President’s Report – September 2004

by Ira Pollack, President


   As I've reported to you, our strategic planning meetings have been going well over the past several months. We came to the important realization that DRM must have an action-plan to follow for a logical growth pattern in the years to come. Although many of our decisions in the past were very positive for our organization and did allow us to grow at a steady pace, sometimes almost too fast, we needed to focus on our direction.

   In this last year our Board of Directors and some dedicated members had begun a series of brainstorming sessions to figure out where we should be heading and how to get there, yet we remained without a proper strategic plan. Then came Jim Whitney. We met Jim through Kay Schreiber, a good friend of the Museum who was, at the time, working for the state tourism bureau. More about Kay later. Jim is the Executive Director of the Northwest Connecticut

Convention and Visitors Bureau. He is a professional financial and strategic planner, and he presented us with a logical process to prioritize our goals into a 1-5-10 year plan. Every member of the group was able to express his or her ideas, and, when the brainstorming was complete, we voted on which goals we'd tackle first. Surprisingly, we were all in agreement as to the general direction the Museum should take. Jim stressed throughout the process that it would be up to us to make this happen and that we would have to follow through in making our goals realities.

In the very near future we will present you with the DRM strategic business plan. It will show what we believe is the key to the Museum's future and how we, together, can proceed to realize it. The plan specifies what our priorities are and who is making them happen. As a member of the DRM, you will be welcome to join this process and help us succeed.

   Throughout this process, Jim Whitney has clarified, simplified, and encouraged us, and we are most appreciative for all of his efforts and optimism. Earlier I mentioned Kay Schreiber. She has

recently been appointed CityCenter Danbury's manager. Kay is a strong supporter of the DRM and certainly sees our importance within the city community. We congratulate Kay on her new position and look forward to working with her. We firmly believe that we must begin reaching out to the community and involving them in our goals, events, and future.

   In other news, our train crew training program has been moving forward at a steady pace. I'm very proud of our dedicated crew's efforts and their successes accomplished over the past few months. I also congratulate our staff for their work in keeping the Museum open and operating on Sundays. It has been a hard commitment by all, but the difference is starting to show. There is a lot going on at the Museum. We seem to be moving up to the next level of success. Please join us. I know you will enjoy becoming part of this great group of volunteers.

   Finally, our By-Laws 2004 revision is finished. The revised document will be submitted to you for approval in a few weeks. As we grow as an organization we must, periodically, amend our governing By-Laws to meet the needs of the Museum. Although arriving at the appropriate revisions was a lengthy and painstaking task, it was a necessity. We ask that you support these carefully thought out revisions.


We hope to see you soon!