It was December of 2001when I first learned I was elected as Assistant Director of Finance. It was reassuring at the time to hear from both Doug Uffen, incoming CSEG President, and Dave Siegfried, incoming Director of Finance, that we would embark upon a campaign to balance the Society's budget. As I'm a fiscal conservative this was comforting to know. Similar to other nonprofit organizations there is no shortage of individuals or causes that will assist in the process of spending the Society's treasury. Not to infer that there are not very worthwhile causes to support, but the Society has limited means especially in a period of Industry uncertainty.
I truly enjoyed the discussions regarding Corporate CSEG membership. Rather than focus solely on the needed revenue component, equal time has been given to giving the corporate members something tangible for their support. Rather than just another copy of the RECORDER, Perry Kotkas and his group presented a plan to put some added value in return for membership. Especially in these difficult business times it is easier to sell to upper management if they see the value in membership and sponsorship in general.
I also know that a lot of the Executive and Social committee volunteers are eager to put the Social Committee Operating procedures behind them. I agree that the Executive needed to ensure the CSEG bylaws were acknowledged and complied with; regrettably, the entire process overshadowed the good work contributed by many of the membership in order to sustain these traditional and worthwhile events. The discussion itself at times seemed to cast a dim light on those who volunteer their time. Having worked on the Doodlebug, Doodlespiel, and Ski Spree I can attest that the events themselves are indebted to many hard working and ethical people in our Industry. As my Grandfather told me many years ago, "There are folks that get things done and those who don't have enough chores. The latter just do a lot of talking ."
Recently the Executive was concerned with whether we should comment on Canada signing the Kyoto Protocol. Needless to say this issue sparked a lot of debate amongst the Executive as it has with the greater population. There exist many sincere proponents enunciating their respective positions. At least within the Executive, the discussion was carried on with respect for one another. Outside our professional community, membership in the oil and gas industry seems to condemn us as being a proponent of selfish interests. What I find disturbing is that for many institutions that receive federal funding or in fact are federal government employees why their stake is never similarly questioned. The government owned CBC television and radio networks would fit nicely into this category.
While I have to admit that at the time I agreed to have my name stand for this position I had some doubts, they no longer exist today. It has been a pleasure to work with the other members of the Executive who are extremely busy in their personal and business lives. What they hope to achieve for their time is a Society that will be changed in a minor fashion Simply to see it more accessible and worthwhile to the membership. It has been said that a great deal of the membership doesn't really care what the Executive does. Well they should and I hope some of our activities make it easier for them to.