*ahem* Aaaaaanyway.. on to the interview! ;)
~ We have some unique challenges in the NW Region (we may be the only US Region in ADF with 3K+ miles between its most distant members), and had to deal with a bit of upheaval there for a while. Do you have any advice for me after your latest term as NWRD?
Aigeann: Keep your wonderful sense of humor.
~ This was not your first term as NWRD; how did it differ this time around from the last time you served in this role, and when was that (for those like myself who were not present then)?
Aigeann: I was first NWRD 2003-2005. Since then both ADF and the Region has grown and grown up. Much is still evolving.
~ If you could say one thing to the members of the Region, what would you say?
Aigeann: On a regular basis, turn off the computer (or smart phone) and go hug the nearest tree.
~ You founded the Region's oldest group, Clan of the Triple Horses (which has recently chosen to downgrade from Grove to study group until further notice), and have served as Chief of the Grove Organizing Council where you saw numerous PGs come and go (and sometimes come back again). In a Region where the Protogroves now outnumber the Groves, speaking both as former GOC Poobah and as someone who has GO/SD experience as well, do you have any advice for our Grove Organizers as they look to build strong, lasting foundations for their groups?
Aigeann: Listen to the Kindreds more than the squeaky wheels. Remember that "no" is a complete sentence.
~ You also basically created Eight Winds; what are your hopes for the festival in the days to come? Would you like to see ADF's annual meeting be held in the NW at Eight Winds?
Aigeann: I'd love to see some mechanism put in place to keep it sustainable since rotation between groups is becoming overwhelming.
One thought might be the creation of a separate committee. This committee could be composed of a variety of people throughout the Region with the resources available to focus on putting together such a complicated event. There would need to be a detail oriented main leader to oversee everything including the dividing up of the main responsibilities to trustworthy volunteers, or groups, to (hopefully) prevent burn out. For example, to develop a fund raising committee who doesn't also have to worry about the details of reservations, etc. I will admit this will require finding some unique people to make this a reality.
Especially my first time as NWRD, I heard many complaints from members feeling forgotten when so many of the big ADF centered festivals, in addition to the Annual Meeting, where all held in the East. I think moving the Annual Meeting to different locations including the Northwest, would go a long way bringing in new members and solidify existing ones. I believe that Eight Winds is on the verge of being able to host the Annual Meeting. This would also open the way to having the Annual Meeting held in other countries, where I would guess international members also might be feeling left out.
In closing, Caitlin, I have thoroughly enjoyed working with you and getting to know you better. You have your fingers on the pulse of the Region. You are going to do great things.
I'll leave everyone with one last quote that I find inspiring.
"The meaning of life is not to be discovered only after death in some hidden, mysterious realm; on the contrary, it can be found by eating the succulent fruit of the Tree of Life and by living in the here and now as fully and creatively as we can."