Memberships, Status & Profile Attributes:
What They Mean, and Why They’re Important
By Stewart Woodard
In GNPA, we have nine different Membership Types and three different Member Status conditions. To participate in any GNPA activities, you must be a “current member in good standing.”
Those categories are important, so here is what you need to know to make the most of your membership. And remember, you can change your Membership Type at any time, or change to a Lifetime Membership.
Most of the Membership Types are fairly straightforward and need little if any explanation. With the exception of Lifetime Memberships, they all require annual renewals. Family Memberships are a little bit more complicated for our system, so if you choose this path, please contact me at Membership@GNPA.org and I will help get you set up.
If more than one member of a family belongs to GNPA, the Family Membership offers annual dues savings and the ability to make just one annual payment. This category allows up to four family members in a single membership. One of the major benefits is that any family member can participate individually in any of the GNPA activities, such as the annual EXPO. In the past, registering for EXPO required a great deal of effort and assistance. Now, each family member can sign up to attend EXPO and register for all the same field trips and workshops if they want, or pick and choose as each family member desires.
Family Memberships are listed in the Member Profile Attributes as “Organization.” This identifier needs to be unique, so we also use the last name, i.e. “Anderson Family.” If we have more than one Anderson Family (and we do), then we include the first-name initial, such as “L Anderson Family” or “T Anderson Family.”
Each family member, however, will have his or her own unique Member Profile, like all other GNPA members. Each of these is linked back to the Master Family Profile. One member of the family needs to be identified as the Key Member. At the time of membership renewal, a single renewal invoice is generated and sent to this Key Member only. No one else in the family unit will receive a renewal invoice.
Two Important Items About Renewals
- The only time when you have the opportunity to opt-in for automatic renewal is when you renew your membership each year.
- When renewing your membership or for any other fee payments, only valid credit or debit cards may be used, NOT checks or money orders of any kind. GNPA does not keep any credit or debit card information on file; it is only used by our bank-processing services.
Membership Status has three different levels – Active, Graced and Lapsed. Only Active and Graced are considered Current Members in Good Standing. They are described in this way:
Active: A current member who has either paid their annual renewal or is a Lifetime Member (Lifetime Memberships never generate a renewal invoice).
Graced: A current member with an outstanding renewal invoice. Every GNPA member is extended a grace period of 20 days after their renewal due date to pay their dues.
Lapsed: For whatever reason, no attempt has been made by these members to renew their GNPA membership. These Member Profiles will be made inactive and moved out of the member database.
Member Profile Attributes & Their Importance
We now feature Basic (6) and Custom (15) Attributes for all members. Considerable thought was put into creating the Custom Attributes, and while most are optional, they are important to our organization. Here are a few:
Contact information: Important basic contact information includes member name, email address, home address and phone numbers.
Chapter Affiliation Primary & Secondary: This identifies the local chapter you will identify with and attend. It’s typically the chapter closest to your home, but not necessarily. If you live outside the state of Georgia or live more than an hour’s drive from a chapter, then you probably should select “Out of Area” as your Primary Chapter. A Secondary Chapter is quite common, as many of our members attend multiple chapter meetings and activities.
Emergency Contacts: This is very important (and sometimes critical) information. Whenever you are attending any GNPA outing, EXPO, field trips, workshops, etc., we always need to know who to contact in case of an emergency situation. It is in everyone’s best interest to make sure this information is complete and accurate.
Camera Type & Photographic Interests: This data is very helpful for planning purposes. Having this information allows us to put together workshops, webinars and field trips that are relevant to our members.
Speaker Bureau: One of the biggest challenges for our chapters is finding speakers to address GNPA chapter meetings and other events. Please opt in to this attribute only if you feel qualified to be a speaker.
Over time, we may add more attributes that we feel will help us serve our members. Please make every effort to include this information in your profile. Rest assured that our members’ information is for GNPA use only.
So please complete as much of your online Member Profile as possible. The more information we have, the better we’ll be able to serve you and all of our members.
Thank you for your help!
See What’s New for GNPA
Eric Bowles, GNPA President
It’s been about six months since Covid-19 forced our organization to shut down chapter meetings and most in-person events. During that time, we’ve been working to reinvent GNPA in ways that will help it thrive in this new world.
First, we’re updating and improving the GNPA website. When you visit our website (www.GNPA.org), you’ll find a new home page featuring some terrific images from GNPA members. You’ll also discover a new Blog page, which offers the ability to view current and archived posts from our blogs and newsletters. To make it even more useful, you can search this content by topic or keyword.
In place of chapter meetings, we’ve launched a webinar program using the Zoom platform. At this point we’ve delivered more than a dozen webinars, and those recordings are posted on the Member Home page. One great aspect of this approach is that it allows our members to virtually attend meetings from any chapter in the state, so you never have to miss an interesting speaker or topic. If you can’t watch the live webinar, you can always catch the recorded version at your convenience.
Meanwhile, we see a lot of members who are eager to get outside and make photographs with other members. Jamie Anderson’s Jekyll Island astrophotography program sold out in just four days and had a waiting list. The Fall Smokies event (November 5-8) already has 50 people registered, but don’t worry, there is plenty of space available. The program has been revised this year to support social distancing and safe travel. Even more trips and programs are in the works, with the emphasis on regional travel.
