Milestones & Highlights
MARCH 15, 1984 Three freelance professionals (Janet Earley Manning, Karen Siletti & Laureen Helen) run a Graphics/P.R. Workshop at Women’s Rights Information Center in Englewood and discuss the idea of a network.
APRIL 30, 1984 The same 3 meet at Laureen’s home to explore the idea further. Names are discussed. F.A.W.N. (Freelance Artists & Writers Network) and D.A.W.N. (Either Determined or Depressed Artists & Writers Network) are rejected. Self-employed Writers & Artists Network, with Shakespeare’s literary swan as an acronym, is chosen. With framework in place, decision made to contact other associates who would support the concept of a network for freelancers and hold a public meeting.
JULY 19, 1984 Founding meeting held at Women’s Center, Englewood. Present: Janet, Karen, Laureen, Deb Hoeffner and Kathleen Mercandetti. These charter members began the steps to establish priorities and structure. Topics discussed: purpose (beyond networking); criteria for membership; structure/officers; meetings; publicity; finances. Other ideas to be explored by S.W.A.N. in the future included: a buying cooperative for supplies; group health insurance; supplier/resource reference list; cumulative portfolio of work to be shown to prospective clients; client evaluation book sharing information about payment, problems and a job referral pool.
In the absence of officers and an effort to be both democratic and feminist-minded (being, at that time, an all women group meeting in a women’s center), we opted for a ‘rotating chair’, affectionately dubbed Ms. Swivel; a ‘minuteperson’ instead of a secretary, and a ‘money-person’ in lieu of a treasurer. A reflection of the times, and a reminder of how far we’ve come.
AUGUST 15, 1984 Discussed letters of agreement, contracts, estimates, collection woes. Plans formulated for a brochure.
SEPTEMBER 1984 Ten members to date. Design contest for logo planned. Papers for incorporation filed with state.
NOVEMBER 1984 First S.W.A.N. by-laws drafted. First guest speaker: Linda Irene Greene, attorney
JANUARY 1985 S.W.A.N. bank account formally opened with $250. Logo designs reviewed. Winning design of swan by Evin Del Moro; type refinements by Carol Freemyer.
SEPTEMBER 1985 Categories of membership determined: full member, who has passed portfolio review; associate member, with all benefits except for listing in planned directory.
MARCH 1986 First S.W.A.N. directory published. 28 members listed. Our first directory included 9 graphic designers, 5 illustrators, 1 portrait artist, 1 artist rep, 1 photographer,
7 writers, 3 public relations consultants and 1 vintageclothing fashion show company.
APRIL 9, 1986 First trade show participation. Graphic Arts Source Show at Bergen Community College.
MAY 1986 S.W.A.N. holds 2-part workshop at Women’s Center: “Advertising & Public Relations for the Entrepreneur” and “Graphic Design /Marketing for the Entrepreneur” Presenters: Deb Hoeffner, Kathy Mercandetti, Janet Earley Manning, Rhea Levy.
JUNE 1986 First board elected. President: Janet Earley Manning; Vice President: Karen Siletti; Membership Director/Trade Shows: Deb Hoeffner, Secretary/Programs: Carol Freemyer; Secretary: Janet Kroboth; Treasurer: Linda Weinman; Publicity: Rhea Levy. First open house for potential members/clients held.
Membership Director was instrumental in creating the membership categories and portfolio review procedure.
JULY 1986 First S.W.A.N. T-Shirt (serious gray/black) available. Janet Kroboth proposes concept of generic promotional brochure. It happens years later.
OCTOBER 1986 VisionCable tapes S.W.A.N. meeting in progress. Big news: first male member (Craig Berman).
NOVEMBER 1986 S.W.A.N. moves meetings to Central Unitarian Church on Forest Avenue, Paramus.
DECEMBER 1986 First S.W.A.N. holiday party.
FEBRUARY 1987 Deb Hoeffner pioneers first Supplier/Resource Guide.
APRIL 1987 S.W.A.N. participates in NJ Source Trade Show
JULY 1987 First S.W.A.N. pool party.
AUGUST 1987 Standard & Practices Committee formed; Code of Performance drafted.
OCTOBER 1987 S.W.A.N. takes Commerce & Industry’s Business After Hours show; displays members works in portfolios.
