November 2010

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November 2010


Retreat Leads to Advances

Kim Williamson VP-Commissions

USITT’s Commissioners had an opportunity to visit the National Office in Syracuse during the recent Commissioner’s Retreat.

Photo/Barbara E.R. Lucas

With a generous welcome from USITT Executive Director David Grindle and Public Relations & Marketing Manager Barbara Ellen Lucas, 18 Commissioners representing all 10 commissions met at the national office in Syracuse to retreat in name, but advance in practice for a full day of interaction and planning for the future of the Commissions.

Mr. Grindle started the day with his enthusiastic support of the Commissions as the heart of USITT. His assertion that the commissions are where the members are most involved through projects, conference programming, and direct engagement was substantiated by his response to commissioners’ concerns and questions addressing several topics. Points of concern included the lack of an easily recognizable link on the website and the logistics of individual commission list-serves. Throughout the ongoing discussion and interaction, timelines were identified for implementing changes to the website. Look for the new Commissions drop-down menu and other changes designed to provide better communication within commissions and among their constituents.

Continuing through the morning, Ms. Lucas presented a new format for Sightlines combined with an appeal to put each commission out there for the world to see. Day-to-day activities, projects, and information can have immediate impact and gain visibility through articles of any length and almost any subject.

Visual branding of the Commissions started the afternoon conversation with animated discussion of how to best present the picture of each commission in all of its communications whether print or digital. Ideas generated in this discussion will be developed into in a new graphic at each Commission link and for all print communication.

Each Commissioner contributed ideas and expertise later in the day, discussing topics that shape the commissions individually and collectively.

Participants were charged to think big in how to reach outward to other organizations through project partnerships, communication initiatives through conference webcasts and streaming, and identifying funding sources to support travel for Institute members as well as partners. The intention is to reveal USITT to the rest of the entertainment world. In each and every group, the great imaginations and the good work of the Commissions became evident.