November 21, 2016
By Jason Harbonic
Outside the MSA Headquarters in Philadelphia, the leaves are changing colors, rakes are at the ready and jackets are pulled a little tighter on everyone’s midday walks. But it’s not just another fall here in Philadelphia, it’s the holiday season.
With Thanksgiving only days away, it’s time to pause and reflect on what I’m thankful for. And I have much to be thankful for. It’s been an eventful year, one that culminated with my position as MSA’s new Executive Director, which began November 1.
Professionally, I’m grateful to have the opportunity to serve the MSA leadership and membership. I’m eager to build relationships with the members and continue learning about the museum store industry. This is an exciting time in MSA’s history, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of it.
I already have learned just how vibrant this organization is—filled with talented and passionate people who truly want to create better museum store environments and experiences. I’ve worked for many associations throughout the years, and it’s much more gratifying to be a part of a dynamic group, like MSA, than one that is stale and unengaged. I’m hopeful that with your support and participation, we can work together to grow MSA, and offer resources and benefits that, in turn, help you grow your business and enhance your career.
I’m also thankful to work with an exceptional team at your new association management firm, Fernley & Fernley. With Fernley & Fernley, MSA is supported by a team of experienced professionals, including experts in database management, financial management, accounting services, membership processing and recruitment, delivery of member services, creative design and communications, governance and nonprofit management, conference management, and IT support.
I’d like to express my gratitude to Liz Franks, who served as the Interim Executive Director and did an outstanding job transitioning MSA into Fernley & Fernley management. In addition, Allison Ebner, Associate Director of Marketing & Communications, immediately stepped in the day she started at Fernley & Fernley and hasn’t looked back! Thank you to Allison for her willingness to jump right in from day No. 1. While exciting and hopeful, change also has a learning curve. We appreciate your patience as we continue the management transition.
We’re here to help you. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns you may have—or just to introduce yourself.
I hope I get the chance to meet you in person at MSA Forward 2017, our annual Conference & Expo, which will be held April 21 to 24, 2017, in Pittsburgh, PA. Conference registration is open, and the preliminary schedule is posted.
From all of us here at MSA Headquarters, Happy Thanksgiving! May it be filled with good company, good food and good times.
Jason Harbonic is the new Executive Director of MSA. He has served a variety of associations throughout his 20 years in association management. His first museum experiences were visits to the Reading Public Museum with his family and classmates, starting a lifelong love of museums.