NARM Quarterly Spring 2017 | Page 2

“The journey is the treasure.”

Lloyd Alexander, The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio

It was just over ten years ago, mid-December 2006 to be exact, when all NARM participants received the email. The membership coordinator at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, and only manager of the NARM program, was retiring. He attached the NARM "Condensed List" of nearly 200 members and the guidelines, a barebones list of bullet points in Microsoft Word, to his farewell message and wished us all good luck.

That was NARM in 2006. No one was even sure if NARM stood for "North American Reciprocal Membership" program or "North American Reciprocal Museum" program. The NARM mailing list was incomplete and out of date, the information on the "Condensed List" was inaccurate, and no one knew who would be able to take over the program on such short notice.

I was brand new to membership management at the Greenville County Museum of Art in 2006. It had been less than one year since I retired from Ernst & Young, as the Assistant Director of Tax Knowledge Services in Washington, D.C., where I managed national projects including tax knowledge bases and Lotus Notes sites. My family and I had decided to move back to where our extended family lived to improve our quality of life, but I was also eager to take on another national project. I knew NARM needed commitment; I had no idea NARM would become my full-time passion.

The years that followed have been a time of incredible growth, fabulous creativity and amazing partnerships. The development of the website, the NARM map, logo, window decal and brochures have all been the direct result of recommendations from NARM member institutions. Travel industry leaders and national associations have contacted NARM for partnerships and we have developed lasting relationships through the years.

NARM has become one of the best, and largest reciprocal membership programs in North America, if not the world, and there is nothing more fulfilling than working with an organization that works together to benefit each other and each others members.

Thank you all for this journey this treasure and I sincerely hope that the next ten years will be as wonderful as the last ten have been!

Virginia Phillippi

Executive Director