Brian Fox elected President of PSPA

Brian Fox is the 2015-2016 President of PSPA
Brian Fox is the 2015-2016 President of PSPA

Brian Fox is the 2015-2016 President of PSPA

The Professional School Photographers Association (PSPA), elected a new Board of Directors for 2015-2016 at a member meeting held Monday at the PSPA/SPAA 2015 Conference, part of the PMA 2015 Conferences, at Bally’s in Las Vegas, Nev.

Brian Fox of Foxmar Photography is the President of PSPA for the 2015-2016 term. Courtney Lutz of Visual Image Photography is President Elect. First Vice-President is Kevin Jardina of Lifetouch National School Studios, and Second Vice-President is Jake Mark of Dorian Studios. Treasurer is Joy L. Cahill, Cahill Studios of Photography.

The Directors are Ed Sanders, Inter-State Studio and Publishing Co., and Bill Freeman, Freeman Photography. Georgia McCabe, CEO and Executive Director of PMA, is Secretary. James W. Pool is the group’s Technical Advisor.

PMA President Bill Eklund speaks on PMA Board’s “bold moves”

PMA President Bill Eklund shared the Board of Directors' "bold moves"
PMA President Bill Eklund shared the Board of Directors' "bold moves"

PMA President Bill Eklund shared the Board of Directors’ “bold moves”

In Monday’s Official Business Session, held as part of the PMA 2015 Conferences, outgoing PMA President Bill Eklund spoke on the recent “bold moves” made by the PMA Board of Directors. He said:

I woke up last year, the morning of my acceptance speech as I was to be nominated President of the Photo Marketing Association International. I thought, Wow, what the heck have I done? Why did I step up to this awesome position at this difficult time in the photo imaging industry? What’s the future? A train of emotions hit me in the face.

The questions that struck me that day, 364 days ago, were, “Why am I a PMA member?” “Why is anyone a PMA member these days?” and “Ultimately, what makes PMA relevant to its members?”

Relevancy. Over the next few months, I asked and listened. Early on, I set up a Relevancy Committee on the Executive Board to study what relevancy PMA has to its members. The committee had difficulty coming up with answers, other than the convention, the great networking that happens here, and the trade show. But is this enough reason to be a PMA member? My struggle went on.

In the mean time, PMA struggled too. We cut costs. We downsized the staff several times. And it became difficult to run the old organization’s infrastructure with the smaller staff and deliver the services we once did. Your volunteer PMA Executive Board had run out of ideas, and we were lost in the wilderness of cost management. In a recent accounting review, PMA’s accountant issued a concern about PMA’s financial situation. On top of all that, we lost our vision — and our overworked staff had no time to work on it either.

Many of us in the room have experienced a similar situation in the last several years. You are probably sitting here today because you changed your business model. You probably attended PMA last year and I’d bet you picked up an idea or two that helped you hang in there. Some of us are hanging on. But some of us are flourishing! Some of us have seen opportunities and have had the wherewithal to fight back and change and grow again. It’s time that PMA made some changes to its business model, too.

Still seeking answers on PMA’s viability, I was introduced to Georgia McCabe. Georgia has quite a resume in the digital photo industry. She has worked with IBM, Kodak, and served as FujiFilm’s first female Sr. Vice President and General Manager. Recently Georgia has been the digital imaging industry’s go-to social media marketing expert. She showed interest in helping PMA — and your PMA Board seized the opportunity to get her input.

Last October, just over two months ago, Georgia agreed to dig into PMA. She signed an NDA and we opened up our financials, our membership list, our struggles and our soul, so she could dissect them and help us find relevancy. Through this process, Georgia uncovered problems — but most importantly, she spotted opportunities. Not just opportunities,but ideas, paradigm shifts, and new markets that were not on my radar at all. In fact, she was so excited and eager to attack these opportunities that I was blown away.

Today, I am “stoked” about the future possibilities of PMA. By the end of her research, I knew we had to have Georgia on our PMA team. Your PMA Board quickly decided to make several bold moves and revitalize your PMA with new leadership and new ideas, led by Georgia McCabe. And should you decide to elect Gaby Mullinax as PMA’s next President at tomorrow’s election, we can deliver a one-two punch that should get the attention of the world of photography and imaging. Many of us in this room are second-, third- or even fourth-generation PMA members. But this is not your grandfather’s PMA anymore.

