Reaching out to you

A message from the CAA’s president, Tom Burgess …

“Let’s get down to business.”Business management requires planning, organizing, delegating responsibilities, and measuring the results. One of the main reasons for the continual success of our great organization is that we share our experiences and talents to accomplish the goals of the CAA.

Now, take in a deep breath, and consider — publishing The Carriage Journal, planning and managing the CAA Carriage Festival, preparing a manuscript for publication, marketing our organization to carriage collectors and drivers, managing the Carriage Showcase, obtaining and organizing items for the silent and live auctions, planning the agenda for the next CAA Conference or CAA “On Location” event, unearthing the pictures and articles that tell our history, signing up new members and chapters to the CAA, fundraising for projects and for an endowment for the future — catch your breath again. This is only a partial list of what happens on the business side of your association.

The CAA Board of Directors has fifteen committees and additional subcommittees working throughout the year to accomplish these goals. Your board members met recently on June 25, just prior to the ribbon-cutting ceremony for our new headquarters. The conversations concerning the Carriage Festival weekend and Grand Opening were filled with excitement. The potential for growth and the educational opportunities that can now be offered in our new facility have only become possible through the generous financial support of our members. The Board gives a huge “Thank you” to our donors.

Let me take you inside the board meeting as we get down to business. I’ll begin with the planning for next year’s Carriage Festival. Katie Whaley, a member of the CAA Carriage Festival Committee, presented an outline to make the Festival a “celebration” of the CAA. She discussed incorporating more social and educational activities along with our present Carriage Showcase and trade fair. I am sure she will be calling on some of you to assist in implementing her plan.

The members of the Carriage Showcase Committee — Roger Murray, Craig Paulsen, and Jerry Trapani — were excited to report sixteen entries this year. The quality of the restoration work improves each year.

We welcomed a new CAA Chapter, the Umpqua Harness Driving Club of Oregon, to our growing list of chapters. This came about through the CAA “On Location” weekend with Bill and Lyn Neel at their ranch in Eugene, Oregon.

Several chapters have requested publications for recreational drivers. The Education and Publications Committee recommends the “Carriage-Driving Games” booklet, which is geared toward fun days at home.

The History Committee, headed by Randy Solle, reported receiving a vast collection of papers and photos of CAA events from the Long Island Museum of American Art, History and Carriages in Stony Brook, New York. Our thanks to Jerry and Rita Trapani for contacting the museum and transporting “the goodies” to Kentucky. Other materials from our membership are welcomed. These materials will assist in organizing the history of the CAA.

The joint CAA/CMA Technology Committee, headed by Stewart Morris, Jr., is excited with the new CAA website being developed by CAA member Kathleen Haak of Pennsylvania. The site is in beta testing now. Plans for scanning, digitizing, and making available past Carriage Journals online were presented. This joint CAA/CMA project will greatly enhance the research and reference capabilities for the membership.

The upcoming (October 8-11) National Drive / CAA Conference will highlight the work of multiple committees. The Education Committee will provide speakers for Friday and Saturday and will present a cones-driving clinic. The Driver Proficiency Committee will offer proficiency and road-driving evaluations. Ted Swendson and Steve Holm of the Auction Committee will conduct silent and live auctions during the weekend (donations are welcomed). Tara and P.J. Crowley of the First-Timers Committee will present a revised edition of the first-timers’ booklet that was originally written by Craig Paulsen, and this will be available to new attendees.  The Executive Committee reminds you that we will hold the annual membership meeting during this weekend. Be sure to place this event on your calendar.

This gives you a short peek into the working of the Board of Directors — how the business of the CAA is conducted.

Let us never forget or take for granted the importance of our executor director, Jill Ryder. Jill is the face and voice of the CAA and is the worker bee for many of our committees. Jill and Jennifer of the CAA, and Mindy of the CMA, keep the office working and update us on our passion of carriage driving.

With Jill’s guidance, we really do get down to business.

Helping preserve our horse-drawn heritage for over 50 years.