Message from the President September 2003

To Face The Future Is to Embrace the Past

By Brian Pitman, September 2003

A little over a year ago, Tom Mordini gave me the honor of asking me to be his Vice-President in this wonderful association. After serious thought about the responsibilities of the job and the importance of this club in the carnival glass world, I accepted his gracious offer with the thought that I would get to see a good four years of Tom’s leadership and guidance. Alas, that wasn’t meant to be. I will be forever grateful to Tom for asking me to serve our club in this capacity.

I want to thank the ICGA Board of Directors for entrusting me with such a great responsibility. Our association is one of carnival glass’ most storied organizations, with a tremendous amount of history and tradition. I can’t express how humbled I am by the opportunity, and how perseverant I will be in meeting this challenge. You have my gratitude, and my promise to do whatever it takes to bring growth and prosperity to our club.

I must also thank Eunice Booker, simply for saying “yes” when I asked her to be the Vice-President of our association. Eunice is one of my most favorite people in carnival glass, and I love that she has an incredible amount of knowledge about the glass, the people who collect the glass, and the association itself. She also believes in tradition, but tempers that with her innate understanding that sometimes subtle change can be a very good thing. Finally, she has an opinion that she is not shy about giving, one of her best features. She will make an excellent Vice-President for our club, and I am honored that she agreed to fill that position.

One of the first duties I have had the pleasure of enacting over the past few weeks is planning the 2004 ICGA Annual Convention. In the past fourteen days, I have called, faxed and emailed over a dozen hotels throughout the Midwest. Hotels from Des Moines and Kansas City, Nashville and Memphis, Branson and Parkersburg, Chicago and others have been given the opportunity to bring our convention to their location. I received over a dozen proposals, and worked with each hotel to make the proposal more beneficial to our association.

After the proposals were all in, the ICGA Board of Directors, our Vice-President Eunice Booker, and our immediate Past President Tom Mordini were all asked for input into the selection process. There are many things to consider when it comes to selecting a location: the auctioneer and the auction laws of that location, the geographic location of our membership, the financial benefits or detriments of the location’s proposal and the hotel’s amenities, just to name a few. After carefully considering the various factors, the Board’s majority decision was made.

I am pleased to announce that the 2004 ICGA Annual Convention will be held Tuesday, July 20 – Saturday, July 24, 2004 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri. The hotel is located only a mile from the St. Louis International Airport, several casinos, and the historic St. Charles district. Some of you will be familiar with this hotel as it is the location of the www.cga convention earlier this year, as well as early next year.

Our room rate for this hotel is $95 per night, and it is an excellent hotel. It offers several amenities, some of the best meeting space used in a carnival glass convention, great food (there is a TGIFriday’s in the hotel) and the friendliest staff I have encountered from a hotel before. Once you come to the convention, you will find many reasons to love this hotel. Most importantly, I can tell you that they gave our association the best proposal of the many we received. This will help us build the solid financial ground our club needs to be serving our children and our children’s children far in the future.

The program for our 2004 convention will contain many familiar surprises. One of perpetual complaints I hear at conventions over the past five years is that conventions “used to be great” in the “good old days” when it was about “the people more than the glass.” This is an issue we are prepared to face head on. One of my favorite axioms states that “to face the future is to embrace the past.” This is a philosophy for the 2004 convention.

I have heard many stories of conventions-past, of times when I wasn’t around. There are many who are like me who haven’t experienced a carnival glass convention “the way it used to be.” In 2004, we will get that chance. 2004 is going to mark a change in carnival glass conventions, and ICGA will be the club that provides the catalyst for this change. What we do in 2004 will be talked about for a long time, and by a lot of people. Just think: you have a personal invitation to be a big part of this.

There are more announcements to make about this convention, but a magician reveals his tricks slowly. If you want the latest information on the convention, visit ICGA’s website at It will stay current with links to the convention hotel (which will take reservations online) and a downloadable convention registration form. In the December issue of The Pump, we will have all of the information about the convention, with our program, speakers and events, and a few of the aforementioned familiar surprises.

I want to leave you with a question and a challenge. Remember when you first joined ICGA? Who was the person that convinced you to do it, that gave you a copy of The Pump, or talked about what a great organization we had? What did that person say to you that sold you on the idea of joining? Was it their friendly reassurance, their kind words, or their conviction in the power of ICGA?

Here’s the challenge: I want you to BE that person for someone else. You were given a great gift by someone, and now it is your turn to give that gift to someone else. Talk to people, whether it is at an antique shop, an antique show, or an auction. Let them know that there is a great organization out there that wishes to educate them, to introduce them to friends who are willing to share and listen. It’s your duty as a member of ICGA, and as a friend.

And again, thank you for the opportunity. We have a lot to do, and the fun is in doing it.

Brian Pitman