annual reports

 

 

WebWhispers Semi-Annual Reports

WebWhispers officers are required by the bylaws to file semi-annual reports to the membership.  You will find the history of our growth in these current and past reports.

 

2008 reports

 


WebWhispers, Inc. 

2008

 

Semiannual Officers' Report to the Membership

July 1 - December 31, 2008

 


President's Report: July 1 - December 31, 2008 - Pat W Sanders

Welcome to all of the new members and we hope we can be of help to you.

WHISPERS ON THE WEB
Whispers on the Web, our monthly newsletter, is becoming more International as our Editor Donna McGary has grown into the job and recruited new writers. I am so proud of the job she does. VoicePoints coordinator Lisa Proper is doing some very interesting projects with our professional column and Webmaster Len Librizzi has been getting a chance to show more of his web site work with the more recent addition of lots of photos. Gary Metz is continuing his project of getting new tables of content for back issues of the Journal, which Len puts online. We have a good number of people who write for us and reading what is going on in their lives is part of the pleasure in mine.

WEBSITE
Leonard Librizzi, our WebMaster, makes up the pages, designs new sections, and gets the newsletters published. Sunny Bakken is posting all of the extra lists, such as the WW Dinner attendees, the Memorial page, New Members not yet added to the regular roster and Extra Donations. Ed Chapman and I have worked on several new items that will help people find how we operate WebWhispers and will have the answers to when and how we handle nominations, elections, and other yearly projects. These will be posted in our About section for future officers to rely on as working policy.

DATABASE
Buck Martin is keeping up with all of the postings into the database and makes up the Excel Roster and By-Location lists for Len to place on the website twice a month. Fresh off of the database at year end are these figures:

Account Name: CRG (451 records)
Account Name: MED (41 records)
Account Name: PAT (1,628 records)
Account Name: SLP (298 records)
Account Name: VEN (49 records)
Grand Totals (2,467 records)

Can you believe that 12 years ago, the membership was 12 people?

We have a problem we need to work on. Several hundred of our members have email addresses that have bounced. We had to mark them as BAD email addresses and until we hear from them, they are just being held. We will probably have to do some mailouts to the old addresses and see if they are active again but, at some point, we will have to start dropping from membership those who have no email address. Michael, has more about this in his report and Buck will be on this project, too.

CRUISE
Our WW sponsored cruise for 2009 was changed to a different area after the cruise line dropped three of the ports we wanted to see from the itinerary we had originally planned.

We found a wonderful ship, the Ruby Princess, just launched by Princess Cruises in Nov 2008, and made reservations for several ports that are new to us. We are sailing from Ft. Lauderdale, FL, on October 25, 2009. We invite you, your family and friends, to join us for a fabulous Southern Caribbean Cruise including Aruba, Bonaire, Granada, Dominica, St. Thomas and the Princess Cays. This itinerary features a 10-day cruise with the 6 ports of call, entertainment is inclusive in the price as are meals in both Traditional and Anytime dining (excluding specialty restaurants). Also included are your choice of Casual dining:
Vines (wine and seafood)
International Cafe
Cafe Caribe
Trident Grill (burgers and hot dogs)
Pizza and Ice Cream bar
24 hours dining in the Horizon Court Buffet
Afternoon Tea
24 hour Room Service
More details at:

http://webwhispers.org/activities/WW2009Aruba-GranadaCruise.asp

ELECTIONS
The 4 office holders who were up for election, Ed Chapman, Terry Duga, Mike Rosenkranz and Carla Gress all ran for re-election to those offices and ended up running unopposed, so we welcome them back into the offices for 2 years and we thank them for the time they give to WebWhispers.

WW AT THE IAL
We had a great time at the WW table where we had wonderful volunteers to greet people and all kinds of fun just visiting with each other. Had a lovely meet with Logan and his wife who were not there for the conference but came by to meet with Mike R since they work together as Forum Managers. Super folks! Kay Allison was there for us and it was a pleasure to have Donna Kehm at the table. Our table was just over from the IAL registration table and so we saw a lot of those officers (who are all WW members, too.)

VOLUNTEERS
We want to thank our Awards Committee who met and made decisions for 2008. Their decision to select Mike Rosenkranz as our Casey Cooper recipient was enough to bring smiles to the faces of most all of us. Mike is a wise man with a great sense of humor and is much loved. I am grateful to all of the other volunteers who do a superb job in keeping WebWhispers up to date and growing. Thanks for being there.

Since I found I had written 2275 messages in the first half of the year, I checked the last half and there were 2295 messages and that doesn't count that most of them went to more than one person, many to our list of over 1500! They are going to get me for polluting the Internet...but it helps keep WW running!

