Saturday 22 Jul 2017
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American Design Drafting Association


President's Message

ADDA's Mission...."Support and Prepare the Design Profession to Preserve the Past and Imagine the Future.”

I would like to take a few moments of your time and offer a few comments about one of the most feared and misunderstood words known in the design drafting profession.  That word is CHANGE and I do not mean pocket change.

During my 40 plus years in the profession, I finally learned to accept change in the profession but it was not easy.  Here are a few examples:

Early on in the manual years, meaning manual drafting, I still remember those long hours working on a complex drawing and after being checked and ready for manufacturing or project review, parts or the whole design would be CHANGED.  Like in original design was for a machined part(s) and it was decided to use weldments instead. Bummed out numerous times on this type of change.

Back in the mid 80’s, my company made the decision to enter the CAD era.  I was not excited at all as I would have my drawing board, drafting machine, triangles and templates put in storage as they were no longer my tools.  Instead I had before me a black and white monitor and a CPU/Disc Drive/Plotter located behind me.  Not to mention the ‘outstanding’ amount of memory being 27mb. But this type of change I embraced immediately as this was the future and the problems noted above concerning manual drawing changes were greatly alleviated. I was hooked even though at the time I had no idea what a megabyte was.

The next change came when CAD really took off and the company started to evaluate different vendors as an upgrade to existing system, after learning the 27mb was not adequate and new CAD programs offered more versatility, with 3D modeling being the ‘Holy Grail’.  One problem though, what to do with the 50k drawing legacy produced with existing system.  Although IGES was in its infancy and being ‘guaranteed’ by all of the vendors that they could successfully transfer existing drawing legacy, WRONG!  So the decision was made to recreate drawing legacy as required, meaning with time available and start with a new CAD system.  This was a MAJOR CHANGE, causing numerous grey hairs and many hours of gnashing teeth.

Finally, department policy or personnel changes.  Always greeted by those initially affected with scorn and a ‘WTH’ response.  Usually caused by all being in their ‘comfort zones’.  Normal routine or policy is a ‘comfort zone’ we have all experience.  We all want it to stay in our ‘comfort zones’ but a change, especially a major one, really shakes things up.  Our ‘comfort zones’ no longer exist or have been severely damaged.  Why the heck are they doing this, it makes no sense and now I have to report to someone else.  Including the BIG ONE and that is a reduction in force. It has happened to me, once, and I still remember the stress BUT I now consider that a gift of opportunity, by making me get out of my ‘comfort zone’ and take on the challenge of CHANGE.  I did and forever thankful I did so.

So ‘change’ can and will continue to affect us all and will continue to offer challenges.  I say meet those challenges head on and always look for the opportunity to improve you or your ‘comfort zone’.

With that said, I will talk about a change for me.  Effective in January 2017, I will begin the process of stepping aside as President of ADDA.  The Board of Directors will elect a New President who will assume office in April of 2017. 

It has been a great privilege leading ADDA for the last 4.5 years but it is time for change with new ideas or direction. I hope a new President will do that or at least try. I have had the honor of leading and the support of elite professionals, in industry or education, and by the ADDA Staff and Board of Directors.  A great group pf people to work with and lead for the past 4.5 years. This is a change for the good. It has been an honor to serve all of you!


Instructors, ADDA is now proud to offer Instructor Certification at three levels of certification: Certified Instructor, Professional Instructpr and Master Instructor.  Each level requires different amounts of experience and education in a specific area of design drafting instruction.  Those areas of instruction are Architectural, Mechanical, General and Digital.  ADDA believes that this will become more important and possibly a requirement as schools, school districts and state departments of education look for industry certification of their instructional staff.  Please check our website for additional information.

Another new program is an Insurance Program offering life, health, professional liability, dental, etc. for our members and sponsors.   ADDA Health Insurance is offered through a partnership with Association Health Programs located in Oak Park Kansas and is a great opportunity for individuals to have or add to existing coverage or companies that want to offer insurance to their employees.  Please check our website for additional information.

The 2016-2017 Drafting Contest Winners will be listed on the website in a few week.  Final judging is being completed.  I always look forward to the contest as it gives me an indication of what is currently being taught and an opportunity to provide positive feedback to the entrants by judging their entries.  I encourage all students from a member school to enter in the coming year. 

The 2016-2017 Poster Contest Winners  are listed on the website.  I always get excited to see the creative ideas which are reflected in the entries.  This years theme is Diversity in Design which is also the theme of TECON 2016 and the 2016 Design Drafting Week.  Thanks to Dennis Schwartz for heading up this progams.  Take the opportunity to view the winning entries

The last information I must convey is Due to Unforeseen Circumstances TECON 2017 has been postponed due to issues beyond our control.  TECON 2018 is in the process of being arranged and will be held in Memphis Tennessee.  The dates for the conference will be announced in May.  We apologize for any inconvencies this may cause.

In closing, I would like to remind all of you, member or non-member, that the ADDA is the only organization that totally supports the drafting/design profession with continuing education for professionals and soon to be professionals within the drafting/design profession.  Check out what ADDA has to offer!

Remember ADDA is a 501c3 non-profit volunteer association.  All our directors and committees donate their time and effort to improve the profession to benefit other drafters, designers and graphic professionals.  If you would like to assist with any program or be involved with a committee or specific area, please contact me.  Most of our volunteer opportunities can be accomplished through emails and telephone calls.  Volunteering will give you exposure at the next level in your career to improve your network, job skills and personal development.

Design Drafting Contest Information  
Poster Contest Information