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Executive Director's Letter

Where does the time go?

School is back in session and picture days are in full swing across the globe. It seemed like just yesterday that students were crossing the stage to accept their diplomas and, soon after, hundreds of industry professionals met in Houston to learn and celebrate some amazing achievements.

David Crandall, executive director, SPOA

I am excited to announce we have many new initiatives and plans for the coming year.

First, this is a reminder Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, is National School Picture Day. We hope each of you will do your own marketing for this great celebration. As you may know, this fall season our industry is celebrating its 100th year of providing memories and safety products to schools and families here in the United States. We hope each of you will join in on the celebration through your social media and marketing efforts, and you will engage with your schools and/or districts to potentially provide them with a great local news story of a picture day to honor this celebration.

Second, SPOA has confirmed the dates for the 2023 conference. After surveying our members and industry suppliers for future conference dates and locations, we listened! Next year's conference will be in Greenville, SC, starting July 10 with some extra early bird sessions offered starting with Mastering Volume Photography (MVP) with ImageQuix/PhotoLynx and continuing to multiple Sandler Training, Dale Carnegie Training, a new Volume Sports Photography Training, as well as a Photo Safari. "Operation School Smiles" is a new volunteer service project with the local school district where our members and attendees can come together and do something truly special for one or two schools in the local community.

Then the event begins Tuesday, July 11, where conference registration gets attendees direct access to incredible photography, finance, sales, marketing, operations, and executive training sessions. The exhibit hall will open on Tuesday at 4 p.m., where companies and attendees can meet the industry suppliers and partners that truly help our companies grow profitably and successfully. That evening will be the SPOA Welcome and Party, in partnership with Fotomerchant, which should be a talked-about event for years to come.

SPOA will be finalizing our speakers and keynotes in the coming months. The entire event concludes Thursday, July 13, with s full day of general sessions leading up to the awards banquet and celebration, which will be included in all ticket fees this year. Better yet: The site is up and ready to book your tickets today

So many companies reached out and told us about their plans to bring their team this coming year, we, therefore, have opened with a ticket of $299 that includes all SPOA events. If your company plans to bring more than 5 people, there is an additional discount on top of that for purchases prior to Oct. 1. Book your tickets today!

Greenville, SC

In addition, we have confirmed our "Leadership Summit" for Nov. 29 - Dec. 1 in Greenville, S.C. This will be a valuable planning session with many of our industry's top leaders and suppliers planning out and working together to tackle some of the most challenging issues in our industry and how SPOA can support and help mitigate these for the benefit of all.

We are in the planning stages of the upcoming board elections. These elections are crucial to our success as a non-profit. We are looking for leaders that can put service above self for the benefit of all in our industry. More announcements and details will be in the coming newsletters and social media posts. As of today, there will be two positions up for election on the Governing Board and approximately seven open positions on the Executive Board. Many have already sent me emails with interest after the conference but if you have not reached out to me, however, and are interested in running for any or all of these positions, please complete the following form. SPOA membership is the main requirement, regardless if you are a school photographer, yearbook company, or industry supplier. If you have questions about a specific position or simply about the elections, please contact me.

We are hoping to roll out our student photography training and school camera buyback programs with Sony next month. Please be on the lookout, as this will be a massive member benefit, not just to you but to the schools and communities you serve.

Tonight, SPOA will be facilitating the kickoff to our 2022-2023 Women's Leadership Advisory Council with a live Zoom meeting starting at 7:00 p.m. This is an incredible group that has been rapidly growing. Dr. Lillie Cox from WE LEAD is our advisor and education consultant for this group along with our new chair for this council, Stacey Worley of Leonard's. This group is great for aspiring women leaders to senior executive level leaders. Contact for calendar invites and the zoom link

Last, I would ask that if you have not already started to follow our open Facebook group and LinkedIn group you would do so today. We post many updates and offerings there so we do not inundate our members and their employees. This next month we will have many updates on our website and from our operations and having you connect on all three fronts will be huge for our communications.

Once again, thank you as always for whatever role you play in our great school traditions. Have a terrific start to your fall season!

Best wishes,

David Crandall

Executive Director

School Photographers of America


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