After almost one and a half years as president of the board of HRPS, I am finally getting a grip on this job, which brings challenges and new learning opportunities each week. In my Spring 2014 President''s Message, I wrote about HRPS place in Judith Sharken Simon's The Five Life Stages of Nonprofit Organizations. HRPS is ready to move solidly into Simon's Stage Three: Produce and Sustain. The primary question for this stage is ""How can we sustain the momentum?"" In the next six months, your board will be looking at ways in which we can guarantee that our organization and all of its wonderful programs continue to produce and sustain.
The added attention to Nevada History in this year of celebrating Nevada''s Sesquicentennial spiked the interest in many of HRPS' programs. Throughout 2014 we had unprecedented attendance numbers come out for our Historic Walking Tours, our monthly Programs, and our Harvest of Homes Tour. Even after moving to the Laxalt Auditorium with over double the capacity of Mount Rose Elementary School, we unfortunately had to turn people away from our February, March and October programs because we had reached the capacity set by the Fire Marshall. We were able to work with the Washoe County Libraries to offer the February and March programs and we are currently working to arrange another presentation by Richard Hill, who, in October, showed home movies of Reno and Northern Nevada taken in the 1920s and 1930s.
HRPS continues to work with other city groups to further our mission of promoting Reno''s historic resources. Barrie Shuster has been giving walking tours to groups from the Midtown Merchants Association to help them appreciate the history of buildings on and around the Virginia Street Corridor inside the Midtown boundaries. As a result, she has not only educated the merchants about the buildings that house their businesses, she has created a new HRPS Historic Walking Tour for our 2015 season.
With time and growth comes change. Jack Hursh and Cindy Ainsworth will be retiring from their jobs as HRPS Program Chairs, a job that Jack has done for fifteen years. Both Jack and Cindy want to devote more time to working on the Neighborhood Preservation Fund Committee. We welcome Steve Davis, former Assistant Director of Nevada Humanities and noted Nevada historian and documentary photographer, who has agreed to assume the Chairmanship of the Program Committee starting in 2015.
Felvia Belaustegui reports that new schools have requested to participate in our Fourth Grade Education Program. With the increase in schools HRPS welcome two new volunteer members, Donna and Paul Erickson, who will be accompanying Felvia, Terry Cynar and Jerry Fenwick on the next fourth grade field trip.
Other changes in the future for HRPS will be the addition of two or three new board members to replace those who have resigned due to family and work obligations. The board will also be grappling with the loss of HRPS Administrator, Cindy Ainsworth who will be resigning her position at the end of 2014. Cindy will continue to be a HRPS volunteer extraordinaire and assist whenever she is needed.
In closing, we welcome Charlotte and Dick McConnell and Jan E. Chik, our newest Lifetime members, who join 27 other couples and individuals who have made this commitment to HRPS. Income from Lifetime Membership is used to support our Neighborhood Preservation Fund.