North Cascades Audubon Society Board of Directors Retreat
Jan. 2, 2017, 5 PM
RE Sources Ed Center
Board Members Present: Pam Borso, Ken Salzman, Rae Edwards, Steven Harper, Sue Parrott, Paul Woodcock, Steve Irving, Jamie Huson, Nicole Huson, Twink Coffman, Owen Bamford, Judy Krieger, Kelley Palmer-McKee, Chris Brewer
- Additions to Agenda – Added to new business below.
- Approval of December Minutes – Approved
- Treasurer’s Report – Sue presented the December report and the year-end report. We have not yet received the National Audubon dues share. Many people joined NCAS or renewed their memberships in December. Memberships for the year met projections. We spent a little less than budgeted for the year. Revenue was much higher than projected due to a gift from an estate.
- Communications & Input
CBC update – Both the Bellingham and the Ferry Count were successful, although the weather was wintery. One of our counters fell on the ice while observing a bird and another counter was rear ended. We are going to put an article regarding the CBC in the Feb. or March newsletter.
WOW update – Wings Over Water is in the planning stages for March 10-12. NCAS will have a table, Chris is helping WOW with artist contributions that are bird related and there will again be volunteers assisting with viewing stations.
Whatcom Museum update – Birds are being moved to the balcony area. Paul, Owen and Pam are giving input into the panels that will accompany the birds. The Museum is hoping to get NCAS involved in giving tours of the bird exhibit. They will be opening the exhibit sometime during the end of Jan. or early Feb.
Mature trees letter to City – Rae followed up with the City regarding the development next to the Fairhaven Library. She will follow up on a more generic letter requesting saving mature trees in the City of Bellingham.
Meeting chairs for January Program and February Board – Paul will chair the January Program meeting and the February Board meeting.
Washington Ornithological Society State meeting is at Semiahmoo Sept 21-25, 2017. Anyone interested in being a field trip leader should email Ken. Suggestions for areas for field trips should also be discussed with Ken. Field trip leaders will be able to attend the conference and the banquet for free.
- Old Business
Trumpeter swan update – All licenses are procured and Paul will follow up with finding a taxidermist and request that it be mounted for presentation to the Museum. $875 was raised.
Holiday Potluck update – The board decided not to reschedule the potluck which had been cancelled because of weather. We will again schedule it for next December and Pam will follow up with Carol to see if our payment for this year could be applied to next year.
- New Business – Retreat items
May program– Steven asked if anyone had suggestions for a presenter or if we should ask one of our scholarship recipients? Board noted that, if appropriate, a scholarship recipient would be good.
Board positions, structure, role and activity of standing committees – Pam and Paul will not be allowed to continue in their current positions after May of 2018. We need to begin looking for a new President and Vice-President. Chris Brewer was asked by the board to be a new member and will become the new education chair. Rae will become a member at large. Carol will remain as a member at large and Anna, who took over hospitality, decided not to be on the board. Jamie has taken on a new role, responsible for our web page and social media. Sue suggested we revisit board structure and membership on a regular basis so that we can be better prepared for leadership changes. Everyone agreed.
Review of minutes from last year’s retreat, and goals and accomplishments of 2016 – We reviewed what we had accomplished and felt it was appropriate to continue our efforts and initiatives of 2016 into 2017. There were a couple of items that were not followed up from the last retreat. One item was a survey of members and the placement of a suggestion box at presentations. Board decided not to conduct a survey but to set up a suggestion box at program meetings and any submitted suggestions will be reviewed by the board at the next meeting. Ken agreed to build the suggestion box. Another area where we fell short was in education efforts toward younger people, especially children. Board agree that we will place a primary focus on these efforts in 2017. Chris is establishing an education committee to work on these efforts. We will also try to focus more efforts on persons in their 20’s and 30’s.
