As we move into the New Year, we have some existing faces in new roles and one new face on the Club's Board of Directors. Bruce Brenholdt was elected to the Board in November and has agreed to take the position of Secretary. He's filling this slot as Andre' Peery is taking the 1st Vice President position which I vacated. Finally, Walter Potucek was "promoted" from 3rd VP to 2nd Vice President. Rick Boettcher & Joe Prinzinger continue to share the Treasurer and Asst. Treasurer roles and Joe Wolf holds an at-large Board seat. We are still looking to fill one more seat - so if you feel that tug on your line - its probably the fish telling you to step up and serve on the Board - any of the Board members or myself would be happy to talk with you about the opportunity.
As I come into the President role I see a few key focuses for the Club in 2015. My key focus in 2015 will be working with Board and our members to guide the Club to our core principles of protection of the fishery, education of members and the general public on all things related to the striped bass fishery and that we continue to contribute to the community to which we live and play - all while enjoying the fellowship of our fellow Club members. I also want all members to know they can reach out to myself or any Board member with thoughts, feedback, suggestions or concerns - we want to ensure we hear from you - and what you want to see from the Striper Club.
My second priority, and one that is equally as important - is to work with our Club to help stem the of decline in membership within the Club. We have been loosing membership over the last several years now at what has been approaching a concerning rate. If we are to have a Club which can be relavent to the community, VDGIF and other entities around the Lake, it is important that we turn this trend and increase our roster again. To do so, I plan to work with our Board and our Members to ensure that we have a Club which our existing members desire to be a part of - that the Club represents something which they believe in and will support. We then need to also ensure we find ways to attract new members to our Club - so that they can help us in our mission to ensure we have the best striper fishery that can exist at SML today and for many, many years in the future. Accomplishing this goal is one that will require all of our effort - your input on what we can do better as a Club is vital - but so is our assistance in getting the word out about the Club - asking your friends / neighbors or fishing buddies if they would like to come visit a meeting or activity and see what we are all about.
Any finally - I want to ensure that all members of the Club are enjoying time on the water and becoming better fisherman and women in the process. I will be looking to a number of you that have many years of time under your belt to help share your fishing knowledge to others. We are after all a fishing club and ultimately we all want to catch more fish and perhaps top our own personal bests. I am excited about what 2015 has in store for the Club and an honored with the trust that the Club and the Board have place in me to help lead this group. As I have said many times before, this Club is not about one person or just a few - but rather it is all of us - and this Club is what you, the members, want it to be. Let's make it the best it can be in 2015 and beyond!
Fish On! - Mike Ward