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Volume 22 - Page 6 of 7 October 9, 2000
2000 ABANA Board of Directors Meeting

Reproduced here because they are not available to the Chapter Members.

2000 ABANA Board of Directors Meeting

July 11, 2000
Flagstaff, Arizona

The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m. by President Lou Mueller and the roll was taken.

Those in attendance were:
Bob Bergman
Jim Cooper
Bill Fiorini
Joe Harris
Will Hightower
Scott Lankton
Doug Learn
Lou Mueller
Andy Quittner
Dorothy Stiegler
Clare Yellin
Tim Ryan
Elmer Roush

Proxies: Pete Brandenburg was not in attendance. Elmer Roush has Pete Brandenburg’s proxy. A copy of the proxy is on file in the Central Office. Other persons in attendance were Bill Callaway, Mark Williams, Brian Gilbert, Editor of Hammer’s Blow and LeeAnn Mitchell, ABANA Executive Secretary. Lou recognized Bill Callaway and allowed him to speak first giving his welcome and a report on the conference, so that he could get back to the set up of the demonstrator areas and vendors. Bill’s feeling was that the web site could use improvement and that the site had not promoted the Conference adequately. He was also displeased with the lack of coverage in the Hammer’s Blow. He warned the Board that not all demonstrators would send demo notes and some would send huge amounts of notes, making printing cost prohibitive. The Conference gate is in transit from Missouri. The costs of the gate and the financial problems involved were discussed. Bill discussed his disappointment with the sponsors program. ABANA will receive 15% of the net of souvenir sales. Bob Bergman thanked Bill Callaway and his crew for all of the hard work they have done. Bob mentioned that the Board has a huge task ahead of it for the 2002 Conference.

Proof of notice of the meeting was given.


Joe Harris made a motion that the minutes of the November 1999 meeting not be read as they have been accepted as amended, seconded by Jack Andrews. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

Pieces of correspondence were discussed.

Andy discussed positive feedback via e-mail on the copyright policy. Lou discussed several letters he had received from George Dixon. Lou indicated that he had used his presidential prerogative to not send letters to the Board and start the whole affair again. The Board agreed that the whole affair is over and that the meeting should continue.


Given by Will Hightower, Treasurer

Will Hightower presented his report. Mary Marr was unable to finalized the June report for this meeting so Will stated that we were looking at the May financial statement. He discussed the charts that he presented to the Board. Lou preferred that Will defer to later in the meeting to discuss the details. He discussed the restructure of several dormant accounts. A copy of the report, and charts, is on file at the Central Office.


Bob Bergman made a motion that the line item Sales Working Cash Fund be removed as a Liability item and the change be reflected in the Inventory for Resale in Assets, seconded by Joe Harris. Amendment to Motion #2 was made by Joe Harris that a physical inventory of the ABANA sales items be conducted as soon as possible, and that the actual value determined by the inventory be used as the figure for sales inventory that appears in the asset part of the ABANA financial statement, seconded by Andy Quittner.



Tim Ryan made a motion that we start the process of an audit of ABANA as soon as possible.


Will continued his report with a discussion of inventory and containers for ABANA national conferences.


Andy Quittner made a motion that at the end of every national ABANA conference that a Board member be present to inventory and determine a value the equipment, seconded by Will Hightower. There was a discussion of depreciation and methods of depreciation.


Will Hightower volunteered to stay in Flagstaff to conduct an inventory this year. Lou Mueller yielded the floor to Cathi Borthwick, co-chair of exhibitions at the ABANA 2000 Conference. She asked for the Board’s permission to have the work in the gallery documented digitally and to query the Board as to the amount of CD-ROM the Board would want. The Board discussed the idea of intellectual property rights and whether or not the contributors had signed any release.


Will Hightower made a motion that this year the CD of the work in the gallery not be available for resale but may be posted on the website, as permission of artists was not obtained. Seconded by Jack Andrews.


A short recessed was called by President Lou Mueller. The liability of the air hammers to be auctioned and raffled off was discussed.


Given by Andy Quittner

Andy and LeeAnn informed the Board that the time was limited at this meeting and asked the Board to please make sufficient time for the Central Office report at the November meeting. A full report will be submitted to members of the Board in early October. This report will include a physical inventory.