Pat W Sanders, President

~~~~~~~~~~

VP Web Site Information Report: July 1 - December 31, 2008 - Ed Chapman

First I want to recognize these worthy people who were recognized at the WW dinner at Little Rock. - Vicki Metz, Gary Metz and Tammy Wigginton. They were awarded Certificates of Achievement for their outstanding and continuing dedication to the improvement of the Web Site. A well deserved congratulation to all.

With the hard work of these folks, and others, we have continued to update and edit the web site. Some of the areas we have edited or made major additions to are in Safety, Caregivers, Hypothyroidism and Veterans Section. Other items (too many to list) have been updated, edited or added to existing sections. Keep in mind that all of the information we post has to be carefully investigated and worded so that it isn’t misconstrued or used improperly. As we have always said we each have our own problems and one solution does not fit all. I want to thank Len Librizzi (the guru of the site) for his talent at adding or getting subjects on the site, no matter how impossible I think it may be. In particular, Pat Sanders, who not only helps edit all the new subjects, but advises us of any legal or political problems. She backs, encourages and advises us on new frontiers we think we might want to take on. Without these two individuals this web site wouldn’t be what is today!

One area in particular where we need help from the members is the Local Groups listings. We realize that not all clubs are members of the IAL but we would like to list them on our site with a possible contact name and/or address.

Another area I assisted in was the clarification of the operating procedures for the general election. We didn’t have to use many of them this year as (thank you all, I think) there were no contested races but it made this election easier to set up and we have basics for future elections.

We are looking forward to next year with some possible new programs coming on board and adding to existing sections. If you are interested in helping or covering a certain area let us know.

Respectfully submitted,
Ed Chapman
VP-WSI
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

VP Member Services Report: July 1 - December 31, 2008 - Libby Fitzgerald

As our membership grows and we find more diversity in where these members come from, it is amazing how far our reach has extended. The last six months brought new members coming from the following countries, along with the U.S. and Canada: Kenya, Argentina, Turkey, UK, Jordan, New Zealand. India, Ireland, St. Croix, Pakistan, W. Australia, S. Australia, Dubai and Italy. These new members included laryngectomees, caregivers, speech pathologists and representatives of medical centers, local lary clubs, nurses and doctors plus vendors of laryngectomee supplies.

Our new order of color brochures that came out this summer continues to be popular with members, clubs, SLPs, hospitals, etc. I have been getting requests from people who had heard of us by word of mouth and felt we offered an excellent product. We increased the order to 50,000, eliminating the need to order again so soon. If you are unfamiliar with our brochure, go to this link on our website: http://webwhispers.org/services/free-brochures.asp. To place an order, contact me directly at Lijofitz@aol.com, let me know how many you can use and I will send them off.

Being able to order such supplies relied on the talents of Pat Sanders and Len Librizzi who worked on the technical and design aspects. Printing up such a large quantity required the generosity of many of our members making donations. In addition to these printing costs, your donations make it possible to maintain our web site, cover web hosting fees, listserv fees, computers and software. They pay for the mailing of brochures and loan closet equipment. While the requirement to be a sustaining member requires a donation of at least $5 a year, that does not begin to cover our expenses just to keep WebWhispers going so we send our thanks to those who send extra donations to cover additional costs of items like brochures. I will continue to send out donation letters for income tax purposes, but must tell you I’ve had some time consuming medical issues that slowed the entire process down.

Bruce Medical Supply continues to provide Neckbreather pins at no cost to us or you for a minimum donation of $15.00 in US funds or $50.00 from overseas. We also offer WW pins and patches which can be seen on http://webwhispers.org/services/ww-pins-patches.asp.

Judy Ramboldt has continued to house and mail out our loan equipment to WW members. Although she lost her husband and partner, she has faithfully continued this valuable service and we thank her for it. Judy hasn’t been feeling well lately, so as soon as she gets the report to me, it will be added in. Basically, we’re talking about many different brands of electro-larynxes (artificial larynxes) chargers, batteries, which were donated anonymously, and chattervoxes. If you have any questions about the loan closet, send me an e-mail at Lijofitz@aol.com.

Our annual awards dinner is always something we look forward to and congratulations to Mike Rosenkranz, the Casey-Cooper honoree. We do want to thank Bruce Medical for hosting the wonderful reception for us. In addition, Bruce Medical and InHealth Technologies helped with cutting the cost of the dinner for each of you with their contributions toward the cost of the dinner. The turnout was a bit smaller than usual, but holding it on a holiday weekend was unusual. We had a delicious buffet and I had fun making the table centerpieces with carved ducks among the cattails. The one disappointment, which I didn’t learn about until the next day was that the hotel didn’t provide enough food and some members missed some dishes. Be assured that won't happen again!

We honor the memories of members we have lost between July 1st and Dec. 31st, listing them on our Memorial Page at http://webwhispers.org/about/inmemorium.asp, along with those we lost in previous years. At our WebWhispers dinner. their names are called and a haunting memorial bell was rung for each member lost within the past year. It is a touching ceremony and a beautiful way to remember them. If you know of any others passed on but not listed on our Memorial Page, please let us know.

Respectfully submitted,
Libby Fitzgerald

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
VP Finance & Admin Report - July 1 - December 31, 2008 - Terry Duga

As of December 31, 2008, we had $26,315.56 in unrestricted funds, and $10,533,00, from a life insurance policy on Dutch Helms, plus interest, that is to be used in an emergency to keep WebWhispers running.

We had income of $9,471.12 during this period of which $4,056.08 was money collected to pay for the banquet (which included support from Bruce Medical and InHealth which allowed the prices for members to be reduced), $39.90 from interest and $6 from the sale of one patch and one pin.

We had expenditures totaling $13,515.72 (in U.S. Dollars):

Annual fee - Indiana Secretary of State to keep incorporated status 7.14
Awards costs (including the Casey-Cooper Award) 265.94
Bank Card Fee to process credit card donations and payments 238.60
Bank Service Fees 20.00
Banquet cost (paid by participants, Bruce Medical and InHealth) 4,730.07

Brochure Printing (50,000) 3,955.74
Additional Banquet costs for centerpieces

(including materials, shipping and handling) 114.69
Copying costs 55.81
Dues to the IAL 150.00
Forum Expense 148.50
Half Price Hosting 20.00
Listserve 939.80
Postage and Delivery 326.22
PC Hardware (mouse) 54.54
Voice Institute Program Scholarships 1,400.00
(paid out of the dedicated Edmund and Lillian Lauder Laryngectomee Support Fund)
Costs Associated with the IAL annual meeting 368.67
(This includes: Candy for Table $10.65, Luggage charge $25.02
Parking $53.00, Porter $30.00, Per Diem for Pat Sanders $250)

Thanks to the generosity of our membership we remain fiscally sound. A special thanks to Jim Lauder of Lauder Enterprises for keeping up the Lauder fund which allows us to award VI scholarships. InHealth Technologies also surprised two very grateful recipients with $500 checks for travel expenses, awarded in the name of the Dutch Helms Travel Grant.

You can make donations on-line using your Visa, Mastercard or Discover Card by going to

http://www.webwhispers.org/donations/online-donations.asp

You can mail checks made payable to WebWhispers, Inc. to
Terry Duga
VP Finance & Administration
6115 North Park Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46220

I wish to thank Carla Lynch for acting as back-up for me.

Submitted,

Terry G. Duga
VP Finance & Administration

