December is the month we start winding down those activities that are controlled by our annual calendar. We hope we have completed them or at least come up with a good reason why we can put them off until the new year. Some things are final, however, such as our tax year (for most of us) or fulfilling our last New Year’s resolution.
Other things may have a little leeway. Your ARPAS dues are payable before year end, but we won’t kick you out on January 1 if you haven’t paid them. Your CEUs for all those meetings attended in 2009 need to be recorded, but if you don’t get that done until January, that is okay also. This is just a gentle reminder from the ARPAS staff that we don’t need your holiday card or a present, only your dues and your CEUs. By the way, encourage your peers to become members of ARPAS, and also remind your boss, if you work for a company, that sponsorship of ARPAS is a highly visual way for your company to foster professionalism in animal science and show recognition of you as a professional animal scientist.
As for New Year’s resolutions, resolve to start an ARPAS chapter in your geographic area if one does not exist. Chapters are the way to insure that every member has a link to ARPAS, which cannot be achieved by having only national membership. Several chapters are renewing their efforts to have meetings and programs accessible to all ARPAS members they serve. Your ARPAS Governing Council leadership will also review the ARPAS bylaws to see if changes are needed to accommodate member needs that foster greater chapter involvement.
ARPAS committees and officers are busily working on several significant fronts. The ARPAS Foundation Committee, headed by Past-President Darrell Johnson, is developing guidelines or mini-bylaws for governing the foundation. Past-President Marit Arana has her Strategic Planning Committee working on our long-overdue plan. I am sure you will be contacted for your thoughts on the future direction of ARPAS. As you can tell by this newsletter, the Publications Committee, chaired by Stephen Emanuele, has been busy as well. This committee is responsible for all ARPAS publications as well as the newsletter.
ARPAS is your organization, and the basic organizational mechanism for work is by committee. We have the committees listed on our Web site, and new members are appointed annually by your president-elect. Please consider service to ARPAS for the near future by letting President-Elect Bill Braman know of your willingness to serve on one of these committees.
Last, our very capable and important administrative assistant Susie Rahn is on disability leave to have hip replacement and a knee operation. We wish her well as she faces these major events. In the meantime, ARPAS is well served at FASS by Yvona Vlach and Debi Seymour. Debi has worked closely with Susie and is very aware of our activities and will be working closely with Yvona to insure a smooth transition of services. Please contact Yvona at YvonaV@assochq.org if you need assistance with CEUs, the exam, dues, or any of the administrative activities of your ARPAS membership.