ASH Brothers and Sisters,
We are now Very shortly we'll be opening up our 2013 membership. Prior to that, there is an issue I need to inform you about.
Our operating costs have gone up over the last three years and our dues have not kept pace. As a result, our dues for 2013 will be increased by $5 from $30 to $35. In addition, there will not be an early sign-up discount. This decision was not an easy one for the Board, but it is the right choice.
While it is true that our dues are more than say QUAFF or the Maltose Falcons, we lead those Nationally recognized clubs in a number of ways.
Apart from the operation costs (the sole reason for the increase) I think that you'll agree that the club has always been worth the value. This is even more the case with our discount program. It's now entirely possible to make your money back on one (albeit very large homebrew store) transaction. It's certainly do-able in one month. If you are not taking advantage of that part of our club, then you are missing out.
I have long held the position that our ASH dues should be in line with clubs across the country. A significant reason for our larger membership numbers is affordability. Our numbers provide ASH with a wealth of resources and skills not limited to just brewing. We have folks in ASH with a wide range of vocations and interests. Our Board has operated with those principals in mind. The Board is also duty bound to operate in a responsible manner. We need to ensure that our actions are in the best long term interests of the club and it's membership. I think that this increase satisfies both objectives.
On a serious note, if you know someone that has been a member and they are facing financial hardship, please reach out to me directly and I will see how we can provide them assistance (both dues and otherwise).
I'll be happy to discuss our decision anytime at a meeting, online or in private.