Dear Members:

The big news is that we have almost wrapped up the software transition to Wild Apricot. Right now we’re putting on final touches and double-checking, and in mid-January we’re planning to completely cut the cord with MemberClicks. There is more work to be done on the new members-only site (Wild Apricot), but the vitally important procedures are in place and working well.

I encourage you to log into the new site, either from the “Member Log-In” link at www.batw.org or directly at www.batw.wildapricot.org, and update your profile. Software restrictions made it impossible for us to port over member avatars (profile image), so please upload a photo. If you participate interactively on Wild Apricot—in the Forums, say—your photo will appear beside your comments; if you have no photo uploaded, you’ll appear as a blank (and who wants that?).

Once again I want to give huge thanks to Marc Longwood and John Williamson, both of whom were vital to this transition. Donna Peck also helped out, and will be playing a role as we go forward; and Wendy VanHatten was essential in helping to set up our new PayPal system, whereby you can pay with a credit card or a PP account.

And there’s more exciting news. The first volume of BATW Features & Photos: The Taste of Travel is completed and ready for download as a PDF from MagCloud. You need to have a MagCloud account in order to download—it’s completely free, and they don’t harass you with emails, either. BTW, the second volume will be available in a few months. Printed copies will be available for purchase at the January 21 meeting (details to come), and members published in the first volume will read from their work.

Another huge thanks is in order for Taste of Travel to Jim Shubin, who creates our beautiful books; Susan Alcorn, who headed up this year’s book committee; Linda Castrone and Carole Terwilliger Meyers, executive editors; Bob Cooper, copy editor; and Laurie King, for many different tasks involved with the book.

This is my last “From the Board” as BATW President and the end of my tenure—after 12 years—as a Board member. I’m busy wrapping up matters and ensuring that I leave a smoothly running, tidy ship for BATW’s next captain.

It’s been a busy two years in the President’s role, but personally rewarding. I’m grateful to have shared the first year as co-president with Laurie King, and also to have had the opportunity to work for a year on my own.

My last huge thanks goes to all of you: it was both gratifying and humbling to be on the receiving end of so much generous and positive feedback.

Here’s to a splendid 2017 for all of us!

Suzie Rodriguez