by Rick Fritz, AAPG
typically ask questions about two topics -- 1) membership, and
2) money. AAPG's membership ranged from 29,000 to 31,000 during
the last decade, adding about the same number of members we lost
due to non-payment of dues or resignations. However, during the
fiscal year 1999-2000 we lost 2,650 members and gained only 2,000.
In response, last year we made a dedicated effort to improve products
and services for members. We also made a special effort to contact
and reinstate dropped members. As a result, last year we added
more than 2,400 members and we lost 2,200 members to drops or
resignations. During the first quarter alone of 2002 we have added
1,000 new members, so we are on track for a good year, but we
still need emphasis on membership.
Currently we are implementing the second stage of our membership
enhancement program. The second stage includes a "grass roots"
membership drive, which will kick off at APPEX 2002 and culminate
at the annual convention in Salt Lake City. The keystone of the
drive is the decision by the Executive Committee to provide more
member access to AAPG's digital aggregate, DataPages. Starting
July 1, 2002, members will have unlimited access to all of the
Bulletin archives. In future years, AAPG will continue
to provide more digits for dues.
Beginning in fiscal year 1999-2000, the Executive Committee and
Headquarters established a financial plan designed to follow a
realistic budget. The first phase of the plan called for a reduction
of staff and overhead. The second phase of the plan was designed
around efficiency and redesign of operations. The last part of
the redesign was completed late last year with the complete reorganization
of AAPG Geosciences. The Publications and Education departments
were rebuilt for modern needs and efficiency under the management
of John Shelton, Interim Geoscience Director. Geosciences in now
composed of a management team with three parts -- production,
services and marketing. This is the first time in recent history
that AAPG has had two departments dedicated to service and marketing.
A key part of the plan was the hiring of Jack Thomas as Geoscience
Director effective April 1, 2002. Jack is an active AAPG member
and will play an integral role in the development of Geosciences.
A product of the financial plan is that while last year we budgeted
to be in the black by $142,000, our actual net income was $679,000!
This was the result of tremendous efforts by volunteers, staff
and the corporations that support and sponsor AAPG programs. The
fun part of it is that we can plow a significant portion of the
profit into member products and services such as the Digits for
Finally, I have enjoyed my first two years as Executive Director
and I thank everyone for their support and tireless help. We still
have many programs we need to implement, so I look forward to
working with the delegates in future years.