Don’t miss these opportunities. To register for events, sign up for webinars, listen to recordings or find out about other member activities, just click on the Member Login on the top right corner of the GNPA home page. After you log in, you’ll see your Member Home page with a list of member-only activities and programs at the bottom of the page.
Thanks for your continued support of GNPA.
— Eric Bowles
In each of our newsletters, we’ll be featuring short profiles of GNPA members from across the state. This month, it’s Bill and Deborah Hatherley (and their dog Butterscotch) from the Alpharetta Chapter, one of our Family Memberships.
When did you join GNPA?
What’s your occupation?
Deborah and Bill are both retired after working 40 years. Deborah spent her career as a school psychologist and Bill worked in computer security.
How did you get into photography?
Bill started in photography 50 years ago with a Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic. In 1984, his apartment burned down and he lost all of his photography equipment, prints and negatives. After this dramatic loss, he left the hobby for 25 years. In 2010, when Deborah and Bill began traveling on cruises, Bill’s interest in photography was rekindled and he purchased a full-frame camera with all the “necessary” lenses. He later moved from his Olympus system to Canon, and has recently adopted a full-frame Sony outfit.
Deborah takes a few photos and videos with her iPhone but her real artistic passion is painting. She joins Bill on GNPA trips and while he takes photos, she paints. One of her most intriguing accomplishments was decorating a walking stick with painted scenes from all the sites she saw while on a GNPA trip in Florida, led by Tom Simpson.
What are your favorite photography subjects?
Bill shoots mainly landscapes and birding scenes, but his favorite subject is his service dog Butterscotch.
What are your favorite places to shoot?
Bill and Deb both love attending GNPA trips. The more memorable ventures involved traveling with Tom Simpson to Florida and Larry Winslett to Tennessee and North Georgia, as well as a learning session conducted by Eric Bowles at the Chattahoochee Nature Center.
What would be your photographic “dream trip”?
“We would love to travel with Larry to Bosque Del Apache or with others to the Triple D Ranch and the Tetons, especially in winter,” according to Bill.
Bill’s photo “Dad Supporting Junior On First Flight” was recently selected to be displayed for a year at the Emory University Hospital Downtown, as part of an Atlanta Celebrates Photography (ACP) exhibition.
Which camera and lenses do you use most often?
“For birding and wildlife, I tend to use the Sony 100-400 or the 200-600. They are great lenses. For landscapes, I lean on the 16-35. It is so sharp and awesome.”
“Bigger Than Life Shadow” is another image by Bill that is on display at the Emory University Hospital Downtown exhibition.
What are your go-to websites for photography information?
“At this point, we are so limited by the Covid-19 virus situation, I’ve got to give a big shoutout to all the GNPA chapters. They are continuing to foster interest in photography by providing Zoom classes with excellent instructors. Both of us attend sessions from all over the state. We recently enjoyed an excellent presentation on the Montana Photo Triangle from the Hamilton Chapter. By the way, these Zoom sessions are posted in the Members section of the GNPA website. A big thank-you goes to Lee Friedman of my chapter, who has been instrumental in facilitating these sessions and posting them online for all GNPA members.”
Have any photographers inspired you?
“David Akoubian, Tom Simpson, Tom Wilson, Eric Bowles and Larry Winslett of GNPA are winners and inspirational. They have shown a strong commitment to facilitate learning and support the GNPA endeavor. We should also add that local photographers Kevin Gaskin, Jeff Milsteen, David Wolf and Amanda Gardner (of ASOP) have also been instrumental in our learning. On a national level, we follow Tony and Chelsea Northrup, Mark Smith, Scott Kelby, Mark Galer, Nick Page, Terry White and Laura Shoe, not so much for their photography but for their commitment and excellence in education.”
What’s your favorite part of belonging to GNPA?
“By far, it’s the sharing and learning. I am constantly searching for ways to improve my photography. GNPA is so welcoming and inspirational. Before Covid-19, I regularly attended local meetings at Alpharetta and Roswell but have also traveled to Gwinnett and Smyrna and always been welcome. It’s a great organization.”
Something about you most people don’t know:
“Deb and I help teach (not train – talk to me about the difference) service dogs for Canine Assistants. We love helping canines grow and develop and get placed with people who need service dogs to help them function in this world. Dogs we work with change the lives of people with disabilities, and it’s so heartwarming to be a part of this important service.” One other piece of trivia: Bill has set foot in all 50 states, an experience he now treasures.
Butterscotch. Photo by David Akoubian.
Where are you from?
Deborah is a native Atlantan. Bill was born in Florida but only lived there six months. After that, he traveled with his family to many military bases before finally settling in Atlanta.
Ongoing need for wildlife, trees, wildflowers, etc. that are native to Georgia and any shots of recreation in Georgia at DNR properties, especially the WRD (Wildlife Resources Division) sites.
For a Specific Shot List: Contact John Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to see results of the 2020 Winter Project with Prizes