1994: Weird Timing

In the next year, things just got weird. Part of NAAUG's appeal at the annual meeting had always been "under-the-hood" sessions where Autodesk revealed ahead of schedule some of the new surprises users could expect to see in the next release of the software. Because of the changing company's attitudes and increased competition by other CAD vendors, NAAUG found it more and more difficult to sponsor and maintain these types of grass-roots benefits at its events such as A/E/C SYSTEMS and the annual meeting.

Also weird was the timing of the release dates for the next version of AutoCAD... traditionally the annual meeting offered attendees a chance to see the newest release of AutoCAD in action, but that year the new version of AutoCAD (though it hadn't formally shipped yet) had been over-demoed by dealerships ahead for months before the annual meeting. This meant that when the main presentation on the latest release was shown at the annual meeting, everyone was already intimately familiar with it and consequently the presentation was received very unenthusiastically. This also compromised the traditionally popular Wish List session because people were basically put in a position of asking for things they wanted when a new release was literally only days away. Without knowing what the new release technically included, any request seemed moot and nothing could officially be shared by Autodesk as to what was already "in there."

On the brighter side, LeAnne Thurmond and her administration had the newsletter take a serious leap in content; the annual resource disk (one of NAAUG's top benefits) became a CD-ROM so that it could include far more information; and, most remarkable of all, the latest AutoCAD release did in fact include more NAAUG Wish List items than any previous version. The product was a true monument to NAAUG's invaluable member's feedback. i can't remember specifically how many requested items were included in that release, but i think it was over 200. There were so many NAAUG wish list items implemented that Autodesk used that list for its primary marketing literature.

NAAUG coordinated its first-ever Autodesk University track of events that year, and though some of its sessions conflicted with Autodesk sessions, it gave NAAUG the opportunity to influence and mold Autodesk University back into a major NAAUG event. Also notable was that NAAUG held its first annual meeting on the east side of the country, much to the relief of east-coast NAAUG members who had always had to pay cross-country airfares to attend in the past.

The following officers were elected that year:

President: Paul Jackson / Honeywell, Inc.
President-Elect: dave espinosa-aguilar / Toxic Frog Multimedia
Secretary: Don Brown / Strategic Alliances & Marketing
Treasurer: John Anderson / Washington Water Power
LUG Representative: David Harrington / Walter P. Moore & Assoc. Inc.
SIG Representative: Jeff Hester / Fluor Daniel
AEC SIG Chair: Mike Harkins / Pulte Home Corporation
Mechanical SIG Chair: Kevin Campbell / Pozzi Wood Windows
Mapping/GIS/Infrastructure SIG Chair: Robert Schulz / California State University
AppProg SIG Chair: David Heath / Bath Iron Works Corp.
Process & Power SIG Chair: Larry Gore / Tatman Associates, Inc.
Education & Training SIG Chair: Don Spencer / Renton Technical College
Multimedia SIG Chair: Ted Boardman / Wentworth Institute of Technology
Retail Products SIG Chair: Randall Newton / Sumac Publishing
Senior Autodesk Rep: Jeri King, Lynne Saunders / Autodesk
Manager User Group Services: Wynn Johnson, Toby D'Elia / Autodesk
Manager of User Group Services Multimedia: Kathy Clinton / Autodesk

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