Fred Burg
(President 2002-2003)

Great ideas can come from anywhere. During my presidency, I’ve been blessed to have lots of people coming up with ideas and even more blessed to have people to implement them. Add that to a solid foundation when I was elected president and we can’t help but move forward.Who will forget our first BCUG Bash in December 2001, where we had a great celebration topped by the 3-pound, 16-inch long éclair – known as Éclair #2 (of course, there was an Éclair #1 too). We also gave out a door prize of a Lexmark Printer and Stan Schodowski walked away with it as our first Bash winner. Since then, we’ve established the Bash as a BCUG tradition. Three more Bashes have followed since then, with all kinds of door prizes given to our members. More importantly, the refreshments give people a chance to socialize.So how did the Bash begin? Andrea Tarr suggested we take a cue from the Graphics Workshop, which already had an extended break during which people could socialize. According to Andrea, the break was sometimes the best part of the meeting. Add a door prize, and we have a winning formula. John Corbett always used to say that you could go to a workshop on almost every day of the month. But we added a few more workshops anyway. We added a PC FUNdamentals, modeled after the Mac FUNdamentals, to give new users a hands-on experience. Also added to the lineup were Multimedia, PDA, and Potpourri. This gives our members even more days to go to workshops – we may run out of days soon. Of course, none of this could have been possible without the people who stepped up to lead these workshops.Looking outside of BCUG, we teamed up with SCAN in September 2002 for a win-win combination. SCAN got to expand its series of computer classes with a set of night offerings run by BCUG members. BCUG not only got a cut of the action (fees) but is able to offer a hands-on experience to our members. And it’s a great experience for the people who volunteer. Thanks to Harold Clisset, who came up with the germ of the idea that led to this.What organization – especially a computer users group – would be without a web site? Of course, we had our own well before my presidency. Thanks to Mary Byrne for taking it to new heights. For the sake of our vendors and our members, we’ve built a members-only section that provides discount offers, workshop notes, workshop email preferences, and more. And since even computer nerds may have artistic talent, we’ve instituted a member photo of the month on our home page and a photo gallery. These last ideas came up at dinner at the Trattoria in Red Bank, proving that great ideas can come up anytime, anywhere. Pictured here is our first display – Tom Bartel’s "Sunset Fishing in Atlantic Highlands".We’ve done a lot over the last two years. I’d like to see BCUG make even bigger strides as we march into the future – all ideas are welcome. But first, we’ll be celebrating our first 25 years with a big Bash at our December 2003 meeting.