Sunday 21 Apr 2024
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ADDA was established in 1948 in Bartlesville Oklahoma.
Our original name was the Bartlesville Draftsmen's Club.
Our previous names were:
    ~Professional Draftsmen's Association (PDA)
    ~American Institute for Design Drafting (AIDD)

The American Design Drafting Association is an international non-profit, professional membership and educational organization born in Bartlesville, Oklahoma in 1948. The organization was conceived by a dedicated and enthusiastic group of oil and gas piping drafters who were involved in various phases of design drafting. This group consisted of highly specialized industry drafters, educational instructors, piping designers, and engineering personnel. In 1948, this group incorporated in the State of Oklahoma as the Bartlesville Draftsmen's Club. This is the earliest known drafting club, association or society. This group is considered as our founding association.

In 1950, Fate C. Cupps, of the Amerada Petroleum Corporation saw the potential for gathering drafters together into local groups and working toward a new image.  He felt drafting, as a profession, should be promoted.  This new group of enthusiastic individuals called themselves "Association of Professional Draftsmen" (ADP). The first president was Dwight H. Thornton who also worked for the Amerada Petroleum Corporation.  In the beginning, ADP was a local Tulsa organization, and oil companies employed the majority of the members.

It was only a short time later when other groups around the state and across the nation became affiliated with the Tulsa group. Although this was not yet a national organization, as we know it today, they did have contact with each other and The Draftsman newsletterwas the communication tool. The groups participating groups, that can be documented, were; Jackson, Mississippi ; Bartlesville, Oklahoma; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Billings, Montana; Amarillo, Texas; Corpus Christi, Texas; Midland, Texas; Houston, Texas; Stillwater, Oklahoma; and Okmulgee, Oklahoma.

By October 1957, the Tulsa group had a mailing list of over 900, producing the newsletter from the building's basement at night.In the October 1957 Issue of The Draftsman it was announced that they wished for this publication to start taking steps toward becoming an official instrument of an association that reflected the needs and views of all drafting disciplines. Representatives from all interested groups were invited to attend a meeting to discuss forming a national organization, which would then become the publisher of The Draftsman.

A steering committee of the Association of Professional Draftsmen was formally organized on March 14, 1958 with its primary purpose of forming the drafting profession into a national group.  The steering committee consisted of Nick Freiling, Aaron Ventress, H. E. Brown, Aiden Allen, Seth Grubbs, and Fate Cupps.

At a special meeting of the Membership (1st Annual Membership Meeting) in April 1959, the Steering Committee accepted an offer by Carl and John Sedan of Detroit, Michigan,who were the publishers of the Reproduction Engineer, to publish The Draftsman and manage the National Office.  Carl and John Sedan were magazine publishers and promoters that had a major impact in making the organization national. At this time the Committee had chosen the American Institute of Design Drafting as the proposed organization and incorporated to begin the official process of developing the official association documents.

On June 11, 1960, the association wanted to improve its policies and its scope of operation to include wider participation. Membership and newly elected and appointed officers voted to officially change the name of the association to the "American Institute of Design Drafting (AIDD) and begin designing the AIDD logo.They also began promoting an annual convention and exposition. A short time after this transition the monthly publication "The Draftsman" was renamed to "Design Drafting News" which is still being used today.

The American Institute of Design Drafting (AIDD) had its first national meeting as a National Organization at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma in 1962.  Since that time ADDA has held an Annual Technical and Training Conference each year at various locations around the country. 

In January of 1966, the national headquarters were moved to Birmingham, Michigan where services and office space was provided by General Expositions Management, Inc.

In the late sixties, the national office was relocated to Bartlesville, Oklahoma and was headed by Nick Freling.

In July of 1982, the office relocated to Broken Arrow, Oklahoma and was managed by Margie Hecker.  In June of 1983, the association was managed by Sandy Roderick.

In the fall of 1984 the Board of Directors employed an outside management firm, Nowers Associates, to handle the day-to-day business of the national office.  This relocated the National from Broken Arrow to Rockville, Maryland, under the direction of Rachel Howard, an employee of Nowers Associates.  After several years, Mrs. Rachel Howard made a recommendation to the Board of Directors to allow her to operate the association.  In 1986 she took control of AIDD as an independent contractor and AIDD was no longer bound to a management firm.  AIDD was Mrs. Howard’s sole client.  

After several years of growth, redirection and operation improvement, the Board of Directors determined rebranding AIDD with a new name should be considered.  The board determined the American Design Drafting Association should be the new name.  Ms. Howard proposed a student contest to design a new logo for the associations’ new name.  After months of filtering through artwork, the current logo was chosen in October of 1989.

In October of 1998, Mrs. Rachel Howard announced her retirement. This forced the ADDA to seek the first Executive Director since 1984. The ADDA chose Mr. Joe Jones, owner of Jones McAdden Associates in Columbia, South Carolina to manage the association.

Mr. Jones took immediate control of the association and is accredited with bringing the association to a financially stable and secure position.  He was involved with the development and reconstruction of several programs, which has strengthened ADDA's reputation as a professional organization.

With the consistent growth, new programs, and the development of the on-line certification program, the ADDA needed the help of an Industry experience individual who knew drafting and design, and the process in profession.

In May of 2003, the Executive Board and the National Board of Directors asked Olen Parker, a Dyer County Tennessee native, to assume the position of Executive Director and Corporate Operations Officer. The position would require the relocation of the National Office to Newbern, Tennessee. This decision was based on Parker’s prior18 year involvement with the association, his nearly 30 years’ experience in the drafting and design industry, the many disciplines of his experience.  Parker had served 12 years on the National Board of Directors, holding positions as National Awards Chair, Secretary, Vice-President, and was one of only two presidents to serve three consecutive terms, in the history of the association.

This transition, and the reorganization of the operational practices, created the ADDA Board of Governors. The Board of Governors maintains continued industry guidance for the association without influence from outside the career field.  Governors are individuals who have been involved in the operation of ADDA, have served on committees as well as the Board of Directors for not less than 2 terms.  Governor’s experience must be all industry and not less than 25 years.

This transition also allowed the Board of Directors to be flexible in its membership.  No longer would there need to be a balance of industry / education / discipline or backgrounds.    ADDA could become more reflective of the many facets of the graphic industry we represented.

In 2006 the Board of Directors and Governors formed the ADDA Board of Deputy Directors.   This board would be the introduction and training ground for future directors or for those would want to be involved at a higher level but could not commit to the demanding time of full directorship.

In November 2008, ADDA began the process of changing our Non-Profit status from a 501c6 to a Tax Exempt 501c3 Corporation.  This would require an extensive and lengthy process.  On July 28, 2010, ADDA was recognized as a 501c3 Non-Profit Tax Exempt Corporation by the Internal Revenue Service.  This allowed donations and membership to ADDA to be Tax Deductible under certain IRS Rules. 

In November 2010, at the meeting of the ADDA Board of Directors it was voted to begin the process of the creation of the International Museum of Design Drafting with the purpose of collecting, displaying and preserving the history of the Design, Drafting, Architectural, Engineering and Graphics professions for future generations.

On November 09, 2011, ADDA was officially recognized as an authorized charity organization within the State of Tennessee and given the authority to solicit funds and donations.  This completed the first phase of the expansion of ADDA as the world’s only organization for the graphics profession.