President's Message

Original article appears in GuideStar February, 2015.

continued

At the board meeting that followed, we formed ad hoc committees for Long Range Planning and Development. Ed Fraini and Clayton Jeter will be fleshing out ideas as part of Long Range Planning and Don Selle is heading up Development. HAS members have long been generous with fundraising, and in that tradition Don and his committee will be putting in place a formal structure for planned giving. I also want to introduce you to new board member Jessica Kingsley. Jessica has jumped in wherever needed, taking meeting minutes, and in future months, will be setting up a/v equipment and video recording talks when Michael Rapp and Rob Morehead are out of town.

Leadership Initiatives
Ideas discussed during the meeting were quickly translated into action.

Bram Weisman kicked off Publicity by setting up an HAS Facebook group which is already getting some traction. Only half of HAS members subscribe to the email list, so Bram is hoping to catch the younger crowd with Facebook. Potential new members can find us on Facebook, but the group itself is open to HAS members only. Take a look here and consider joining: https://www.facebook.com/groups/AstronomyHouston/.

Stephen Jones, Field Trip & Observing, already has a year’s worth of activities planned. He’s been announcing them via the list server but has also updated the website calendar with star parties, a Messier Marathon, and picnics. He hasn’t missed a beat, caravaning groups out to the dark site and generating a lot of momentum as a result. If you’re on the email list, you’ve seen the number of members using the list to plan meet ups at the dark site. Backyard observing appears on the rise as well.

Bram has put together his recognition list of members that have been active in outreach activities over the past year. The pins he awards are from the Night Sky Network and this year’s emblem is 2015: International Year of Light. HAS will again participate in the Science Engineering Fair as a Special Awarding Agency in Physics & Astronomy. Debbie Moran is coordinating this effort and will serve as the head judge for HAS.

The Program chair is a big position to fill but Justin McCollum already has a good part of the year’s programming either nailed down or in the works. His plans for the December meeting promise to be a change of pace and a lot of fun befitting the season.

Your 2015 Leadership
I had high hopes for this leadership meeting, all well founded. It’s a good team to be sure and the contribution of many go unnamed at present. Just know, as I learned, that there’s no overestimating the transformative power of a group so passionate about astronomy and HAS.

Keep Looking Up

Rene Gedaly
President

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