It’s often said there’s an association for everything, but no matter how far from mainstream an association may seem, the duties of its officers are typically, non-remarkably, similar.
Take Dan Whicker, the new executive director of the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR). Although the organization may not quite be considered mainstream—even if what its stands for is really quite “natural,” after all—Whicker still wrestles with issues any association exec faces.
“ANAR is just like any other membership organization that’s trying to support our members and reach out to new people,” Whicker says. “Each one of our seven regions has an annual convention and a mid-year, a board and membership meeting, and we have a mid-winter midyear meeting, and our big convention, this year in August. We have a regular, normal office, and we dress for success and dress for business in our office. If you walk into here it would be like walking into any other office. We’re just like anywhere else; we just have a healthy view of the human body.”
Counting about 31,000 members throughout the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean, AANR’s 200-plus charter clubs all adhere to the principals of the association, which Whicker describes as very conservative and family-values-based, with nothing sexual about it.
Although the AANR plans all of its meetings in-house via its host clubs, Whicker believes it would be open to hiring an outside planner. And his outreach to the meetings community doesn’t end there.
“If you really want to go all out and have a different type of meeting or experience, there are some of our largest clubs out there that will take groups from outside to use their facilities,” Whicker suggests. “That would be about as far out as you can go if you want a teambuilding experience or company outing. To get people bonding together--clothing-optional. Removing the clothing breaks down barriers and allows people to communicate with each other in ways you have to participate in to understand.”