February 2022 President Article

Presidents February 2022 Update Article

We have engaged Dwight Odelius of Go Creative Arts to further improve and maintain our online system and website. The current focus is on the online system and continuing to make it user-friendly and include both membership options and convention registration. More details on this will be in the bulletin in the minutes of our recent Board meeting.

Our Vice President of Communications, Craig Foster, is currently updating the forms for the 2022 convention in Newton, IA. There is work to be done on updating information on the website and I am collaborating with him to get it all ready. He is also finished with the next bulletin, and it is about to be mailed out.

As we move forward into 2022, I want to encourage the members of the PGI not to get snared into the general air of malaise. By this, I mean the restlessness and uneasiness due to all
that is going on in our current days. Though some of this will affect our convention, I am confident it will not prevent us from still having a blast together enjoying a whole variety of pyrotechnics.

As I write this, energy costs are expected to rise even further, specifically for gasoline and fuel. There is a tendency to let these factors cause us to move toward maintenance mode over keeping our focus on our mission. Simply put, our mission is to promote the safe and sane display and use of pyrotechnics, promote the production and sale of high-quality pyrotechnics, and channel the creative energies of talented people into the design, production, and display of high-quality pyrotechnics. The Board of Directors is aware of these factors and is doing all we can to keep costs down while still hosting a high caliber convention. This is balanced with the fact that new sites are more expensive on our infrastructure costs along with our being in an economic environment where everything is costing more.

The bottom line is costs will be up this year as a new site will mean new challenges. For over 50-years now PGI members have faced a variety of challenges and still accomplished our mission.

Another factor in controlling costs is doing the work ourselves. The concept of having volunteers manage the varied aspects of the convention rather than hiring folks. This too is currently being challenged by a low ownership culture. It is an ‘every person for themselves’ culture. Unhelpfulness is an art form. Volunteering is frowned on. Now I honestly do not think that is where the majority of the PGI membership exists in their thinking, but I am aware you are immersed in a culture that is thinking this way. One of my favorite quotes is John F. Kennedy stating, “… ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” I am asking for you to think about this while considering your involvement with the PGI. In the next 30 days, we will get the updated volunteer form available and other information on involvement in the PGI. So, for now be thinking about it, then act on your thinking and plan to join in as part of the Volunteer Corps that makes our conventions such an enjoyable and interesting time.

Things continue to come together for the 2022 Convention. This year we will have three nights of public displays on Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday and the JPA display on Wednesday. The full display lineup will be sent out later in the Spring.

I was able to attend the American Pyrotechnic Association APA Winter Education Conference February 8 – 11, along with John and Craig, on behalf of the PGI. Last February 2021, this conference was virtual, so it was good to be back in person and see and dialog with our friends in the APA. Craig lives just 20 minutes away from this conference site, so it was great to have him join us and meet the folks John and I have been collaborating and working with in the APA. John and I continue to serve on the American Pyrotechnics and Safety Education Foundation (APSE) Board and participated in a Board meeting while at this conference. Please make use of the safety tips and information on their website at https://www.celebratesafely.org/

We continued our dialog with the Director of the American Fireworks Safety Lab (AFSL) Jay Howell, and he is working toward attending our convention this year. I have asked that he attend and even do a seminar on what the AFSL does in the process of fireworks made in China being imported into the USA.

On behalf of the PGI Board,
Paul