23:4 (2008:12) President’s Corner

December 19, 2008 at 12:56 am | Posted in President's Corner | Leave a comment

PRESIDENT’S CORNER
Jill Emery, NASIG President

INVIGORATING FALL

Two months ago, my fiancé and I worked on clearing out the summer garden remnants in our backyard plot and starting planting the fall/winter garden. This growing season is going much better for us in central Texas and we’re observing the daily growth of spinach, kale, and chard and there are even a few jalapeño peppers to be picked soon. One of things we’re most excited by is that both the cilantro and basil have self-set and are producing new plants in what we thought was a somewhat barren area of the plot. We’re looking forward to being able to share some of the harvest come Thanksgiving. In NASIG news, the board has held both our fall board meeting and just completed our follow-up phone call. There is quite a bit underway with the organization as you can see from this issue of Newsletter, so let me focus on some of the things that are starting to flourish and not being reported elsewhere in the Newsletter or Newsletter blog.

UPDATES

Given the on-going world-wide economic downturn, the board has asked the administrative task force to focus on an administrative support position that would be half-time and who would be responsible for four primary areas of support management for the organization. In a future NASIG Newsletter, we will present their detailed document regarding this position and the responsibilities this role could play in the future.

In the meantime, the board voted unanimously to appoint a conference coordinator consultant position and we are very pleased to announce that Joyce Tenney will become the new conference coordinator in 2009 and serve a two year term in this position. Joyce has been indefatigable when it comes to conference planning and has helped find some amazing sites/venues for NASIG to hold their conferences and more importantly has truly worked wonders in order to keep housing costs and site costs to a bare minimum for the organization. We are very excited by this development and know Joyce will continue to work tirelessly to bring NASIG the best opportunities available to us.

The speaker reimbursement policy has been revised thanks to the dedicated work of CPC, PPC, and Dan Tonkery. This was completed in time for PPC to start working with the speakers for the 2009 conference. The new policy can be seen here: http://www.nasig.org/conference_compensation.cfm

The Financial Development Committee has been holding calls and exchanging emails on possible revenue generating ideas and the board is expecting an outline on one possible concept by the January 2009 meeting.

ECC continues to work on documentation regarding the management of the new NASIG website/content management system and documentation outlining processes and procedures will be forthcoming.

PLANES AND AUTOMOBILES

The fall board meeting went really well with board members and CPC and PPC co-chairs convening in Asheville from a myriad of destinations. Rick Anderson, Char Simser, Virginia Taffurelli and I all met up in Charlotte. Despite rainy weather in much of the Midwest, none of our travel schedules were disrupted by much and Virginia and I had a wonderful time catching up in the Charlotte airport while Char and Rick arrived. For those of you who don’t know this, Charlotte has numerous seating areas with rockers available that allow you to watch other travelers and the world pass by. Charlotte also offers free public Wi-Fi so if you don’t have good company close at hand, you do have readily accessible internet connections. The four of us then proceeded to the baggage claim and the rental car agency and scored a very spiffy minivan that Rick drove expertly to Asheville. Despite the post-hurricane fuel cost hike, this did end up being cheaper than all four of us flying into Asheville and in some cases was much easier to do. All-in-all, it was a very pleasant experience and one we would encourage for the annual conference. Kim Maxwell and Bob Boissy also flew into Charlotte and rented a car which worked out extremely well for them since they were able to share the same flight from Boston. Turns out they ran into Sarah George Wessel at a pit stop along the way to Asheville! Peter Whiting and Jeff Slagell did fly directly into Asheville and found that the elevated fuel prices due to the production shut-down in the Gulf of Mexico had resulted in higher shuttle prices than anticipated. However, we are all optimistic that with full production restored in the Gulf region and with the drop overall in gas prices that shuttle costs will self-regulate. CPC has a travel web site up now, please refer to it here: http://www.nasig.org/2009_conference_travel.cfm

BOARD CONFERENCE CALL

As previously mentioned, we’ve just completed the board fall conference call to double-check where we are with the strategic plan action list and the board is really pleased to announce that all of the items are underway and truly in action. Different action items will be brought out to in the forthcoming months but all the committees involved have been great to work with on the action items and dedicated to keeping this process on track.

TEASERS

The Program Planning Committee is doing their amazing work and there are some really exciting vision speakers and programs on the docket for this year’s conference. Stay tuned for further announcements as I think the membership is going to be pleased with the selection lined up!

In addition, CPC has been hard at work with the local arrangements for the 2009 conference and I think attendees at this conference will enjoy the fruits of all the hard work this group has undertaken!

Continuing Education is also working on an “unconference” in March 2009; Keep checking here for more information: http://www.nasig.org/activities_calendar.cfm?action=detail&rec=44.

Lastly, keep an eye out for a new award to be forthcoming from the Awards & Recognition committee. We appreciate the support of SWETS in helping NASIG inaugurate this new offering. More information will be forthcoming on the Newsletter blog.

I wish everyone the best over the holiday season and hope all NASIG members continue to prosper in 2009. If anyone has any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at: jill.emerytx@gmail.com.

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