Credit Where Credit is Due

It’s been a fast-paced, sorta-intense ten days. What started as a message to our members to let them know why our normal holiday plans weren’t going to repeat this year went viral, got some national attention, and resulted in a fair avalanche of offers from religious and non-religious charitable organizations around Kansas City asking us to volunteer with them (needless to say, we don’t expect to have as much trouble in the future finding available volunteer opportunities for our monthly philanthropic activities).

From that, we immediately jumped into tabling at Skepticon – I know, it doesn’t seem like a terribly exhausting activity, but between actually enjoying the conference and coordinating the provisioning of merchandise, tabling supplies, and figuring out which of Skepticon’s great speakers we can miss so that we can meet all the wonderful and friendly people perusing the vendor tables, it’s still a full-time job unto itself!

More than a few times, I was approached and told how well I handled the past week, between responding to messages sent to us by e-mail and Facebook, to media interviews, and to just handling the overall message around KCRM turning us away. Because I handle these things – the facets of KCAC that often represent the outward-facing expression of our organization – people, I think, tend to associate all the good that KCAC does with me, and I think it’s worth noting one very important thing:

This is the Kansas City Atheist Coalition, not the Kansas City Joshua Coalition.

I write that line in good humor, but it’s to stress that KCAC is led by officers and a board of directors. While I believe I’ve done a good job – first as vice president, and now president – of KCAC, there is no way on this earth that I could do this alone. To that end, I’d like to give credit where credit is due. I’ll go by seniority with the organization.

Joshua Stewart
One of our vurry, vurry beautiful signs.

I’ll start with our fantastic vice president and director of design, Veronica Brown. She designs all of our lovely shirts, our literature, our banners, our “Ask an Atheist” signs, and our site. The visual design of products is key to the presentation of any organization, and her artistic talent and appreciation of themes and color palettes help ensure that we present a professional, pleasantly-aesthetic face of the atheist community here in Kansas City.

Next up is Jozef Hanratty, our director of philanthropy. He brings a passion and interest to organizing our monthly philanthropic events, but, more than that, he was key in helping to organize our upcoming activity with The Micah Ministry, responding to additional invitations to volunteer, and, as many of you heard, giving a fantastic interview with The Church of Lazlo on 96.5 The Buzz this past week. Beyond this past week, though, Jozef brings a friendly, huggable side of KCAC to all of our events and a happy, approachable social energy that sets a light-hearted and affable tone to so many of our events. His contributions extend far beyond his work in philanthropy, and he’s a critical part of our board.

No one can resist a Jozef hug.
No one can resist a Jozef hug.

Dave Brown is KCAC’s secretary. It is not the most glamorous of positions and most, if not all, members don’t get to see his work contributions, but good meeting minutes are vital to keeping an organization fluid and working smoothly. His attention to detail and promptness in publication of these materials greatly helps us ensure that no action items are ever missed that are raised in meetings. Beyond his services as a secretary to KCAC, he brings a positive enthusiasm to events and to the organization overall.

After Dave is Daniel Boyd, our treasurer. KCAC doesn’t operate remotely on the same financial scale of large non-profit organizations, but the management and tracking of our finances is still a full-time job unto itself. Daniel’s experience as treasurer in previous organizations and his familiarity with financial institutions and tools ensure that the in’s and out’s of our finances remain well-tracked and organized.

Following Daniel is Joshua Stewart, our director of activism. Although he’s a recent addition to our board, he’s long been an active member of our community focused not only on destigmatizing the word “atheist” in the eyes of the greater public and raising awareness of a community for atheists here in Kansas City, but also on outreach across the religious divide to try and both help people understand what it means to be an atheist and to increase understanding of nuances of the variety of religious beliefs. He has a passion for a flourishment of knowledge among both atheists and theists that helps push KCAC toward establishing an informed public community.

Finally is our newest addition to the board, Helen Stringer. We’re still working out the details of her project with KCAC, but her drive to cultivate a positive and enthusiastic community for the non-religious in Kansas City will help ensure that we continue our cultivation of a warm, positive culture for all the great people of Kansas City.

The biggest takeaway from this is, even if I’m serving as the public face of KCAC, there are some great people that make KCAC actually work. I am but a mere, singular man; the work and effectiveness of KCAC wouldn’t be possible without the people above, and it’s only because of the talent of our directors and officers that we’re able to do what we’re do.

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