1995-1997: Jon Aaron, Aaron Concert Management
Before my presidency, I served at least two terms on the board and those were very significant years indeed. Starting in the late '80's NAPAMA was really the organization that spearheaded the first major dealings with regulations regarding visas. At the time, the INS (for you youngsters, that was what the USCIS used to be called) initiated the first major change in regulations that affected our business. My company at the time was in Boston and as a result I was a constituent of Senator Kennedy whose committee was largely responsible for these regulations. NAPAMA raised the flag and the other larger organizations, APAP and ASOL, quickly saw the need to put their collective weight into the cause. It was at this point that Jonathan Ginsburg became very friendly with NAPAMA and he was instrumental in the writing of the 1990 legislation.
Another area where I was extremely active was in the creation of NAPAMA’s initial website. Without sounding too much like Al Gore, I would say that between my efforts and that of our former colleague, John Ulman, we were the first performing arts association to even have a website. Activity on the internet was still very much in its infancy, but many of you may recall those days in the early or mid '90's when we had a presentation by a man from Millennium Productions who came to talk about the coming technology. Our first site in fact was hosted by this company - originally in Cambridge but now, not surprisingly, in India. Millennium even registered our domain name and then helped to create the site as a prototype for many others to follow.
I know there is much more I could report, but I will leave that to others. For now I will just say HAT’S OFF to NAPAMA on its 30th! It is wonderful to see you thriving.