Up and Running (Turning)!

The MWA regional meeting - SC (South Central)

At the last meeting of the MWA, President Neil Robinette made mention of an idea to have regional meetings for our various members to encourage getting to know each other better and to include learning, sharing, and outreach concepts.

That notion resonated well with me because I had had the feeling that very night, as I surrendered my membership card and walked into the large room filled with people, even though I have been a member off and on for several years, I didn’t know anyone in the crowd. It was only when Tim from WOODCRAFT stood up that I recognized a familiar face.

So when I heard of the possibility to better know some of the folks who shared a common interest, I thought to myself “now that’s something I could get excited about.”

The rest is already history.

Let me share a little about how this all went down. First of all I lingered after the meeting and spoke to Neil about the idea. He encouraged me to speak with Todd Williams to share my interest and to see if I could get a part of the membership database that was close to where I live. When I talked to Todd he was willing to prepare a list and sent it to me to serve as a starter. I put together an email invitation and sent it out. Talking to Linda Ferber gained me some further ideas and then making a connection with Neil at the NA office in the Landmark Center to pick up some sealer I met Neil and Linda received not only sealer, but a generous dose of encouragement and I was off and running.

The day was set for 5/21 at 6PM and we met at the Hibachi Grill and Supreme Buffet located in Signal Hills of West St. Paul. I didn’t know what to expect in terms of interest, individuals, group mix and outcome. But, I reasoned: “worst case scenario I’ll enjoy one of the finest buffets in town.” Oh, ye of little faith as it is said. Linda, Jim Jacobs (the jig guy) and Bruce Graham (the hat guy) showed up and did we have a great time.

The start-up agenda followed a simple model that others might choose to follow:

  1. send emails to members in the region
  2. follow up with a phone call
  3. make a 2nd follow-up email contact.
  4. Make arrangements with eatery manager in person to reserve space on chosen date
  5. Contact sponsor for marketing door prize
  6. Discuss plans with co-host or associate members to set up the outcomes for the meetings.

That was all done and I began to get the pregame jitters!

On Tuesday evening I stationed myself close to the door with my MWA badge on with a happy face (I clearly didn’t know who would come except for Linda…thanks Linda).

After we found our places in the restaurant we exchanged greetings and proceeded to start with our meal. We turned in our chisels and lathes that evening for forks and spoons and what fun we had.

The next two hours flew by, and I believe for a very short period of time the four of us sounded like a gaggle of geese laughing, sharing and exchanges ideas. We managed to push back the oppression of the world with its “everything” and build a wall of friendship and common interest that proved so satisfying that we all heartily agreed that we would have to do it again. We agreed to get the word out and to encourage others to do the same and/or join us at our next meeting. We have chosen to refer to our cohort’s gathering as: The MWA regional meeting – SC (South Central).

We will have a “Show and Tell and How?” time. So bring your favorite piece of work, pictures on your smart phones, and your appetite. We shared pens, goblets, bowls, pictures of spoons, hats, talked about finishing, lathes and chisels…we had to wrap it up after 2 hours, or we might still be there!  We talked and shared, laughed and dreamt big dreams for the MWA. Could we count on you to join us?

Our next meeting is scheduled to be at the Hibachi Grill on June 18th at 6 PM.

If you have any questions or want to add further names or email addresses to our SC list send me a note: Kogler@comcast.net