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Meeting Report.

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Meeting Report.

Post  williemcd on Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:08 am

As noted in this thread, Amp arranged for our group to be invited to an off-site meeting of another local fish club. The James River Aquarium Society. So here is my reflections if you want them.
1. This club is quite a bit more structured than the last 2 I've belonged to in that they have president, vice,sec, and treasurer. Plus maybe more.
2. They start out in parliamentary procedure. I.e. reading of last meeting.. old business, new business.. they did skip the treas. report which is standard but I didn't pry.
3. The owners of the store, well the wife, did a 1hr 45 minute discussion covering the basics of salt-water. She didn't have a planned lesson plan but just worked through her notes.. and did an excellent job. She presented so much information we even get to address some of the basics like lighting. Her talk was interrupted very few times with clarification which she handled beautifully.
4. She is willing to step it up a bit the next time to discuss various corals.. LPS, SPS and inverts.
5. Of the 16 or so there, I think there were only 2 of us from VaFA there so they had a pretty good turn out, most of whom are fresh-water... Probably only 3-4 really salties..
6. If you are strict about fresh, you wouldn't have gotten too much out of the meeting but like I said, the group appears to be predominately fresh.
7. Finally, they seem to enjoy good relations with other clubs like Potomac valley and Roanoke. Bill

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Re: Meeting Report.

Post  verbal on Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:54 am

Thanks for the meeting report. It sounds like the club is off to a good start. I think being able to get over 10 people to the meetings is important for a new club.

What did they have in the auction?

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Re: Meeting Report.

Post  williemcd on Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:00 pm

Well...I'd be remiss if I didn't offer an opinion that wasn't 100% honest in my appraisal so I do have to say the auction was a bit over-hyped? perhaps a dozen sandwich bags of the more common plants with sub-wassertang being the highest fetching as far as price. The store/host did contrib a can of fish-food that someone said retailed at $22.00 and sold for 5 I think. I think only a pair of black guppies as far as fish. I was too engrossed looking at their frag collection the store offered. Bill

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Re: Meeting Report.

Post  verbal on Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:17 pm

15 items(rough estimate based on your description) isn't too bad for a meeting that size.

IIRC I think there auctions are all club donations. I think if I were starting a club, I would share proceeds with the members from day 1, but I would probably take the first $5 of the price. Relying on donations just kills the quantity and quality of an auction. An a low-quality auction tends to be a perpetual cycle. Even if someone wants to help the club they aren't likely to donate a high quality item to do so.

It is interesting there is a club in York who is doing their auctions the other way. Buyer keeps all the proceeds.

The problem with starting off with full proceeds(or nominal charge) is it doesn't scale well. What happens when you get big enough you start having to pay for meeting space. Do people leave their best items at home or sell on the side to avoid sharing with the club. Also people won't get used to donating to the club.

Taking a flat cut means that people are contributing and early on probably mostly donating. It also means there is a pretty strong incentive to bring an item that might get $20 or more.

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Re: Meeting Report.

Post  williemcd on Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:37 pm

Well.. JRAS is in the process of going to a 501-C non-profit status. I'm not sure of the impact of tax ramifications but I know we had a long discussion about it when I was pres of another group. A pissed off ex-member can wreak havoc with the group if reports to the IRS go out about profit sharing and not 100% accountability... with a host of issues to deal with. For the amount of revenue's to be generated we decided to maintain unofficial "club status". Rentals costs'... IMHO? I would be surprised to find a fish shop that wouldn't accommodate a meeting of dedicated potential customers. Skoolz used to welcome the old forum and I'd bet anything he profited off of the hosting but that's none of my business nor should it be. In fact, it is/was a pleasure to bring awareness to a shop that deserves it by conducting meetings at those locales. Alternatively, I've hosted up to 13 folks at my lil "man-cave" but could accomodate more if the weather was co-operative or if my wife was out of town for the day!..<grin>. In a couple of weeks, I'll be attending a Richmond Reefers meeting at a members home with expectations of 50-100 folks in attendance.
Atlantis Aquarium came off with high marks to this untrained eye regarding Saltwater operations. I don't see where they skimped on their facility or infrastructure. Someone with more experience with salt might find something I'm unaware of, perhaps diversity of their stock offerings. (Maybe not then again). The ONLY thing I noted, but didn't pursue, was that I was looking for some replacement light bulbs and didn't notice a bulb display.. It's a sizable shop so it could have been overlooked.

Just a bunch of rambling thoughts about the meeting and our issues going forward.

Any thoughts about our club and it's structure/organization/charter? Bill

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