Ron MCConathy

Chester A. Massey Distinguished Service Award

January 26, 2024

Ron McConathy is a former president of SANP and a charter member of SANP. He has always been involved in some aspects of SANP. Ron has been a board member. He has taken on whatever tasks assigned to him by the Board and volunteered for other activities. In recent years with the changes in administration, Ron has been actively involved with the nominating committee for Board members. He has also chaired several other committees. He has been the only person to maintain and manage the SANP Zenfolio website. When Covid hit, Ron offered his Zoom subscription for the club to use for club meetings and the online digital salon. At some point, the club offered to split the cost with Ron, but he never asked, instead he offered it at a time when the club needed the ability to view meetings.

When I became the salon director because no one was willing to do it, I sent out an email to the Board members of suggested changes. Ron supported the changes and thanked me for reaching out to the Board. He has supported numerous changes to the salon and other activities that have allowed SANP members to become more active as a member. Ron has taken an active role in the club's Facebook page. Ron has opened his home to field events while spending time teaching members how to focus stack or learn intentional camera movement. These events have gone over well with those attending as Ron has the natural ability to teach and share his knowledge of photography. Over the years Ron has helped with the Salon and stepped up to organize and plan the first Salon on Zoom. Ron has helped judge and offer advice on how to improve an image.

Ron started the Photo Challenge which has helped get SANP members involved in taking photographs that can be judged. This has allowed members to participate in photo activities and learn how to improve their images. Ron has written numerous articles for SANP newsletters over the years. These articles were informative and educational. Ron has stayed on the cutting edge of photography equipment. He made the transition to mirrorless long before most were ready. He has shared his experience with the latest camera equipment resulting in some of us spending more money on a camera than I had planned to. Ron's sharing of his knowledge about mirrorless and the Canon R5 resulted in me changing from the DSLR and it inspired me to become more interested in photography.

Ron is not your typical secretive photographer. Ron is willing to share his knowledge and help those who ask him for help. He has offered ideas and advice about field trips. Ron is an inspiration to those who have conversations with him about photography or photography equipment. He was an inspiration to those that took his classes at UT. Ron never hesitates to speak to or greet those in the club. From my personal perspective, he is a great inspiration to those who have had a chance to share photography with him.

Ron’s contributions to the Club:

·       1999 – 2003:  Served as Club president.

.       1995:  Initiated, organized, and managed the first SANP Salon Competition. The SANP Salon has continued since that time. It was inspired and organized like the Lockheed Martin Camera Club (now the Camera Club of Oak Ridge) annual salon competition.

·       1997:  Developed and published a Guidelines for Ethical Nature Photography document for SANP that is still in effect today and published on the website.

·       1998:  Coordinated the SANP Fall Color Spectacular Photography Weekend on Santeetlah Lake.

·       2000 - 2013 and 2018 – 2022:  Served on board of directors.

·       2001:  Developed a Guidelines for Judging Photos document for use by salon judges that is still currently in use.

·       2007 - Present:  Initiated and managed the club’s use of the Zenfolio website as a gallery for display of salon entries and winners, and images from field events and photo challenge events.

·       2020 – 2023:  Shared the use of his personal Zoom teleconferencing account with SANP.

·       2021:  Hosted three Focus Stacking workshops at his home.

·       2022 – Present:  Developed and managed a program of quarterly Photo Challenge events.

·       2023:  Hosted an Intentional Camera Movement Field Event at his home.


Southern Appalachian Nature Photographers is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, located near the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee. 
Mailing address: SANP, 1143 Oak Ridge Turnpike, Ste 107A/231, Oak Ridge, TN 37830

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software