NOVEMBER 1987 Idea of a Certificate of Appreciation for supportive companies, valuable members suggested by Greg Guaraniello. Certificate designed by Carol Freemyer.
JANUARY 1988 S.W.A.N.’s ‘Studio Safety Guide’ on toxic materials, designed/written by Steven Weisenbach, published. Steven McLean offers to create S.W.A.N. newsletter.
MARCH 1988 Karen Guancione educates S.W.A.N. about impending tax legislation; aligns us with Art for Tax Equity Coalition. Guest speaker George Altomare politicizes us and turns us into lobbyists.
APRIL 1988 S.W.A.N. joins march/rally in front of NYC Public Library to protest Tax Capitalization Act. S.W.A.N. participates in Creative Source Show in West Orange, sharing space with Graphic Arts Guild and Architectural Illustrators League.
MAY 1988 Karen Guancione, Greg Guarinello & Janet Earley Manning meet with Senator Bill Bradley to discuss tax legislation.
S.W.A.N. displays members’ works at North Jersey Business Show in Parsippany. K. Siletti & J.E. Manning conduct workshop, “Creative Ways to Stretch Advertising Budget”
JUNE 1988 A fledging environmental group, Save the Watershed Action Network, steals our acronym and copies our logo. We hire a lawyer to protect our registered name and logo, also charging that confusion between the 2 ‘S.W.A.N.s’ prevents our members from securing work from companies not wishing to align themselves with a political action group.
The first Pricing Game was presented by Deb Hoeffner with the assistance of Linda Weinman and Amy Becker (Deb still has the audio cassette).
SEPTEMBER 1988 First issue of Cygneture, our official newsletter, produced by Greg Guarinello. S.W.A.N. pins ordered.
NOVEMBER 1988 Ben Blank, ‘father of television graphics’ for ABC, is Guest speaker, regaling us with insider information on national election coverage and use of graphic design on TV.
DECEMBER 1988 S.W.A.N. membership now numbers 95. We make plans to celebrate our 5th anniversary.
JANUARY 1989 New board elections: Linda Weinman new president. Deb Hoeffner, Vice President.
JUNE 1989 Writers Action Committee formed to address specific concerns of S.W.A.N. writers, encourage more participation. Credit to Lois McRoberts & Marion Calabro for heading it.
AUGUST 1989 S.W.A.N.’s famous ‘Pricing Game’ goes hi-tech, with samples now displayed on slides.
OCTOBER 1989 Election of 1990 officers. Drew De Grado elected president, continuing the tradition of Capricorns as head swans.
MARCH 1990 S.W.A.N. gets an 800 number, affectionately dubbed “FAT SWAN” (l-800-328-SWAN).
OCTOBER 1990 Bob Bly speaks. Topic “How To Make $l00,000 a Year or More Freelancing.” Much note-taking in evidence.
JANUARY 1991 S.W.A.N. moves meetings to Flat Rock Brook Nature Center in Englewood. Surrounded by other feathered friends, we soar to greater heights, in spite of a bad economy.
JANUARY 1992 Mike Biegel elected S.W.A.N. president. Age of Aquarius.
FEBRUARY 1992 Bob Parker takes on task of re-designing Cygneture, making it a leaner, more orderly quarterly.
APRIL 1992 Directory horror story. Scott Mc Michael and Wayne Pollack burn the midnight oil to get directory to printer, only to have print shop burn down in fire. Boards are saved; directory is resurrected on Good Friday.
MAY 1992 New trade show booth display debuts at North Jersey in Parsippany to rave reviews. Phil Cantor and J.E. Manning present workshop, “Using Freelancers to Stretch Your Ad Budget.”
JUNE 1992 Treasurer Peter Adler clears up our tax exempt, 50l(c)3 status and keeps the feds off our feathers.
JANUARY 1993 New board in place, with Mike Biegel re-elected president.
JULY 1993 Plans made to update by-laws; plan l0th anniversary.
JANUARY 1994 First of many blizzards cancels our January meeting.
APRIL 1994 S.W.A.N. moves meeting place to Bergen Museum of Art and Science, 327 E. Ridgewood Ave., Paramus. Benefits: stimulating environment, big parking area, good location.