~~~~~~~~~~~

VP Internet Activities Report: July 1 - December 31, 2008 - Michael Csapo

Hope this New Year finds all you Webbie's in good health and good spirits! May this continue with you throughout the entire year!

For the very best Mexican food North (maybe even South) of the Mexican border, consider "Los Charro's" on West Valley Parkway in Escondido, California. (I'm just tossing this into my report as a freebie in case any of you are ever in the area and wish to dine on some AUTHENTIC Mexican food, then this is the place for you!) I also listed this here to determine if anyone actually reads these reports and if anyone will inquire? "Fat Freddie" would be very pleased to learn that Menudo is cooked up in a fresh batches every day of the week and his first bowl is on me! You are all invited anytime!

Now pour yourselves a nice strong cup of hot coffee, snuggle up by the fire on your bear-skin rugs and prepare yourselves for reading the fun stuff:

EMAIL LISTS:
Recent tallies on our email distribution list reflect 839 recipients on the Regular List, 680 recipients on the Digest List, and an additional 274 email addresses presently subscribed to the Vacation List. This calculates to 1793 unique email addresses subscribed to one of our email lists. In addition we have 266 email addresses currently subscribed to the WebWhispers Health Help (WWHH) list for professionals.

MODERATORS:
A note of appreciation to all our Moderators for performing the constant task of moderating our email lists and keeping our list discussions productive.

Since my last report, "Randy Lemster" has taken over as "Chief Moderator!" We also welcomed aboard "Jeffrey Vanden Hogen" as an active participant on our fantastic moderator team! On a typical day, these two guys divide the challenge of keeping our email list operating smoothly and treating all fairly! These guys are there for us 25 hours a day, eight days a week......please consider sending them a note of appreciation!

Mike Rosenkranz, Pat Sanders, Carl Strand and myself remain available as backup moderators and advisers for Randy and Jeff on those rare occasions as needed. Carl also recently completed a two-week long moderator refresher course. Thanks guys, I commend you all for your efforts!

MEMBERSHIP:
Amazingly, our membership continues to grow in leaps and bounds! In the period between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2008 we have inducted the following into WebWhispers membership:

Caregivers 90
Medical 9
Patient 327
SLPs 53
Vendors 17
----------------------------
Total 496 for the year

For our statisticians out there, this calculates to an average of just over 1.35 new members every single day! We had a slight decrease in membership enrollments the last six months of the year.

CONTINUING CONCERNS:
Of continuing concern is still the number of members who (often accidentally) continue to report our email as SPAM to their ISP's. If you are reading an email you don't like, please hit delete, not SPAM. Every time someone reports one of our emails as SPAM, whether it be accidental or intentional, it reflects badly on us. If you wish to leave the email list, please consider the vacation list or you may click on the "Un-Subscribe" link which you will find at the bottom of every email released through our list. Please refrain from reporting us as spam. We understand that "accidents" happen and we just urge you to look before you click.

