Annual GENERAL MEETING AGENDA
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Present: Val Whittington, Glenn Whittington, Sarah Neil, Linda Warner, Mary Loewen, Nina Bianco, Paula Navratil, Peter Blm, Peter Huggins, Randy Bower, Randy Loewen, Rory Brown, Sandy Blom, Shannon Field, Stuart Meindersma, Helen Edley, Henry Kamstra, Irene Pickell, Jackie Rogers, Janet Parker, Jean Brown, Jeff Muirhead, Jeremy Lang, John Leavitt, Kelly Contant, Kevin Pickell, Kristina Wheeler, Laara Egan, Laurie Bullivant, Albert Abrahamson, Bob Bunting, Bob Garlick, Cameron Rogers, Chris Edley, Damian Chung , Dustanne Contant, Ed Dunham, Kathy Muirhead, Cathy Lewis.
Proxies: 26 Proxies:
Edward Bergen, Laurie Freeman, Doug Soon, Sherri Thompson, Marie Fidoe, Brian Lachapelle, Patty Gay, Darren Dofher, Nate Charbonneau, Glen Duckmanton, Richard Demerchant, Trent Lum, Dustin Creviston, Anne Cotter, Mark Dayton, Andrew Barclay, Carol Breakwell, Ed Breakwell, Mark Bryne, Kenneth Cardinell, Robyn Byrne, Dale Loubert, Margaret Campbell, Marie Morton, Gary Peterson, Malcom Campbell
1. Call to order –(1:18 PM)
2. Adoption of the Agenda (moved by Kevin , second Kelly)
3. Minutes of the Annual General Meeting: (moved by Helen, second Jason) Passed
President’s Report (Stuart gave the report)
The last time we met at an AGM, the BCGA boasted an increase from 45 to 300 members. We cannot claim a similar dramatic increase but membership has gone up. At one point, membership dropped. Here is the reason why.
By law, all societies must keep up to date records. Membership has to be reviewed every year. We contacted all members through the webpage and email to verify that their personal information is current. Unfortunately, not all members are prepared or willing to reply. For this reason our membership dropped by approximately 100 people in January as we were forced to write off all members who did not verify their standing.
The lull in membership did not last long, however. By producing a member's only geocoin we found that many ex-members who did not verify their membership in December were more than willing to reapply in order to be applicable to buy a gold coin. Since that time, our membership has steadily climbed. We currently have 425 members.
The webpage has continued to be the primary lifeline between the BCGA's membership and its directors. We improved functions and automated features such as the milestones block and the Blitz voting system. However, most of the functions are still done by hand and after the overhaul last year, the appearance has remained basically the same.
We have done our best to keep the webpage fresh and constantly changing. And the forums have never been busier. Members and geocachers from around the world have used to forums to discuss issues related to the BCGA and geocaching in general. Recently, the forums have been adapted in creative ways such as promoting today's election. Nominees have been allowed to promote their individual platforms and field questions. Never before has the BCGA membership been more involved in the election process and able to make an informed decision.
The website is also a source of income. We have five advertisers who donate the equivalent of 100 dollars a year.
We were a bit hesitant to add additional commercialism to the website but we thought if we could discretely place Google ads on high traffic pages, we might be able to make some additional money. The experiment has gone on for six months and we have received approximately 45 dollars over six months. Google will not let the BCGA take the money out until we acquire $100 dollars. Whether it is worth our while is up to the next administration but if the BCGA's website traffic increases, Google Ads could solely support the cost of hosting the webpage itself.
In 2006, the website received approximately 17,000 page views a month. In 2007, I was trying my hardest to get an average of 40,000. We managed 38,000. But sometime around January, the website exploded into activity. We now receive on average 122,500 page views a month. For the first time in a calendar year, the BCGA had over 1 million visitors. That milestone happened on September 8th.
The website's popularity happened during a year the geocaching community lost two local geocaching webpages -- namely the Mid Island Cachers and the Lower Mainland Cachers. We have to be doing something right.
The 2118th person to register their handle with the BCGA website was approved today.>br>
The BCGA hosted two online contests. Both were photo treasure hunts. Although the participation was somewhat less than expected those that were involved gave the BCGA positive feedback.
The BCGA continued to endorse and sponsor personal events throughout the province. For anyone that asked, the BCGA supplied a box with prizes approximately worth 25 dollars -- including shipping.
The BCGA hosted many events across the province throughout the year -- mostly in tandem on a given weekend.
Geocaching 101, held on the first weekend of February, was designed to introduce newbies to geocaching.
The BLITZ is perhaps the BCGA's biggest event. It garnered interest across the province and was the most successful Blitz to date in respect to the number of caches placed, the quality of prizes and the number of participants.
CITO -- Cache in Trash Out events were held in conjunction with the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. Although many of the events were not hosted under the BCGA banner, the BCGA nonetheless was very much part of the clean up.
Georush -- The Georush Launch Party may not have been the largest event but it could be considered the most prestigious. Shortly after BC Parks published their geocaching policy, Minister of Environment Penner was on hand to launch a joint venture between the BCGA and BC Parks.
BC Parks sponsored 100 geocaches to be placed in 100 different provincial parks. Caches contained special edition coins. The media jumped on this causing a flurry of would be geocachers interested in the hunt. A flood of emails hit the news networks and the BCGA. BC Parks phone lines crashed that day.
When BC Parks published their geocaching policy, it cemented what has been a long and good relationship the BCGA has with the provincial parks board. Unlike other provinces, British Columbian Geocachers can be relieved that they are not in a geocaching purgatory. We know where we stand -- and it is a good place. It is official. We are free to geocache in Provincial parks. The BC Parks policy is the only of its kind in Canada and is the result of not just our work in the last two years, but previous BCGA administrations that came before us.
