As I write this letter, the end of our 2011-2012 fiscal year is in sight. Over the course of this year, the Home Baking Association continued to grow its reach and improve its effectiveness. I am pleased to say that we not only retained all current members but we added two new ones, Nebraska Wheat Board and Bemis.
Heartfelt thanks goes to all of our members for continuing their support of our important organization. With the retention of existing members and growth in membership, the HBA remains financially sound and we have been able to fully execute our program plan. Here are a few highlights.
The Baking With Friends book, co-authored by HBA staff members Charlene Patton and Sharon Davis and produced with the support of the HBA and Goops Publishing, won three more awards this year. The book continues to be a popular resource for educators and an inspirational guide for parents of small children. The positive press generated by the book and its accolades continue to shine a bright spotlight on HBA.
Our web-site registered 529,013 visitors this year–up 11% from last year– comfortably surpassing our growth goal. Our social media presence is also on the rise with a 150% increase in Facebook likes and 25% increase in Twitter followers. Our videos on YouTube are being viewed more frequently and we’ve added 10 new videos to our channel this year. We have also grown our newsletter subscription substantially, up over 17% from last year. Furthermore, we moved to a new newsletter distribution and list management service which improved our efficiency and reporting capabilities.
Over the past 12 months, our staff and member companies have participated in two new conferences, National Afterschool Association and National Association of Educators of Young Children, plus National 4-H Congress, FCCLA, and several state family and consumer science conferences. Two programming activities deserve special mention: the Portable Kitchen project developed for Boys and Girls Clubs of America and now featured regularly in HBA exhibits, as well as the recently developed lab Kitchen Science: Baking for Special Needs.
It is astonishing the amount our association is able to accomplish on an
1.5 million educators teaching nearly 25.6 million students and 113 million impressions. As always, our partners, staff, volunteer leaders and member resources are the greatest assets of our organization. Thank you to Charlene, Sharon, my fellow officers Kent Symns and Keith Dierberg, committee chairpersons, as well as the entire Board, for their support and dedication this year. And most of all, I thank you—the members—for continuing to believe in the HBA vision to grow the practice of home baking.
The King Arthur Flour Company
Home Baking Association, President