Another continuing concern is members Unsubscribing themselves from our email lists while retaining membership with us. While that is not so much a problem in itself, it does make it difficult to keep these members up to date and informed about what is going on in our organization. Note that our email lists have been our primary source of communication not only to address individual problems and concerns, but also to convey important information such as elections, bylaw changes, projects, special events, contribution requests, and a once-a-week "changes in membership" notice, etc. When members remove themselves from our email lists we pretty much lose all contact with them. We are not well enough staffed to be able to contact them all individually or email them all separately. Many members leave us in this manner or are bounced off our email list due to bad email addresses yet they are still listed as members and we have no way to contact a great number of these.

CHANGES:
In order to reduce the number of new members leaving the list due to excessive emails, we have adopted a "New Policy" of now subscribing new members directly to the "Digest List" instead of the regular list. The complaints of too many emails have dropped magically. The option to switch from one to the other is still readily available to all members.

We have also changed the way we inform the membership of those who have passed on. Sending out individual notices will for the most part be phased out unless we receive timely notice of upcoming funerals, receptions or special requests. Most announcements will now be included in the weekly "Membership Changes" announcement which I try to send out over the weekend.....typically Saturday night or Sunday morning. This notice also has a reminder each week of the User ID and Password for our Members Area and List Archives.

ONGOING PROJECTS:
Announcement List - Our President Pat Sanders and myself have discussed this for some time now and one of our upcoming projects will be to set up an announcement list. It is much like our email list except it is only a "One Way" transaction. In other words there will be no replies or discussion made available on this list. It will be used only to send "WW Related" material from administration to the entire membership. We are still etching out the details but most likely it will be mandatory for members to have a working email address to receive these few notices from our announcement list and be able to retain their membership with us. We are, after all, an "Internet" based organization and it is the Internet which binds us all together. We must have contact with our members somehow and this seems the most reasonable and most economical solution at this time. The cost is modest to maintain a medium sized announcement list which should suit our present needs. This would be run by the same company (Mail-List.com) which now handles our other lists. By removing the administrative announcements, it will free up space on our WebWhispers list for more discussions.

EPILOGUE:
Once again it has been a pleasure to serve the membership as VP Internet Activities these past 6 months and at this time I will thank you all for taking the time to read the reports submitted by your Officer's.

A HUGE hug and thanks to List Manager Sunny Bakken (much sweeter than Sunny-D), Barb Stratton, Forum Managers Mike Rosenkranz and Logan Grayson, Database Manager Buck Martin and Jeanne Graden, Webmaster Leonard Librizzi, our Moderators and all who work with or beside our department. Special appreciation goes to Loan Closet custodian Judy Ramboldt, all fellow Officers, Editor Donna McGary and all those others deserving of whom I have not mentioned by name.....?

Respectfully Submitted,

~Michael Csapo
~VP Internet Activities
~WebWhispers, Inc.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BOD - Forum Report - July 1 - December 31, 2008 - Mike Rosenkranz

The forum membership continues to grow at a somewhat slower pace. We now have 570 members, an increase of 44 over the previous six months which means that 23% of WebWhispers members have now joined the forum. Although the membership has increased, activity in the forum has decreased.

During the past six months, 534 new posts, 123 new discussions, and 36,964 page views were made by 57 forum members. These figures are all lower than the previous six months, with the largest declines being in some 200 fewer new posts, and more than 7500 fewer page views. Only one in ten of our enrolled members made these posts. The others were content to check in, read the posts and continue on their way. Think of the increased activity we would have if only a few more forum members decided to post a message for others to read. It would make everyone’s visit to the forum more enjoyable. We request that all new members post an initial message upon entering the forum. Think
of it as introducing yourselves so we may get to know you that much faster. Many new members have done that and become regular contributors. We ask all established members to visit the forum more often, and to actively participate by joining an existing discussion or starting one of their own.

The forum is available so that you may enjoy socializing with your fellow larys, caregivers, professionals and vendors. We are very informal, and everyone is invited to come on in, relax, join a discussion, post a bit of humor, talk about your hobbies, swap recipes, share memories and chat with your new friends. We look forward to your posts. This is your forum to use as you wish. Please use good judgment, good taste, and good manners so that this is always a comfortable clubhouse for our members.

To join the forum, click on www.webwhispers.org/members/forumboards.asp and follow the instructions. When you request the forum code, which you will need one time only to join, please remember to sign your full name. Failure to do so may delay our response to your request. Your forum managers, Mike Rosenkranz and Logan Grayson, may be reached at forummgr@webwhispers.org.

Once again, I must acknowledge the tremendous contribution that is constantly made by Logan in keeping the forum operating smoothly and in enrolling new members.

Respectfully submitted,
Mike Rosenkranz

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
BOD WWHealthHelp Report - July 1 - December 31, 2008 -

Carla DeLassus Gress, ScD, CCC-SLP

 

Greetings to all,
WebWhispers continues to be a reliable source of information and support for laryngectomees and those who love them, as well as for the medical community. I am proud to continue to serve on the board of directors, and assist when possible.


