Dear ASDP Board

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  • 01/03/2013 6:59 PM | Anonymous

    Dolores O. Luckow

    July 29, 1941 – December 10, 2012

    If the Devil is in the details, then the Devil was an employee of Dolores Luckow. From designing couture gowns to nurturing her friends’ and family’s dreams, Dolores Luckow paid attention to the intricacies of life. When Dolores had a hand in a project, it was done to her impeccable standards. She wanted and knew what was the best for everyone in her life, transforming customers into her ideal of beauty and changing the way they viewed themselves, as well as convincing the most insecure of us that we, too, could be “real” Spanish speakers.

    A compassionate woman unable to mask a single emotion, Dolores had a fierce sense of loyalty to her friends and family. She always had something to give -- whether a piece of advice (which she gave on every topic under the sun) or her time, she did so without holding anything back. A benevolent force of Mother Nature, she genuinely and generously and insistently cared for and nurtured everyone in her life.

    A beloved wife, mother, sister, friend, and “diva,” she died from injuries sustained after falling off a ladder while trying to retrieve Christmas decorations. She passed away surrounded by friends and family. If the wealthy in this country are 1%, she was in that category of emotional wealth and ability. A registered organ donor, her family feels she heard the criteria necessary for internal organ donation that only 1% of the population can achieve. She made it happen overnight, the time of the day she always felt she did her best work. Her family is grateful that her last wish was fulfilled donating eyes, bones, tissue, kidneys, and a liver that reflected her healthy and fit lifestyle.

    Born to privilege in Mexico City to Carlos M. Ojeda and Maria Dolores Ojeda M., Dolores learned to sew, knit, tat, and embroider when she was 4 years old, all skills considered an essential part of a well-rounded Mexican education. As a child, she enthusiastically designed and made clothes for her dolls, sewed her school uniforms and by the age of 16, designed and made all her party and evening gowns. She created haute couture and one-of-a-kind designs for wedding gowns, skating costumes, and beauty pageant dresses at her business Originals by Dolores O. Luckow. She was a member of the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals. Always up to the challenge of creating a unique design, she was one of the most sought-after custom clothiers in the Northwest.

    A beautifully gifted and compassionate woman, Dolores brought her enthusiasm for life to everything she did. She and her husband, Gerald, who would have celebrated 50 years of marriage on Dec. 27, were members of the Horseless Carriage Club of America. They have traveled to every continent except Antarctica, and enjoyed countless adventures along the way including taking the Trans Siberian Train to the last outpost on the railroad, climbing to the top of Wayna Picchu for the best view of Macchu Picchu, marveling over her favorite city, Paris, at the top of the Arc de Triumphe, visiting historical places and insisting that everywhere she went, she was a temporary local.

    A gregarious woman, Dolores quickly made friendships with whomever she met from the classmates in aerobics class to the students in the Spanish classes she taught through Clackamas Community College for more than 35 years.

    An excellent example for her exquisite imagination can be found in her miniature dollhouse collection where she created elaborate stories for her dolls that she used to help teach Spanish.

    A renegade spirit, she fell in love with Gerald Luckow when he was a student in Mexico City. She left her opulent lifestyle to move with him to Centralia, Washington where she learned to garden, bake and corral the cows back into the pasture despite high heels. She brought her unabashed enthusiasm to life in everything she did and she made sure whatever she did, she did it to her best abilities.

    She was proceeded in death by her parents and her brothers Carlos T. Ojeda and Edel Ojeda. She is survived by her husband, Gerald Luckow, her son, Duanne Luckow; her daughter, Sandra Luckow; Juanito; her brother, Jaime Ojeda; and numerous nieces and nephews.

    A memorial service was held at The Milwaukie Center, 5440 SE Kellogg Creek Drive. Milwaukie, OR 97222 on Monday, December 17, 2012. In lieu of flowers, a college savings account has been opened for Dolores’ “adopted granddaughter” at Bank of America GRANDAUGHTER MATAYA c/o Julie Passon Acct. # 485008867475.

