President’s Message by Vince Travnichek

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 3.20.46 PM“Practice What You Preach” and “Lead by Example”. These are two axioms that I have tried to follow throughout my life. Folks here in Missouri have heard me use the term GOYA on more than one occasion. The acronym is from my father’s WW II tank destroyer battalion, and it stands for Get Off Your @$$. I challenge each of you to do one thing for the Society in the up-coming year beyond just attending your Chapter meeting, but I’m glad you are doing that! I ask that you consider becoming more involved in your Chapter, our Division, and our Society by volunteering for a committee, running for an officer position, donating some time for a local Chapter event, mentoring a young professional, donating an item to your local raffle committee to help in fund raising, open your wallet and buy some raffle tickets, or bid up an auction item. I’ll be honest; my AFS efforts often look like crappie population dynamics with boom and bust trends. However, I am trying to do a better job myself in trying to be a better member for our Society. Speaking of members… I was reading a newsletter from the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Their newsletter had an article on the value of membership in their organization, an issue with almost any organization. How do we make AFS so attractive to potential members that they can’t say no to us? This was also a question that arose at the AFS Governing Board meeting recently in Quebec City. Thus, AFS is beginning to conduct a survey of members and non-members to get their opinions towards AFS, membership, and reasons why some people are a member of a Chapter, but not the Society. If you receive a survey, please fill it out (GOYA), and I encourage you to send it to a potential member so we can get their opinions (GOYA). I also have copied the link to the survey here, so feel free to take it now and pass it along (GOYA)!

WE STILL WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU…. please take a moment to take the Membership Survey!
We have a unique situation (I think) in Missouri where we have numerous members of the Society, but they are not Chapter members and do not participate in Chapter activities. Why is that? Clearly they see value in AFS membership, or they wouldn’t be part of this group. I wonder about how to engage these folks and get them interested or re-interested in our Chapter? Maybe they do not like me saying GOYA ? Any other Chapters have a similar situation or thoughts on the subject?? While the AFS Governing Board is interested in boosting membership, I am more interested in boosting active members. We are in AFS together; the more of us that get onboard as active members, serving on committees, etc., the better we will all become, and the stronger our organization will become. Former NCD President, Chris Guy, shared a poem 25 years ago in a Fish Management Section newsletter, and I have shared it with others several times since…
Edgar A. Guest
We fancied he’d share in our cause. Instead,
“There is nothing in it for me!” he said.
He passed up pity and play and mirth
And counted his time to the penny’s worth.
Ask for his help, and this would be
His answer: “What is there in it for me?”
Nothing it meant if you said: “In this
Perhaps is friendship you’ll some day miss,
Here is a task that won’t pay in gold,
But will leave you prouder when you grow old.
Though nothing for this will your purse collect,
It will pay you richly in self-respect.”
“What is there in it for me?” he said.
We mentioned pride, but he shook his head.
“The joy of giving,” he flicked his hand-
That he could never understand.
And he found when life’s last far bend was turned
That money was all that he had ever earned.
We are not in AFS, or the field of natural resources, for monetary gain. We are in it for conserving the environment, promoting healthy ecosystems, educating the public, and/or promoting our fishing heritage to future anglers. If I missed “What’s in it for you?” I apologize. However, related to our Society, you have found something in it f or you, or you would not be a member and reading this newsletter. We need to find out what is in it for those we are not reaching. If you have thoughts, give me a shout.
Later – VT
Missouri Department of Conservation
701 James Mccarthy Drive
St Joseph, MO 64507
(816) 271-3100
[email protected]

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