Congratulations to everyone – June 1, 2016, is JEN’s 8th birthday! We have come a long way in a short period and are eager to continue connecting and serving all areas relating to the jazz and jazz education communities.
On July 1, 2016, JEN will welcome four new members to the JEN Board, two new officers and three officers who will be shifting their officer roles.
We are delighted to add Diane Chandler-Marshall, Francisco Torres, Kirk Whalum and Greg Yasinitsky to JEN’s Board. They each bring a wide range of skill and experience to JEN and we look forward to their input and leadership in promoting jazz and jazz education.
John Clayton, Andrew Surmani and Tony White will complete their Board terms. Their service and contributions have been invaluable. We will miss their presence, input and wisdom and thank them for their dedication and service.
We are excited to announce Todd Stoll as President-Elect and Sharon Burch as Secretary as our new officers. They bring very impressive backgrounds and visions that will help JEN continue to evolve. The future of JEN will be well served by their leadership.
Caleb Chapman will become JEN’s fifth President and will bring his dynamic style of leadership, musicianship and business acumen to his new position. I will become Immediate Past President and remain on the Executive Committee. Our Co-Founder, Mary Jo Papich, will continue her role as the other Past President (JEN’s bylaws requires two Past Presidents to be on the Board). Having her sense of history, wide range of contacts and people skills on the Board is most helpful. Andrew Surmani will depart the Executive Committee in his role as Past President. I want to acknowledge Andrew as a JEN Founding member who has ably served as JEN’s Treasurer and led JEN as President, President-Elect and Past President. His guidance on as one of our leaders has helped JEN continue to transition from a startup organization to one that has gained international recognition and universal respect. We will miss his counsel and insights.
My term as JEN President will conclude on June 30 so this is my last President’s message. It has been an honor to serve JEN in this capacity. I look forward to my new role as JEN’s Past President where I will continue to serve this special organization. JEN is poised for significant growth in the coming years due to the ongoing strength and foundations of the last two years. I want to thank everyone on JEN’s Board, our numerous volunteers and especially our former Presidents Mary Jo Papich and Andrew Surmani and our incoming President Caleb Chapman for their ongoing support, advice and friendship. I also am grateful to JEN’s Co-Founder, 2nd President and Operations Administrator Lou Fischer. He and I have consulted almost daily over the last two years on conference planning and on moving forward the various components that comprise JEN. His understanding and grasp of the workings of JEN have been a most helpful resource and I thank him for his friendship and his commitment to JEN. Well-deserved appreciation goes to JEN’s staff Larry Green, Marina Terteryan, Steve Nigohosian and Lynda Chavez who work tirelessly behind the scenes to keep JEN moving forward. I am very grateful to my wife Frances Scanlon who has offered me and JEN her ongoing support. Her significant contributions to JEN have been monumental. I am most fortunate and appreciative to be her partner.
Finally, I want to acknowledge the multitude of JEN members like you around the world, who are the lifeblood of this organization. Your passion for jazz music and education, as well as your enthusiasm and participation are what continues to make JEN a strong and respected organization. I have met many of you at the annual Conference and other JEN-related events, and have heard from you through other mediums, and know that you will ensure JEN’s exciting and promising future. Much thanks to everyone for your ongoing support of JEN.
Happy Birthday to JEN!