    Dolores will be missed by many people including her students, her friends, and her family

    Written by Sandy Luckow, Dolores' daughter

  • 01/02/2013 6:51 PM | Anonymous

    When I was called by the nominating committee in their search to fill the President-elect position, my first inclination was to say, “No way, I could never do that!” After speaking with that nominating committee person and other members, including current and past presidents and board members, I decided to take the position. In 2006 when I joined ASDP, PACC at that time, our conference was held in San Francisco. Since I had not budgeted for an expensive conference, I could not attend during my first membership year, but I did manage to get to conference, held in Denver, Colorado, the following year. Yes, I did say expensive; however, as many of our members will agree, conference is one of our biggest perks and so very worth the investment in ourselves and our businesses. Since that first conference I attended, I have missed only one, due to family circumstances. Each conference location has its own style and flair and at each one I have met numerous inspiring, interesting members. I found it very fun to meet members and put faces with the names I had come to know through the online discuss list. The Nashville, Tennessee location for our 2013 conference promises to be another unique experience that I hope you are all trying to plan and budget for.

    Our current board is comprised of members from across the country, including Canada. All of these ladies are very capable, hard-working individuals who truly care about ASDP. Any of them are open to member’s comments and ideas. In the past we have met monthly by telephone conference calls. Recently board meetings were changed to be held via “Go to Meeting” software that enables us to see each other’s faces online. For the most part I believe we like this format, since it replicates our twice a year face-to-face meeting style. More importantly, the plan is to utilize this software for website videos/webinars. The logistics of online use is still being ironed out, but our hope is that members will be able to submit their own informational videos so that other members may benefit from their expertise.

    As I contemplate writing this, I find that I am all by myself in a very quiet room. Many times as a small business owner, I am isolated in my own little sewing studio. ASDP has changed this feeling of isolation by connecting me with others with similar interests and varying levels of skill. I have learned more than I can even comprehend from ASDP members. Many times a client has a “puzzle to solve” in construction or alteration that I can reference from a class, online discuss, or face-to-face experience gleaned from our association. As the commercials state, “this experience is priceless”. ASDP is very important to me and I will do my absolute best for this organization. I will continue to introduce myself to faces I don’t know at conference. I have found that these “strangers” are only friends that I haven’t met yet, and these faces all have information to share with each and every one of us! I wish every member a great, productive, inspirational New Year!

    Written by Teresa Nieswaag, President-Elect

    Teresa Nieswaag by Jim Nieswaag

  • 01/01/2013 6:42 PM | Anonymous

    It has been my privilege to serve on the ASDP Governance Board twice, most recently for about 3 1/2 years as president-elect and president. When I roll off the board in January, I will do so with the knowledge that a productive board will transition peacefully to the leadership of Teresa Nieswaag. Teresa has spent the last 14 months learning the ins and outs of the association’s operations. I will miss communicating regularly with the ASDP members who are serving with distinction to keep ASDP running smoothly and “moving forward,” as my predecessor Joyce Hittesdorf liked to say.

    We are entering our fourth year of self-management, which has allowed us to balance the budget in spite of a severe recession. Every member who did not renew for the last 2 years was called by a governance board member and we heard sad stories about the difficult economic choices our former members were having to make. As a professional association, we endeavor to support each member who takes advantage of the opportunities offered through membership and we are always trying to add additional opportunities. I speak as one of those members who benefited from that support. New to the profession, I joined PACC (ASDP’s former name) in 1995. I was insecure about my skill set and trying to discover opportunities to expand my business. Becoming involved in the Baltimore Chapter and then the national organization was instrumental in the growth of my business and my confident personal persona as a sewing professional.

    Have you told someone new to the profession about ASDP and encouraged them to join? Share the flyer you received in the mail with someone in your community, perhaps even your competition. Personal contacts are the single most productive way to recruit new members and the more members we have, the more we can accomplish. The more members we have involved and taking an active role, the more quickly we can move forward with our goals.

