NAAUG was faced with some serious organizational challenges. First, all elections had always occurred at the site of the annual meeting, which excluded those who didn't attend the meeting from running for office or voting. Somehow, NAAUG had to implement a non-geographically-based voting process. Secondly, the Board of Directors had had its hands tied in its ability to act on new ventures since all voting had been limited to the annual meeting. Somehow, the membership had to implement a voting procedure that would allow votes to be taken throughout the year as needed. Third, Autodesk was growing so fast overseas that once again NAAUG was presented with the need to expand to an international venue. If it didn't, Autodesk would have to create a worldwide group with NAAUG underneath it. Instead, Autodesk invited NAAUG to take the reigns and build its existing infrastructure into a worldwide user group format. And lastly, there was no money--NAAUG was in debt from the previous year's road show.
That year, the annual meeting was held in Chicago. NAAUG members not only voted a resounding "yes" to all three Bylaws changes, but the meeting also had the highest attendance ever. The NAAUG booth introduced the Playpen, an area where users could go to "play" with powerful systems loaded up with the latest software and without any supervision or demos or sales pitches. The playpen was packed until the day the booth closed. The location for Autodesk University was excellent, and NAAUG's events were seamlessly integrated into all of Autodesk University courses so that everyone who attended could participate in everything NAAUG offered. The NAAUG SIG sessions were well attended again and the organization renamed itself Autodesk User Group International (AUGI) as it embraced its new global mission.
This was also the first year that AUGI really addressed its image problem. Many AutoCAD users over the years have not known that Autodesk was the company that produced AutoCAD. The organization also needed a motto of some kind for its marketing and the Board of Directors voted on the now familiar AUGI battle-cry Educate! Enlighten! Enhance! Empower!. AUGI generated promotional literature outlining its mission statement, membership benefits, resources and programs. And best of all, there was money in the till again by the year's end.
I am very grateful to all of the Board members that year who made financial sacrifices (trip-wise, expense-wise, goal-wise) to help AUGI get back into the black and recover its losses. Hopefully the mismanagement of funds will never be that disastrous again.
The following Board of Directors were elected that year:
President: Donnia Tabor-Hanson / Cumberland Clarklift
President-Elect: Don Spencer / DIGITOE, Inc
Secretary: Mike Harkins / Pulte Home Corp.
Treasurer: Kevin Campbell / Pozzi Wood Windows
AEC IG Chair: David Harrington / Walter P. Moore & Assoc. Inc.
Data Management IG Chair: Paul Martinez
Mechanical IG Chair: Paul Jackson / Honeywell, Inc.
GIS IG Chair: Jay Dickman / Sonat Exploration Co.
AppProg SIG Chair: Scott McFarlane / Woolpert
Process & Power SIG Chair: Ken Gerew / Eastman Kodak Co.
Education & Training IG Chair: Don Spencer / DIGITOE, Inc.
Multimedia SIG Chair: Emmanuel Garcia
Senior Autodesk Rep: David Bradford / Autodesk
Manager User Group Services: Denise Sonni-Birlin, Rebecca Bell / Autodesk