Letter from the Chair
With our San Antonio annual meeting now behind us, it’s time to spend time reflecting on a successful 2007-2008 term for the House and what lies ahead for George Bole and his incoming leadership team in 2008-2009.
One of the highlights of my term was having an opportunity to visit with many of you at Delegates’ Breakfasts at Section/Region meetings. I had the pleasure of hosting breakfasts in Wichita, Lexington, Snowbird, Corpus Christi and Athens. I do regret missing the meetings in Abilene and Bakersfield but George Bole and Will Green filled in for me at those venues. Each of us has been active at the local level throughout our careers and the pride that we have in our local societies shines brightly at the Region/Section meetings.
Your AAPG Executive Committee met at two of the Section meetings and several other times throughout the year. It has been an honour to serve under President Will Green with my colleagues on the EC. This is a dedicated, professional leadership team with a passion for the Association that is unmatched. I learned a great deal from this group and I would like to thank them for their commitment. I will miss them.
Our annual meeting in San Antonio went smoothly and all business was conducted as planned. Credentials Committee Chair Patrick Gooding noted that the 207 delegates at the San Antonio meeting was 89 percent of the 232 total House delegates – the highest percentage participating over the past 10 years.
- An amendment dealing with how the number of delegates is determined for U.S. affiliated societies versus international Regions. The amendment was proposed to bring the Rules and Procedures in compliance with the AAPG’s Constitution and Bylaws.
- A Bylaws change that gives the AAPG Executive Committee authority to expel a member who falsely states his or her qualifications on an application for AAPG membership.
Two impromptu straw votes stirred the majority of remarks from the delegates. In giving the report of the Newsletter Committee, Secretary/Editor Bob Webster posed a question to delegates concerning the all-electronic publishing of The Delegates’ Voice noting cost savings in addition to negating printing and mailing lag times as the main rationale.
In a straw poll, the House overwhelmingly voted in favor of the PDF-only newsletter. However, the handful of members opposed were vocal in their opposition. Webster stated that all delegates should be able to receive The Delegates' Voice in the format of their choice, and he would pass this forward to next year’s House leadership to investigate the best means to deliver the newsletter.
The other straw vote came up in new business during a discussion of the possibility of modifying the degree requirements for Active membership. Vice President-Regions John Hogg began the discussion by asking for a sense of the delegates concerning keeping the requirements for a “degree in geological science” for a person applying for Active membership.
The dialog included the exclusionary aspect of the degree requirement as it affects geophysicists, geological engineers and others who otherwise would be interested in full membership.
It was noted that there are mechanisms for individual exceptions to the requirement, which are considered by the Executive Committee on a case-by-case basis.
Delegates voted overwhelmingly to send the issue to the Constitution and Bylaws Committee for consideration.
Honors and Awards Chair Jim McGhay recognized the following awardees:
- Distinguished Members of the House - John Brooks (European Region), Alan DeGood (Mid-Continent Section), Patrick Gooding (Eastern Section)
- House Long Service Award - Jeannie Mallick (Gulf Coast Section)
- House Recognition of Service Awards - Marty Hewitt (Canada Region) and Robert Webster (Southwest Section)
- In addition, Delegates reaching 9 and 15 year service milestones were also acknowledged with Certificates of Service
Officers elected for 2008-09 were Steve Sonnenberg, Chair-Elect from Rocky Mountain Section and Sigrunn Johnsen, Secretary/Editor from European Region. Steve is the first past president of AAPG to become leader of the House. Sigrunn becomes the first delegate from European Region to be a House officer. Steve and Sigrunn will assume their roles along with Chair George Bole from Gulf Coast Section July 1. I would like to thank Deborah Sacrey and Erik Mason for letting their names stand for House leadership. Their commitment to AAPG and the House is greatly appreciated.
Looking forward, I ask each of you to keep in mind the grass roots membership drive within the House of Delegates. As leaders of AAPG, delegates have the opportunity to lead by example; setting the standard for those who follow your direction and guidance in serving AAPG on a volunteer basis. Recall that the concept here is to assign a point Delegate in each local society who will act as a local membership ambassador with the prime responsibility of promoting AAPG membership at local society events. Numerous studies have shown that one-on-one contact is the most successful form of recruitment and Delegates are ideally positioned to carry out this function for AAPG.
I encourage you to discuss this membership initiative within your delegation, identify a membership ambassador for your delegation and recruit at least one new member for each Delegate by June 30.
In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow officers, Chair-Elect George Bole and Secretary/Editor Bob Webster for their hard work and support during my term as Chair. I would also like to thank my Committee Chairs and their committees for their hard work over the past year. Thanks also to Donna Riggs, Regina Gill and Janice Scott at AAPG HQ for their assistance throughout my term. Also, I appreciate the backing of my employer, Nexen Petroleum International, over the past two years. In closing, it has been a privilege and distinct pleasure to serve as your Chair for the past session. Thank you for providing me with this opportunity to serve the House and AAPG.