    I hope to exit my leadership role gracefully with the knowledge that Teresa Nieswaag cares as deeply for the organization as I do and she will do everything in her power to nurture current and new members as they develop their sewing related businesses. Teresa will present a positive professional image to the greater public representing the expertise of our members and the benefits of using their services.

    Written by Rae Cumbie

  • 04/01/2012 5:16 PM | Anonymous

    As technology speeds into the future with faster and smaller computers, smart phones, and tablets, the opportunities for new educational venues increase as well. Distance learning is now the buzzword at most educational institutions as online learning management systems create opportunities for students who are unable to attend classes in a traditional setting because of geographical restrictions, limitations due to work and family obligations, or because they prefer the environment of self-paced, on-demand training. Special interest organizations have begun to take advantage of the opportunities of distance learning as well by creating online certification programs, virtual conferences, video tutorials, and webinars in order to educate their members. Essentially, the organization member can take advantage of these educational opportunities in the comfort of their own home or office, from their computer, and for a fee. We, as your ASDP Board, are intrigued by the educational opportunities that these venues may offer in terms of sewing and design education. Before going forward with such a monumental venture, however, both the benefits and challenges need to be recognized. 

    As mentioned above, online education can take on a variety of forms. The two that most sparked the “what if?” possibilities of the ASDP Board at our recent Annual Strategic Planning meeting as having the most potential for our members were video tutorials and webinars. Video tutorials would simply be taped video segments of an instructor demonstrating a particular sewing or design technique similar to what is currently available on such websites as YouTube. A webinar is a relatively new communication tool using the internet; essentially webinars are “seminars” on the “web”. They come in a variety of formats, but the most common type currently seems to consist of a PowerPoint presentation with a voice over of the instructor teaching the course. The instructor’s voice can be heard by the students via live streaming through the computer or through a one-way conference call (you hear the instructor, but cannot respond by speaking). Student questions are posted in a chat-room type format, and if the webinar is live, the instructor responds to student questions as they arise or at the end of the webinar. This form of online education (usually no more than one hour) is particularly useful for gaining knowledge on content-based topics such as pricing systems, how to set up a business plan, marketing strategies, how to find a sales representative, and the like. Plus, because some webinar host providers allow for the students to see the computer screens of their virtual instructor, webinars can be very useful in learning the basics of such computer software packages as Excel, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, and even Quickbooks. In these situations, the instructor can walk their students through the functions of the computer program while the students “peek” over the instructor’s virtual shoulder to watch what the instructor is doing with the program.

    Benefits of online education to ASDP are plentiful. First of all, what a great way for our members to gain access to information and skills that they may not be able to otherwise! Although in no way will video tutorials or webinars ever replace the rich educational experiences of Chapter programming or the National Conference, we do recognize that there are many members who are “at-large” (like me) or unable to make it to conference every year. It is a way of staying connected, even if done so virtually. Having online sewing and design education opportunities (whether live or on-demand) would also give our organization more public exposure, the possibility of an attractive membership benefit, and bring us professionally and technologically into the 21st Century!

    Challenges to this venture unfortunately are plentiful as well. The questions and issues that arose in my own mind span from “What topics should be offered?” to “Who will be willing to instruct the webinars or be video-taped?” Others include, “How do we get instructors trained for these new venues?”, “What is the best host platform for conducting webinars that doesn’t have a high price tag?”, and “When will video segments be taped and by whom?” All of these questions need to be addressed (and more) in order for the initial challenges of online sewing and design education through ASDP to be championed. As you can imagine, of course, one person cannot do this alone! Therefore, if we ARE committed to further exploring and implementing alternative online educational venues to make sewing and design education more accessible to our members, I have but one question that should be answered first: Will you step up and volunteer to help organize and be a part of an ASDP Online Education Taskforce? If so, email and let’s get to work!

    Written by Janet Blood, VP of Education

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