In November 1993, I was asked to address the American Academy of Gold Foil Operators (AAGFO) during its annual meeting in Portland, Oregon. The meeting was dedicated to considering the future direction of the academy, and three speakers were assigned to address the respective topics of “No Change,” “Conservative Change,” and “Extreme Change.” I was assigned the role of advocating for and describing what conservative change would look like.

In summary, my vision consisted of including the teaching of conservative gold castings in addition to direct gold and changing the name of the academy to the American Academy of Gold Operators. I outlined the perceived challenges to the academy and what, in my estimation, could be adopted to make the academy a viable, ongoing concern and attractive to potential new members.

Thirty years later, little has changed in the AAGFO, but the decreasing membership is even more dramatic. To lose...

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