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An Amazing Chapter Comes to A Close

28 February 2013 1,634 views 25 Comments

Today marks the end of my two-year term on the board of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance and I’m feeling a lot of emotions this morning — a lot of pride, a little sadness, and overall I’m very grateful to have been a part of the founding and growth of this amazing organization.

afba board

Cupcakes & Cocktails Fundraiser, July 2012

This Sunday I will hit “publish” on the 2013 Austin City Guide — a coordinated list of blog posts with recommendations for the best eats and drinks in Central Texas. The first year we published the guide was in 2010 — before there was an official organization of Austin food bloggers. It included 20 contributions from 15 local bloggers. The 2013 edition will include over 80 contributions from over 50 members. The City Guide has become one of the most popular food and drink resources in Austin.

afb_city_guide_2013_logo

I’d like to recognize some of the people who were so integral to getting AFBA off-the-ground and making it soar.

First, this group would not exist without the dedication of four women: Natanya Anderson, Kristi Willis, Addie Broyles, and Michelle Cheng.

Addie Broyles has done an amazing job of bringing the community of food bloggers together, she is such a connector and her spirit and openness is an example for us all.

Natanya Anderson and Kristi Willis brought amazing organization, passion, and tenaciousness to making sure this group had the foundation it needed to success, and Natanya was a steadfast and strong leader of the group during its first two years, sailing our ship through rough waters with grace.

Michelle Cheng‘s thoughtfulness, patience, and legal expertise were invaluable in ensuring the leadership of the organization was supported and had source documents to guide them.

first happy hour 2011

First AFBA Membership Happy Hour, March 2011

Kathryn Hutchison has been an amazing leader during her time taking on two roles for the board — that of development chair and vice president. Her diplomacy, dedication, and willingness to do what has to be done has earned her the respect of everyone she works with, and I can’t wait to see what she does as president of the new board.

Jennie Chen and Rebecca Otis did an amazing job putting together educational and social events, and using their networking skills to make connections with businesses in the community that were interested in partnering with AFBA.

Rachelle King spent countless hours making sure that members were in good standing and AFBA’s bills were paid.

Megan Myers took on the role of reading hundreds of blogs in order to qualify members, and edited and sent a newsletter to members at least once a month, if not more.

Post-board meeting ice cream, 2012

Post-board meeting ice cream, September 2011

Both Kristina Wolter and Michelle Fandrich put together strong philanthropy programs, especially their annual fundraisers, and threw their hearts and souls into raising over $6,000 for two local non-profit organizations.

Mike Krell, the organization’s first technology chair, kept the website clean, and Adam Holzband (yes, my husband) donated many hours to setting up the initial website, and working on the logo design with Aron Hoag, both of whom provided their services for free to the organization.

I’d also like to thank my PR committee members — Kimberly Chapman, Mike Galante, Linda Nguyen, and Kristin Sheppard — your help managing the social media accounts for AFBA, especially during the early fall when I was deep in wedding-planning craziness, was much appreciated.

There are so many more people who were involved, and continue to be involved, in making AFBA such a fantastic organization. I can’t wait to see what the new board will accomplish. Tomorrow, I’ll be passing the baton for AFBA PR to Tiffany Young, who is the new marketing chair. There will be a press release going out soon announcing the rest of the leaders of the board, and I’ll share that here when it’s live.

The board that will begin their term tomorrow is just as passionate and talented, if not more, than the original group that put this organization together, and I can’t wait to benefit from that as a member!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/kristina.nicholswolter Kristina Nichols-Wolter

    It was a blessing to be part of this board. Thank you Jodi for taking the time in the very beginning to walk me through “social media”. It's so wonderful to see how far this alliance has come in such a short time. I still remember sitting around that first meeting brainstorming with y'all on what our hopes for this alliance would be. Thank you for your work on the city guide, it is a wonderful sustainable project that will continue to grow with our city and our membership. I too am just as excited about this new round of board members and all the wonderful things they will be doing in the upcoming years.

  • http://linda.curious-notions.net Linda

    Thank you for your work and making my AFBA experience amazing. :)

  • Linda Bart

    I know this is bitter sweet as I know how dedicated you are to this group and all that you have done together. It is something to be very proud of.

