Society of Decorative Painters -
1220 E. First St. Wichita, KS 67214
Phone: (316 ) 269-9300 Fax: (316) 269-9191
Hours of Operation: 8:30 - 4:30 Central Time, Monday - Friday
Contact list with Emails and Office Phone Extensions
The 2014-15 SDP Board of Directors is already hard at work on behalf of the membership, and the board members would like to invite you to get to know them better and be part of SDP’s future.
We invite you to ask the board members anything you would like or submit suggestions for their consideration. Questions can be on any subject and may be directed to either an individual board member or the group. You may submit your questions anonymously, or they can be attributed to you if you wish. Questions will be answered in an email to be sent to the membership in July.
Please email your questions with the subject line: "Ask the Board", to Anthony Pafford at email@example.com or mail them to SDP, Attn: Ask the Board, 393 N. McLean Blvd., Wichita, KS 67203-5968; or fax them to (316) 269-9191.
Pat Marler, 2014-15 President and Executive Director: Pat hails from Boise, Idaho, and has been an SDP member for thirty-two years. She is a proud charter member of the Idaho Chapter of Heritage Artists. She was also the 2005 recipient of the SDP Outstanding Chapter Service Award. Pat has gained extensive business experience through thirty-two years of work with the Idaho Department of Transportation. She was a business manager for thirteen of those years. Pat is currently board chair for Icon Credit Union as a volunteer.
Wendy Watson, Vice President/President-Elect: Wendy calls the great state of Texas home, specifically Blanco, Texas. She has been a member of SDP for twenty-seven years. Wendy owns and operates Wendy’s Red Door painting studio. She is retired from the Department of Justice as a supervisory administrative specialist and contracting officer. She is currently a dedicated member of the Alamo Decorative Artists chapter in San Antonio. She also has been a member of numerous chapters across the country as she relocated for her career in federal law enforcement.
Donna Frost, Past President: Donna is the owner of Quarry House Distributors in Webster, New Hampshire. She has been an active business member of SDP for twenty-six years. This past year, Donna served as president and executive director of the Society. Donna's background as a systems analyst has served the Society well. She is a proud member of the White Mountain Decorative Painters chapter and was the 2003 recipient of the SDP President’s Commendation Award.
Allison M. Leeds, Recording Secretary: Allison hails from Jonesville, North Carolina, where she currently serves as president of Triad Decorative Painters of North Carolina. She has been an SDP business member for fifteen years. She is also a member of the Foothills Arts Council Board of Directors and a member of and contributor to the Craft and Hobby Association. Allison is a designer and demonstrator.
Susan Herr, Treasurer: Susan is new to the board this year. Her home is Sunrise Beach, Texas, where she has worked in general accounting and payroll for a family firm for over forty years. She has been a member of SDP for twenty-five years, and she is an active member of the Alamo Decorative Artists chapter. As treasurer, Susan is very keen on efficiency and productivity.
Marilyn Corners MDA, Board Member-at-Large: Though newly elected to the board this year, Marilyn has been with SDP for thirty-eight years and has attended the SDP Conference for thirty-four years. She lives in Denver, Colorado, where she is a founding member of the Rocky Mountain Hi Chapter. In her time with SDP, Marilyn has been a business member, teacher, student, and chapter president. She has served on a number of committees, has been a Certification judge, and participated in judging this year’s Juried Art Exhibition.
Michele Heiser, Board Member-at-Large: Another Coloradoan, Michele hails from Grand Junction in the western part of the state. She is newly elected to the board this year, but she has been an active member of SDP for twenty-six years. She attended her first SDP Conference this year in San Diego. Michele is a member of Rocky Mountain Hi Chapter, High Plains Decorative Artists, and Pikes Peak Decorative Artists. She has taught decorative painting since 1984.
Toni M. Hoffer, Board Member-at-Large: Toni comes from Bartow, Florida, where she is currently president of Heart of Pinellas Decorative Artists and a member of Citrus Ridge Decorative Artists. She has been a member of SDP for twelve years. Toni was a registered nurse for thirty years before retiring. She believes that her role on the board is to be a spokesperson for the membership.
Dawn Knowles, Board Member-at-Large: Dawn brings a diverse outlook to the board. She grew up in decorative painting and sees the industry through the manufacturer’s eyes. Hailing from Canton, Michigan, Dawn worked for over twenty years with Martin/F. Weber and is now the owner of Interactive Artist Magazine. She has a vast history with artists, instructors, artist materials, marketing, and promotion. Dawn was newly elected to the board in May.
Linda Sharp CDA, Board Member-at-Large: Linda is serving her second year in her second term on the board. She comes from Livermore, California, where she is a member of a number of chapters including Northern California Decorative Artists, Grapevine Tolers, Monterey Peninsula Decorative Artists, Toling Belles of Santa Clara County, and Toll Bridge Tolers in California; and Silver State Tole and Decorative Painters in Las Vegas. She has been an active member of SDP for twenty-six years. She is a teacher and designer. Linda has been very active in pursuing her MDA, having passed both the Master Floral and Strokework categories.
