A screen shot of the new NASMD Board of Directors from the organizations annual business meeting held online.

NASMD Business Meeting Goes Virtual

The National Association of School Music Dealers may have canceled its annual convention due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the organization still held its annual business meeting on March 26 via video conference. The NASMD board gathered some 60 member companies to the virtual meeting. What is usually a quick, slightly pedestrian portion of the NASMD Convention became a chance to safely gather and band together in solidarity for some of the nation's top school music dealers.

"We should be in St. Petersburg right now, together, in the sun, enjoying each other's company and giving each other real hugs instead of virtual hugs," said Whitney Brown Grisaffi, NASMD president. "But we will move forward and, staying in a positive light, we will get through this."

The NASMD Conference, originally scheduled for March 25-28 in St. Petersburg, Florida, was canceled due to the pandemic. Brown Grisaffi, who is also the president of Ted Brown Music in Tacoma, Washington, opened the meeting by reporting the organization was able to cancel the event without cancellation damages. "The good news is, in light of everything, we have been able to persevere and the hotel has cancelled our contract without damages," said Brown Grisaffi. "So, we have been released from a $300,000 no-conference bill." Grisaffi Brown said the organization still had real bills to pay, such as the board traveling to the site to plan the convention, shipping supplies to the hotel and more. The board sent out a message to members and sponsors to make a choice on their registration and sponsorship money. The choices were to get a full refund, get a refund but leave some as a donation or carry over the funds until 2021.

Many chose to carry over their fees or give a donation.

"Thanks to our really responsible past presidents, we have been able to grow the reserves and maintain the reserves at a level that would help us in a situation like the one we're going through right now," Brown Grisaffi said.

The dealers also voted in a new board of directors for 2020-2021. They are CJ Averwater, Amro Music; Gayle Beacock, Beacock Music; Cris Behrens, Summerhays Music; Paul Finke, Willis Music; Whitney Brown Grisaffi, Ted Brown Music; Tamara Kautzman, Eckroth Music; Rick Thacker, Plum Grove Music; and Ryan West, West Music.

The organization's treasurer's report showed the organization with total capital of $382,116 as of May 31, 2019.

The 2021 NASMD Convention will be March 10-13 in Puerto Rico. In the meantime, the organization has set up a Facebook group to help retailers and manufacturers share issues and questions for getting through the Covid-19 crisis.