  • jodibart

    Thanks, mom. And good job posting a comment! Hopefully, I'll get a better commenting system soon.

  • jodibart

    Thank YOU for all of your help, Linda! I realized that I forgot to thank my awesome PR committee and I've remedied that above. XO

  • jodibart

    You rock, girlfriend, and you put together an AMAZING event to benefit SafePlace. I had forgotten our social media conversation…and you are such a whiz now! xo

  • Cecilia Nasti

    I already have the utmost respect for you and the other women and men you mentioned in your post; I didn't think it was possible to have more. Yet, after reading your words, I am filled with such admiration and gratitude for each of you. You all took time from your personal lives, families and friends to mold and shape this wonderful and exemplary organization. You have all helped to put Austin more firmly on the map, and not just for its gustatory greatness, but for the greatness of spirit that resides in its citizens, particularly in each of you. Thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kristina.nicholswolter Kristina Nichols-Wolter

    It was a blessing to be part of this board. Thank you Jodi for taking the time in the very beginning to walk me through “social media”. It's so wonderful to see how far this alliance has come in such a short time. I still remember sitting around that first meeting brainstorming with y'all on what our hopes for this alliance would be. Thank you for your work on the city guide, it is a wonderful sustainable project that will continue to grow with our city and our membership. I too am just as excited about this new round of board members and all the wonderful things they will be doing in the upcoming years.

  • http://linda.curious-notions.net Linda

    Thank you for your work and making my AFBA experience amazing. :)

  • Linda Bart

    I know this is bitter sweet as I know how dedicated you are to this group and all that you have done together. It is something to be very proud of.

  • jodibart

    Thanks, mom. And good job posting a comment! Hopefully, I'll get a better commenting system soon.

  • jodibart

    Thank YOU for all of your help, Linda! I realized that I forgot to thank my awesome PR committee and I've remedied that above. XO

  • jodibart

    You rock, girlfriend, and you put together an AMAZING event to benefit SafePlace. I had forgotten our social media conversation…and you are such a whiz now! xo

  • Cecilia Nasti

    I already have the utmost respect for you and the other women and men you mentioned in your post; I didn't think it was possible to have more. Yet, after reading your words, I am filled with such admiration and gratitude for each of you. You all took time from your personal lives, families and friends to mold and shape this wonderful and exemplary organization. You have all helped to put Austin more firmly on the map, and not just for its gustatory greatness, but for the greatness of spirit that resides in its citizens, particularly in each of you. Thank you.

  • KimberlyChapman

    I'm sad too! You will be missed in that role.

  • KimberlyChapman

    I'm sad too! You will be missed in that role.

  • jodibart

    Thank you for all your great work with Google+ on behalf of AFBA, Kimberly!

  • jodibart

    Thank you for all your great work with Google+ on behalf of AFBA, Kimberly!

  • http://twitter.com/frommaggiesfarm margaret christine

    We have big, fabulous, boots/shoes to fill as new board members, and we thank you all for setting such shining examples for us. Thank you, Jodi!

  • http://twitter.com/frommaggiesfarm margaret christine

    We have big, fabulous, boots/shoes to fill as new board members, and we thank you all for setting such shining examples for us. Thank you, Jodi!

  • http://twitter.com/kristifarm2tbl Kristi Willis

    Thanks Jodi for this post and the reminder of what we can create when we all work together. We all have much to be proud of.

  • http://twitter.com/kristifarm2tbl Kristi Willis

    Thanks Jodi for this post and the reminder of what we can create when we all work together. We all have much to be proud of.

  • elizabeth

    Thank you Jodi for all of your hard work, efforts and just all around awesomeness! This is such a great group to be a part of and I am thrilled to now be able to call many of these members friends, including you. All the best in your new chapter ~ Cheers!

  • elizabeth

    Thank you Jodi for all of your hard work, efforts and just all around awesomeness! This is such a great group to be a part of and I am thrilled to now be able to call many of these members friends, including you. All the best in your new chapter ~ Cheers!

  • elizabeth

    Thank you Jodi for all of your hard work, efforts and just all around awesomeness! This is such a great group to be a part of and I am thrilled to now be able to call many of these members friends, including you. All the best in your new chapter ~ Cheers!