Maybe you have been living out in the backcountry under a rock, or dealing with the most recent Steelhead closure, or maybe you are just enjoying a slow wrap up to the busy holiday season. Whatever the case, there are a couple of things that you should know. Most of them are about digging deep into our carefully cultivated roots to start some new action-packed beginnings.
First and foremost–
IOGA is welcoming in some new leadership. If you weren’t able to attend our recent annual December meeting we introduced our new Executive Director, Aaron Lieberman. We voted in a new President, Jeff Bitton, to lead our Board of Directors. Also, we accumulated a couple more members to the Board of Directors– Skip Volpert and Dagny Deutchman. Each of the individuals occupying these new roles looks forward to learning from the mentorship of current staff and board members, past affiliates, and long-time participants within the industry.
Alongside the introduction of these new roles come exciting changes. Some of these changes are small, behind the scenes changes: the board agreeing to increase the frequency in which they meet, switching from traditional paper-based documentation to digital platforms and Google suite, the board meeting later this month for updated strategic planning, among many others. These changes are infrastructural and will make the board stronger and more efficient. These changes directly translate into longevity and resilience to a quickly changing world.
We are working on some more noticeable changes, as well. These changes will hopefully benefit you directly, as a member of IOGA, on a more frequent basis. One of them is our online presence– particularly, our blog and outgoing media.
What Can You Expect?
We seek to provide you with the most up-to-date information on our industry. We also want to help foster a stronger sense of community, provide educational materials, and bring in voices from other industries that may help bolster our own. We believe that in order to achieve these goals we should be updating you a lot more regularly. Expect a minimum of an update per month, and a maximum of an update per week.
In an effort to emphasize the G in our IOGA, we have been collecting data from our year-long guide survey. Although the survey doesn’t end until spring, we have already combed through every response and learned a significant amount about what the guides in our industry are seeking. We recognize where we have fallen short in addressing their needs. Rest assured, we are constructing plans on how to do better. Expect to see some more concrete representation from the guide section of our industry.
(Additionally: If you know of any guides who have not yet taken this survey, please encourage them to do so by clicking here. We are only 100 responses away from our goal of 300 before spring!)
Finally, you can expect that we won’t get it right every time but that we promise to try our very best. Our Board of Directors is constructed of dedicated, unpaid volunteers who believe in the strength of our community. Many of us have businesses, families, and personal goals outside of IOGA. As there are new changes underway, please remember to be patient with us. We are doing the best that we can. The most helpful way you can do to help us out in this time of transition is to frequently give us feedback. We want to know what content you loved, disliked, and would like to see. Expect to see a feedback survey launched in May of this year so you can formally tell us how you think we’re doing–but feel free to reach out in the meantime.
As we are working towards building a stronger online presence we are welcoming guest contributors. We are looking for guest writing contributions from anyone related to the Idaho outfitting and guiding industry. This includes but is not limited to:
- Gear and supply companies
- Guests of the industry
- Travel companies
- Related non-profits who with to partner with our industry
If you, or someone you know, are interested in contributing to our blog please email IOGA’s Head Media Coordinator at [email protected] for more information, questions, or concerns. Please remember to check out our IOGA Contributor Guidelines.
Finally, thank you, thank you, thank you for your years of continued support. We look forward to the changes ahead. We’re excited that you are all along for the ride.