By Captain Jim Fenner
John Goss, the Carp Czar was the keynote speaker at the dinner meeting of the Annual conference this year in Holland on October 22. As the day of the meeting unfolded it became clear that we hadn’t planned for the large increase in the number of members, spouses and guests who were going to be present for the dinner meeting. Seats had to be added. More dinners had to be ordered. We loved it! The best attended dinner meeting in many years. It made for a slightly crowded room, (memo to board: get a larger room for next year), but it also made for a really lively raffle after the dinner, speech, and awards. Thanks to Frank English for organizing that again.
Mr. Goss’s talk was worth it. He explained in detail the problems the Asian carp present, and the great difficulties that are involved in solving the problem. Judging from the post conference survey, his talk was received enthusiastically.
Next year’s program’s date and location has not yet been decided. The board will likely settle it during its January 15th meeting at the Ultimate Fishing Show in Novi. Watch for the date and location in the spring issue of the Cannonball.
I’ve been compiling the post-meeting surveys, which have been arriving in the mail for the past several days. Dr. Guy Meadow’s talk about currents and research buoys was clearly the most highly rated part of the daytime program, followed closely by the tournament fishing presentation by long-time member, Willis Kerridge. Most liked the larger, open space hospitality, but some objected to the lack of privacy.
It is difficult to arrange for a space large enough for all, given the state regs for rooms holding private parties. We are working on having a large, private space for next year’s hospitality gatherings.
Most attendees liked the meeting location and found the hotel and meals adequate, but not outstanding.
Past-President Capt. Richard Haslett received the MCBA Award, and Capt. Dean Hobbs received the Pistis Award. Both were deemed highly appropriate according to the attendee survey. We agree.
You probably noticed that there are some changes on the membership form for next year. Changes to our drug program require additional information in some cases. Also, we added a new membership category for 2012. Captains who are retiring may now maintain a membership in the association, giving them access to our newsletter, emails and other communications with a $30 per year membership. It isn’t “all or nothing” any more. The board hopes that many of you will choose to stay in the association as you move from active membership into retirement.
At a recent meeting the board voted unanimously to make all retired Past Presidents complimentary Honorary Members for Life.
Beginning with this issue of the Cannonball, our living but retired, past-Presidents, if they wish, will be receiving all MCBA correspondence and information. We’d like to keep them close to us as long as they would like to be.
Finally, I want to wish Jim Shutt great success as he plans for the 2012 Fall Conference. It has been my responsibility to plan, or help plan the fall programs for the past 10 years, and now it’s time to have a younger person take over. It has been my distinct pleasure to plan the programs. I worked hard every year to make each program the best it could be, and to make them better every year. I greatly appreciate all the help and suggestions I’ve received from you all.
Thanks for the memories, and good luck, Jim!