Discussion of our current funds, what we want to do with our money, and asking for estate gifts – We should mention estate giving in our newsletter and encourage people to give. Sue will write up an article to be attached to the end of our accomplishments. Paul suggested that we give some scholarship money for people attending the WCC beginning birding class since NCAS doesn’t offer the class anymore. We agreed to allocate money for this effort, and Ken will look into how this could work. Lyle Anderson and Pam are hoping to present a class in February on marine birds of the Salish Sea in place of the Cherry Point survey class. It will be a general interest class with two field trips. People in the class can pursue more advanced training to be a counter for the Cherry Point survey. We will allocate money as needed for this class.
Website issues: reorganizing and updating – Jamie has agreed to be in charge of our web page and all of our social media. He is planning on doing an inventory of the current website and will present more information to board members on what he finds needs updating and how we can assist him.
Online donations – PayPal is now working as we have received a flood of new memberships through them recently. It apparently was not working for a while as we had not received any donations through PayPal for approximately 18 months. We are working on getting address information from PayPal as well as the email addresses.
Membership issues including membership status and updating database for membership – A committee has been established (Owen, Jamie and Kelley) to figure out the type of new database we need to make our membership process work more efficiently. They will research cost, implications, etc. and report back to the board.
Education for youth, children and diverse audiences – February 6 Backyard Bird Count, CBC for kids, working with Wild Whatcom, Birds and Brew and summer camps were some of the ideas suggested by the board. Chris, Jamie and Nicole will form a new education work group to explore some new programs. They are also interested in targeting the 18-35 age demographic as well as families with children. They will investigate any liabilities associated with working with children. Ken will also follow up on using liability waivers for the field trips.
Jim Duemmel CBC newsletter article for February or March issue– Jim will be asked to write an article on CBC for one of these issues.
Future of Birds and Climate Change Group – Is it a priority? At the next meeting (Jan. 9) a leader(s) needs to be appointed to coordinate the tabling at the Farmer’s Market. The board supports this effort.
2017 Budget– Sue presented the 2017 budget taking into account the various priorities we have established. It was approved by the board.
- Upcoming Programs
Jan. 24: Belinda Rotton and Richard Kessler – Birding on the Skagit and Whatcom Wildlife Refuges
Feb. 15: Melanie Driscoll – Deepwater Horizon Disaster: Effect of the Oil Spill on the Local People and Wildlife
Feb. 28: Steve and Martha Ellis – Loons of the Salish Sea
March 28: Matt Christensen and Sarah Brookes – Friends of Semiahmoo Bay Society – Stewardship North of the 49th Parallel
April 25: Jonathan White – Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean
Adjourn. Next Meeting: February 6, 2017, 7-9 PM WECU Ed Ctr., 311 Holly St, Bellingham, WA
Follow-up Action Items
- Paul, Owen and Pam will continue to give input into the panels that will accompany the new bird exhibit at the Whatcom Museum.
- Rae will follow up on a more generic letter requesting saving mature trees in the City of Bellingham.
- Paul will follow up with finding a taxidermist and request that the swan be mounted for presentation to the Whatcom Museum.
- Pam will follow up with Carol to see if our payment for this year’s holiday party could be applied to next year.
- Ken agreed to build the suggestion box that will be placed on the display table at our monthly presentations.
- Chris is establishing an education committee with Jamie and Nicole to explore and work on new educational program efforts.
- Sue will write an article regarding estate giving to be included in the newsletter after the article listing our 2016 accomplishments.
- Ken will look into how scholarships can be made available to people signing up for the WCC beginning birding class.
- Lyle Anderson and Pam will work on a class to be presented in February on marine birds of the Salish Sea.
- Jamie will do an inventory of the current website and will present more information to board members on what he finds needs updating and how we can assist him.
- Owen and Ann Palmer are working on getting address information from PayPal as well as the email addresses.
- Owen, Jamie and Kelley will figure out the type of new database we need to make our membership process work more efficiently. They will research cost, implications, etc. and report back to the board.
- Ken will follow up on finding liability waivers for the field trips.
- Pam will ask Jim Duemmel to write an article on the history of the CBC for either the February or March newsletter.