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|AIC Volume 7, number 1|
If you want to cut more trees with less effort, every lumberjack or backyard tree trimmer knows it's wise to take time and sharpen your axe. The same is true when planning a better Advanced Imaging Conference.
For example, immediately following the end of each meeting, the AIC board begins planning the next year agenda, contacting prospective speakers, finalizing hotel negotiations, coordinating with catering services and much more. The tight timetable that follows each gathering leaves little time for the board to reflect or consider changes that would significantly increase the AIC's outreach to the astrophotographic community.
Although the AIC is managed like a business, most of the not-for-profit organization's non-compensated, all volunteer staff have full-time jobs and other obligations. For them, the AIC is an expression of their affection for the hobby, not a job. This places practical limits on the amount of planning available for each gathering.
Therefore, prior to the beginning of the 10th Annual Advanced Imaging Conference, in 2013, the AIC Board of Directors voted to defer the next meeting date until the fall of 2015. This decision was based on a agreement to expand the breath of topics offered by the annual gathering and the desire to enlarge the number of board members who share the workload required for each session.
Unlike many other astro-imaging centric conferences occurring throughout the world, the AIC has steadfastly focused on deep sky imaging using CCD astronomical cameras during its first 10 years. While many attendees have seen this as a strength, it has also alienated a large portion of the astronomical community that's focused on the use of DSLR cameras or other imaging topics such as solar, planetary and TWAN pictures.
So, recognizing the advances and popularity expressed by enthusiasts of these other pursuits, the board unanimously agreed to expand the agenda for the next gathering. For example, additional workshops will be added to the Friday meetings and some of the worlds leading practitioners will be invited to speak during the weekend general session.
The board resolution also stipulated the next meeting will not dilute the AIC's emphasis on deep sky imaging but expand its agenda to include these other overlooked areas of interest.
During the interim, the AIC will continue to publish the Scintillion newsletter and plans to organize a series of town-hall meetings, by conference call, that will solicite feedback and ideas from the community at large. Look for your invitation to participate in the first town-hall meeting in the next issue of the AIC Scintillion.
Ken Crawford Accepts the Chair as Jay GaBany Assumes the AIC Helm
Organizing and executing each Advanced Imaging Conference has a similar emotional impact for the meeting organizers. By gathering practitioners from across the globe to share experiences, wisdom and advice over a long autumn weekend, the AIC board of directors has helped astrophotographers explore their inner capabilities just as their instruments help them search the outer reaches of space.
For example, Ken Crawford has voluntarily served as a non-compensated member of the AIC board of directors since its inception in 2004- first as the Treasurer then, in 2006, as successor to the first president and founder, Steve Mandel. For Ken, it's been a labor of love rooted in his desire to help others.
During his tenure, the conference's impact on the community has intensified. For example, Ken introduced the popular Friday workshops as one of his first presidential initiatives and has overseen the annual meeting's growth to become the most influential amateur astrophotographic gathering on the planet.
However, time sometimes passes unnoticed when your attention is focused and ten years is a long time to serve on any management team- certainly, longer than Ken anticipated back in the beginning. So, earlier this year, the board acquiesced to his request that the reins be released to someone else. However, the board did not allow Ken to slip quietly into the night. So, he was convinced to accept the role of board Chairman. In this capacity, Ken will serve as principal adviser, participate in board decisions and continue to play a key role in the annual meetings.
Part of Ken's decision to accept the new position was based on an agreement that Jay GaBany would accept the role he vacated. Jay has been on the AIC board since 2006, first as the conference registrar then as the organization's vice president of marketing. Over the years, Jay has worked closely with Ken in many of the key decisions affecting the conference's direction. So, the appointment of Jay GaBany to fill the role of President & CEO is viewed as a virtually seamless continuation of the AICs vision, policies and practices.
Please congratulate both Ken and Jay as they, and the entire Board of Directors, embark on the next 10 years hosting the greatest gathering of astrophotographers under one roof!
Chris Murray Steps up to the Board
But, pursuit of degrees from Purdue and Stanford, a successful business career in the corporate world, 4 years of private consulting and the founding of an enterprise software company forced him to place his astronomical interest temporarily on a shelf. Not until he sold the business he co-founded- which had grown to over 700 employees by the year 2000- and moved with his wife to Nevada, did his schedule permit Chris time to remember the wonder that can be captured with a telescope and camera.
Today, Chris is the Chairman of an Internet start-up offering a platform for undiscovered musicians, a member of the Princeton Astrophysics Department Advisory Council and the owner of a private observatory located under the clear, dark skies over Mayhill, New Mexico.
So, given his business and astrophotographic accomplishments, the AIC Board of Directors was excited when Chris accepted their invitation to join the organization earlier this year. Current plans call for Chris to transition the role of Treasurer from Frank Barnes, who will become the AIC Vice President- Technology & Sales.
Please join the board in congratulating Chris on his appointment and Frank on his new position.
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