Our WWHealth Help list has seen a slight increase in traffic in the recent months. We have also seen some of our SLP members posting on the regular WW listserv, and I am aware of numerous private responses sent by our medical members in response to postings on the regular list. Communication and information is what we are all about, because with it comes power…power to make informed choices, power to set our own goals, power to achieve recovery, and power to continue a fulfilling life.
I continue to spread the word about the benefits of the website with its extensive library, the mail lists, and the forum to medical professionals at conferences, on professional mail lists (such as the ASHA-sponsored list for Voice and Voice Disorders), and at informal gatherings. I recently had the opportunity to do a few lectures for SLP graduate students on laryngectomy rehabilitation, and the usefulness of WW figured prominently in the discussions.


Many thanks to Michael Csapo for maintaining the WWHealthHelp listings and to all the other volunteers and officers who labor tirelessly to make this a phenomenal organization.

Carla DeLassus Gress, ScD, CCC-SLP

 


 

Semiannual Officers' Report to the Membership
(1 January - 30 June 2008)

 


President's Report: Jan 1 - June 30, 2008 - Pat W Sanders

Our membership is climbing rapidly and there is a good mixture of new laryngectomees and long term larys.  Many found us on the Web or just got a computer and came straight to WebWhispers. Some have been told by a friend to look for WebWhispers, some given a brochure by their SLP/Doctor or found one at ACS. With our still new and growing website, we offer even more educational material for laryngectomees each year. Our volunteers are adding more to the website and putting out a great newsletter/magazine. We have excellent services and activities and I think this is what people are hearing about us.

WHISPERS ON THE WEB
Whispers on the Web is offering additional contributors and lots of variety in articles. The wonderful people I work with are VoicePoints coordinator Lisa Proper, Editor Donna McGary and Webmaster Len Librizzi. Our volunteer Gary Metz has finished the new tables of content for Whispers on the Web. Len has put them in an Index of Contents and gives you a choice of HTML or PDF, which is easier to use for printing copies or articles. We will shortly launch the next project to get the same thing done for the former newsletter, the WebWhispers Journal. Gary will be preparing the lists of authors, topics and titles and Len will be getting them placed on the web. These are time consuming projects but the results are well worth the time and will be there in the future for all new members to find.

It is really easy for anyone to go to the Index of Contents http://webwhispers.org/news/WotWIndex.asp and look down the list for an interesting title or subject. Sometimes, you can get the exact answer you need from one of these articles.

WEBSITE
Leonard Librizzi does all of the heavy work on our website, makes up the pages, designs new sections, and gets the newsletters published. He is relieved of some of the lighter posting by Sunny Bakken, who is posting all of the extra lists, such as the WW Dinner attendees, the Memorial page, New Members, not yet added to the regular roster and Extra Donations. I work on sections of the website relating to new additions in the Library, starting other new sections, or moving old ones. My next major work on the website is to clean up and make the suppliers area easier to use. Ed Chapman is working like crazy as you will see from his report. He is dedicated to getting things right and is a great leader for our team.

DATABASE
Buck Martin is keeping up with all of the postings into the database sent to him by our other departments. He posts new members, changes in information, notes who has become a sustaining member, who has joined the forum and who is no longer wih us. It is wonderful that we no longer have to enter everyone directly onto web pages. With the sorting capabilities of the database, it gives us all of the options we need to make charts and post information. This is how Jeanne Graden gets our Roster and By-Location lists ready for Len, and where I can pull information on membership records. For instance, our totals as we reach the half point of this year.

Account Name: CRG (420 records)
Account Name: MED (35 records)
Account Name: PAT (1,503 records)
Account Name: SLP (279 records)
Account Name: VEN (45 records)
Grand Totals (2,282 records)

CRUISE
Our WW sponsored cruise this year, from Acapulco to Seattle, on the Star Princess was highly successful with a total of 84 people sailing (near 60 were WebWhispers folks). About two dozen flew in early and spent a couple of days in Acapulco.

Terry Duga kept a journal of what he saw and enjoyed (people, food, scenery) and we added photos as we put his journal into Whispers on the Web, July 2008 edition.

Our next cruise is a long time off, Oct 1, 2009, and is sailing up the opposite coast. It is on the website under Activities/WWCruises. Our Royal Caribbean ship, Explorer of the Seas, will go from Port Liberty, NJ to Quebec in Canada and we already have 22 people signed on.

IAL AM - VI
Our Awards Committee has met and made decisions for this year. We are planning our WW table which will be open at the IAL and we will man with WW Members for the Annual meeting. Plans for the WW Dinner are well under way and I am looking forward to seeing many of you there.

I thank our 4 VPs and 2 BODs who are reporting below. I won't steal their thunder by reporting on their activities, but I am grateful to all of them and the other volunteers who do a superb job in keeping WebWhispers up to date and growing. Thanks for being there. As I checked through my sent file for this period, I must have pestered you to death because I wrote over 2275 messages and 98% of them were for WebWhispers, mostly to the volunteers. Bless Their Hearts!