Given by Scott Lankton

Scott discussed the new committee structure and indicated that it is not working. Scott also discussed the financial problems with the Merrill Lynch account. He also made mention that he is displeased with the speed in which the Secretary has handled the contract for the Executive Secretary and the Central Office. Scott also voiced his displeasure with the lack of participation of Board members Pete Brandenburg, Elmer Roush and Tim Ryan. He also thought that we need to advertise the Central Office contract as soon as possible.


Given by Bill Fiorini

Bill voiced his displeasure with the lack of voting response to written ballots.


Given by Lou Mueller

Lou mentioned that the ABANA Chapters are growing stronger and that the regional conferences are growing in strength and presence. Lou gave notice that the Board will be making fundamental changes in the structure and future of ABANA. Lou wants to discuss the use of LeeAnn’s time and freeing her up to pursue grants. He also discussed the use of e-mails and Board communication. Lou discussed the state of ABANA financial condition.


Survey Committee
Given by Mark Williams

While the number of responses to our request for comments, suggestions and/or criticisms has not been as great as the committee had hoped, here is an overview of some ideas that were expressed by the given responses.

  1. ABANA needs to continue the two publications; Hammer’s Blow and The Anvil’s Ring. Both are rated good to excellent.
  2. ABANA Chapters need to have a greater input into the decision making process. At present, they feel they have no input.
  3. A change in the relationship of the ABANA Chapters to the parent may be needed. Currently, a person can be an ABANA member without being a member of any ABANA Chapter. Also, the reverse is true. One can be an ABANA chapter member without being an ABANA member. To qualify to be an ABANA Chapter, one needs 10 ABANA members. There is no real incentive to have more Chapter members to become ABANA members.
  4. A change in the process of how ABANA Board members are elected to the Board has been given. The comments range from making several of the Board members regional rather than at large. The best or most common situation was ten at large and five regional Board members. Have a nominating committee for the Board and increase the amount of signatures needed to place a name on the ballot. Have a workable way to remove/replace Board members who for one reason or another are unable to perform their duties.
  5. Expand and/or upgrade ABANA’s Internet presence. ‘The forge’ (the list serve) is doing well as an unmoderated list. The current web site while an improvement needs to have some adjustments. Most of these fall into what goes on the public part and what is for members only. Some questions about monitoring of forums and general control of the content were raised. Make sure the Board minutes are posted promptly and accurately.
  6. Most members were pleased with the biennial conference.
  7. ABANA policies need to be applied fairly and across the Board. Individuals should not be singled out for special attention.
Committee Recommendations:

The committee would like to conduct a poll to be mailed to the membership with postage prepaid for return. The idea of including it with the ballot was discussed. How the poll was conducted and structured was discussed. Andy questioned the amount of return. Doug discussed the statistics of polling.


Scott Lankton made a motion that the survey committee proceeds with developing a survey and presenting it to the Board. Seconded by Doug Learn. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY. 12:00 Noon-Meeting recessed for 30 minute break for lunch 12:40 Meeting called to order



Given by Dorothy Stiegler

Dorothy gave an overview of the bids that have been submitted and explained her the basic cost breakdown. Discussion of the way the call for bids for the editor was raised. Dorothy urged the Board Members to listen to the proposals at hand.


Will Hightower made a motion that in the future, the ABANA Board should consider all possible combinations of bids for the publication in question that will best financially benefit ABANA. Seconded by Jack Andrews.



Bill Fiorini made a motion that the Board go into Executive Session to hear presentations on publication contracts by Biltmore Press & Brian Gilbert and Rob Edwards for consideration for The Anvil’s Ring. Seconded by Dorothy Stiegler.


[The Board went into Executive Session to hear the presentations, and question the participants, concerning the contracts for the editing and publishing of The Anvil’s Ring.] Presentation by Biltmore Press: Valerie Koehler and Scott Cotten. Brian Gilbert was also present. Second presentation by Rob Edwards. Presentations were discussed and compared.


Bill Fiorini made a motion to move out of Executive Session. Seconded by Dorothy Stiegler.



