AAA President Message – February

Hello fellow AAA’ers,
We’re off to a good start this year: a fantastic social early last month, a popular lecture by NASA Jerry Bonnell with a behind the scenes look at Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD), the start of two AAA classes, and a Super Blood Wolf Moon on a freezing cold evening.

February is much quieter with the number of scheduled activities. There is the AAA Lecture next Friday, 08 February, when our guest speaker, AMNH Jacqueline Faherty, presents “The Milky Way Galaxy in the Era of Gaia’s DR2 Catalog”. Later in the month, another AAA class begins on 20 February, Physics in AstronomyRegistration for this class is open now.

Renewals & Donations
Thank you to all the members who have renewed so far. A sincere “Thank you” to those who donated to the association. It not only helps defray operating costs but it enables us to fund new efforts that benefit you and support our outreach efforts into our neighborhoods.

We are very fortunate for the few generous souls whose gifts are of tremendous help to the association. We are grateful for their kindness by giving to the AAA. When we begin work on next year’s budget we might be able to expand on new program development and fund operational improvement efforts.

Interested in serving as a AAA Director?
Contact governance@aaa.org. Let this committee know that you want to play ball. This is a great opportunity to be considered for a Director and, potentially an Officer role, where you will participate in managing club’s operations and introduce and execute on new ideas to pave new roads for the AAA.

At this time there are six Director roles that are up for election. If you are interested, please contact myself or send e-mail to governance@aaa.org. This committee is serving to assist in collecting all candidate names and collateral. They will provide to the Nominating Committee all the names of this who expressed interest in running. The Nominating Committee is responsible for conducting the interviews and evaluations, consistent with the club bylaws.

A separate announcement will follow shortly with greater detail about the Director role. Though you needn’t wait, you can contact us immediately.

Please consider your marking your calendar for 15 May 2019, the AAA Annual Meeting. At this meeting, the membership is responsible for electing Directors to the board. Our event planners are seeking a suitable location that can accommodate our AAA business meeting, as well as, allow us to mingle, eat, and drink before and after the meeting.

Membership Portal
With board approval, the club funded a cloud-based service that is consolidating membership-, event-, communications management and payment processing for a richer and more effective user experience. Incremental changes have been made with the Member’s portal and its functionality continues to expand. We’re taking baby steps but it is already proving successful.

To date, we have:

  • Enabled self-service membership profile management, password change, magazine subscription forms, and enhanced renewal with choices to donate.
  • Provided new members that pay online immediate access to benefits.
  • Informed members of events, renewals, and AAA activities.
  • Offered AAA class registration with easy payment with a generated receipt and immediate enrollment. On the class registration page, one can see the class registration size, available seats, and class description on the registration page.

The platform is capable of much more like web site management and  special interest forums. The service also offers a smartphone app, Wild Apricot for Members. It allows you to manage your profile, present your membership card, register for AAA events.

I hope these changes make it easier for you to be informed about club events and to manage your profile and interests with greater speed and efficiency. If you have any requests or comments, please contact myself or membership@aaa.org.

Ideally, February is not as brutally cold as it was in January. The polar vortex is behind us, a return to usual weather. For those stargazers and astrophotographers, our hobby is an outdoor activity so consider braving the cold to take advantage of  clear star-studded sky when they happen.

Best regards,
Peter

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