The 2008 BCGA Geocoin:
The BCGA produced it's most popular geocoin to date. It was a long process, but with the input of everyone on the board, we did manage to come up with a design not only agreeable to the executive but a coin that is sought after world-wide. Our sales were not only across North America but also Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the Netherlands. Although the BCGA wanted to keep the price low, the price of a BCGA geocoin shot through the roof on eBay. Overnight the coins were selling on eBay for up to 50 dollars. Of all things the BCGA has done, the geocoin has perhaps received the most positive feedback.
In addition to the media flurry surrounding the Blitz the BCGA has been involved with several news teams -- most recently a hands on Geocaching demonstration shown on CBC television. There has been several news stories printed in local newspapers and magazines. The BCGA has been accessible to the press and it has resulted in many positive news articles.
On a personal note, I would like to thank the members of the BCGA for entrusting me to serve the geocaching community for the last two years. Today is bittersweet. Although I will be able to spend more time to geocaching itself, I will miss working with the people around me. Most of us knew little of each other when we began this journey but I am happy to call each and every one of them friend. If the people in the next administration show half the dedication exhibited on a daily basis of the people sitting at this table, the BCGA will be in good hands. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
As you know, most of us will not be seeking another term but I am very pleased that Chris is willing to stay on. If elected, his expertise on many levels will no doubt benefit the BCGA.
It's my hope we left a legacy that will impact the BCGA for years to come. The BCGA has come a long way in the last two years. If there is one overall goal we had, it was to nurture a provincial wide community. I believe we achieved that goal, and that is exhibited in the number of people from around the province willing to volunteer to be on the next board of directors. This is unprecedented. If there was any possibility the BCGA was in trouble, we would all stay on. We'd do it in a heartbeat. But quite the opposite is true. We have 13 good people willing to step up to the plate and take over our jobs. Whatever the membership decides this election I have no doubt the BCGA will be in good hands. We have all volunteered to help out in any way we can to ensure the transition is smooth. And in doing so we can hand over our positions in good conscious well knowing the BCGA has a bright future.
Vice President’s Report
It has been a fantastic two years working as Vice President.
Though the Vice in the bylaws has no specified role, I took it on my self to organize the events for the BCGA.
In two years we held 6 province wide events. Initially we had six different regions of the province including the Kootenay, Vernon, two locations on the island and two in the Lower Mainland. We expanded to 8 regions for the Blitz in 2008 encompassing both Kamloops and Kelowna in the Interior and Prince George in the North.
I would like to say special thanks to my dedicated reps/ ambassadors across the province. To Sue (Agassiz Angel) and Patty Cat in the Kootenay, thanks so much for your enthusiasm and jumping forward for all the events. Peter as well, White Bear, on the island, hosted 5 events in two years for the BCGA. I would also like to thank Groundhog and Shadow (Linda) and Rory (BC rockcrawler) for taking time to host a pile of events as well. But the other cachers who stepped forward to help the BCGA across the province also need to be recognized and thanked- Hike and Bike, Mach2003, Beanichick, Plumbrokeacres, Stormcloud, Earthquake and Quigley Jones. Though I coordinated the events it was the hard work of these dedicated cachers that carried the province wide agenda of geocaching.
4. Treasurer’s Report (Irene gave the report)
Coin sales brought in the largest part of our revenue (725 coins sold). Expenses were from sponsoring events and prizes for GeoRush 2008. The current balance of the BCGA bank account is $ 2475.89. The BCGA at this time has no liabilities.
Motion to approve the financial report as presented (Cameron second Albert.) Motion was passed
5. Executive Elections (run by Stuart Nina and Irene)
There were 39 members present and 26 proxies. The total of eligible votes would be 65.
Irene opened by explaining the reason for number of directors. Stuart recommended 9 directors. A discussion followed. Question: Why only 9 directors, why not 13 as there are 13 areas of the province. Chris explained that by having reps across the province was better than too many directors. Most work by the directors is done by email and the seven directors had trouble agreeing on some issues.
Motion: For the year of 2008 -2009 that the BCGA have 13 Directors (Ed second ??) A discussion followed. A statement from the floor against why we should limit the number of directors is if everyone one that volunteers becomes a director why have an AGM and vote at all. The motion was withdrawn.
Irene placed the names and regions on the flip chart for all to see.
Motion: That the board of Directors be increased to nine for 2008- 2009, an increase of two. (Peter B, second Peter H.) Motion was Passed
A Nominations for directors were
Chris Edley (accepted)
Cameron Rogers (accepted)
Kelly Contant (accepted)
Kristina Wheeler (accepted)
Doug Smith (accepted)
Val Whittington (accepted)
Andrew Toms (accepted)
Trent Lum (accepted)
Brian LaChapelle (accepted)
Shannon Field (accepted)
Dustanne Contant (accepted)
Rory Brown (accepted)
Albert Abrahamson (accepted)
Peter Blom (accepted)
B The following members were elected by majority votes;
Chris Edley President
Val Whittington Vice President
Shannon Field Treasurer
Kristina Wheeler Secretary
Voting was taken to fill the five Director at large positions. The following received the majority votes;
C Position of Directors
D Outgoing directors
6. Message from the new Executive
Chris Edley thanked the outgoing executive for their hard work. Henry will continue to work with the directors on the website.
7. Other Business
A member offered to serve on any committee as needed by the BCGA. As well, asked that member input be given to new bylaws for voting.
8. Closing Motion to adjourn (Laurie, second Kevin) Passed
9. Meeting is adjourned at 2:36 PM