Bold move number one: Georgia McCabe was hired as PMA’s new CEO and Executive Director just few days ago. She has jumped into the fire and is busy changing things up. I think you’ll see some changes here during this conference. And I can’t wait to see your faces a year from now.

Bold move number two: PMA has hired Coulter, an association management company. Utilizing a highly skilled management team will help PMA deliver more services to the members, while cutting redundant costs. With Coulter’s manpower, we will have the depth of staff PMA once had, at a fraction of the cost. You’ll see a re-energized look, a new, useable website and member benefits only a large organization can supply. In addition, the management tools available to the Board to help manage the organization will be second to none. A management company also frees up our Executive Director to manage our vision, and not day to day operations.

Bold move number three: PMA needs to change our By-Laws. We need to be more inclusive and allow members from other sectors of the photo industry on our Boards. With input and leadership from experienced and connected Board members, we can see each other’s needs. A more diverse Board will have more have a say in governing their association. This is a motion we will be voting on tomorrow morning.

Bold move number four: The election of PMA’s first woman president, Gaby Mullinax, if you vote for her tomorrow morning. Personally, I don’t look at the sex of the leader. I look at the capability, the vision and the drive. At this point in time, I can’t think of a better candidate to lead the imaging industry into the next 90 years.

The easy thing to do would have been to maintain the status quo, downsize the staff again, reduce our services even more and eventually fade away. However, your PMA Board is making these bold moves to give this organization its best chance to not only survive, but flourish. And thank God, Georgia is willing to take a chance, with a fresh outlook on things, and revitalize PMA for the future.

AIE elects new Board of Directors

Glenn Paul was elected to a second term as President of the Association of Imaging Executives.
Glenn Paul was elected to a second term as President of the Association of Imaging Executives.

Glenn Paul was elected to a second term as President of the Association of Imaging Executives.

The Association of Imaging Executives (AIE) elected 2015-2016 officers at the AIE Future Imaging Summit, part of the PMA 2014 Conferences, on January 6, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nev.

Elected to his second term as President is Glenn Paul of dotPhoto. President Elect is Reiner Fageth of CeWe Color. Doug Rowan of Imaging Solutions is First Vice President, and Andrew Laffoon of Mixbook is Second Vice President.Treasurer is Fred Lerner of MailPix. Past President Director at Large is Rob Tolmie of R&C Consulting. The Directors are Mark Treadwell, C.R.I.S. Camera Services, Marco Perlman of Digipix and Randall Rothenberg of IAB.

PSPA honors Lynx and IPC Award winners

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Paul Schulz of PhotoLynx

At the PSPA/SPAA Welcome Reception held at the start of the PMA 2015 Conferences on Saturday evening, PSPA recognized two individuals who were honored for their contributions to the industry.

Paul Schulz of PhotoLynx presented the Lynx Award to Aric Snyder Sr. of Inter-State Studio and Publishing Co., who was unable to attend the event. The award was accepted on his behalf by his son, Aric Snyder Jr.

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Aric Snyder Jr. accepts Lynx Award on behalf of his father, Aric Snyder Sr.

Mark Schoenrock of Lifetouch then recognized past PSPA President Bill Freeman of Freeman Photography, who was honored earlier this year with the 2014 IPC Professional Photographer Leadership Award from the International Photographic Council (IPC).

Cameras & Capture: Upcoming technology for taking better pictures

Photo by Greg Dyro

PMA Newsline is welcoming several guest reporters this week, who are helping the Newsline team cover events taking place at the PMA 2015 Conferences. Thanks to guest reporter Greg Dyro for this item on the AIE Future Imaging Summit Cameras & Capture session held yesterday morning.

Photo by Greg Dyro

Discussing trends in capture and cameras at the AIE Future Imaging Summit. Photo by Greg Dyro.

In a Bally’s conference room full of PMA Conferences attendees, a diverse panel of camera equipment manufacturers spoke about the various aspects of image capture and new technology.  The discussion started off with the observation that we are “The Connected Generation.”

Each of the speakers agreed that as cameras and technology moved forward a seamless connection to all devices would be required.  There was some discussion that the industry is really already mobile, but disagreement on the best way to market (non-mobile phone) cameras. Some on the panel opted for ways to differentiate their products from mobile phone cameras, such as traditional dials and controls in a classic nod to analog cameras; others are investigating more modern, computer style interfaces with the devices they are building. Everyone agreed that the number of images being captured today is larger then anytime in history.  One of the speakers dared to express the thought we all have: that cell phones really are cameras. That is how the public perceives them, and we must embrace this concept and work to maximize the amazing number of images being captured in today’s world, with features like quality optics, traditional controls, touch screens, copper metal sensors, EVF displays, fast lenses, 4K video.  The industry has the ability to improve and provide incredible devices for this new Mobile Lifestyle.