Pat W Sanders, President

~~~~~~~~~~

VP WebSite Information Report: Jan 1 - June 30, 2008 - Ed Chapman

The web site library is continually being updated and added to. This is paying off as it is being recognized as the place to go. This was pointed out by another web site that was requesting a link from ours to his. "You have a wonderful site - I was very surprised at how much you cover aside from larynx cancer." This is due to the hard work of many people.

President Pat Sanders, webmaster guru Leonard Librizzi and Gary Metz have made it much easier to research the past issues of the Newsletter with the table/index of contents.

Buck Martin with his surfing of the Web has come up with several good links that he has passed on to be listed.

Even with her busy schedule, Barb Stratton has agreed to start some of our programs until we can pass it on to another volunteer.

Tammy Wiggington M.S., CCC/SLP our Library advisor has edited the definitions in the dictionary section.  She also researched and recommended some links for the "Tests and Scans" section.

Debbie Walters took over the "Caregivers" section and has made it viable and informative . She has added comments and suggestions from members as well as giving links to various sites that will assist care givers.

An example of how we try to keep the library updated can be found by looking at the "VA" section under "Common Concerns". This is a area that constantly changes yet we are attempting to stay on top of it in order to give our webbie friends the most up to date information.

We are bringing on new programs. One is a "Video" section where information will not only be able to be viewed in the library but educational materials will have the capabilities of being downloaded. We feel if one picture is worth a 1000 words we are going to reduce a lot of words. Case in point: Bill Whittle has produced a power point program that will come with an instructors outline and you will be able to download and use it as a educational tool about laryngectomees for ambulance and hospital staff.

I have one volunteer that I would like to especially recognize. She has the tenacity of a bulldog. You give her a project and away she goes. The next thing you know, she's done. Vickie Metz was already giving her husband, Gary Metz, ideas with the start up on the table/index of contents, while she was still working. Upon her retirement in January she agreed to take on her own projects. So far she has researched, updated and added to "Stoma Care/Humidity", "Acid Reflux", "Travel-Near and Far" and "Stoma Covers" and she is adding a new piece today on maintenance and protection of ELs .

We have a great site going that we could not maintain without the dedicated volunteers, board of directors, executive board and most of all you the members. If you have a chance to thank any of these hard working people please do. I know they will appreciate being appreciated. Be Well!

Respectfully submitted,

Ed Chapman

VP-WSI

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

VP Member Services Report: Jan 1 - June 30, 2008 - Libby Fitzgerald

It is truly amazing how much our membership list continues to grow. For several years, we averaged about 30 new members per month, but in the past six months, we averaged over 45 members per month. This included laryngectomees, caregivers, speech pathologists and other medical personnel and laryngectomy supply vendors who hailed from throughout the US, plus Canada, UK, Pakistan, Israel, Australia, Ireland, India, Ecuador, Dubai, South Africa and Turkey.

While continuing to send out thousands of our free color brochures, we are near the end of our current supply, which began with 30,000 copies, four years ago. With the capable designing talents of Len Librizzi and Pat Sanders, plus input from the rest of the WW BOD, updates were made that better reflect what WebWhispers now has to offer. The printing order has been placed and by increasing the copies to 50,000, the cost per brochure has been reduced and will enable us to send them out for a longer period of time before needing to reorder. Requests for these brochures come from individual members, local laryngectomee clubs, speech pathologists, university hospital medical centers, doctors and their nursing staff, and medical supply vendors. If you are unfamiliar with the WebWhispers brochure, you can see it at the following link on our web site: http://webwhispers.org/services/free-brochures.asp. To place an order, contact me directly at Lijofitz@aol.com. We plan to have the new brochures with us at the IAL Convention in Little Rock and encourage you to check them out and bring some back home with you.

To make this printing possible, maintain our web site, cover web hosting fees, listserv fees, computers, software and other operating expenses, your ongoing support through member donations plus memorial donations are necessary and deeply appreciated. These donations also cover the mailing costs for sending out our brochures and loan closet equipment, plus purchasing the Casey-Cooper and other awards. We currently have 239 sustaining members, that is, those who have donated at least $5.00 per year, and that donation entitles you to vote on all issues of importance to this organization. There is no membership fee for joining, but with more than 2,000 members, we hope more of you will give us your support as sustaining members. Donations may be made online through this link:

http://webwhispers.org/donations/donations.asp

or you may mail a check made out to "WebWhispers"

c/o Terry Duga,VP Finance & Administration.

6115 North Park Ave.

Indianapolis, IN 46220.

I will be sending out donation letters for 2008 income tax purposes throughout the year.

Bruce Medical Supply continues to generously provide free Neckbreather pins mailed at no cost to us for all members who donate a minimum of $15.00 in US funds or $50.00 from overseas. We also have WW pins and patches available to purchase. Pins are $5.00 each or 6 for $25.00. Patches are $1.50 each, 4 for $5.00 and 9 for $10.00. To view our pins, patches and Neckbreather pins, go to: http://webwhispers.org/services/ww-pins-patches.asp.

For several years, Bill and Judy Ramboldt have been housing our loan closet equipment and mailing out that equipment to members in need. We were all very saddened when Bill recently lost his battle with cancer, but Judy has faithfully continued this vital service and we thank her for her dedication. The following items are available on a temporary basis for members only, including SLP members who may need them for some of their patients: Servox Digital and Servox Intons with chargers; Cooper Rand, Tru-Tone, Solatone, Romet, Aurex, Nu Vois, and Optivo, plus batteries for those units which were generously donated by an anonymous vendor. We also have 2 Chattervox units, AA battery charger and speaker charger. For further information, contact me at Lijofitz@aol.com.

We are now getting ready to host our annual WebWhispers dinner on Thursday, August 28th, during the IAL Convention in Little Rock. It's always a fun-filled evening with a great turnout and this year's Southern Hospitality Buffet should please your palates. I am putting the seating chart together, so be sure to make your reservations soon. Again, we thank Bruce Medical Supply for their sponsorship of the pre-dinner reception and InHealth Technologies and Bruce Medical Supply for continuing to pay a portion of the dinner cost to help keep it affordable for our members. http://webwhispers.org/activities/ww-annual-dinner.asp

We honor the memories of members we have lost between January 1 and June 30th, listing them on our Memorium Page at: http://webwhispers.org/about/inmemorium.asp, along with those we have lost in previous years. At our WebWhispers dinner, their names will be called and a haunting memorial bell will be rung for each member lost within the past year. It is a touching ceremony and a beautiful way to remember them. If you know of any others not listed on our Memorial Page, please let us know.


Respectfully submitted,
Libby Fitzgerald

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

VP Finance & Admin Report - Jan 1 - June 30, 2008

As of June 30, 2008, we had:

$29,706.16 in unrestricted funds.

$10,523,00, which came from a life insurance policy on Dutch, plus interest, is to be used in an emergency to keep the list and website running.

$674.00 in advance payments received for the 2008 Awards Banquet in Little Rock.

We received $3,595.87 in donations during this time. We also had $29.16 in interest income.

We had the following expenses (in U.S. Dollars):

Annual fee for the Indiana Secretary of State to keep our incorporated status 7.14
Bank Card Fee to process credit card donations and payments 127.82
Copying costs .60
Envelopes 6.35
FAX 3.98
Forum Expense 49.50
Hosting Plan Renewal 20.00
Listserve 299.50
Postage and Delivery 114.63
Software 699.63

Thanks to the generosity of our membership we remain fiscally sound.

I wish to thank Carla Lynch for acting as back-up for me.

Submitted,

Terry G. Duga
VP Finance & Administration

