All Regular BOG members were present, with the exception of Mike Hood. Pat Seiser served as Mike's proxy.
The Board received an update on the 2013 Convention from Carol Tiderman. Dave Haun updated us on remodeling progress at the future NSS Headquarters. To date, over $100,000 of remodeling and refurbishing costs have been defrayed by through the volunteer efforts of NSS Members!
In addition to these reports, the BOG was briefed by Chuck Ridding about a rather disturbing set of events in the Buffalo River watershed, which contains some of the most significant cave and karst features in the Ozarks, and is now threated by a recently-approved commercial hog farming operation. More information about this can be found at: http://buffaloriveralliance.org/
We also received a presentation about a new and intriguing iPhone App, titled "iCaverns", which could prove to be extremely useful as an education tool for visitors to places like Carlsbad Caverns National Parks. Very promising technology!
After the initial section of the meeting was concluded, the Directorate went into Closed Session in order to have individual conversations with each of the members of the Executive. Following this, the Directorate completed elections of a new Secretary-Treasurer. Congratulations to Gary Barnes, NSS#10332 RL, from Birmingham, Alabama.
The Board wishes to sincerely thank Debra Young for her years as Secretary-Treasurer from 2011-2014.
Debra will continue to function as S-T until the Spring Meeting of the Board of Governors, to be held in Richmond Virginia, and hosted by the Richmond Area Speleological Society (RASS), when Gary will be installed as the new S-T.
Though many topics were discussed during the Board Meeting, probably the biggest one is the effort to recruit and retain members. Indeed, this was one of the key pillars in the Strategic Plan that the BOG ratified in 2012. So, in order to move the Membership effort forward, Director Dick Mitchell proposed, and the Board subsequently adopted a new Membership Outreach Program. Highlights of this new program include:
a.) Making sure we reach out to people going on commercial “wild” cave tours, encouraging them to consider membership in the Society.
- • A program that fosters interest and enthusiasm of student grotto members that focuses on long-term retention.
• An achievement based program that promotes caves and karst exploration, study, and conservation through youth organizations, both at the national and regional levels.
• Engaging Federal, state, regional, and city parks and recreational governmental offices encouraging them to join the NSS.
The Board also unanimously confirmed the following people:
- • Aaron Atz, NSS#43492 RE, Chairman of the Vandalism Deterrence Reward Commission.
• Jennifer Foote, NSS45211 RL, replaces Peter Youngbaer as Chairman of the WNS Liaison Committee.
• James Hall, NSS#10997 RL/FE, Chairman of the Cave Files Committee in the Archives Division.
• Scott Shaw, NSS#30571 RE, Chairman of the Speleo-Museum Committee in the Archives Division.
• Zach Schudrowitz, NSS 62003 SU, Chairman of the Junior Speleological Society Committee.
• Scott McCrea, NSS#40839 RL, Chairman of the Safety and Techniques Committee.
• Kyle Mills, NSS#63532 RE, as Chairman of the Environmental Education Committee.
• Jean DeVries, NSS 36251 RE/FE, confirmed as Chairman of the Education Division.
• Jared Snyder, NSS 64297 RE, confirmed as Chief of the Public Relations Division.
• Earl Suitor, NSS 50640RE, confirmed as Preserve Manager for the John Guilday Nature Preserve, WV.
Congratulations and many thanks for our new committee/division chair volunteers!