Global Corporate Structure
The AAPG Strategic Plan defines the mission of the Association as advancing both the science and profession of energy-related geosciences worldwide. To achieve this mission, the Strategic Plan has six Goal Areas:
- advance the science
- continuous professional development
- public awareness and understanding
- membership and member services
- financial strength
- global presence.
These are the basic principles behind achieving AAPG’s primary goal of being “indispensible to all professionals in the energy-related geosciences worldwide.”
Of all of these Goal Areas, the sixth, global presence, defined as “evolution of a global strategy that demonstrates responsibility for, and has direct benefit to, the membership and upholds the goals of AAPG”, is perhaps the most far reaching. A single change cannot accomplish this goal. Whichever series of steps the AAPG follows, the following facts are clear:
- AAPG’s non-U.S. membership is growing
- AAPG must provide appropriate services in response to this growth
- worldwide growth will result in increased operations to deliver products and services.
In late 2008, an ad hoc Corporate Structure Committee chaired by Marlan Downey advised that AAPG should adopt a new corporate structure that would provide legal protection of the assets of the Association and enable AAPG to conduct its financial affairs and operations more effectively worldwide.
The recommended Global Corporate Structure will provide many benefits to AAPG members. These include expanded access to science and ideas; a broader membership base; worldwide professional contacts; global access to geology, industry, and governments with a worldwide financial network for the operations; and a global voice in energy policy. Members also benefit from the protection of assets accumulated through the generosity of members and many years of prudent fiscal governance.
A new structure is important for the Regions to encourage continued growth and provide their leadership with a clear framework to serve the membership. Sections and Affiliated Societies will benefit from a vibrant society that has the resources for their support. The AAPG Divisions and Committees will gain more volunteers and new opportunities. This proposal recommends a three-step approach to “going global” with a new corporate structure. The first step is to incorporate each Region office in its host country to protect the parent organization from financial liabilities arising from regional activities. The AAPG already is taking these steps in the U.K., Bahrain, and Singapore. The second step is to develop a holding company under which the Region offices will be placed as part of the overall corporation. This provides another degree of separation for liability and from unknowingly violating special codes or laws that are not universal between countries. The third step would be to include the U.S. in the Region structure. This step would require a significant reworking of the AAPG Constitution and Bylaws.
The proposal was reviewed with the House of Delegates at the convention in June and was in general positively received. Most questions related to any proposed changes of the relationship between the US Sections and the parent organization and the justification for and location of the proposed holding company. The Executive Committee has reviewed the proposal and in consideration of the comments received from the HoD, is determining the next steps in order that a final proposal can be reviewed and voted upon by the HoD at the convention in New Orleans next year.
David R. Cook