05 Jul 2015

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I annually discuss the recipients of the Silver Inkwell Awards (formerly the ‘Special Recognition Awards’ before an actual award was named that this year). Sometimes the silver inkwell trophy is given to nomination committee members who’ve served five years as a reward for that hard work. But there weren’t any of those this year. This year it went solely to core committee members who resigned in good standing…and we had three members with this status this season. This is regrettable but it’s life. And this is about celebrating the good they did for our organization.

First, Michael W. Kellar, from an excerpt from my Facebook wall on May 24, 2015:

MikeK (of the former two ‘Mighty Mikes’), thank you for putting in almost 4 strong committee years into the advocacy. Besides being the first and only AD (assistant director) to date, that is the 2nd longest tenure after Jim Tournas (5 1/2 years) and as anyone who’s been on our committee can tell you, that’s saying a LOT. You were with me side-by-side, through thick and thin, good and bad as my right hand and confidante, and the accomplishments were legendary! You weren’t the first auctioneer but you were the greatest, turning it into an art form. But being at the focal point of a charity’s fundraising efforts brings it’s share of stress….the weight of the world (and me) is always on your shoulders and you were determined to shake it off and always get the job done. As Joe Goulart and I were recently saying in another context, a lot of that has to do with being a service veteran. You get the job done and don’t whine about it. So in that respect you were an extraordinary soldier, a gallant warrior, for our mission. But most importantly, you have been a good friend. Thank you for all that you have done and may you enjoy your ‘retirement’ and bright future in life and career. The art form of inking is all the more fortunate and stronger thanks to your dedication and achievements.

Second, I said the following about Joe Goulart at the live awards ceremony at Heroes Con on June 19, 2015:

I’m glad to present this silver inkwell to Joe Goulart. Joe began as a volunteer in 2012, acting as a convention assistant and photographer, then was promoted to the core committee in 2013 until fall of 2014. He acted as a fundraiser and helped recruit our longest lasting Ms. Inkwell spokesmodel, Anna White. Since he lived a mile from me he intermittently aided me at home as my administrative and personal assistant which meant helping with mass mailings and acting as a liaison with our attorney and accountant.
And he was full of ideas, some of which I implemented in our daily operations for greater efficiency. A few weeks after he departed from the committee, he came full circle and returned as a volunteer doing what he enjoyed most, which was attending shows where we didn’t have an official presence in the hopes of collecting donations from the generous art community. Recently he became for the first time a contributor, to continue the work that Jim Tournas and Erick Korpi developed before him, which is the Joe Sinnott Inkwell SPOTLIGHT Challenge which will hopefully debut next season.

Lastly, we lost Erick Korpi about a month before Mike resigned. This is my first statement on him:

Erick started out as a contributor in 2011, acting as an art consultant and convention assistant when he was available to assist a model or help with fundraising.  Two years later his initial year on the core committee team was one of somewhat low-key involvement. He still consulted us for our auctions when asked and helped out at shows. But I soon made him our first Fundraiser exclusively for the Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship at the Kubert School.  This allowed him the independence to raise funds for that sole but noble cause, allowing the rest of us to focus on the challenge of raising operational and ceremonial expenses. He attended the Kubert School in May 2014 to officially represent us and hand out the award to that year’s student recipient Ayşegül Sınav and this was a proud thrill and inspiration for him. His experience and contacts also offered him an opportunity to attend a few DC Comics meetings and talk with the likes of Mark Chiarello, Dan Didio and Jim Lee. Having a committee rep on the inside walls of DC’s former NYC headquarters was huge and Erick made the most of it.  He used this opportunity to boost the Joe Sinnott Inking Spotlight Challenge program.  This program was something that Jim Tournas and I had talked about earlier in Jim’s final year. Since the original Sinnott Inking Challenge was such a success both educationally and financially it was a no-brainer to try to recruit other legendary artists for pencil images that could be inked on blueline.  So when Erick was on the team I asked him about resuming that program. From DC he recruited Jim Lee through official channels! It is thanks to Erick’s planning and efforts that Joe Goulart has been passed this torch and has worked with me to invite & recruit notable, veteran inkers to the mix for the debut Spotlight project of inking Jim Lee’s pencils. We hope to carry on this endeavor for the ninth season.

Tragic, personal loss, disappointment and jobs/projects outside the Inkwells eventually pulled Erick away. But four years of pivotal involvement led to a pinnacle of achievements before he had to part ways at the crossroads of life choices.

As Joe Goulart mentioned at the awards ceremony, this is never about any one person. It’s about teamwork and the success and advancement of the charity advocacy. Thanks to these three devotees the Inkwell Awards organization is the richer for it.

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