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LenPilhofer

IPMS/USA Member
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Posts posted by LenPilhofer

  1. As I imagined there is a lot of speculation going on as to why I resigned so suddenly (and quickly, only about 2 months in the seat) from the Executive Board of IPMS/USA. I resigned because the negativity (to quote Oddball: all those negative waves, man) that seems to permeate our society is on the upswing. It is not because I was locking horns with other board members or that I felt the society was going in the wrong direction. I consider everyone serving on the board as close personal friends for whom I hold much respect. Like all of you, I want to see the society go in a positive direction which is why I volunteered for the position in the first place. No one else was putting a nomination forward for the 2nd VP position so I was saying to myself “sure, let’s do this”. What I did not count on was the mental and emotional toll the 2023 convention would have on me. From my personal vantage point, the 2023 convention was a massive success and all of us owe it to the team that put it together, not to mention the hundreds of you out there who also helped pull it off through your volunteer hours. However, all the little details, even after the convention was well behind us, still flood my mind to the point where anxiety takes over. It is not a fun place to be, and I am slowly working my way out of that place. I came to the conclusion, after watching all the issues pop up during and after the convention, that serving on the Executive Board was going to make my personal journey to recovery extremely difficult, if not impossible. It’s that simple.
     
    I encourage all of you, if you have the hours (and mental capacity) to spare, please consider volunteering for this great organization.
     
    Also, please put as much positive energy as you can toward the Madison 2024 team, as well at the Hampton team for 2025. Positive waves really, really help those in the trenches. I say this from personal experience.
     
    Warmest regards to all of you...
     
    Len Pilhofer
    IPMS/USA #49932
    • Like 2
  2. Contest entry forms for the 2023 national contest are now posted to the convention website. There are both fillable PDFs as well as Microsoft Word documents. Convention contest staff will have blank hard copies on hand at the contest registration desk for those that do not get a chance to fill out their forms ahead of time. 

    IPMS National Convention | Contest Entry Forms (nats2023.com)

    -Len 

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  3. Greetings everyone. As promised, we are opening convention pre-registration tomorrow, the 1st of March at 9AM central time. You can go to this link: https://www.myipmsusa.org and on the menu items on the top you will see a convention registration choice. Clicking on that will bring you to all the choices. We are also selling tour tickets, banquet tickets, T-shirts, hats, extra pins as well as tickets to 3 paid workshop/seminars: Bryant Dunbar and Grex are returning for their airbrush class. New to this year’s convention is Rick Lawler conducting two sessions of his Diorama Basics class. Also new are master figure painters Bob Bethea and Henry Nunez conducting an Andrea Figure painting class. I’m have additional descriptions of these seminars – along with all the free seminars - up on the website soon.

    I’ve attached to this post pics of the T-shirts and hats. I will be getting these up on the website soon as well.

    Two tours that we are offering are one on Thursday, August 3rd, to Fredericksburg, Texas with admission to the National Museum of the Pacific War, otherwise known as the Nimitz Museum. Then, on Friday, August 4th, we are sending a coach to San Antonio to visit the private collection of Lewis Air Legends. The hangers where these aircraft are kept are closed to the public but one of our convention team members made special arrangements to get a close-up and personal look at the aircraft in this collection of flying warbirds. Unfortunately, the Lewis Air Legend tour is limited to 40 people only. For the tour to Fredericksburg, if and when it sells out, we will add a second coach and sell more tickets. So, if the Fredericksburg tour sells out, check back to look for more tickets in the near future.

    Convention pre-sale will continue through June 30th. After that, if you want to attend, you’ll have to register in-person, at the convention, at a price of $65 ($10 more than pre-registration).

    I'll have more updates and other details in the coming weeks. 

     

    -Len Pilhofer

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    • Like 1
  4. Greetings All,

    Unfortunately, our space, as similar to Omaha, will be limited and priority will be given to the contest tables. Once we are done finalizing the tables committed to others in the hallways (IPMS/USA, Registration, Door Prizes, Podcasters, etc) we'll make a final decision on how many tables we can dedicate to display only. If we do have display only tables, they are going to be in the hallways of the convention center. All other spaces within convention rooms are full and very tight.

    We'll make a call by late spring and let everyone know what our decision is.

    Best Regards,

    Len

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  5. Hi Mike. Yes, we will be posting the attending vendors very soon. In fact, I asked our vendor coordinator a couple of days ago to get me the current list as I hope to have it up on our website by the end of this month (January 2023). We'll have both a list of vendors with links to their respective websites (if they own one) as well as a floorplan of the vendor rooms with who will be at each table.

