Last Wednesday night (5/2/18) was my last MBC meeting serving as the president. I had prepared remarks to say to everyone who has served with me. Since it wasn’t reasonable to say the things I wanted to say last night, I will use this venue to do it.
First I want to thank all of those who helped with the Annual Bird Seed Sale and all who led Field Trips, First Saturday Bird Walks and those who are now leading the Birding before Work field trips.
I want to thank all members of the current Board, the new members of the Board that will start on July 1 and Bernice Melvin, who will be continuing to serve as the Bird Seed Sale (BSS) chairperson, as a non-voting member.
And finally, I have been privileged and honored to have worked with the creative and enthusiastic people who have served on the Board with me.
Jim Hill was the BSS chair when I started this job. Jim retired from the job and Maynard and I picked it up. Then John Holden came on board and produced record sales in that year. In the following year Bernice Melvin took the job as a non-voting Board member and again produced record sales. We have used the profits from the BSS to support our community outreach projects and like-minded non-profit organizations.
For those who might not know how this money is used here is a list of where that money goes:
• Ivy Creek Foundation – they provide this meeting space for us.
• National Audubon
• Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch
• Bird Seed for Stone-Robinson and Venable Elementary Schools
• Camp Scholarship for the BRYBC
• Ornithology Class Scholarship at PVCC
• Photography Contest Costs
• Community Outreach Project Costs
Priscilla Kingston was the Hospitality chair when I started. Priscilla was a long-time member who had done the Hospitality job for years. She was the person who advocated for the Mockingbird to be the Club’s mascot. After Priscilla’s passing, Patty Kalbfleisch came forward and took that job with enthusiasm. She is here at every meeting with a smile, with goodies and drinks for everyone. She gets the building ready for every meeting – chairs are set up, projector is ready, name badges are organized and ready to attach.
Peggy Cornett has been the Club’s Secretary since the mid 1990’s. Peggy is at virtually every meeting and Board meeting. She is the glue that holds all of the Club’s business together. She was the Club’s secretary when we used to stuff paper newsletters into envelopes.
Joanne Bricker was the Club’s Newsletter Editor when I took the president’s job. She has a quick wit and is very creative with words, cartoons and photos. She made the Club’s Newsletter vibrant and fun. Then the Newsletter morphed into the modern era with all of the info being on our website and FB page. Now the Club’s website contains her quick wit and sense of humor. It has all the information one needs to know about what event is happening next on the MBC calendar, and it has photos that show what the Club is all about. What a website, thanks to Joanne!!
Lesslie Crowell was the Club’s Membership chair when I became president. Lesslie pioneered methods to introduce Charlottesville to the Club. She kept our membership at the levels we set each year. Following Lesslie, Myrlene Staten took over the job and has also done it with enthusiasm and creativity. She is the driver behind the Photography Contest and our Land’s End merchandise. She too has kept membership at high levels.
Stauffer Miller & Lou Tanner – both Past-Presidents have served with me as chairpersons for finding and arranging speakers. Both have an endearing, dry sense of humor. When Lou introduces a speaker, he always has a twinkle in his eye and his little funny zingers just roll off his tongue unexpectedly. He whets your appetite for the program to come.
John Davis, Gabriel Mapel & Susan Babineau have served as Field Trips chairpersons with me. John kept the Field Trips coming every month. Gabriel served with the interest and enthusiasm of a very bright, young birder. When we needed a new Field Trips chair this past September, Susan stepped into the role and has done a great job. (Susan is also the Publicity Chair – she wears two hats!) I tried to take the Field Trips job off of her plate but she wanted to keep it. That was the right choice. She has the job well in hand.
Kathy Sudduth & Dan Bieker have served as V.P. with me. Kathy was a very active V.P., taking good care of the new website, and she offered a lot of ideas and energy. Dan has followed in her footsteps and has taken an active role in our community outreach projects. Dan has been a source of new ideas for the Board.
Maynard. When I first met Maynard I was the Club’s Treasurer and was trying to recruit a Field Trips chairperson. In response to my request, I had emails from John Davis and Maynard Davis – getting two people wanting the same job was a shock! After I met Maynard and found that he had the skills, talents, temperament and creativity of a corporate CFO, I appealed to him to let John Davis take the Field Trips job and for him to become the Club’s new Treasurer. I told him I would run for the President’s job. He agreed. Maynard’s spreadsheets and analyses have kept us on track to hit our very lofty goals for Bird Seed Sales and membership goals. He made us completely legal with our request to not pay VA Sales & Use Tax on our purchases; he made us completely legal in the requirement to collect Sales & Use Tax from our customers on the BSS. The Club could not have gotten a more talented person and one who has been an endless source of useful ideas.
This is not “Good bye.” I will continue to serve on the Board during the coming fiscal year as the Publicity Chair.