I’d like to take a few minutes to tell everyone a little bit about myself,and to share some ideas I have about the future of our collecting club. My name is Dan Flarida and I am a product manager for an electrical component distributor called LADD Industries http://www.laddinc.com located in Kettering, OH. I graduated from the University of Cincinnati last year with a Marketing degree and went straight to work at LADD. I am married to my lovely wife Kari who is also a huge Star Wars fan and we do not have any kids yet. I have lived in Lebanon, OH my whole live except for six years I spent in the Air Force.
I am very honored that you are allowing me to act as President of our club, and I look forward to beginning my two year term on September 1st. I know the Ohio Star Wars Collectors Club is more to you than just another list you send and receive emails from. It’s a place where you share a common interest with 112 other Star Wars collectors and fans from all over Ohio and beyond. It’s a place where you have developed, or are developing life long friendships. It’s a place where people will drop what they are doing to share their knowledge with you. It’s a place that is instantly recognizable throughout the collecting community. It’s all of these things and more. I know the passion that you have for our club, and as President, I will do my best to preserve that feeling.
I began collecting Star Wars items the summer after I graduated high school in 1990. I was at a flea market here in Cincinnati and saw that a dealer had a carded ROTJ Darth Vader. I remember being amazed that there were still Star Wars toys in their package. Little did I know where this purchase was going to lead me. =^) I ended up buying the Vader and placing him into a drawer while I was away at college.
I didn’t do a lot of collecting while I was at college. After a year and a half of taking classes, I needed to do something else. I joined the Air Force and was given the job of electrician. While in the Air Force I was
stationed in Biloxi, MS, and there my collecting really took off. The majority of my collection came from searching Toy Shop and ads in other toy magazines. I constantly hit flea markets and antique stores no matter where I traveled in the country. I discovered ebay in 1998, and it quickly became my number one source for vintage items.
I first discovered OSWCC in 1997 from a link that is on the Toysrgus.com website. I quickly joined up and here was my introduction post:
Date: Thu, 3 Apr 1997 17:56:48
“Hello, my name is Dan Flarida. I am new to the group, but am very excited
so far about the possibilities. Here’s a little background if anyone is
interested. I lived in Lebanon, Oh for 20 years, then I joined the Air Force
and have been in Biloxi, Miss. ever since. I have every intention of
returning to live in Lebanon. I have established many contacts over the
years, so if there are things you are looking for, feel free to ask. Also,
we may have items here that are more readily available than in Ohio. I know
that from living in greater Cincy, finding things on the shelf is tough. Let
me know if I can help anyone out, as I have a lot of goodies to trade.
OSWCC instantly became my favorite source for Star Wars news, collecting information, and socializing within the hobby. I’ve been an active member ever since joining, and have seen the club develop into the great place that it is now. I’ve met a lot of great people in this club over the years, and I consider everyone on the list a friend. The friendships I’ve made because of this club are some of the strongest I have in my life.
I have been the club’s Treasurer for the past two years, and have enjoyed working with everyone on the Senate to help make the club run smoothly. I’m looking forward to the days ahead as we all work together to make this club even better and better.
I’ve always felt that a collecting club like OSWCC needs to continually grow in order for all of us to benefit from the networking possibilities it offers. The diversity of our members, and the continued growth of the club will allow everyone to have a much richer collecting experience. To keep our membership growing, and to maintain everyone’s interest in the club, I have a few ideas that I will be working on with the Senate.
Some of these ideas include:
standing as a respected presence in the hobby
exclusive premiums and giveaways
hobby shows in different areas of Ohio, and creating other ways to market
the benefits of our club to prospective members
creating exclusive offerings just for them The next two years will be some very exciting times for our club. With
Celebration 3 and the final chapter in the Star Wars saga approaching fast,
we are all in for a non-stop ride that I know will result in some of our
most memorable times as collectors. I am very honored to be the President
of the Ohio Star Wars Collectors Club, and I am excited about all the
possibilities these next two years will offer for us all. Thank you for
giving me this opportunity.
Dan W. Flarida
Ohio Star Wars Collectors Club