RWCS Board of Directors Election Bios

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Dan DePasquale
Candidate, RWCS President
My interest in Red Wing started when I graduated from college and purchased a 5 gallon Red Wing shoulder jug for only 50 cents. Attending auctions, I began collecting all kinds of kitchen stoneware. Clay Giants, by the late Rev. Lyndon Viel, introduced me to the variety and scope of Red Wing stoneware items. I’ve presented many educational seminars at the annual Convention, written numerous articles for the RWCS Newsletter and co-authored Red Wing Stoneware, Red Wing Collectibles and Red Wing Stoneware Encyclopedia. I’m also a member of the RWCS Hall of Fame.

I’ve been asked a number of times to consider running for president. However, beause of my work load as associate superintendent of schools in Norfolk, Neb., I felt I could not give the time needed to do a good job. Although I’m still busy, I have retired and now have the time. What has motivated me to run for president is the desire to help sustain the Red Wing Collectors Society as the great organization it has developed into. As a charter member, I have a long and deep interest in the well-being of the Society and the work it does to promote Red Wing stoneware, pottery and dinnerware. As a past president of RWCS, I have a perspective that allows me to see both the big picture and the details. I hope this perspective can assist in continuing the outstanding work others have done to promote Red Wing products and the Society during this difficult economic period. I think the past presidents and boards have done an excellent job and they are to be commended for their hard work in maintaining the Society through some complicated times.

Ann Busse Tucker
Candidate, RWCS Vice President
I joined RWCS in 1986 after randomly wandering into the Red Wing VoTech during the July Convention. After learning about the stoneware auction taking place there, I arrived a day early and joined the Society after meeting several RWCS members. I have stayed involved in the organization in a variety of ways ever since. Some members will remember when I first served on the Board of Directors as Secretary from 1988 to 1998. As Secretary I worked with presidents Dan DePasquale, Dennis Yaeggi and Barney Olson. I have assisted with KidsView since leaving the Board, and like so many members, I’ve enjoyed the annual visit to Red Wing to see people who have become my Red Wing family over the years.

In May 2009, I retired from Kishwaukee College as Dean of Arts and Science. When I was asked to run for RWCS Vice President, I did not hesitate. I realized this organization has given me so much personally as well as through the collections I’ve bought and sold through the years; it was time to get involved again. I look forward to working with the Board and members of RWCS.
My previous terms on the RWCS Board were filled with growing pains as the membership and Convention grew annually. I look forward to the opportunity to continue to move RWCS forward and at the same time keep that “family” atmosphere of collectors and friends. It is not just a business of buying and selling stoneware. Our mission is to keep the legacy alive. That is why I am dedicated to the members of RWCS, the Board, its Foundation and all the future members.

Along with RWCS, I am president of the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra; President of Oak Crest – the DeKalb Area Retirement Center (I serve on the Board, not as a resident); and I’m a commissioner for the Sycamore Park District. I live in Sycamore, Ill. with my husband, Jim, and we run Sycamore Antiques in downtown Sycamore. In our spare time we like to golf, sail and generally hunt for Red Wing and other antiques. Thank you for your support. I will serve the membership and the organization with all the knowledge I can bring and all the love I have for RWCS.

Diana Bailey

Candidate, RWCS Vice President
I joined RWCS in 1999 after a trip through Red Wing which brought me to Pottery Place, and my first exposure to Red Wing stoneware and pottery. I attended my first Convention in 2000, where I attended as many of the activities as possible.

I became RWCS Education Manager in 2004, but served only one year of my term. Professional commitments requiring a great deal of travel prevented me from continuing in that role. During my brief tenure, I had the opportunity to meet many wonderful and committed members who were willing to share their time and collecting expertise with others.

Although my position as Account Manager for my employer continues, I no longer need to spend as much time traveling. I am joining the race for candidacy for Vice President of RWCS because I am committed to the organization’s efforts to expand membership and to encourage member involvement in the leadership of the RWCS, and I strongly believe RWCS members should have the opportunity to choose among candidates for Board of Director positions.

Mark Collins

Incumbent, RWCS Treasurer
I have served as Treasurer since May 2005, when I was appointed to complete Jerry Schleich’s term. It was humbling to even be considered for the post! I accepted and quickly learned that the financial status of the Society was in good shape, much to the credit of Jerry. I primarily collect Red Wing stoneware and Cahoy Pottery (a South Dakota product) and prints by South Dakota artist Oscar Howe. What I enjoy most about collecting is the thrill of the hunt and learning what I can about each piece.

A native South Dakotan, I currently reside in Omaha and am an attorney with the Nebraska Department of Justice, where I serve as the Director of the Nebraska Medicaid Fraud and Patient Abuse Unit. I also serve on the board of directors and the executive committee of the Nebraska AIDS Project, a social service agency working with people with HIV and AIDS. My former board service includes 11 years as a vice president and board member of the Sioux Council Boy Scouts of America and two years as a board member of Volunteers of America/Dakotas, a large social service organization. Professionally, I serve as the President of the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units, an organization made up of state health care fraud and patient abuse units throughout the country.

