Dear AIFRB Members,
We are now at the midway point in my term as president, which means that it is time to solicit nominations to elect the next president. Someone recently asked me what qualifications I think are important for our next leader. My first reaction was to say that the successful candidate would have passion for the Institute, staying true to its past and focusing on the future. Upon further reflection, I thought about our nation’s fishing industry and how it was built by various immigrant groups from around the world - and how the strength of the industry is in its diversity, both in terms of species and in industry work force. The same should be true for the makeup of our Institute officers. However, we have only had one female president (Linda Jones: 2005-2007) and I am the first President from the private sector.
According to the Bylaws of the Institute, it is the responsibility of the sitting president to solicit new nominees. I have previously asked for feedback on what direction you would like the Institute to take. Now I would like to ask that you contact me (tomk@HelixEPI.com) with potential presidential nominations. Please keep in mind that, as well as being a diverse leader, the candidate should be passionate about the Institute, work closely with our young professionals representative, and be active in social media.
We have accomplished quite a bit in the last year and a half, but there is so much more to be done. Our membership continues to grow, thanks to the continued efforts of our current BOC members, especially our district directors and our membership chair. We have added a reorganized district in the Pacific Northwest and have elected new district directors, and we continue to search for those candidates who are interested in working with us to develop new, active districts. We also need to continue identifying new potential directors for existing districts. Please contact me with any input on these issues as well.
We are making progress with our budgetary issues, yet we continue to struggle to make ends meet. We need your support so we can fund our activities and award program. Please ensure that dues are current. And please submit your current email address to our treasurer or membership chair, which is critical for our transition to digital Briefs.
Finally, I heard your requests at last year’s BOC meeting concerning the website, and have worked hard with the powers that be to ensure we have a site that focuses on membership news and member research. You’ll find our mission statement at the top of the main page, fresh content that is available for members only, a district map, a new look, and much more. Please talk with your district director and district membership to let us know of any news updates that we can share with the rest of the Institute. (For district or membership news – or suggestions for the new site - please email: email@example.com.)
Tom Keegan, President