I can’t tell you what an honor and privilege it is to be at the head of this organization. With that said, I get to sit in the engineer’s chair while a bunch of great volunteer folks continue to provide the horsepower behind the scenes to keep the machine running.
There is a Vice President, Board of Directors, a Secretary, a Treasurer, various standing and ad hoc committee chairpersons, and volunteers for the committees. We have a dedicated publication, The Explorer’s Gazette, and a web site. We have organizational bi-annual reunions headed up by volunteers, and we have regional chapters and regional social groups. All these happen because people are willing to put “skin in the game”. Without all the help, my position is meaningless. I am glad all those folks are there doing what they do.
There are some challenges facing the organization, and we need to start thinking outside the box for ideas. Our force is aging; recruiting is hard; there are problems associated with getting the word out to our members who are not technologically interested and don’t have internet; lack of depth in some of the infrastructure functions; and there are others. I would be kidding everyone if I said all these would be easy solutions and resolved on this watch.
So the good news: Our scholarship fund is solvent and continues with modest growth and annual awards; the 2018 reunion in San Antonio is well on track with Life Member John Lamont West at the helm; and the 2020 reunion in the Jacksonville area is conceptualized thanks to Life Member Dr. Dewey Painter who stood up at the New England reunion and stated he would look at the possibility and help with a reunion in the Jax area.
Things in work include re-appointment (and new appointments) of committee chairpersons, verification and recording of OAE bio information in accordance with the bylaws; redefinition of some of the committee chair positions; and work on business issues from the New England reunion. As everyone unwinds from the reunion, there will be more.
Thanks to all.
Ed Hamblin, President