After the 2013 contest, tomo, Ms Rhonda and Sharrin felt they needed to step down as Producers as financial issues involving Glenda came to light. Glenda decided she needed to sell IMsL as a result and had several offers from the community to buy the event. She decided to offer the IMsL event to Sharrin Spector, businesswoman and former producer of PowerSurge, and pat Baillie, IMsL 1995 and former producer of Rio Grande Leather in New Mexico. Sharrin had already been recognized for event production and eye on continuous improvement with IMsL as part of the staff. She brought her improvements to IMsL registration and marketing to the table with a plan to make IMsL a celebration of Leatherwoman from around the world. Pat brings her insights and expertise as an IMsL as well as her passion for the event. The cost of the sale was $1, a nod to the first sale of IMsL to Amy Marie from the San Francisco Board going from Generation 1 to Generation 2. The agreement included that none of the debt or financial obligations from Generation 3 would transfer in the sale. Generation 4 started off with no debt and no funds in the bank. The sale was completed in September 2013. In looking at the business case, Sharrin created IMsL Production, LLC which would produce the weekend event and contest.
Pat would create a 501(c)3 organization called the IMsL Foundation which would work on the titleholder travel fund, education and historical aspects of the event. In February 2014, the IMsL Foundation was incorporated as a California non-profit corporation. An interim board was formed to set up the organization which included Spencer Bergstedt, IMsL 1994, Sara Vibes, IMsL 2011, Hardy Haberman, Woodhull board member , Marlene Hoeber from the Center of Sex & Culture. Sahra, IMsL 2013 and Bella, IMsBB 2013 were invited to join the board as interim members during the IMsL weekend in April 2014. Additionally, so that the IMsL Foundation could provide tax deductible recognition at IMsL 2014, an agreement with the Center for Sex & Culture in San Francisco to be the fiscal sponsor was completed in April 2014. The IMsL Foundation held it first interim board meeting on the Saturday of IMsL 2014, April 26.
The other major change in 2014 was the movement of the event to the Doubletree by Hilton in San Jose. Due to construction and changes in the hotel ownership at the Holiday Inn in San Francisco, Glenda had negotiated a contract to move to San Jose for IMsL 2014. The first Generation 4 contest was held April 24-27 with 7 IMsL Contestants and 2 IMsBB contestants with over 700 in attendance. The winners were: IMsL 2014, Patty from Toronto and IMsBB 2014, Dara Bryant from Portland. You can follow them on the website and on the Facebook pages.
In just 9 months, with a new location, Generation 4 had positive evaluations and welcomed in the next generation and made a small profit on the event with all the bills paid! During this first year, the issues of racism in the leather community came to the forefront with the theme of “Locked & Loaded” and the tshirt design for the year. The ensuing community dialogue spurred the need for the IMsL/IMsBB Weekend and the IMsL Foundation to do more around the “-isms” in the community. The 2015 post survey showed that three groups were underrepresented at the weekend so Liaison positions were created to join the year round planning staff to increase awareness and programming. People of Color, Trans Women and Under 35 Liaison joined the staff and supported the selection of workshops and scholarships as well as educated the entire staff on issues and changes needed. In 2016, the “-isms” panel and the creation of guiding principles in the form of a guide extended the discussion. For 2017, a Disability Liaison was added to continue the work. The workshop selection review committee was expanded to include IMsL Foundation Board members as well as the education committee, IMsL Productions Executive Producer and Liaisons. Over the last two years, the IMsL Foundation has also provided grants to new or re-emerging women’s events and spent 2016 digitizing the last 30 years of IMsL/IMsBB Weekend programs and history for the anniversary in 2016. We are now in the process of building momentum to 2018 and the 20th Anniversary of the IMsBB contest.