The online community of knife collectors, A Knife Family Forged in Steel
I too am a 'Life Member'; also a 'Knife World' Ambassador (Life member) and would like to candid about the 'NKCA'. This organization ceased to be viable many, many years ago. Doubt what I have said? Email me privately and I will explain. There is no reason why this had to happen and it pains me to have to face facts. I could only hope that 'it' might be revived in some fashion or another but that involves time and money. I remember when Jim Parker bought the property in Chattanooga for the museum and remember touring it and marveling at all the exhibits; right LeRoy? OK, I'm starting to sound 'old' so I'll stop here and let you all reflect.
For clarity's sake I need to point out that there is NO connection or affiliation between the KNIFE WORLD and the NKCA, they are two separate and distinct entities. In fact KNIFE WORLD is not an organization at all, it's a monthly publication -- but we do enjoy a very dedicated following much like some organizations do.
The "Ambassador" program was our lifetime subscription option, which was only offered for a few years during the early 1990s. We still have quite a few Ambassadors on our mailing list, but you won't see lifetime subscriptions return in the future as it was definitely not a good idea from a business perspective!
In any case, thanks to my old friend Craig for mentioning our little publication... one of these years I will get back down your direction for a visit.
Craig, I too have been saddened by the progressive demise of the NKCA. I am a life member as well and miss the good old days. I used to set up at the Chattanooga show just to visit with my knife friends from out of town. Hope you are right and someone will have the time, money and business sense too revive it.
I'm a young member, probably one of the youngest that I know. I'm fascinated with the history of the NKCA, and wish I could have been involved during it's heyday. I hope it can hold on through these tough times and start growing again. My main knife collecting interest is in NKCA yearly knives, and the prototypes that were submitted by each knife company each year.
Like Mark, I guess I should use a full disclosure. I have never been a board member for NKCA, only for the museum. The current President of the NKCA Lisa Sebenick, is a dear friend.
The NKCA was a proud and strong organization that brought a lot to the table.
It was the organization that brought about a separate organization The National Knife Museum. Being under the same board and same accounting system led many folks to believe they were one and the same.
I cannot even begin to tell you how many prominent makers credit the NKCA shows, and the willingness of the member makers at that time to share knowledge, for their success.
Those shows and the presence at events that would lead to more awareness of knife collecting as a hobby, those were the golden days of the NKCA. Would I like to see them again, yes. Could it happen using the same formats...I don't believe so.
The NKCA could certainly come back and be as viable as before.
I dont think "hosting" shows is the way, shows are extremely expensive. Co Hosting could be an avenue. It could help generate interest again within it's base and help lower the up front cost of putting on a show. Who knows, that might even generate more shows?
Becoming involved with both Knife Rights and AKTI. This should be a HUGE roll for NKCA. Everytime there is a vote coming up, the database the NKCA has should be utilized to send out emails. What better organization to prove to the world that we are many and we vote??
It must be obvious to you by now that I have put some clear thought into solutions for the organization. Here is my challenge to you.
If you had the ability to stand for this organization and grow it...what would you do?
In order to grow, I think the NKCA has to first be seen. I frequent many different knife forums, and I am consistently surprised to hear people say "what is NKCA". I really think the NKCA board members need to be active in forums, and let it be known they are part of a knife organization. They also should be at EVERY knife show that is going on in the country, and if they can't be, find a member who is going to the show and ask them to help promote the NKCA, maybe even set up a table. I've offered to do this, but the idea didn't get very far. Last, I think the NKCA needs to be able to respond to it's members more quickly. If not same day, at least within 36 hours. I know Lisa is busy, and she is a one-woman-show, but I have asked her questions through email or Facebook before, and didn't get a response until 4 weeks later. If she is unable to keep up with the demands of the organization, I think there needs to be some part time helpers involved. A fellow knife collector told me a few months back they contacted the NKCA about becoming a member, and after 2 months without any word, they decided they didn't want to be part of an organization that can't respond to a simple phone call or email.
In the early 1970's @ Louisville the NKCA drummed a fellow by the name of Bob Hodo Gadsen Ala.out of the Organization because he disagreed with how the group was being run.This was the start for me of its demise,They built a museum in a location that was unaccessible and subsequently sold all the knives and who know what happened to the proceeds. The NKCA is dead and rightly so. Let it remain so.
I will not disagree with anything you have said with the exception of the knives.
The NKCA never owned the Museum it was a separate entity from the very beginning. As for the knives, no they were not sold off. This article here will tell you where they have gone. The current MUSEUM board made the decision that they should still be in the public eye and with folks that could showcase them and take care of them. http://iknifecollector.com/forum/topics/the-nkm-is-moving
The NKCA officially closed August 1, 2016. I sad day in the knife industry.
I wonder if Lisa even goes to knife shows anymore, even if just as a person walking the aisles looking at knives. She devoted so much of her life, it's hard to believe that she would cut herself off completely from everything knife related. On the other hand, she basically stole $40,000 of peoples money by taking knife orders and never making the knives.