Kathy Swigon CDA, Board Member-at-Large: Kathy is also serving her second year as a board member, having served the previous two years as recording secretary. Kathy resides in Tampa, Florida. She is formerly of Texas, where she was an active member of the Alamo Decorative Artists and Heart of Texas Tolers chapters. Kathy has taught for SDP, Creative Painting (Las Vegas), and Artist Expo (Houston). She teaches for chapters and had a home studio for several years in Pennsylvania. Kathy has been a dedicated member of SDP for twenty-nine years and has attended nineteen Conferences.
SDP chapters and their members are a resourceful lot. Chapters consistently come up with ways to encourage their members in their painting endeavors and to draw in new members. SDP chapters are always willing to share. We have compiled some of their best ideas.
Exhibition with Demonstrations and Make-It-Take-Its: Many chapters take every opportunity to exhibit members’ artwork and demonstrate the art of decorative painting. These events allow chapters to invite newcomers to experience the joy of painting for themselves. Chapters often include make-it-take-its as part of the fun. Libraries and county fairs are prime outlets for these kinds of events, but many of our chapters are looking at new opportunities, including store display windows, shopping malls, educational events, and church events.
Special Classes for Beginners and New Members: Teachers and chapters open their doors for special seminars designed to introduce potential new members to the world of decorative painting. These classes usually concentrate on simple projects that allow the most insecure painter the chance to go home with a piece they are proud to display. Many chapters combine these classes with another fundraising event, such as a game night, auction, or special tea. Local newspapers and public radio stations will often provide free advertising for the program. A number of chapters have reported that posting flyers in community and senior centers, senior living environments, and art stores has proven to be very successful.
Bring-a-Guest Paint-Ins: This tried-and-true method of attracting new members has taken on new meaning with the concept of a paint party. Chapters are planning whole days of fun, friends, and paint. Each member is encouraged to bring one or more guests. That member is responsible for mentoring their guests through the project, providing their supplies, and making sure that guests are introduced to chapter members. Don’t forget to collect contact information from each guest. At the end of the event, guests are invited and encouraged to attend the chapter’s next meeting. This is usually a free meeting for those guests so they can see what the chapter is doing and how it operates. At the end of the meeting, guests are encouraged to join the chapter and SDP. To make the most out of the paint-in, chapters should follow up with guests to let them know they are welcome to join. It is important that this comes from the chapter officers, and not just the original member who invited the guest. New members want to feel welcomed by the entire chapter. Smart chapters keep this contact information and invite that person to the next guest event. As one enterprising chapter officer said, “I never take no for an answer.”
Start a Facebook and/or Meetup Page: One of the best ways to let new people know about your chapter and how to be part of it is to use social media. Many chapters have wonderful, active, informative Facebook pages. Make sure your chapter’s page is public, so that anyone can see all of your chapter’s activities. If you commit to having a chapter Facebook page, make sure to post often (a minimum of once a week). The same can be said for LinkedIn pages and Pinterest. If you haven’t heard about Meetup, visit www.meetup.com. As they say, “Meetups are neighbors getting together to learn something, do something, share something…” As an organizer, there is a small fee, but since the focus is local, it is often the best place to announce to your town that decorative painting is alive and well, and welcoming new members.
Group Exchanges: There are as many different kinds of groups as there are hobbyists to make up the membership—and decorative painters have never been one-dimensional. Chapters are coming together with quilt guilds, garden clubs, etc., for exchanges. Here is how it works: An SDP chapter will attend another club’s meeting. Our chapter members will make an exciting presentation on decorative painting, which might include a make-it-take-it or a demonstration. In exchange, the other group is invited to the next SDP chapter meeting to do a presentation of their hobby. Each group exchanges membership lists. The SDP chapter then invites the other group to attend a chapter meeting as a guest, and then invites them to join the chapter and SDP.
Soliciting Former Members: Keep a list of members who have dropped their membership in years past. Send them a “We Want You Back” letter. It is important to understand why the former member dropped out. Was it due to financial or health reasons, or was it just a lapse? Many people resist going back to an organization they left, unless they are personally invited back and made to feel welcome. Make sure your letter includes information about new programs that might be of interest, such as the chapter’s charitable activities, or upcoming paint-ins and seminars. Also ask chapter officers to make a personal appeal for these former members to return to the chapter.
Welcoming New Members: As we all know, it can be as hard to retain a new member as it was to get them in the door in the first place. Here are some ideas that have worked for chapters around the world:
Retaining Existing Members: There are so many reasons why people leave a chapter. Many chapters are taking a proactive approach to maintaining their existing members. Here are just a few of the programs that are working:
We invite all members to continue sharing ideas. Chapters are an integral part of SDP. Send photos and write-ups of chapter activities to Jay Staten at firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail them to SDP, 393 N. McLean Blvd., Wichita, KS 67203-5968.
NEW PRODUCTS! We've updated the SDP Boutique with some great new products that were very popular at our recent show in San Diego. Hop over and see the Jim Shore bags, I Love Painting Rhinestone Pin, ink pens, and more!