*The first part in a new series on the blog - we will be introducing you to the various Board and Appointee positions - to give you a close up of the benefits and activities that each role does to keep EAC vibrant and active. If you would like to get more involved with the EAC, please reach out to pastpres@eac.ca or any other member of the executive.
I must admit that the position of Past President in any organization may seem like a "has been", honorary position. But I've discovered as I take this role that it is many more things than that. First it is a bit less intense than being President. I find that I'm not constantly on call and don't need to have a comment and answer to every issue that comes up. An organization like EAC, The Embroiderers' Association of Canada, may seem like a cushy job, but believe me, it isn't! I'll let the current "Prez" attest to that in an upcoming Blog. As Past President I actually have time to accomplish quite a lot of stitching. But I do find that EAC is still a constant in my life. There are issues that will need to be dealt with like Job Descriptions, Bylaw changes, Policy reviews and others but they're manageable.
I find that a lot of my role involves memories of past events in the organization. Why was this issue decided the way it was? What prompted this discussion? Based on past events, how should we handle this one? It involves a lot of diplomacy but that is something that has developed over the past years in the organization. If I were asked what is most important in any of these positions I think that would be it. 
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I'll admit I was a bit anxious when I realized that the role of Past President was partly as "elder statesman". The "elder" part is beginning to come into focus but I really wasn't sure if the "statesman" part would ever fit. I tend to be fairly easy going on a lot of matters. I'm of the KISS persuasion (Keep It Simple Stupid) and am not inclined to sweat the small stuff. But, on reflection I think that might be what is needed. We need to realize that very few things we do or decide in life will cause irreparable damage. We need to remember that people are the most important part of everything we decide. Rules can be bent if it is to the benefit of the people involved in the decision. So I welcome the notes arriving in my Inbox from chapters asking how to handle their difficult situations. Rules are made to keep everything running smoothly and sometimes they don't exactly work for any group. Often I find that once the situation is discussed with someone at arm's length the problem can be solved.
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Part of the role of Past President is as head of the Nomination Committee. It is something I'm just getting started on with EAC. I understand the reasoning of having it part of this position as I've gotten to know a lot of members over my tenure on the Board. Some have stood out as potential candidates for positions; many have left a mark on my life. But there are almost 2000 of us in the organization so I certainly haven't met everyone. That's where I rely on networking within EAC to come up with members who are willing to give time to their organization. I've enjoyed my time on the Board and I'd love for others to have that experience. Yes, we work hard. Yes, we accomplish a lot. But we have fun! I've made life-long friends through this experience. I've gained a great deal and grown in skills that I never knew I had. It's been an amazing experience. Have you thought of becoming part of it?
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All members of the Board are involved in most aspects of the organization so reading the Job Description and Timeline doesn't give the full picture at all. There are constantly new challenges and initiatives coming up that need volunteers. We're a very cooperative, sharing group and many of us volunteer for tasks outside our official role. It's a great feeling of accomplishment to see an initiative take root and help to grow the organization. I also find that we are very open to discussing new ideas and seeing if they are a fit for EAC.
As you can perhaps see from all of this, one of the parts of my job that I take very seriously is as a "cheerleader" for EAC. I have gained so much from this organization that I want others to share this enthusiasm. Over the past couple of years we've embraced electronic communication such as this Blog, Facebook, our website (www.eac.ca), GoToMeeting for online meetings, our new cyber-chapter (Virtual Threads) and lots more, while still maintaining our base with non-computer members. It's an exciting time and I certainly will be keeping an active role with EAC even after my tenure on the Board ends.

Joyce Gill
EAC Past President


  1. It is nice to get a chance to read what your position as Vice-Prez entails, Joyce. I'm looking forward to the rest of this series!

  2. This is a great idea for a series. I'm looking forward to reading the others. Thank you for starting us off Joyce.


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About EAC

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The Embroiderers' Association of Canada (EAC) is a national non-profit educational organization whose purpose is to have a fellowship of persons who enjoy needlework and wish to learn and share their knowledge; and thereby to work towards maintaining higher standards of design, colour and workmanship.

Our aim is to preserve traditional techniques and promote new challenges in the Art of Embroidery through education and networking.

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