    Best Regards,

    Len

     

     

    Airbrush Cannon - icon.jpg

    • Like 3
  6. IPMS/USA now accepting contest category sponsorships for the 2023 National Convention. We are currently listing the 2022 categories on our convention website (www.nats2023.com/contest/categories.html) along with the sponsor of each category. There is a link on this page that takes you to the IPMS/USA webstore (a different website) where you can make your purchase. As sponsorships are purchased, our convention team will update the category sponsors on the convention website. When the NCC publishes the updated 2023 category list we will in turn update the categories on our website.

    When purchasing a category for sponsorship please note your first, second, and third choices in the webstore checkout comments section. This will help our Awards Coordinator, Rob Booth, work out which category you or your club will be sponsoring. In almost all cases, you will get your first choice. Be sure to check out the category list on our website to ensure it is not already sponsored. If, by chance, you make a category purchase and someone else gets theirs in right before you, yours will be moved to your 2nd choice. In addition, when the 2023 list is published and a category you purchased a sponsorship for has been eliminated, we will move your sponsorship to your second choice.

    Please note that the IPMS/USA webstore is a different website than our National Convention 2023 website and as categories are purchased there is not an automatic update to the category list on the convention website. Rob Booth and I will be making those updates to the category list on the convention website on a regular basis. Most likely every few days.

    If you have any questions regarding this process, please e-mail me at chair.nats2023@gmail.com.

    -Len 

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    • Like 1
  7. Gil,

    I respectfully disagree with your position that more could have been done by me or my staff. We can agree to disagree, but I am not revisiting the room block management by my staff or even Hilton/Embassy Suites.

    Now on to the bigger issue:

    If you need to alert me to something or if you have a true complaint, please contact me via my e-mail – chair.nats2023@gmail. This e-mail I have made readily available in the past month or two and have posted it here on the forum. Complaining to me personally via a public forum is not conducive to healthy, constructive and professional communication. I do not know you personally and you do not know me personally. Therefore, all communication that I could potentially have with you will be professional. In past forum posts you have used explicit language in a post(s) directed at me. In light of my desire to use professional language with those I do not know, this crossed a line. I am not in any way offended by harsh language in general, but I do not use it with those I do not know personally. Those who use it with me, or even directed at me, I tend to “zero-out” as toxic persons. I have made a habit in my life to not fight with toxic people, I just walk away.

    What concerns me the most, however, is the overall health of IPMS/USA. There are many other members who read the posts on this forum, yours included. When you continue to badger the host committee with things outside their control, I believe it makes members think twice about volunteering to lead such a large and complex event as a national convention. After being in a leadership role for this upcoming convention for a few years now, I have much regard and respect for those that came before me, and hopefully many more that will come after me. The kind of language and pointed accusations you make in this forum, in my opinion, do not help in the recruiting of future volunteers to help execute an event that is literally the pinnacle of our society. People are members because of our convention. I ask that if you have opinions or complaints about how a person or team is doing their job, use private communication first. Doing so is in the best interest and health of our fantastic organization, IPMS/USA.

    Respectfully,

    Len Pilhofer

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    • Like 3
  8. BLUF: If you could not get a room for Tuesday, or even Monday night, and you want one at the convention rate (to add to your existing Wed-Sat/Sun reservation), e-mail me and I will work with ES to add those days to your reservation.
     
    Details/Background: From where I was sitting last night it seems the Hilton reservation system worked as we were told. I'm glad that part worked out. I know many of you could not get into the block in time before it sold out. Unfortunately, the convention hotel for this upcoming convention is in very high demand. I will not get into it here, but the economics of the convention drive us to find these smaller/affordable convention centers with attached hotels that are not as big as we would like. A larger analysis needs to be done - and it will - by IPMS/USA as a whole regarding demand/location/pricing. However, what I want to address here are additional nights if someone could not get those when they booked last night.
     
    The way the convention contract is written, IPMS/USA is required to fill a very high percentage of contracted rooms in order not to be financially penalized by the hotel. The room block primarily focused on the Wed through Sat night dates...with checkout on Sunday (6 Aug). There are a healthy number of nights for Tues (1 Aug) in there as well but not the entire 260. Some of you were able to grab a Tuesday night, and some of you, no. As of right now, with all the reservations we have with the hotel, we are at, or very, very close to, 100%...which is good as it gives us a very strong bargaining position to add more room nights at the front end of the week.
     
