Once again it is the start of a new year – often a time for reflection and thinking about where you’ve been and where you are going.
Winston Churchill said, “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see.” For me, during the past seven years this has been a wonderful ride with many milestones along the way. I thank all of the members and staff for your hard work and support.
In the last half of 2006 we had a number of milestones:
One of the most important for the Association was the development of a comprehensive five-year business plan developed for tactical operations that includes, for the first time, plans from all of AAPG’s committees, Regions and Sections.
This document is based on our strategic plan, which will be used to guide AAPG’s future. It is designed to improve our current activities and also to expand to a truly global association of professionals.
♦ The second milestone was the [PFItemLinkShortcode|id:11995|type:standard|anchorText:Perth International Conference and Exhibition|cssClass:asshRef|title:Perth International Conference and Exhibition|PFItemLinkShortcode] (ICE) in Australia. Many said it couldn’t be done, but with great hosts, a strong technical program and, of course, a good market for oil and gas, Perth was AAPG’s largest and most successful ICE. Over 2,600 participants attended the conference.
We thank the Perth Organizing Committee, the sponsors, speakers, instructors and all those who made this event possible.
♦ This fall we opened our first office outside of the United States. The
European Region London office is open for business. Steve Veal is AAPG’s director for the office and he is working with staff and members to provide new short courses and talks in the U.K. and Europe.
♦ Other milestones include new AAPG products and services. One of the most interesting is the new geographicbased search of the BULLETIN digital archives. Members now have a choice of searching key words or choosing a world map to select large or small areas to search.
It is a powerful tool that is available to all AAPG members.
New Years also is a time for new resolutions – making changes. “Our dilemma is that we hate change but we love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better,” is one of my favorite quotes by American journalist Sydney J. Harris.
We have many opportunities to expand and improve this year:
One of the products we are expanding is the popular series in the BULLETIN – E&P Notes. President Lee Billingsley and Editor Ernie Mancini have established a permanent group of associate editors to search and edit new papers on current exploration activity and developments in productive trends.
♦ Also this year we will design and build the Membership Registry. This is an electronic database for members who want to list all of their qualifications for review by potential clients. It will be a powerful marketing tool for AAPG members.
♦ Of course, our premier event this year is the AAPG Annual Convention, set April 1-4 in Long Beach, Calif. Long Beach 2007 promises to be an excellent meeting. We are ahead of schedule on exhibit sales and the technical program is strong.
During upswings in the petroleum industry, California has proven to be a popular place and we expect a large crowd. Long Beach will be a major networking opportunity and a great place to do business and have some fun.
♦ Finally, I predict this will be a great year for developing membership. Our numbers already are significantly up over last year, with many new opportunities to reach new people.
The AAPG Executive Committee has embraced the concept of “grassroots-based” membership development and they are working hard to find and develop new members.
♦ Editor and author James Baldwin said, “Not everything that can be faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” This year we have the opportunity to develop a global dues structure similar to our sister societies but fair for both U.S. and non- U.S. members. The Ability-to-Pay Dues Model will be considered by the House of Delegates in Long Beach.
It’s easy to sit up and take notice; what is difficult is to get up and take action.
We encourage all members to be active and look for opportunities to be involved in AAPG, your Section or Region and your affiliated society to make this one of the best years in our professional history.
Happy New Year!