Noted: the Greeting Card Expo
by John Smyth, A. Smyth Co.
It was with a very heavy heart, but with a clear understanding of the importance of the health of all members of the greeting card community, that we recently announced the cancellation of Noted 2020 earlier this month. We hope you are all home and healthy and able to come out the other side of this stronger.
Day by day, with social distancing, we see that the tradition of sending a greeting card is still viable and an important way to connect. For this reason, Noted hopes to return in 2021, bigger and better. The main reason we launched Noted was to provide an event where our greeting card community could gather to connect and learn, and where each maker could personally show the world their amazing product. For this reason, in May we will be continuing with the Pitch Program, Noted @ Noted and Noted: The Scholarship.
The Noted @ Noted Awards are being sponsored and coordinated by Sarah Schwartz – The Paper Chronicles. Sarah is serving on the distinguished panel of judges, along with Dan Collier, Daniel Richards Showroom; Barbara Mooney, Daisy’s Mercantile; Chelsea Shukov, Sugar Paper; Audrey Woollen, Urbanic Paper Boutique; and Tory Wright, Paper E.Clips. Join the celebration and enter online: Noted @ *Noted.
In the coming weeks and months, the GCA will be exploring the near and long term options for Noted and our support of the community, working through the industry effects of COVID-19. Please join us on Noted: The Forum, the new greeting card online community, to connect and help shape the future of Noted. (https://noted-the-forum.mn.co/) The GCA is committed to its mission of celebrating, promoting and preserving the tradition of sending greeting cards.
by Sarah Moe
Chair, GCA Public Affairs Committee
Congress Must Treat the Disease, Not Just the Symptoms of the USPS
Like all Americans, I have been watching with concern the developments surrounding the Coronavirus. But then I got to thinking about how the nation has responded to the disease compared to the approach taken by the administration, Congress and key stakeholders to the worsening problems of the Postal Service. I am glad to see that when things are critical, work can be done. But it begs the question, when will the USPS become that priority in the eyes of our policy makers?
On February 5th, the House passed H.R. 2382, a two-sentence bill that repeals the prefunding obligation enacted in the 2006 postal reform law. Yet Congress has not even introduced legislation to actually address the root cause of the Postal Service’s financial problems even at the Committee level. Worse still, the prefunding repeal bill was introduced by House Members who do not serve on the committee responsible for overseeing the Postal Service and bypassed the committee process.
Now, I agree, repealing the prefunding mandate is a good thing. It was unwise to burden the Postal Service with paying for seventy-five years of retiree expenses in ten years and the obligation has led to huge balance sheet losses and poor decisions to cut service and increase postage rates. But we must keep in mind that if the prefunding mandate is eliminated, it will reduce, not eliminate the Postal Service’s balance sheet losses and would not even provide one day’s worth of financial stability and ultimately could have been part of a larger package. This is why the Postal Service leadership team has been ambivalent about prefunding repeal.
Solving the Postal Service’s deeper financial problems has been a difficult and frustrating political challenge but the postal unions, one of the most politically powerful stakeholders, stepped away from the reform effort in the first session of this Congress in favor of favor of pushing the prefunding repeal bill. This was an interesting decision given that they, more than any other stakeholder group, could impact the agenda of the Leadership of the Democratically-controlled House and its Committees. Getting legislation passed outside of the normal process is a major achievement but what might have been possible if the full weight of the unions’ intensity and tenacity had been directed at actual reform?
Now that the prefunding repeal bill has passed the House, it appears the unions are willing to re-engage on postal reform. Getting a new consensus reform bill introduced and moving should be the priority of everyone that has a stake in the health of the Postal Service. There is still time to get legislation based on principles that have garnered broad support from all sectors of the postal system introduced, through Committee and out of the House before the fall elections. This will generate a clear sense of momentum and set the stage for inclusion in a larger bill at the end of the year or early next Congress when there will be new leadership on the Senate oversight committee.
LOUIE Awards 2020
by LOUIE Awards Committee
We are thrilled to announce our LOUIE Award finalists for 2020! View the list of finalists and their cards at the official 2020 LOUIE Awards homepage. A list of the companies selected as finalists includes:
American Greetings Corporation
Backyard Paper Co.
Biely & Shoaf Co.
Coral & Blue Paper Co.
Dear Bea Design Works
Gift Card Impressions an InComm Company
Ginger P. Designs
Good Juju Ink
Great Arrow Graphics
Hello Holy Days!
Karen Adams Designs
Little Goat Paper Co.
Little Posy Print Company dist. by Notes & Queries, Inc.
Patent Press Greeting Cards
Persnickety Invitation Studio
Recycled Paper Greetings
Red Oak Press
Roger la Borde
Second Story Cards
The Card Bureau
the chatty press
The Pen + Piper
Think of Me
Up With Paper
Waste Not Paper
Wild Ink Press
WOW Paper Art
“It was an absolute pleasure and privilege to be a judge for this year’s 2020 LOUIE Awards, and I’m looking forward to gathering with industry colleagues on May 1st to celebrate the best and brightest cards of the year,” said Susan January, LOUIEs Judge and Vice President, Product Management at Leanin’ Tree. “The LOUIES are a wonderful opportunity to highlight the outstanding creativity and craftsmanship in our industry. The celebration in San Francisco this May will perfectly reflect the core values of our industry and our product category. It’s a fun and friendly celebration of industry peers and colleagues who enthusiastically recognize each other’s product innovations, execution and creativity.”
Thinking of You Week 2020
Nicky Burton, Calypso Cards, Subcommittee Chair
The Thinking of You Week committee has launched a “Bridge Social Distance” campaign under the Thinking of You Week umbrella to help people through the isolation of social distancing by sending cards. We are using social media to encourage people to send cards and remind them how they can help, and also support any retailers that might be open or have online ordering with tools such as email/social media banners to unify the campaign. Everyone can help! The social media/email badges and banners are available for everyone to use on the website www.thinkingofyouweekusa.com. This is something we can all do for the community as well as our retailers and makers – people need greeting cards at this time. Please join in with your thoughts, ideas, time.
If you are interested in joining any of our committees, contact GCA Executive Director Peter Doherty.