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Minutes – Friends of NJSOC Annual Meeting 2017

Friends of NJSOC Annual Meeting (download .DOC)
January 14, 2017

Present: Kerry Kirk Pflugh, Shayne Russell, Steven Weintraub, Jerry Schierloh, Abby Farber, Director Bill Thomas
Absent: Alberto Fernandez

Meeting was called to order at 10:18 AM.
Agenda:
• Set calendar for 2017
• Plans for completing Piney Point tree planting
• Update on Membership and recruitment plans
• Current Budget and year-end financial reports
• Ideas for new projects and fundraising
Addition to Agenda:
Jerry reintroduced idea of finishing and distributing SOC Sampler with history of School of Conservation.

Financial Report
Bank Account: $4240.89
Paypal Account: $152.80
Total: $4393.69
Abby will complete the forms that need to be filed with the State of New Jersey and the IRS and have them approved by the officers before submitting them.
The Friends organization does not currently have a formal budget, but should discuss creating one at the next meeting.

Membership
Friends of NJSOC currently has 35 members. The membership year originally ran from May through April. Following discussion, it was decided that this should be changed to coincide with the calendar year. Shayne will send a renewal reminder to all members this month. Membership dues will remain $25 for individuals, $35 for families, and $50 for corporate memberships.

In August, email was sent to each of NJSOC’s group coordinators introducing the Friends of NJSOC, and inviting them to join and to attend the Family Fun Weekend. No new memberships were generated as a result of the mailing.

Bill Thomas suggested a new membership category for students. Each school group visiting NJSOC would be encouraged to have their students join for a membership fee of $1. NJSOC staff would promote this for us and put the information on their website. The school that recruits the most student members could have their SOC bill reduced by the amount they generate in memberships. The membership funds would go to the Friends group to be used to support NJSOC. It was suggested that the money could be used to fund scholarships. Scholarship recipients would do a presentation for the Friends group in exchange for support.

Bill Thomas also mentioned that he is working on creating an Advisory Board for NJSOC and is recruiting members to serve on the board. Kerry Kirk Pflugh will represent the Friends as an Advisory Board member. Jerry Schierloh suggested that two complementary documents be created to be used as recruitment tools and information pieces for Advisory Board members:  1) The ‘History of SOC’ document that highlights the achievements of the School during its first fifty years (1949-1999), AND 2) A second ‘contemporary’ document that focuses on the mission and accomplishments of the School since the turn of the century, along with its vision for the future.  The overall purpose of this would be to show those who may not be familiar with the multiple facets of the School’s mission and programming over the years, how it has evolved and is continuing to evolve as a quality institution of environmental programming, training, research, and learning. Jerry will meet with Bill Thomas and Randy Fitzgerald to discuss this.

Website
The website needs a page that will provide a general overview of the School of Conservation, its history, and current programs. Jerry will work with Bill to write a 500-word piece for this purpose.

The website should be the primary source of information about the Friends. The need to drive more traffic to the site, as well as use of the domain email, was discussed.

Calendar
Piney Point Project – New Jersey is currently in a drought warning, with a decision to be made in April whether to upgrade to a drought emergency. For this reason, it was decided to hold off on replanting Piney Point. Instead, one Red Pine Tree will be planted. Kerry will contact Brown’s Tree Farm about getting the tree and also possibly reach an agreement regarding replacing the trees previously planted. A letter will be sent to Legacy Tree donors this month informing them of the status of the project.

The tree will be planted on the weekend of May 5-7. One of the activities for the weekend will involve educating participants about the research projects being conducted at the School of Conservation. Bill Thomas will contact research scientists to arrange a talk and field trip to the research site of the Wood Turtle project or Red-backed Salamander project.

Meeting adjourned at 12:20 p.m.