I celebrated my fifth year with the CSEG on March 1st. The changes have been several in those five years. From the many different individuals that I have been associated with, either on the executive or from the many committees that have served the CSEG. The different levels of expertise that have come through the volunteer door had been unbelievable and had certainly put the CSEG in an advantage situation. However from the many different initiatives that have been implemented over those five years, and not to take away from any particular one, I feel the biggest change that has provided the largest impact has been in the area of financial.
When I first came on board, the CSEG was experiencing a negative cash flow situation and simply put, were expending more than was being brought in. It is natural for organizations like ours to experience those kind of scenarios from time to time. However, the trick is being able to sustain the down years by taking advantage of the good years, and solid programs and planning. Basically the first two years were concentrated on getting the CSEG and its committees to look more seriously at the organization as though it were a business. We redesigned our financial statements to show a month-to-month cash floor history to better track our revenue intake versus expenses. Secondly, reserve funds were set up within the accounting system to help us better manage surplus revenues. So needless to say, with the committees, especially the convention committee, taking a concerted effort to curb expenditures and the continuing education committee initiating the “Doodletrain Continuing Education Week”, this has seen our red ink turn into black in three short years. Now the CSEG is in a position to start seriously looking at investing back into the membership, and in a better position to manage any future down turns.
Once again in 2004, the CSEG experienced a year of growth through its committees delivering many exciting and timely programs for its membership and beyond. The convention committee managed to re-create how it stages its annual event and thus keeping the convention fresh and exciting for delegates, sponsors and exhibitors. As well, the 3rd Annual DoodleTrain, the CSEG’s yearly continuing education week, took an unprecedented leap in terms of registration. The DoodleTrain saw a 25% increase in registrations, seeing close to 450 registrants participate in one or more of the 23 courses presented. This event has globally placed the CSEG on the map in terms offering some of the best courses in the fields of geophysics at very reasonable fees. The weeklong event is receiving more and more international attention from the geophysical community and is currently unmatched in this area. Other very notable activities include the continued quality of the Recorder publication. Our monthly magazine is also held in high regard not only from our members who receive it, but again from our neighbours to the south of us and abroad. As well, the Outreach committee gave the CSEG a fresh and consistent new look with an updated booth display and promotional brochures. All in all, the CSEG is very alive and well and staying committed to our mandate.
Some of this positive activity has placed the CSEG in a strong financial position and has helped fund Outreach initiatives like: the display booth, funding for a new “Science in a Crate” through Science Alberta which is used in schools across the province, and the Canmore Geoscience Museum’s “Stone and Bones” summer day camps for children. More so, the strong financial picture has helped move along the planning and implementation of a new foundation that will eventually be the funding arm for hopefully many new and existing programs within the CSEG. Also, surplus funds help keep other CSEG committees active, whereas they do not have a revenue stream to offset their activities but provide a very worthwhile mission to our membership. Without a positive cash flow, the CSEG would not be in a position to provide the level of service that is currently present or more so, even begin planning for future growth within our activities.
What’s in store for 2005? Well, our convention committee has joined forces with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Landmen (CAPL) to bring their Prospect Exchange onto the exhibit floor. This is a real coup not only for our delegates, but definitely for our exhibitors, as they should see a significant increase in floor traffic. It is certain that the new CSEG Foundation will be formally established before the end of this year and the DoodleTrain will no doubt continue to be one of our core activities.
So to the CSEG membership, your society continues to be vibrant and strong, and the commitment of volunteers appears to have climbed to a new level. Where in some organizations volunteers are in high demand, the CSEG continues to attract and maintain a strong base of individuals on our executive and committees to help meet the growing demands of membership.
To those people, thank you. Your ongoing commitment does not go unnoticed.