Annual General Meeting 2020 – Summary

On March 31, we embraced our COVID-induced isolation and hosted our first virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM). All non-profit organizations are required to share their annual financial statements publicly and most do this through an AGM. Usually, our AGM is hosted during our annual conference, but who needs face to face when you have videoconferencing?

As more and more people joined the video conference, I loved seeing everyone’s faces in their home offices around the province. People were engaged and asked great questions either via chat or through the video. With our videoconference we were easily able to go through motions and their approval and share our successes over the past year. A video of the whole AGM is in our member’s area, but a PDF of the slides is also available. Throughout the video, you are able to see peoples’ faces and the slide show that we delivered.

Last year’s successes

  • We are so grateful for all the hard work of so many volunteers who sit on various committees to keep our chapter moving forward every day!
  • Awarded Chapter of the Year by The Wildlife Society
  • Hired a new executive director
  • Revealed our new website

Last year’s work and projects

  • The C-5 Cumulative Assessment Project is complete and the final report will be available shortly. We will highlight the project results and implications to the ACTWS as our first webinar at the beginning of May. The report will be available on our website this week
  • A decision support tool was created to help guide the executive director’s attendance at various events. The executive approved a travel budget of $2500 annually for this purpose.
  • A Speaker’s Bureau was launched on our website to connect people with potential event speakers (sign up in the Members’ area, search in the About Us section of the website).
  • Proposed a motion to wave conference registration fees for those members of the executive that contribute significantly to planning the conference. The motion was carried.
  • The Canadian Section of The Wildlife Society continues to refine and define our legal relationship with The Wildlife Society. More details will be forth coming.

Executive Director update

  • Created a social media strategy with themed posts on Facebook and Twitter (@theACTWS) and working to increase our presence on Instagram (theACTWS).
  • Looking for outreach events and projects for the coming year. Please email Sarah if you hear of anything ACTWS should participate in.
  • Designing a Fund Development Plan that includes a membership review, an online donor campaign, and a corporate donor campaign.
  • Plan to expand our reach, further conservation issues in Alberta, and increase fundraising efforts in the coming year.

Financial update

  • The conference is our primary source of annual income. Canceling the conference this year will cost us approximately $4,000.
  • There are funds in short term GICs that can be accessed if necessary.

Committee reports

  • The Conservation Affairs Committee (CAC): Represents the ACTWS on the Alberta Game Policy Advisory Council, Endangered Species Conservation Committee, the North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance, and caribou recovery initiatives. The CAC has submitted three letters to Ministers in the past few months about using revenue from the Carbon Tax to fund grassland conservation, opposing the plan to “Optimize Alberta Parks” by removing 184 sites from the system, and opposing the sale of a quarter section of native prairie near Taber. All these letters are in the Members’ Section of our website.
  • Education and Information: We have seen positive impacts on social media through more engagements and impressions since a year ago. We are investigating webinars and other online tools to engage our members throughout the year.
  • Outreach: We attended a few different community events this year and made great connections. These events serve to increase our reach and share with our local communities some of the great work we do. We are looking for more events to participate in and host in the coming year.
  • Student: Looking at new ways to engage student chapters and promote the creation of new student members.
  • Membership: Total members in 2019 was 440. Membership decreased slightly from last year. This was expected since last year the conference was co-hosted with the Canadian Section of The Wildlife Society.
  • Nominations and Elections: Thank you to all those who ran in our executive elections. The winners are:
    • President – Alex Beatty
    • President Elect – Nikki Heim
    • Secretary Treasurer – Alyssa Bohart
    • Director – Chuck Priestly
    • Director – Fauve Blanchard
    • Student Director – Jenny Foca

With all the work that has gone into planning a conference in Camrose, the Executive voted to host the conference there next year. See you in Camrose in 2021!