Updated: Dec 29, 2021
SPOA's executive board is growing with unbelievable talent and experience. We have a very bright future with these additions to our board.
We first want to introduce you to our new board secretary. Ali Harmon has been a Lead Photographer for Leonard’s for six years. With a passion for photography, she understands the importance of school portraits and is eager to continue to grow and evolve the industry for generations to come, all while keeping the tradition of school photography vital. In her professional career with Leonard’s, she photographs thousands of students every week, creates captivating portraits for high school seniors, and has received numerous awards and publications for school portraiture.
Our second new member and will chair our Education - Photography chair is Chris Garcia. Garcia is a native of central California who was born into a military family. Garcia's father was Marine for the United States Armed forces where his father first learned the art of photography. After retiring from the Marines, his father opened a photography studio in Lemoore, California, one hour after his retirement ceremony. Garcia grew up in the studio learning photography from his parents. In 2012 Chris and his father founded GSP Studio where Chris’s love of volume photography led him to become the CEO of GSP Studio in 2019.
Our next new board member will be chairing our Student Data Privacy / Safety chair. Welcome, Orren Welch. Welch started his career at Lifetouch NSS in 1989 as a photographer at the age of 20. His passion for creating memories kept him focused on staying in the school picture industry where he had many field roles including Territory Manager in Idaho and Arizona. In 2001 he began working in a corporate management capacity holding roles such as Regional Manager, Area Manager, VP of Field Performance, VP of Marketing and Sr. VP of Sales/Marketing and Field Operation North America. In 2017 he left the industry to pursue other interests but the passion and knowledge of the business called him back in the summer of 2021 joining BSP in this current role. Today, Orren Welch is currently the Acquisition and Expansion Manager of The Barksdale Group. Barksdale School Photography (BSP) was founded in 1922 and is a fourth-generation family-owned photography company.