Clasp '07 is over, but its impact will remain with us for a very
long time, and for some, be life changing.
Ever since Clasp was in gestation, "threads" have appeared on Orchid
debating its value, cost, and viability. Opinions have been strong,
and in some cases long. At times from non attenders. I'd like to
offer some personal, hands on, comments.
To have a successful product, there must be a strong team leader as
the driving force. Andrea Hill selected just such an amazing team.
Clasp '06 was an incredibly positive result of team effort, with
each team member an active, contributing voice. Every one of them was
part of the decision, they were a strong team all going in the same
Clasp '07, followed this pattern with Mark Shipman at the helm. Mark
directed his team, and they all contributed to another seamless,
wildly successful conference. The cooperation between all was smooth
and the results speak for themselves.
Alan and Eddie Bell were very much in evidence, and happily worked
alongside of Rio Grande's attending staff, in every quadrant. No
stiff shirts there, they were very much a part of the team, no RHIP
Emily Rivera, very pregnant at Clasp '06, brought her new son Max,
as well as her daughter, along with her. For me, an older bird, very
aware of what life was like insofar as female employees, job
responsibilities, and family, I am so happy to see that Rio Grande
is in the forefront of positive changes. They even used one of our
gatherings, to present a 10 year award to an employee Erin, no
longer living in New Mexico, but still a Rio Grande employee, now
telecommuting to work from Colorado.
Co-Sponsors were represented by well known, well respected, persons,
taking time out of their busy lives to be there. Orchid's Dr. Hanuman
Aspler, Ton, and Charles Lewton Brain, MJSA's Rich Youmans, SNAG's
Dana Singer, Bench Media's Brad Simon. Brilliant, giving persons,
each and every one of them Collectively, a Powerhouse!
The three "Paths" offering was and is a brilliant decision. Muse,
Method, and Money. There is something within each of them that spoke
directly to every Clasp attendee. The presenters of each Path were
extraordinary, the presentations clearly showed their fine
qualities. The most frequent comments after each session, was "I
really got something from that."
The Expert Panels were incredible. Not a "Stuffed Shirt" on any of
them. I remember so well from Clasp '06 the good natured bantering
between Experts holding different opinions. Clasp '07 offered more
of the same. The 75 in 75 is a brilliant way to do a Forum. Great
advice and suggestions given with great humor. Audience reaction
stimulated even more.
The Breakfast, or Dinner with Experts, was another incredible
decision, by the Clasp Advisory Board. They were well attended, and
I can speak for Dinner with Ronda Coryell. I took a class with Ronda
at Tucson's Catalog in Motion, earlier this year, and simply wanted
more of Ronda.
The meal was good, and then we talked, and talked, and talked. Got
teased later on about just how long we all talked. We finally had to
allow the Marriott staff to clean the room and prepare it for the
next morning's Breakfast with an Expert. Very valuable experience to
ask and understand.
The individual "Meet With Salon's" is another outstanding
opportunity for attendees. My time with Marlene Ritchey was
wonderfully invigorating. I have heard equally positive comments from
friends, no matter which Expert they met with.
As I initially said, these are my personal comments and feelings. I
cannot thank Rio Grande commensurably enough for the depth of my
feelings about their support of me, the individual, small customer,
there are not enough words.
One last comment, this with reference to just what Clasp can do for
one. Last year, a young lady attended Clasp. There, she was
encouraged to enter her jewelry in the Saul Bell Award, she did, and
won! Just ask her what Clasp did for her.
who spent 20 plus hours at the Denver airport after her flight