    Now that we are in this sold-out situation with demand still as high as it is, I will go back to Embassy Suites and ask for additional room nights at the convention rate for Tuesday, 1 Aug. If you hold a reservation for 2-5 Aug and wish to add Tues, or even Monday, send me an email at chair.nats2023@gmail.com. Include the first and last name that the reservation is held under, and I will work with Embassy Suites next week to add those dates to your reservation at the convention rate of $160 per night.
     
    As usual, if you have any questions, please reach out to me at the e-mail above.
     
    -Len

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    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1
  9. Greetings all,
     
    A quick reminder that the Embassy Suites room block for the 2023 convention will go live tonight at midnight (central time). I have activated the links on the www.nats2023.com webpage that will take you directly to the Hilton reservations webpage for our room block. The group code is "IPM" if for some reason the link does not work for you, and you have to navigate to the Hilton system via a different path. This group code unlocks the rate of $160 per night for the duration of the convention. Also linked on our convention website (on the "hotels" page) are links to the additional 3 overflow hotels. Group code for these hotels is also "IPM". The rate per night for these hotels is $152 per night. Local/sales tax are not included in any of these rates.
     
    -Len

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    • Like 1
  10. To answer several of your questions above:

    The room block for our convention - 260 rooms - will not be visible or available to book by anyone until the block opens up at midnight, 3 September (Friday night, early Saturday morning). I have looked myself via the link given to me by our room block coordinator and indeed it shows "sold out". This will change on the 3rd. For the rooms above and beyond the 260 (20 or so) I do not have insight as to why they are showing sold out for the same time frame. I am only focused on the IPMS block and my requests/questions to the hotel in San Marcos are again, only focused on those.

    On a day or two before the 3rd, I will be creating a link on the convention website - www.nats2023.com - that takes one to the Embassy Suites booking site dedicated to our convention. This link/site also has the code needed to get our special rate - $160/night. I am not posting that code or the link any earlier due to the fact that some will take that code and attempt work the reservation system to their advantage. I am under no obligation to release that code early and I am working to make the very-high-in-demand reservation process as fair and transparent for all members regardless of status within the society.

    Yes, there are 3 overflow hotels: Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Candlewood Suites. We have signed contracts with these hotels and the rates will be $152-$154, depending on which hotel you choose. Like the Embassy Suites, I will be linking their dedicated reservation websites (with the IPMS code already programmed in) to our website - www.nats2023.com at the same time as the Embassy Suites link. All four will be on the main page of our site as well as under the "Hotels" link/page.

    And finally, the reason the block is going live at midnight (central time) on the 3rd of September is that I had a choice of either letting the Hilton reservation system and our room block open up automatically on a predetermined date or request a hotel staff member to log into their system and open it up at a day/time I had requested. After chewing on this for a few days I thought that leaving it in automatic mode would be less problematic. If we are going to rely on a person to go in and manually open it up, I thought that anything could happen that day - the employee calls in sick (I hate to say it, but COVID is still swirling around out there), or the employee gets pulled away to address other issues before the time we asked him/her to open up the block, or, they just plain forget. Then, everyone is getting super frustrated when the block does not open when I told them it would. Since it is being left in automatic mode, the time is set for the beginning of the day - which is midnight - and I was told that time of day cannot be changed. Yes, there will be a "stampede", but the stampede will happen regardless of when we set the block to open up. This is just a facet of our conventions, unfortunately.

    Trust me when I tell you that the hotel reservation process is the most stressful part of the convention for the chairman (well, for this chairman, anyway) ...and it has been the primary focus of my daily life since Omaha concluded. It will continue to be a main focus in my life in the coming weeks and months. I take this very seriously and am putting much effort to make it go as smooth as possible. 

    I stand by to continue to answer questions that are within my knowledge base and reach.

    -Len

     

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    • Like 1
  11. Hello Pete. There is an annual award for the best use of convention decals. This is judged by past IPMS/USA presidents. One can enter a model with the 2020 decals to be eligible. In fact, I'm hoping to knock out my Kinetic 1/48 T-45 Goshawk by next summer to compete for this special award. Also, we are developing new decals for 2023...discussions and ideas are flowing back and forth within our team.

    -Len

     

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  12. Mike...the overflow hotels are the Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Candlewood suites. We have contracted rates with these hotels as well - in the $152-$154 range - and I will be posting links to their sites with the contracted rates locked in, to our website - www.nats2023.com - at the same time I post the Embassy Suites link. I'll do this right before the 3rd of September.

