June 2007 President's Letter

A Very Good Year
by Steve Brachman

This month marks the end of my term as President of the HGS. I have had the pleasure and honor of serving as your President as well as working with a truly superlative Board of Directors. Next year’s President, Linda Sternbach, has done an exceptional job as President-elect, and I know she has many agenda items she will be looking forward to accomplishing. Andrea Reynolds has been out-standing as Vice President, coordinating the technical meetings and lining up speakers. She also has done the extra work to lighten my work load preparing for the General Lunch and Dinner Meetings. Cheryl Desforge has shown tremendous dedication as Treasurer. Her diligence and hard work have paid off in another stellar financial year for the HGS. Jennifer Burton as Secretary has provided the continuity and valuable input to help make the Board Meetings run smoothly. Our Bulletin Editor, Bill Rizer, has fought deadlines and recalcitrant authors to again produce a product that is the envy of other local societies. Directors completing their two-year terms, Jim Doyle and Erik Mason, have provided valuable insight and leadership on critical issues facing the society.
I am confident that the HGS is in excellent hands next year with returning Board members; John Jordan, the incoming Treasurer, Steve Earle, the incoming Bulletin Editor, and returning Directors Bonnie Milne-Andrews and Bob Merrill. All have worked well together to help steer the HGS through the various challenges that we faced this past year. I am confident they will continue to do so next year.
I am not one to look backward and recount achievements of the past year. I find that a more fitting exercise for politicians looking to brag about accomplishments than for society presidents who actually hold day jobs. Instead, I try to look toward the future, and on the whole, I am optimistic. There is no doubt that the HGS faces many challenges in the coming years. I believe we are all aware of the recent history of declining membership and the effects changing demographics and a challenging job market have had on our profession. However, for the first time in many years there was a modest growth in our membership. That growth is but an early sign of the oil and gas boom that has benefited our membership as a whole and provided many with a wide variety of employment opportunities. There is even a perception by some of job security! While it is likely that many young professionals and college graduates will be enticed to enter our field, opportunities are increasing for many highly experienced members who are now being coaxed into remaining active in the work force long after they would have otherwise retired. I know that the HGS will continue to provide valuable services and a meaningful societal base for all members, young, old and anywhere in between.
At the beginning of the year, I stated that my mission for the society was, "Doing stuff for the membership." I hope that most of you have attended a technical meeting, ruined a beautiful day’s walk by playing golf in our annual tournament or devoured some boiled shrimp at our Peel. Regardless of your preferences, the HGS has something to offer for all geologists. We have been around since 1912, and I believe our future has never looked brighter. Invite your nonmember colleagues to accompany you to your next event, and you will help cement that future.
It has been an honor and a pleasure serving as your President. I wish everyone a great summer. See y’all next year!

Steve Brachman
Friday, June 1, 2007
From the President