2004 2nd Quarter Chairman Column (Election of 2004-05 Officers)

I always have a theory that nobody reads any of the formal officer columns in the newsletter.

Most of us would rather hike than worry about board meetings.

But there are some big decisions that affect our hobby that we have to deal with collectively – including negotiating for access to privately owned highpoints and working out some sort of real world memorial to our leader and hobby. There are day to day decisions and budgets on a club with accounts in three states (Membership in Tennessee, the Merc in Oklahoma and the Newsletter in Colorado). We have to manage the quarterly news magazine and web site. And there’s always folks bringing initiatives.

So, I was delighted to see that we had a record number of nine contestants running for five Board of Directors positions this year. The election turned out to also be the closest in the Club’s history and the results were not finalized until the end of May. I want to thank Ken Akerman for his handling of the counting.

The returning incumbents are John Mitchler, Mary Maurer and myself. We want to welcome new board members Kevin Baker and Chuck Bickes. Kevin has a financial background and that will be very helpful as we replace the only treasurer the club ever had – George Vandersluis. George is stepping down from the position to provide an orderly transition for the new treasurer (before going out George spent umpteen hours putting together our application for 501-c-7 tax exempt status – which was approved this quarter).

Chuck Bickes of course has volunteered over the past few years to give up his holidays to host the Open Access dates on Jerimoth Hill. Chuck (along with Stony Burke) turned this difficult situation into a cause for celebration and mini conventions.

I want to thank the others who were very close in the running including – Rick Hartman (our eloquent Nevada advocate) , Robert Hyman (a board member who just this quarter did a great job of getting the ball rolling for formal recognition of the highpoint of Washington, DC), Jim Sutton (who gave us that memorable Jack Longacre song at the Illinois Convention) and Tonya Sykes (who has done a great job helping us choose between 501-c-3 or 501-c-7 for filing). This for me personally was the hardest ballot I ever had to deal with. I wish everybody could have been elected.

I also want to thank Gene Elliott who stepped down because of time conflicts. Gene and Lillian of course have done a spectacular job managing Maryland.

The board has elected officers:

Dave Covill stepped forward to avert a miniconsitutional crisis to add the job of Treasurer to his crowded Highpointing plate which already includes the newsletter co-editor position and Rhode Island advocate (the crisis was over a requirement that all officers have at least one year board requirement – Kevin Baker has indicated he would be interested in the job but he did not qualify this year because this is his first year).

Mary Maurer, a woman of many hats (many of which are described elsewhere in the newsletter), is back as Secretary.

The legendary Don Holmes has returned as President.

And I guess you’re stuck reading (or not reading) my Chairman Column for another year.

The stars are aligning for a spectacular convention this summer in Washington. If you are interested seeing why “hiking seemed easier before we got organized” you can attend our Board Meeting at 1 p.m., on Friday, July 23, at the Convention Headquarters at the Puyallup Fairgrounds.

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