~~~~~~~~~~~

VP Internet Activities Report: Jan 1 - June 30, 2008 - Michael Csapo

Greetings Webbies and Avid Reading Enthusiasts,

It's hard to believe that another six months have passed already and it seems to me that I must have the wrong set of gears installed in my clock. Every year, time just seems to pass more quickly than the previous year. I hope this report finds you all in good health and spirits and I appreciate your taking the time and interest to review the following:

EMAIL LISTS:
Recent tallies on our email distribution list reflect 947 recipients on the Regular List, 590 recipients on the Digest List, and an additional 225 email addresses presently subscribed to the Vacation List. This calculates to 1762 unique email addresses subscribed to one of our email lists. In addition we have 305 email addresses currently subscribed to the WebWhispers Health Help (WWHH) list for professionals.

Of continuing concern is the number of members who (often accidentally) continue to report our email as SPAM to their ISP's. If you are reading an email you don't like, please hit delete, not SPAM. Every time someone reports one of our emails as SPAM, whether it be accidental or intentional, it reflects badly on us.

A note of appreciation is also appropriate here for our List Manager "Sunny Bakken" who has continued to put in countless hours processing applications and subscribing new applicants to our email lists, removing members, keeping the memorial page up to date and all the other numerous tasks she performs which presently escape my mind. Mahalo Sunny!

A special thanks to "Buck Martin" who has done an excellent job of entering all of our membership applications and update submissions into our secure database for reference and safekeeping. Cheers Buck!

MODERATORS:
A note of appreciation to all our Moderators for performing the constant task of moderating our email lists and keeping our list discussions productive.

Barb Stratton is still our resident "Chief Moderator" and I can assure you that this gal really puts in the hours! I suspect they must serve up some really strong coffee out there in Massachusetts for her to keep the hours which she does! Randy Lemster has also done a terrific job as "fill in" moderator for those rare occasions where Barb has been unavailable. Carl Strand recently successfully completed a week long moderator refresher course in order to remain adept at his proficient moderating skills as a backup moderator to Barb and Randy.

Mike Rosenkranz, Pat Sanders and myself remain available as backup moderators and advisers for Barb, Randy and Carl on those rare occasions as needed. I commend you all for your efforts!

MEMBERSHIP:
Amazingly, our membership is growing in leaps and bounds! In the period between January 1, 2008 and June 30, 2008 we have inducted the following into WebWhispers membership:

Caregivers..........53
Medical.............,...2
Patient..............176
SLPs..........,,......33
Vendors......,,......12
----------------------------
Total................276

For our statisticians out there, this calculates to an average of just over 1.5 new members every day! While I often find it disturbing that the numbers are increasing so drastically, I am relieved to know that those who might benefit from WebWhispers are in fact finding their way to us!

