As 2022 begins, it’s hard to believe we are entering year three of COVID. It first appeared in the US on Jan 19, 2020, and refuses to leave: a global pandemic that – like Whack-a-mole – just keeps coming back.
It hasn’t been pretty: Like so many, BATW members have been affected professionally and financially, and some have faced COVID personally.
But here’s the good news. BATW – an organization that’s very ‘bread and butter’ is based on travel – is thriving. While many organizations stumbled, the BATW and our members pivoted. We met through Zoom to boost morale and sharpen our professional skills. Nearly a dozen members produced new books and podcasts and the BATW produced an anthology of members’ work, Travels of Wonder and Change. We created a photo award for our late and sorely missed member, Lee Foster, initiated a BATW Magazine on Medium, set up a YouTube channel to showcase our recorded zoom events – and we kept on publishing words and pictures related to travel and destinations where we could safely go, and producing outstanding virtual meetings.
Almost every time the BATW pulls off another of these achievements, I get congratulated, as president. I always remind them who does the real work: It’s all of us. It’s all of you – starting with our executive director, our hardworking Board of Directors and many, many unpaid member volunteers.
So here’s a New Year’s shout out to those who continue to keep up our morale and our achievements (and apologies if I miss naming some.)
–To our magnificent BOD that gives of their expertise and time. Applause to every one of you (who served more than just the one function mentioned here): John Williamson, master treasurer and IT wizard; Matthew Eley, secretary supreme and web mystic; Alec Scott, BATW book wrangler and Lee Foster photo contest maestro; Erin Deinzer Caslavka, event empress; Ed Walsh and new member Rosie Cohan, quiet event fixers; Tom Wilmer, high flying membership chair; Bob Cooper, chief book copy editor; and Amy Sherman, book advisor (and food and booze professor).
–To the multi-talented and inexhaustible Ginny Prior, our executive director (and a former BATW president) who seems to know everyone and everything and keeps us humming along.
–To the gang behind the BATW Magazine on Medium, our latest production, proposed by Lina Broydo sometime ago and brought forth by Erin Deinzer Caslavka, Karen Misuraca, Lee Daley and April Orcutt (who all contributed articles), and managed magnificently by the unstoppable David A. Laws.
–Where would we be without our corporate members, who contribute opportunities, ideas and events? Thanks to all, especially to our longtime official corporate liaison and cheerleader, Molly Blaisdell.
–Kudos to Jim Shubin, artist and publishing magician who along with Laurie McAndish King, designed our recent book (and every other BATW publication to date) as well as our classy new BATW greeting cards and too many members’ books to be mentioned. A shout out to Jim Gebbie, Georgia Hesse, Don George, Morton Beebe, Madeleine Adkins, Ruth Carlson, Monica Conrady, MJ Pramik, Elaine Lee, Carole Terwilliger Meyers, Jules and Effin Older, Janet Rae Dupree, Phyl Doppelt, Danalynne Wheeler Menegus and more – and to all who submitted to the travel anthology, the magazine, and the photo contest.
–Finally, kudos to all of you, who continue to write, photograph, edit, record and publish, giving luster to our professional organization. You are our membership and our greatest asset – and you are unstoppable. Bless you all.
May the new year bring peace, prosperity, and a return to the open road. Onward!