by Rene Gedaly, President
My first year as president is wrapping up but no rest for the weary; the leadership team has many projects on deck for 2016. A friend calls me the chief idea thinker upper and delegator. That delegator part is not quite by design. As soon as I believe I’ve come up with something original I find someone else on the team has already run with it. At the risk of mixing too many sports metaphors, I’m convinced the role I truly serve is not as quarterback but as head cheerleader.
Yes, I know that sounds gender specific. It’s not. I’ve read a number of accounts in the business press of chief executives who describe themselves the same way. It’s an exciting, and sometimes scary, position to find yourself in. But it’s working. Go team!
Rolling off the board this year are Secretary Bill Flanagan and Past President Bill Pellerin. Affectionately known as “the Bills,” they’re indomitable. Thank you both. On hiatus is VP John Haynes. John will continue to run the dark site orientation each month until he squeezes in time to get that online version ready. And director Mark Holdsworth joins the executive committee as Secretary. He also serves another crucial role for any organization: resident contrarian. I'm lucky to be able to draw on the differing points of view of our leadership team.
... and Welcome
Joe Khalaf joins Debbie Moran co-chairing the Education & Outreach Committee this year. I don't mind telling you how concerned I was that Bram Weisman was rotating off as E&O Chairperson but he sure handpicked a great outreach successor. Joe and Debbie have some great plans and you've already seen email from Joe encouraging us to participate in outreach activities. Let me second that. If you are a new or returning observer, this is one of the most fun ways to develop observing chops yourself. Show up, help direct traffic to the telescopes that are set up (you don't need your own), and make sure to take your turn at the eyepiece, too. I'm always surprised by how much is visible from many locations in Houston. It's always a great time for all.
Ed Fraini joins the team next year as Vice President. Using his particular expertise, Ed will be helping the leadership draft a 21st century vision and mission statement as facilitator. Change is easy; controlled, sustainable change is what we're after and we're all looking forward to taking this next step in our development.
A fond farewell
We do have one player trading to another city: Membership Chairman Steve Fast. Steve is moving to Hillsboro, Kansas and we will sorely miss him. If you don’t know Steve personally, catch most any President’s column and you’ll see why we feel such a loss. Good luck, Steve. HAS is always your home away from home.
HAS board names International Dark-Sky Association representative
The board has joined the IDA on behalf of HAS and named Debbie Moran our representative. You’ve seen her calls to action battling light pollution in Houston. The time is now and we may not get another. Answer the call.
Support your team
One of the chief ways we support the society is through membership dues—and what a bargain each level is. Consider re-joining as a sustaining member this year; one of six of us already do. We’ve got great plans—just see Mike Edstrom’s Observatory Corner. Major donations will be required but many of us can also help with an extra $14/year.
I include photos whenever I can in this column and on the website. As you see, I don’t take the best shots, so send me yours! We’d all love to see what’s going on around HAS.