An Amazing Chapter Comes to A Close
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!