CONCERNS:
One of my primary concerns is members Unsubscribing themselves from our email lists while retaining membership with us. While that is not so much a problem in itself, it does make it difficult to keep these members up to date and informed about what is going on in our organization. Note that our email lists have been our primary source of communication not only to address individual problems and concerns, but also to convey important information such as elections, bylaw changes, projects, special events, contribution requests, and a once-a-week changes in membership notice, etc....

When members remove themselves from our email lists we pretty much lose all contact with them. We are not well enough staffed to be able to contact them all individually or email them all separately. This leads me to the next part of my report (Upcoming Projects) which offers a solution to this complex problem.

PROJECTS:
Our President Pat Sanders and myself have discussed this for some time now and one of our upcoming projects will be to set up an announcement list. It is much like our email list except it is only a "One Way" transaction. In other words there will be no replies or discussion made available on this list. It will be used only to send "WW Related" material from administration to the entire membership. We are still etching out the details but most likely it will be mandatory for members to have a working email address to receive these few notices from our announcement list, in order to retain their membership with us.

We are, after all, an "Internet" based organization and it is the Internet which binds us all together. We must have contact with our members somehow and this seems the most reasonable and most economical solution at this time. The cost is modest to maintain a medium sized announcement list which should suit our present needs. This would be run by the same company that now handles our other lists.

It's been quite an experience (mostly pleasurable) to serve as VP Internet Activities these past 6 months and at this time will thank you all for taking the time to read the reports submitted by your officer's.

Thanks also to Forum Managers Mike Rosenkranz and Logan Grayson, Database worker Jeanne Graden, Webmaster Leonard Librizzi, Loan Closet custodian Judy Ramboldt and all those others deserving of whom I have not previously mentioned specifically by name.....?

Respectfully Submitted,
~Michael Csapo
~VP Internet Activities

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BOD - Forum Report - Jan 1 -June 30, 2008 - Mike Rosenkranz

Your forum managers Mike Rosenkranz and Logan Grayson are pleased to report that forum membership has grown to 526, an increase of 84 over the previous six months. It remains at almost 25 % of the total WebWhispers membership. The paradox is that while our membership has grown, the numbers show that activity has decreased.

During this past six months, there were 741 new posts, 139 new discussions, and 44,506 page views. These posts were made by 63 of our forum members. Every one of these figures is lower than the previous six months, but one thing remains constant. The vast majority of posts were made by a very small number of our enrolled members, while the remainder of our forum devotees were content to check in, read the posts, and continue on their way.

There has been a recent flurry of requests for the forum code. It is pleasant to see such increased activity, but we would request that all new members post an initial message upon entering the forum. Think of it as introducing yourselves so that we may all get to know you that much faster. Several of our new members have done that, and we find that those who have posted a message soon after joining continue to post thereafter.

The forum is here so that you may enjoy socializing with your fellow larys, caregivers, professionals and vendors. We are very informal, and everyone is invited to come on in, relax, join in our discussions, post a bit of humor, talk about your hobbies, swap recipes, share memories and chat with your new friends. We look forward to your posts, but if you prefer to just read and leave, you are still welcome. This is your forum to use as you wish. All we ask is that you use good judgment, good taste, and good manners so that this can be a comfortable Clubhouse for all of our members.

To join the forum, click on www.webwhispers.org/members/forumboards.asp and follow the instructions. When you request the forum code, which you will need to join, please remember to sign your full name. That will help us to quickly respond to your request. Address any questions to forummgr@webwhispers.org

Once again, I must acknowledge the tremendous contribution that is constantly made by Logan in keeping the forum operating smoothly and in enrolling new members.

Respectfully submitted,
Mike Rosenkranz

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BOD WWHealthHelp Report -Jan 1 - June 30, 2008 -
Carla DeLassus Gress, ScD, CCC-SLP

The last six months has seen an increase of 10% in the membership of medical professionals, as we continue to spread the word about the benefits of WebWhispers online connection to speech-language pathologists (SLPs), otolaryngologists, and other health care providers who specialize in head & neck cancer treatment, particularly larynx cancer.

At professional meetings that I attend, such as the Stanford University course in Tracheoesophageal Speech last April, I devote extra effort towards introducing SLPs to our organization and encourage them to not only join, but to pass along membership information to the laryngectomees whom they encounter in their practice. My participation in ASHA's Special Interest Group on Voice Disorders and its listserve provides another opportunity to reach speech pathologists and otolaryngologists who are looking for sources of information and support related to laryngeal cancer and living after laryngectomy.

We continue to try to update addresses on our membership rolls that are no longer valid. We ask that you please remember to notify us of any address changes so that we may maintain current listings, and prevent any interruption in your subscription.

Many thanks to all of the hardworking volunteers who are charged with the tedious nuts and bolts of the project, including Michael Csapo, Buck Martin, and Sunny Bakken.

I continue to participate in the WebWhispers mail list, serving as a professional resource to answer questions when needed, as well as the Forum when time permits.

Feel free to contact me at Carla_Gress@hotmail.com if you have questions or comments.

 

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