want your certificates for the continuing education we provide to have value beyond paper and peer recognition.
I also want to recognize my fellow members as independent thinkers. I welcome your ideas, and want to make sure that your voices are heard. I will be holding office hours, Tuesday and Thursday of each week from 9 a.m. To 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, available online for conversation through Google hangouts as email@example.com. You will also often find me accessible on Facebook as well, for impromptu interactions.
Visit the event website.
20th Annual Conference 2015 Dates Announced!
June 7 — June 12, 2015, Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel and Casino – save the date!