PSPA/SPAA Keynoter Charles Marshall shares advice on success through customer service

Charles Marshall shared insights on customer service
Charles Marshall shared insights on customer service

Charles Marshall shared insights on customer service

The PSPA/SPAA 2015 Conferences began this morning with a keynote address by motivational speaker Charles Marshall on the subject of creating success with extraordinary customer service.

Marshall defined “success” as fulfilling your potential, and said your customer service ethic isn’t something you do, but something that “bleeds into who you are.”

He shared a story of someone who mentored him early in his career in the area of customer service. In his early 20s, Marshall worked in the men’s clothing area of a department store. Another salesman there, James O’Neal, had a remarkable gift for customer service that became a model for Marshall all throughout his life.

“James was the best salesman in the entire store. When you went in the store, James would meet you at the door, welcome you and ask, How can I help? We were on commission, but you never felt like he was trying to sell you anything. He would walk you to the men’s department, asking you questions and learning about you. By the time you got there, he had some suggestions for you. He was sensitive to what you wanted.”

Marshall added, “Everybody went to James. People would ask for him by name, and wait for him if he was not available, because their friends had told them, If you want to be taken care of, you go to James. Customer service was just who he was.”

James exemplified what Marshall has developed into an acrostic of the word “SERVE:”

  • Surprise you customer with excellence — give them the “wow” experience.
  • Evaluate their needs.
  • Respond to their needs.
  • Validate their experience, so they feel they have made the right decision in spending their money with you
  • Express your thankfulness.

Marshall noted that when a customer walks though your door with a problem, you have a golden opportunity. “You have their whole attention and the opportunity for a dialog. They are listening and watching you and waiting for you to mess up,” Marshall said. “Instead, your response is, What can we do to make this right? That’s when true customer service happens. You have a mistake to fix; how do you respond? This is your chance to validate that customer’s choice of doing business with you.”

He added that “the shortest path to poverty is arguing with customers,” and advised against using “push” words, such as the word “no.” “Push stands for provoking unnecessary senseless hostility. Instead, offer options that don’t involve the word no. Remember, the customer is not always right; but they are always the boss.”

Marshall concluded, “Your job is not to create satisfied customers: it is to create customer advocates who will go out and promote you. Be the James O’Neal in your community. This is easy to do, because your competitors are satisfied with mediocrity – but you are not. People are not used to extraordinary customer service. This is why you can have an impact like never before.”

Visionary Awards recognize best new photographic technologies

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AIE logoThe Visionary Awards Reception recognizes innovation and excellence in Capture, Social Imaging, Software, and Output.

Sponsored by Mylio, and presented by the Association of Imaging Executives, the Visionary Awards Reception is Thursday, January 8, from 5–6 pm at the Las Vegas Convention Center, rooms S106-S107.

The reception promises to provide you with thought-provoking presentations, important industry recognition — and great networking opportunities to meet new friends and colleagues.

The evening’s agenda features:

• Photographer Joe McNally discussing the importance of preserving our pictures.
• HP Senior Architect Bob Taylor showing the latest in imaging interactivity.

The AIE will then present its Visionary Awards. The nominees are:
Cameras & Capture: Panasonic, Ricoh, DJI, and Instagram.
Sharing & Social Imaging: Snapchat, Facebook, Apple, and Google.
Software & Apps: Mylio, Athentech, Magisto, and Adobe.
Printing & Output: HP Indigo, Mixbook, MediaClip, and Artec Group,
Future Imaging Visionaries: Google, HP, Jaunt, Oculus Rift, Orbeus, and Samsung.

The Visionary Awards reception will be an excellent event for meeting industry leaders — and discovering new directions in imaging.
Attendance is free — but it’s limited to 150 imaging executives! So RSVP today.mylio-black

The Association of Imaging Executives is a PMA member group that helps imaging executives and industry leaders make strategic connections to advance the profitable use of new imaging technologies. 

