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Executive Director Update

What an incredible fall our industry had.  I heard some amazing stories of success, new achievements, and operational excellence.  Congratulations to all of you.  Being in the industry for 31 years, I promise I remember how hard the fall season is and how much the Christmas and New Year's break is needed.


We are very excited to share with you some of our major accomplishments from this past fall and initiatives we have going on as we move towards spring that will benefit all members and industry partners.  


1.    We had an incredible AI Summit in Las Vegas this past November with industry leaders from school photography companies, yearbook companies, AI companies, software companies and labs.  These leaders spent hours debating and helping build what will be a new industry coalition and pledge around AI for the safety of students and to preserve our great tradition.  We hope to have the first draft out by the end of January


2.    We had another incredible planning session for the industry's new Foundation that will forever reshape how our industry gives backs to schools for generations to come.  To learn more or get involved, please visit:


3.    We have been tirelessly working on new member benefits and plan to have a big announcement next month that will save members thousands of dollars a year and give you incredible benefits for simply being a member of the trade association. 


4.    Our website for the 2024 Conference in Las Vegas, NV July 8th-12th has launched and tickets are on sale now.  Book your tickets and hotel rooms today!


5.    We represented our members at state and national conferences this past fall and are lined up to represent you at even more this spring starting with the National Conference on Education with AASA in San Diego, CA this February.  Our goal is to make sure educators understand that when they are looking for new options or want to learn about standards or how to write unbiased bids or RFP's that SPOA is the place to go for them to gain that information.  Our attendance at these conferences as well as the resources on our site, provide new leads and opportunities for all members, a benefit non-SPOA members don't have access to reach these potential customers.


6.    We are working on some strategic initiatives with the Tim Tebow Foundation that are simply incredible starting with a Night to Shine which are complementary events for people with special needs hosted by local churches around the world. The event is open to anyone living with disabilities, ages 14 and older.  Although each event is a little bit different, some activities included are a red carpet entrance, limousine rides, dancing, karaoke, gifts, a catered dinner, a Respite Room for parents and caregivers, a crowning ceremony where every honored guest will receive a crown or tiara, and more.  There is much more to come and some very exciting opportunities for all of you here in the future.  We hope to make announcements and lock in some details by the end of January.

7.    We are so excited to have built the beginning of a new council for Canada that will be called, the National Council of School Photographers.  We have most of the council positions filled and plan to launch the website and press release in February.  This is going to be an incredible opportunity for Canada to address some critical promotional, education, and lobbying issues to help ensure that school photography and yearbook traditions continue for generations to come.  If you are a Canadian company and wish to learn more or participate, please email:


These are simply a handful of the projects we have completed and are currently working on to fulfill the mission of our organization to educate, advocate, promote, protect and preserve our great traditions of school photography and yearbooks.


As we go into the new year, I hope all of you will reflect on the amazing accomplishments you have done not just in your business but in the great traditions you serve.  From labs printing and delivering high quality packages and services in record times, to the millions of school children and families you all have provided cherished memories that will stand the test of time, it never ceases to amaze me the outstanding talent and partners it takes to do what you do.  Today schools are safer because of your work, schools simply are better because of you and the products and services you provide.  I hope as each of you reflect on the year that you will be proud of the work you did and the relationships you forged.  I also hope each of you know how hard we work to honor and represent you and this incredible industry.  


I feel very confident in 2024 our industry will see major changes just as in years past, whether that be in new technology, company mergers or acquisitions, or leadership changes to AI developments that could reshape how you do business today and tomorrow, our great tradition is poised for growth and expansion for generations to come.  


Thank you and I hope all of you had or have an amazing Holiday and a Happy New Year!

David Crandall

Executive Director


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