January 2013 Board of Director Changes

Note from Mandy Houk:

Last September, I was honored to take on the role of Pikes Peak Writers’ president. I have benefitted personally and professionally from my membership and volunteerism with this organization for the past six years, so I was excited for the opportunity to give back in a more meaningful way. In December, I wrote a piece for the Pikes Peak Writers blog, comparing the impending new year to the turn of a page. Even as I wrote that piece, I was in the midst of discovering that what was on my own family’s “next page” was going to change our lives in significant ways. I’m sad to say that the changes on this metaphorical page make it impossible for me to continue as the president of Pikes Peak Writers. The details are personal, but suffice it to say that our extended family members are facing struggles that necessitate immediate, active, and prolonged engagement from me. I simply cannot fulfill the roles I’m needed for in my family and continue in leadership with Pikes Peak Writers. In keeping with our bylaws, vice president Laura Hayden has accepted the role of president in my place. To fill the vacant seat of vice president, the board has unanimously elected J.T. Evans, and he has graciously accepted. All other board members will remain in their current roles, and are prepared to fully support Laura and J.T .during this time of transition and beyond it. I trust that you are familiar with Laura, Queen of the Universe and integral part of this wonderful organization since its inception. As for J.T., he became a member of Pikes Peak Writers in 2008, and since that time has been a faithful conference attendee and volunteer. Most recently, he has worked with the board and with our administrator, Michelle Baker, to update our website and train key volunteers to keep it current. In addition, for the past four years J.T. served as president of Colorado Springs Fiction Writers Group. Pikes Peak Writers is privileged to have this wonderful writer and dedicated, experienced volunteer join our board of directors. I am indescribably grateful to each member of the board – including its newest member, J.T. – for the compassion and understanding that was shown to me over the past few weeks. While I regret the suddenness of my departure, I am more than confident that Pikes Peak Writers is in the very best sets of hands. God bless you all, and Happy Writing.

Note from Laura Hayden, Current PPW President:

It’s with great regret that we accept Mandy’s resignation. Despite her shortened tenure, she brought an incredible amount of energy and wisdom into the organization. We wish her well and hope that one day, when life calms, she can return to board service. Also, the board and I welcome J.T. Evans as our new Vice President. He comes to the position with a wide variety of experiences, skills and talents and we look forward to working with him.

Note from J.T. Evans, Current PPW Vice-President:

Greetings Fellow Writers, Back at the 2010 Pikes Peak Writers Conference, I had my first volunteer duty. The silent auction was being held, and I was lounging around the hallway watching people meander by. All of the items that captured my interest were already out of my price range, so I had nothing better to do than stand there. That’s when Chris Mandeville called out, “Hey, J.T.! You look bored.” I’d say I was a little bored since I knew very few of the people there and didn’t have anyone to talk to. I looked her way and nodded. She asked, “Would you mind being a guard for these two tables of auction items? We have a few people from the public moving around, and I’d hate for something to wander off.” I agreed, and that small act began my road as a volunteer with Pikes Peak Writers. Over the past three years, I’ve worked as a moderator, presented a Write Brain, judged in the 2012 conference contest, stepped into the role as webmaster, and pitched in here and there where I could. Then Mandy Houk reached out to me with the information that she was in a tight spot and had to step down as president of PPW. She asked me if I would be interested in joining the board as vice president to support Laura Hayden. My first response was surprise since I knew Mandy had just been elected, then once I read the email closer, I moved to understanding. Then it sank in. She and the rest of the board of PPW wanted me to help them as best I could. Wow. I’m incredibly honored that people I hold with such high regard asked me to step into the role as vice president of the Pikes Peak Writers. I will do my best to continue the grand traditions, ideas, efforts, and contributions to the writing community that Pikes Peak Writers has been steadfastly providing over many years. Thank you very much for your trust and friendship. Now, Let’s make 2013 as creative and wonderful as possible!