PMA 2015 Conferences begin with PSPA/SPAA Welcome Reception

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The PMA 2015 Conferences began with Saturday evening’s PSPA/SPAA Welcome Reception, which featured several presentations. Be sure to check PMA Newsline for continuing coverage of PSPA/SPAA events, as well as the 2015 AIE Future Imaging Summit, the DIMA 2015 Conference, and the Digital Imaging/Photography Exhibits and Sessions presented by PMA at the 2015 International CES.

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See how to succeed in the Future of Imaging

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2015_AIE_button_250x108It’s a tumultuous time for all of us in the photography industry, with constant changes in how people capture, share, print, and enjoy pictures.

To better prepare our businesses, the Future Imaging Summit looks ahead into the next five years of imaging technology and its impact on photography.

What new sensors, processors, and other technology will be in next year’s cameras? What apps, sites, and services will people use to share and view photos? How will they permanently display their favorite shots in albums or wall displays?
At the Future Imaging Summit, top imaging executives will focus on the most important trends and technology coming to market, and look ahead into the next five years of imaging. There are no presentations or sales pitches — just lively debate! To forecast photography’s future, they will participate in four in-depth panel discussions:
• Capture: Upcoming technology for taking better pictures.
• Sharing: Changes in photo viewing caused by online imaging and smartphone sharing.
• Software: Desktop and mobile apps for managing, editing, and enhancing images.
• Output: Tools, techniques, and materials for physical photo display.

mylio-blackThis year’s Summit sponsors include image management developer Mylio; print providers HP Indigo, CeWe Color, Mixbook, Mailpix, Digipix, and Kodak Alaris;  camera makers Panasonic and iON; and software providers Athentech and MediaClip.
Additional speakers from Fujifilm, Imaging Resource, Magisto, muvee, Photo Finale, Ricoh, RPI, ColorCentric, and Samsung are confirmed, with more to come.

The Future Imaging Summit is Jan. 4–5 2015, at Bally’s in Las Vegas — immediately preceding the 2015 PMA trade show during CES.

If you make a living in photography, you can’t miss out on these informative sessions.
Click here to register now!

PMA 2015 Conferences to feature speakers Ed Monahan and Dr. Glenn Omura

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Ed Monahan

Ed Monahan

We’ve announced so many exciting speakers for the upcoming PMA 2015 Conferences, but we’re not done yet. The always compelling Ed Monahan of Kodak Alaris, and PMA favorite Dr. Glenn Omura, Associate Dean of MBA and Professional Programs at Michigan State University, will be presenting two of the keynote addresses at the PMA 2015 Conferences, January 4-5, 2015, at Bally’s Las Vegas.

Monahan will offer the PSPA/SPAA Conference closing general session, entitled Finding Your Place in the World of Digital Media and Consumption. Professional photographers face new levels of competition and challenge as consumers find their needs increasingly satisfied with digital photo consumption. Choices and purchases have moved to the web and mobile, and the industry is forced to adapt new products and services to compete. This presentation will lay out the influences most shaping consumer lifestyles and purchasing behavior, speak to the dimensions of memories from prints to publishing to digital media, and identify the elements deemed critical for the industry to capture both photos and consumer spend.

At the DIMA Conference closing general session, Engagement Crisis in the Age of Digital, Dr. Omura will discuss the

Dr. Glenn S. Omura

Dr. Glenn S. Omura

advantage retailers theoretically have over suppliers is their face-to-face interaction with consumers, which is the personal knowledge each has with many consumers who walk in the door. Specialty retailers who successfully create an emotional connection with their consumers during the face-to-face interaction will have loyalty, advocates for the store, and long term profitability. But even with this advantage, the age of digital has physically separated businesses from their consumers. Consumers are buying and ordering via PCs, tablets, and cell phones, and never meet a human representative. Businesses are trying to use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social digital techniques and are measuring “engagement” by the number re-tweets, likes, or shares, but this isn’t really emotional engagement like we could have in the store when we are on a face-to-face basis. What should specialty retailers do to build engagement to deliver loyalty, advocacy and profits? Discover what many different kinds of businesses are doing to measure, and more importantly, successfully create consumer engagement.

These presentations are among so many informative, exciting, and inspirational sessions taking place PMA 2015 Conferences, which include the DIMA, PSPA, SPAA, and AIE Conferences at Bally’s on January 4-5, 2015, just prior to the Digital Imaging/Photography Conference and Marketplace, presented by PMA, at 2015 International CES in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

To register for these and all the other opportunities PMA has to offer in conjunction with CES this January, visit http://bit.ly/1rpOCMm.