Greetings Cal-Neva folks, hope this finds you well. Obviously, the pandemic has changed how we work and live our lives and has affected us in many ways. For many thousands of American families the changes have been devastating. Let’s hope, and there are many reasons for that hope, that 2021 will be much better for many if not most of us. We will still have reasons to be thankful during the coming holiday season.
Earlier this year, I was the President-elect/Program Chair and worked with our Cal-Neva team to plan the Chapter’s 2020 March 15-17 meeting in Folsom with a theme of “Fisheries Success Stories” Well, the pandemic managed to trim our success considerably having to cancel the annual meeting for the first time in Chapter history. We had company, with the Western Division, many chapters and the Society’s 150th anniversary Columbus, Ohio, in-person meetings all cancelled. Fortunately, we did get to dip our toes into the pool of virtual conferences. With the talent and assistance of Tidewater Chapter’s Aaron Bunch and the Society’s Lauren Maza, nine of the scheduled Folsom presenters were able to record their presentations and have them shared on a webinar, partnering with WDAFS in early May. This experience may assist us as planned AFS meetings in the first half of 2021 will all be virtual.
Our 2021 virtual Cal-Neva meeting is being led by President-elect Matt Young. We will be getting help from the Society, the WDAFS, and other western chapters with crafting a virtual meeting. There is an ongoing effort to establish a working arrangement with a provider of virtual conference platforms that we can take advantage of “volume discounts” for western AFS chapters. Matt would welcome your assistance with our meeting planning team.
The annual Chapter Meeting is our biggest expense but is usually also the best source of revenue to fund all our Chapter activities and benefits for members and fisheries students. The pandemic wiped out Cal-Neva’s opportunity to earn that revenue for 2020. I am grateful that our past leaders Rob Titus, Steve Brumbaugh, and Laurie Early along with a large contingent of hard-working Cal-Neva volunteers engineered a great success with the Society’s 2019 meeting in Reno. That hard work produced more than $50,000 as Cal-Neva’s share of the revenue. It also resulted in large-part for Cal-Neva winning the Society’s Outstanding Large Chapter Award—way to go everyone!
In October, the WDAFS held their annual ExComm retreat—virtually, yup, another zoom-event. In December Cal-Neva will have its ExComm retreat also virtually. We will work on plans for 2021, craft a Chapter budget and discuss how and what to include in our virtual Chapter 2021 meeting in March.
With no 2020 meeting revenue we are “living off the Reno bounty” until we can hold another Chapter conference. Our costs are reduced this year with no conference and no travel expenses but we will need your support for our 2021 meeting. The Annual Meeting offers all the learning from shared science and presentations. One of the best features is connecting with our colleagues and friends, networking and the usual great socializing opportunities that come at our gatherings. This will be different at our 2021 meeting but we will adapt. There are new tools for virtual meeting socials and fundraising that we will explore. We hope for a variety of virtual experiences to offer much of what we have come to expect from AFS meetings. We welcome your ideas and help—contact Matt Young or me. We need you to make our 2021 gathering better.
Chapter President Dave Lentz