As we approach our 100th year as an association, the obstacles we face threaten to overshadow the mission. The struggle to adapt to the changing industry environment has dominated the landscape and AAPG is coming off a second consecutive year of declining revenues, with an outcome of restructuring and continued austerity.
Despite these challenges, AAPG is leveling-off with a nearly balanced budget, and I remain focused on the primary missions of the Association.
It’s a tall order, but one I’m ready to accept. I look forward to this opportunity to work with the new incoming Executive Board members as well as the members remaining on the Executive Committee. Together we will strive to get the momentum back into the programs that bring value to the membership.
The most prominent are events. The International Conference and Exhibition (ICE) is in Cancun this September and promises to be a robust convention at a location convenient to many U.S.-based members who might otherwise not consider attending an ICE. I encourage you to take a serious look at it.
We are evaluating the publications program, including Datapages, and considering ways to return publications to its former primacy as a comprehensive program utilized by more Members. The publishing world and the ways data are accessed are constantly evolving, and we intend to stay ahead of those changes.
NAPE and the Offshore Technology Conference both continue to be strong, and AAPG is involved in the events with timely, cutting-edge technical programs. The revenue from these events also drives many of our other efforts, including programs for Students and Young Professionals.
The 100th Anniversary Annual Convention and Exhibition is next April in Houston and promises to be an outstanding event. I hope to see many of you there.
Last year, there were many discussions about the purpose of AAPG.
Is it 1) a professional association, 2) a scientific association or 3) a social or networking association?
After some deliberation, I maintain that the answer is, primarily, 4) all of the above.
Talking with Members across the United States and internationally, I find that most belong to AAPG for the networking, the science and the professionalism, and don’t prioritize any over the others. Even though about half of our convention and education attendees are not AAPG members, they come for the interaction with other professionals, as well as for the science.
As AAPG adapts to a changing industry climate, these points need to be kept in mind. There are scientific societies, social organizations and professional groups, but they are not AAPG. The difference is what defines AAPG as the premier association that it is.
Along those lines, I would like to reiterate the promises I made for what I would do “if I was elected”:
- Work to advance Members’ careers by providing the best products and service possible, focusing on those needs in the downturn.
- Promote opportunities for YPs within the Association.
- Continue to advance membership growth, globally and within the United States, while maintaining the ethics, standards and expectations of our existing Members.
I would like to hear from Members with ideas for products or services they would like to see that are not already provided through AAPG, and from YPs especially.
The YPs are the future of the industry and our Association, and they are particularly hard hit in the current employment environment. And, membership growth is slowing at a time when professional contacts and networking couldn’t be more important.
I would like to issue a challenge to all Members to become engaged and offer ideas and potential solutions, so that we can explore other opportunities to accomplish these goals.
At the beginning of the year, we are facing many challenges and many more opportunities, and I am looking forward to working with the EC, the AC, the House of Delegates and the Members to explore the potential of the Association.