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AOBA Announces Board Member Resignation

The following announcement was recently released by AOBA:

Libby Forstner has submitted her resignation to the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association Board of Directors effective upon the conclusion of the AOBA Annual Meeting on Friday, May 17, 2013. Below is a copy of her resignation letter to the AOBA Board.
Margie Ault, AOBA Office Administrator
Dear AOBA Board Members:
It is with many mixed emotions that I submit my letter of resignation from the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association Board of Directors effective at the end of the Annual Membership Meeting on May 17, 2013. I am submitting my resignation at this time so that we can contact the person who would replace me per the Bylaws to see if that person can attend the Board meeting at the 2013 National Conference in Denver, or be present via phone, in order to assure a smooth transition effective at the beginning of the 2013 - 2014 Board year. My reasons are selfish...retirement. After 20 years of volunteering for AOBA and raising alpacas, I am going to take some time for myself. I am retiring from my farm and from my volunteer service to AOBA. It has been a difficult decision and it's hard to "let go" as I will miss so many people and my beloved alpacas but I plan to doggedly retain friendships. Making it harder is the reality that I won't be on the Board to see the many exciting programs we are working on through to completion. On a personal note, I want to assure you that Magical Farms will continue on with the next generation at the helm alongside my husband Jerry, whom I am confident, will never retire! I deeply appreciate my husband's understanding of my wishes to retire and change life direction. He is truly a remarkable guy.
I have enjoyed serving beside each and every one of you. I wish the membership could truly experience for themselves your dedication to AOBA and our industry. I have deeply appreciated the trust the membership placed in me over the years and hope that they are pleased with the incredible progress AOBA has made over my past four years on the Board, accomplished through the hard work of our staff, our members, our committees, our Affiliates, our volunteers and our Boards.
I want to thank Margie Ault and the rest of our professional AOBA staff. AOBA is indeed blessed to have such a loyal and hard-working professional staff who have proven time and again that they are absolutely dedicated to all members and care deeply about our Association and our industry. Anyone who has worked with Margie and our staff quickly comes to appreciate their professionalism, hard work, kindness, sense of fair play and dedication.
I also wish to thank the many committee members and volunteers who work so hard to make AOBA a success. It is a fact of life that marketing is a critical facet of any successful organization and the alpaca industry is not an exception. I am pleased that we were able to stabilize AOBA financially and have re-established our marketing program on a national level for the benefit of our membership. I am also pleased that AOBA and our Affiliates are working more closely, something that is critically important for the future of the alpaca industry.
I have served as Board President on both the ARI and AOBA Board of Directors. If I have one big, remaining hope for our Associations, it is that the AOBA and ARI memberships seriously consider merging ARI and AOBA IF a final plan of merger is presented to both memberships for a vote. If it is presented for a vote, it would mean that both Boards believe that it is in the best interests of both memberships and the industry. My final wish is that our memberships review the plan (should the Boards and staffs get that far) with an open mind and if it makes sense, that they vote for it. The days of excess are behind us in nearly every phase of our lives. We can no longer easily afford duplicate expenses and fragmented services and so much more that results from the costs of two separate organizations overseeing one industry. If the core missions of both organizations and the memberships' interests are protected in the new organization, and the services improve for the memberships along with the continued stewardship of our precious limited resources, then merger would have had my support.
Once again, I thank you for your hard work and dedication, your support, your trust in me as President and for the membership's support for me and my family over the years. You are an amazing group of professionals and it has been my honor to work by your side.
I look forward to seeing all of you at the 2013 AOBA National Conference, Show and Auction and thank you again for your support of AOBA and me.
Talk with you soon and see you at the Conference next week!
Libby M. Forstner, M.B.A., President
Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association