MAY 1994 S.W.A.N. takes to the water, celebrating its 10th anniversary on the Hudson at Binghamton’s.
JANUARY 1995 Phil Cantor elected President. Term starts May 1995.
JANUARY 1996 – Member count reaches 122 at year end.
MARCH 1996 With Board approval, Stan Cohen registers swan-net.com domain name on 28-Mar-1996 and volunteers as first Webmaster.
JUNE 1996 Nominal fee for posting a Portfolio on the site is established. Phil Cantor has first Portfolio to “set an example for members.”
JULY 1996 All members have their “listing” on the website, organized by discipline.
JANUARY 1997 Wayne Pollack elected President. Term starts May 1997.
JANUARY 1999 Carl Jablonski elected President. Term starts May 1999.
APRIL29, 1999 Meeting has Mary Jane Clark as speaker. Meeting room filled to capacity.
MAY 1999 S.W.A.N. celebrates its 15th anniversary.
JUNE 1999 Bergen Museum loses it space, so does SWAN/NJ Creatives lose its meeting space. Move to Ridgewood Library for September meeting.
JANUARY 2000 New identity on the Internet established with the registration of NJCreatives.org on 25-Jan-2000.
JANUARY 2001 Dave McCoy elected President. Term starts May 2001.
JULY 2001 First male member from 1986, Craig Berman passes away after a brief illness.
SEPTEMBER 2001 – Move to new location in Kinnelon, NJ at the Silas Condit Meeting Hall in a beautiful park setting.
JUNE 10-12, 2003 – The Licensing Show 2003
Liz Kassler, Tradeshow Coordinator puts NJ Creatives into major New York venue, the Licensing Show! 23 Members participated in the Booth: 18 Members had their own large format poster; 5 additional Members were represented in a composite format; we filled three brochure and two business card holders and then filled the remaining table space with sample books. Many of those coming in couldn’t believe how good we looked.
We all looked like escapees from Staples Island. Take a look for yourself, link below.
Thanks go to Ralph Greene (for driving in on Monday) as well as setup with Deborah Herr, Liz Kassler and Stan Cohen (all lucky enough to breathe forklift fumes); and Wally Littman for breakdown with Liz Kassler and Stan Cohen on Thursday in a record 50 minutes.
Liz Kassler deserves the lion’s share of credit for the many hours of preparation that went into this Show being a success! and Dave McCoy for taking and approving the bold initiative to put us in an International Show like this!
JULY 26th 2003 – Annual Summer Picnic Event takes place at Silas Condict Park Pavilion, Kinnelon, NJ with lots of food, fun, hiking, paddle boats, and friends galore. A relaxed afternoon and exceptional weather was the order of the day. Stan Cohen and Carl Jablonski did the grilling. Jane Byron brought the salads, WoW!
SEPTEMBER 2003 – Move to newly renovated and relocated Bergen Museum of Art and Science location in Paramus, NJ at the Bergen Mall, Lower Level. Bill Ervolino has the date available to speak at the first meeting in this location but is unable to attend. Frank Scandale, Editor-in-chief of The Record takes his place.
New Board takes the reigns over the summer. Stan Cohen takes on the President’s role as well as being Webmaster. Liz Kassler and Dave McCoy as Vice Presidents, George Kamper as Membership Director and Michele Kriegman as Marketing Director. Open positions remain for Secretary, Treasurer and Programs.
William Kelly takes on the Postcard design and production.
Donna Poler takes on the Publicity of the monthly meetings.
Julius Williams eagerly volunteers to redesign the Newsletter.
OCTOBER 2003 – Bob Bly returns as the Speaker for the fifth time!?! A great presentation on negotiating or how not to negotiate the price you deserve. A great bunch of questions (and answers of course) from both Bob and the audience.
NOVEMBER 2003 – Bill Ervolino has the floor and has the audience rolling on the floor with laughter.
DECEMBER 2003 – Holiday party gets re-scheduled due to blizzard. Held at George Kamper’s photo studio.
JANUARY 2004 – Archie comic book artist, Fernando Ruiz speaks to fans young and old alike on the process of comic book production.
Historian Needed: Apply to Board of Directors