While it would be a huge understatement to say that 2020 has not gone according to the plan I had laid for my first year as GCA president, I can say that I could not be more pleased with the GCA’s accomplishments in this annus horribilis 2020.
Our first-ever Virtual Workshop & Retreat really captured all that makes me both proud of the GCA this year and so optimistic about our future. The educational content—not just interesting, but very useful for business decision-making—was the best it has ever been, and the spirit of the industry was very much in evidence from the active participation and camaraderie of all in attendance. We even did yoga together AND figured out how to have a virtual happy hour, but not at the same time—at least I don’t think anyone yoga-drank, but we ARE a creative industry.
The Workshop & Retreat also served as a coming out party for our new Executive Director, Nora Weiser, and our new management team at Civica. Despite having just six weeks to prepare, Nora and our management team pulled off an amazing event. It looked great, the platform was quite easy and user-friendly, and all the technology performed beautifully. The event was capped off with the announcement of our new GCA Marketplace partnership with Brandwise, which will enable members to reach new retailers and leverage their sales rep relationships better than ever before. All in all, it was a perfect example of why the Executive Committee is so excited to have Nora and Civica on board.
Of course, what truly makes the GCA such a successful organization is our members. Towards that end, I urge all members to not only be highly engaged with the organization—participate in bi-weekly Town Halls, serve on a committee, enter the LOUIEs, and build your presence on the Marketplace—please also encourage fellow makers who do not yet know how helpful and important the GCA can be to each of their businesses to join. After all, not only are greeting card people the best people, but whenever two or more of us are gathered together, whether online or, soon I hope, in person, good things happen.
George White, GCA President