Will Hightower made a motion to accept Rob Edward’s bid to edit and publish The Anvil’s Ring and to publish Hammer’s Blow for the fiscal year 2001 with a limit of advertising in The Anvil’s Ring at 30 %. Seconded by Scott Lankton. Opposed Pete Brandenburg, via proxy by Elmer Roush. Tim Ryan abstained.

Discussion ensued that showed acceptance Rob Edward’s bid would result in the addition of a color signature to The Anvil’s Ring and a savings of approximately $25,000 during the 2001 fiscal year.



Joe Harris makes a motion to accept Brian Gilbert’s bid to edit Hammer’s Blow for the fiscal year 2001, seconded by Doug Learn.


CONFERENCE 2002 Report

Given by Bill Fiorini

Bill reviewed the handouts of bids and estimates for the 2002 ABANA Conference to be held at the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse, Wisconsin. The costs were discussed and presented to the Board. Lou discussed the idea of making the ABANA conference more international bringing in fewer demonstrators. Bill discussed the idea of a European station, Knife making station, Japanese station, Contemporary American station, Traditional American station and perhaps a beginning and intermediate station. Copies of the handout of estimates are on file in the Central Office.


Will Hightower made a motion to accept the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, as the site for the 2002 ABANA Conference, June 5-9, 2002. Seconded by Elmer Roush.


Meeting recessed at 5:00 for dinner.

The meeting resumed at 5:50 p.m. In attendance were Mack Beal and Pete Brandenburg.

INTERNET Given by Jack Andrews
Jack reviewed the content in his report. Discussion of ‘the forge’ was addressed and it is now a subscription list. Posting the database on the members’ only site was discussed and agreed upon. Updating existing lists and posting more information was deemed imperative.


Given by Jim Cooper
Jim indicated that the contacts he had made with the Mint Museum were of no avail. Jim also discussed the idea of a ‘Merit Badge’ program that ABANA could sponsor via educational storyboards complete with forgings that would serve as examples to study and learn. It would be an educational tool that the Chapters could utilize in Chapter meetings. Peter Ross and Dan Nauman have indicated a willingness to participate in this project. The recognition ‘badge’ would come though ABANA via Chapter recommendations. Jim Cooper, Elmer Roush and Tim Ryan will try and meet during the conference to formulate more details for this potential project.


Given by Dave Koenig

IronFest Regional 2001 Conference Presentation Dave made a brief presentation concerning the upcoming IronFest 2001, June 1-3, 2001. Several ABANA Chapters with the North Texas Blacksmith’s Association and the Houston Area Blacksmith’s Association as the main financial sponsors are sponsoring the regional conference. They have requested $8,000 in seed money. The Board has agreed to consider the proposal, pending the financial report.


Given by Scott Lankton

Discussion of the financial state of ABANA was discussed. The depletion of the Merrill Lynch account was called into question. Pete indicated that it was put into the general fund to pay bills. It was reasoned that the cost of the 1998 ABANA Conference was a large set back. Scott and Will will continue to work on the projected budget and to manage the assets at hand. There was also discussion on combining funds, the cost of an audit, and obtaining grants. The Board recognized that obtaining grants is both a worthwhile endeavor and important. Along that line it was recognized that LeeAnn had experience in grant writing and that her experience was not being utilized to ABANA’s benefit.


Andy Quittner made a motion that LeeAnn’s contract be amended to allow LeeAnn to answer the phone four business days a week in order to free her up to pursue grant writing. The day is to be determined and published for membership information in the publications and the website Seconded by Dorothy Steigler.


Tim Ryan had to leave the Board meeting and gave his proxy to Pete Brandenburg.


Scott Lankton made a motion that ABANA contract with a fulfillment service for ABANA sales provided that it is in ABANA’s best financial interest. Seconded by Doug Learn.


LeeAnn asked for a Board member to volunteer to serve as an advisor for Grants. Pete Brandenburg volunteered to serve in this capacity. Scott discussed Mack Beal’s recommendations point by point and there was discussion on each point.


Doug Learn made a motion that the Annual Board of Directors meeting in Memphis, Tennessee be set for October 26, 27, 28, 2000. Seconded by Andy Quittner.



Dorothy Stiegler moved that the meeting be adjourned. Jack Andrews seconded the motion.

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