PETER R. ROSE
2005-06 AAPG President
An Alberta avalanche? A Boreal bash? A Canadian camp meeting? A Calgary carnival?
I'm just home from the finest AAPG annual convention I've ever attended, bar none -- and that's counting a long way back! John Hogg and his many CSPG colleagues just knocked themselves out -- superb technical program, overflowing exhibition, field trips in a spectacular geologic setting and gracious entertainment each evening. And oil reached nearly $60 a barrel -- how did they manage that, too?
Here's how well the 2005 Annual Convention was received -- 7,335 official registrants, the third largest since the crash of '86, and 4,467 professional registrants -- the fourth largest number ever!
And kudos to the AAPG and CSPG HQ staffs for their excellent arrangements and flawless coordination. Now, that's performance, Tulsa and Calgary folks -- Thank you
But back to the hundreds of CSPG volunteers who dreamed, organized and worked as a dedicated team, giving us all an impressive demonstration of a first-class professional community at its best.
Appreciating and understanding such ardent and productive volunteerism is important, because most of AAPG's many good works are carried out by volunteers, God bless them!
They are Visiting Geologists and Distinguished Lecturers. They serve on AAPG's 31 standing committees and 15 ad hoc committees as chairs, vice-chairs and committee workers. They represent AAPG in its relations with sister societies. They lead Regions and Sections. They chair technical sessions and run conventions.
Why do they dedicate so much of their personal time and energy to such volunteerism?
For most, I believe, they simply accept (and cherish) the notion that such involvement is an inherent aspect of being part of a professional community, one that conveys bona fide career benefits -- an expanded professional network, valuable new growth experiences, peer recognition, a vehicle for public outreach -- and great fulfillment into the bargain!
A lot of work? You bet -- but there's fun, rewards and satisfaction that far exceed the time and work demanded. I've never worked on an AAPG committee or convention that I didn't get a lot more out of than I ever put in.
Another important requirement for successful and productive volunteerism -- especially on committees -- is effective organization and leadership. The Calgary Organizing Committee was very well organized, and their leadership was enthusiastic, communicative and disciplined.
During my week in Calgary, I attended about 20 different committee meetings. I learned a lot about their goals and problems and effectiveness. Some committees are very well led, others less so. The committees that divvy up the work and maintain their momentum and leadership throughout the year set the desired standard for all.
The chairs and vice chairs that manage to instill this have a lot to teach and share with committee leaders who are just beginning or are struggling to stay organized and maintain momentum
How can the Executive Committee help? Four important new developments are:
- Starting this fall, Sunday, Sept. 25, in New Orleans, and offered as well at the next few Annual Leadership Conferences, AAPG will provide complimentary formal training for committee chairs and vice chairs on how to set goals, distribute assignments, identify and meet deadlines, inspire action and measure results.
- Because there are relatively few young people on AAPG committees, I have asked HQ for a list of all members under 35 years of age, from which I will purposefully solicit new committee members -- at least two for every committee, I hope, and more for large ones.
- I will continue past President Pat Gratton's expansion of the Committee on Committees as one of AAPG's most influential and important committees. The C on C's task is to monitor, on a quarterly basis, all AAPG committees -- with regard to their goals and accomplishments, to assist with counsel and support, and to keep track of members and their terms of service. Each committee will be assigned a liaison/contact person from the C on C. Early in the fourth quarter of each fiscal year (April-June) the C on C will issue its annual report to the incoming president and EC, with recommendations for new chairs, vice-chairs and committee members.
- The EC wants to send a clear message to AAPG committees: We encourage them to propose creative and beneficial new projects and ideas for the EC (or the AAPG Foundation) to consider for funding (as opposed to passively operating only within their present budgets). Give us a chance to support farsighted new ideas!
AAPG's many committees carry out a great deal of the work that makes the Association so valuable to its members. We owe these dedicated volunteers our very best efforts to help make their work effective and fulfilling.
The familiar Marine Corps advertisement goes: "We're looking for a few good men." AAPG is looking for a lot of dedicated committeemen and committeewomen. Please let me hear from you, friends!
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