Who We Are 2009
In January of 2009, the new slate of officers took the reins.
• President – Cynthia Ruchti
• Vice President – Cheryl Wyatt
• Zone Officer – Ane Mulligan
• Publicity Officer – Angie Breidenbach
• Treasurer – Pam Hillman
• Membership Officer – Becky Yauger
• Volunteer Officer – Margaret Daley
• Secretary – Pam Meyers
Robin Miller assumed the duties of the newly created Conference Director position.
Camy Tang continued to coordinate the Genesis Contest and Ronie Kendig continued as coordinator for Book of the Year.
An unprecedented 57 applicants applied for the 2009 Scholarship Program. ACFW was able to offer six full conference scholarships. In addition, Cec Murphey provided funds for three additional full scholarships through his foundation.
In March 2009, Operating Board members and three Advisory Board members traveled to the Marriott Tech Center Hotel in Denver for their spring meetings. During that time, they were able to inspect the hotel site for the 2009 conference.
In April 2009, Cheryl Wyatt resigned her position as Vice President. The Advisory Board asked Becky Yauger to assume the Vice Presidential duties and complete that term of office through 2010. Former Operating Board member, Cara Putman, was appointed to take over the Membership Officer responsibilities to fulfill that term which would end 12/31/09.
In April, the ACFW Scholarship Foundation was granted 501 (c)(3) status, allowing all contributions to the scholarship fund to be fully tax deductible.
In June, the ACFW critique group program was revamped to better accommodate the growing number of people wanting a critique group experience. The smaller ACFW critique groups already in existence would not need to change, but anyone wanting a crit group would now funnel into one large group after a two-day orientation program called Crit Starters. Ane Mulligan headed up Crit Starters. Fay Lamb and Leigh DeLozier agreed to coordinate the larger group, ACFW Scribes. As people got to know each other within the large group, smaller groups organically formed.
On September 17, 2009, the ACFW National Conference opened at the Marriott Tech Center in Denver Colorado. Noted New York Literary Agent and author of The Breakout Novel Donald Maas gave a daylong Early Bird seminar based on his Breakout Novel book and workbook. Keynoter Debbie Macomber challenged attendees to set goals and work to achieve them.
During the conference state of ACFW address, FictionFinder.com was unveiled, a Christian fiction database in development since late 2008 as a response to retailer/ACFW discussions. Authors and publishers upload pertinent information about their books so readers, retailers, libraries, book clubs and other writers can search Fiction Finder to find recent titles by their favorite authors, or find authors who write similarly to their favorites. They can locate past published books of authors they enjoy, or search by topic, genre, target audience, setting, etc. Still in development at the time, full rollout was slated to take place in early 2010.
The conference Awards Banquet honored the following recipients:
2009 Mentor of the Year: Donita K. Paul
2009 Editor of the Year: Ami McConnell, Thomas Nelson Publishers
2009 Agent of the Year: Steve Laube
2009 ACFW Member Service Award: John B. Olson
In October 2009, Melanie Dobson stepped down as coordinator of the ACFW Book Club, and Nora St. Laurent, an assistant coordinator, agreed to take over the position.
The year 2009 closed with ACFW’s membership more than 2,000 domestically and internationally.