    -Len

     

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    • Like 1
  13. Greetings All,

    An important update to the room block going live and open for reservations on the 3rd of September. The new time for the opening of the block is MIDNIGHT, central time, on the 3rd. So, essentially Friday night. The reason for this is, as I was discussing this issue with our room block manager the original time I negotiated of 10AM central will rely on a staff member to manually go into their system and unlock it at the time we requested. This introduces an element of human error that I want to eliminate. The room block manager can program the system to open on a certain day - in our case, 3 September - but it has to be at 00:00 if left in automatic mode. 

    I know this may be inconvenient for many and I apologize up front. However, I want to eliminate the possibility on the morning of the 3rd, the room block not opening as we had expected. 

    Between now and the 3rd of September the room block is my number one priority to ensure that to goes as smooth, transparent and as fair as possible to all potential convention attendees. 

    I'm going to go back to my original post from 2 days ago and edit the time in that post as well to eliminate any confusion this may cause.

    As always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions you many have. You may contact me at chair.nats2023@gmail.com.

    -Len Pilhofer

     

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    • Like 1
  14. ...will go live and open for reservations on SATURDAY, September 3rd at MIDNIGHT, central time. I will link the reservations web page Embassy Suites has created for us to our web site - www.nats2023.com - that morning before the rooms go "live". Any updates or changes that I learn of I will post here as soon as I am aware of them.

    -Len Pilhofer

     

    Come And Make It - small.jpg

    • Like 3
  15. Greetings everyone. Here with my first post for next summer’s convention...scheduled for 2 - 5 August at the Embassy Suites and San Marcos Convention Center in San Marcos, Texas.  I’ll post all updates as I have them here in the National Convention sub-forum. I’ll also be posting updates to our website: www.nats2023.com as well as to our dedicated Facebook page. I recently took control of the page from Scott Hackney and now it is focused on San Marcos and 2023. If you are a Facebook user, you may find the page here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/270897917458272.

    My first order of business is to ensure the room block goes public as smooth as possible. I am in contact with our convention manager at the Embassy Suites and I will have news on this front very soon. Expect the rooms to open in September. I’ll announce the specific day here, on our FB group and on the website. I will link from our website (www.nats2023.com) the reservation page to the Embassy Suites as well as our overflow hotels.

    Soon after this we will start posting dates for such things as award sponsorships and convention preregistration…among other important dates.

    For any specific questions please feel free to reach out to me: chair.nats2023@gmail.com.

    -Len Pilhofer

    Come And Make It - small.jpg

    • Like 1
  16. Greetings. Yes, as John mentioned above the dates are firm for 2-5 August of next year (2023). Team Texas will be going into full prep and communication mode after Omaha wraps up. I'll be briefing details of the 2023 show to the society at Omaha and I'll be more active here on the forums to answer any questions. I'll create a dedicated 2023 thread here in the forum where I'll post all updates.

    -Len

     

    • Like 1
  17. The following is a joint announcement from the San Marcos 2020 Convention Leadership team and the IPMS USA Executive Board.

    We jointly appreciate all the feedback we received regarding this year‘s convention. We’ve taken your comments and concerns into careful consideration, while maintaining an ongoing dialogue and negotiation with the Embassy Suites convention center in San Marcos. These negotiations have been proceeding carefully due to the significant financial exposure that IPMS would be subject to if we simply decided to cancel the convention unilaterally.

    We are now prepared to announce that the 2020 National Convention is officially canceled. While this may disappoint many, including your authors, we believe it is the prudent, safe and sensible thing to do.

    On a more positive note, we have been successful in negotiating the use of the Embassy Suites San Marcos location for the 2023 convention. Therefore, the rotation for the next three years, circumstances permitting, will be Las Vegas in 2021, Omaha in 2022, and San Marcos in 2023. Tentative dates for the 2023 convention will be August 2nd through the 5th. We are currently finalizing details of the contract with Embassy Suites and expect a finalized version within a week.

    For those who have registered already for the convention, we will be processing your refunds. For those who have booked hotel reservations at one of the convention center hotels, it will be up to you to cancel those on your own. Vendors will be refunded their money for tables as well through our vendor coordinator, Craig Gregory. Chapters and individuals who have sponsored contest categories may also receive refunds for their sponsorships.

    Again, we want to thank you all for your patience and support during these trying times, and hope that you recognize we have made the best possible decision for all under the circumstances.

    For any questions please contact John Noack at: IPMSPresident@ipmsusa.org

    Or Len Pilhofer at: director.nats2020@gmail.com

    Respectfully submitted,

    Len Pilhofer, 2020 Convention Chairman 

    John Noack IPMS USA President

    • Like 1
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