RWCS continues to face a tough challenge with respect to our membership numbers. Thus it is important that our finances likewise be carefully monitored. Over the past four years we have implemented a thorough review process for our financial and investment positions to ensure the ongoing fiscal strength of the organization. We go through a rigorous budget process every year. We also constantly review our financial status to ensure that we live within our means. Through good fiscal management, we have been able to cut costs while not adversely affecting the programs that the RWCS supports. I have enjoyed my time as the RWCS Treasurer and would appreciate the chance to continue serving in this capacity.

Russa Robinson

Incumbent, Representative at Large
My name is Russa Robinson and to tell you a little about myself, I am a wife, mother, grandmother, teacher and an avid Red Wing collector of everything. My husband, Mike, and I have raised three children on our family farm in Stockton, Calif.

Red Wing is a big part of our lives. We have been members of the RWCS since 1982, when we brought our young family out to the beautiful city of Red Wing for our first Convention. We have not missed a Convention since. Mike and I started volunteering with the KidsView program at its inception and we believe that getting the kids involved is a wonderful way to keep our organization healthy and growing. In 1987, we helped charter the California chapter, and now spend the year traveling the state to attend our quarterly meetings. Our California chapter is very active and it is wonderful to see a group of people come together from different parts of our state just because we are addicted to Red Wing.

State chapters are an important part of the RWCS, as they are vital to the growth of our society. The chapter meetings are a fun time for the membership to get together to share a love of collecting and the history of American pottery. Many of our members have been introduced to RWCS through a chapter meeting, and continue to invite others to join them there.

As a Representative at Large for the past four years, one of my main goals has been to “help RWCS help you” – the membership. Some chapters have been meeting for a long time. Others are just forming, and could use the help of the RWCS to get up and running. Each chapter has its specific needs, and could benefit from the resources of the RWCS. I would be proud to continue to be part of that process. I am committed to the RWCS, and care deeply about the issues that are facing our society and its future.

RWCS is not just about collecting. A new piece is always fun to acquire, but the real excitement comes from seeing all of the friends we have made over the years, and making new ones. As your Representative at Large, I am committed to sharing that excitement with others.

Jerry Erdmann

Incumbent, Representative at Large
My wife, June, and I live near Tigerton, a small rural Wisconsin town. We have always loved antiques and have collected for more than 40 years. We became members of the Red Wing Collectors Society in 1989 and we’ve attended every summer Convention since then. We also attend the MidWinter GetTogethers.

I have served as a Representative at Large for the past 12 years and it’s been an honor to serve the members of this organization. Each Red Wing Convention brings anticipation and excitement of visiting with dear friends, meeting new collectors and of course, finding that “certain treasure” for our collection. As your representative, I welcome telephone calls and e-mails regarding the organization of state chapters and other RWCS concerns.

John Sagat

Candidate, RWCS Secretary
Although I have had contact with Red Wing dinnerware since the 1950s (my parents received a set of Orleans as an engagement gift from my grandparents), I didn’t start collecting until the early 1980s. When I set up my first apartment in my college years, my mother gave me the Orleans sugar bowl, one of the few remaining pieces of her set. After my wife, Marilee, and I got married in 1982, we decided to find more of the pieces to use as everyday dishes. However, there wasn’t much Orleans to be found way back then. In the course of our searching, we stumbled upon the RWCS and joined in 1986. Like many others, we became actively involved in no time. And although there are Red Wing crocks and art pottery pieces around the house and cabin, we have remained surprisingly focused on collecting Provincial dinnerware.

Regarding my involvement with RWCS, I served as Gopher Chapter Vice President from 1988 to 1990 and President from 1990-1996. In 1990, Marilee and I presented a seminar at the RWCS Convention on “Researching Dinnerware” based on our visits to the Minnesota Historical Society. That same year, we also entered a display which won “Best of Show” in the dinnerware category. In 2003, I participated as a member of the Vision 2010 Committee. More recently, I joined forces with the real dinnerware experts, Terry Moe and Larry Roschen, to present seminars at the 2005 and 2006 RWCS Conventions.

Now I feel it is time for me to contribute something more to an organization through which many friendships and fond memories have been formed. With that thought, I have decided to be a candidate for the position of Secretary on the RWCS Board. I look forward to the opportunity to serve the RWCS in this position and hope I have the membership’s support to do so. Thank you.

Steve Brown

Incumbent, RWCS Historian
The Red Wing Collectors Society continues to be an important part of my life. I grew up in Red Wing and currently live in Manitowoc, Wis. with my wife, Barb.

My collecting interests are quite varied. I collect all types of Red Wing, including stoneware, art pottery, dinnerware and memorabilia. As most RWCS members know, my passion is for the Red Wing “oddities” that surface from time to time and researching the history of Red Wing products. I also enjoy collecting non-Red Wing items produced by designers that had collaborative relationships with the Red Wing Pottery, like Charles Murphy artwork and Ernest Sohn items.

RWCS continues to enjoy the most educated membership of its collectible. It has been an honor to serve as your historian for the past 12 years and I wish to continue serving in this role. I look forward to continuing the exploration, interpretation and
communication of recent Red Wing documentation. I plan on continuing to support research to understand our collectible and provide assistance to the RWCS membership whenever possible.