Prez Says...

by Dave Hennessey, President

At this time of year, we traditionally reflect on things for which we are grateful. Our club has much to be grateful for. To the best of my knowledge, to date, our ranks have survived the COVID pandemic unscathed. Some of our members have had other health scares but have come through them. We have held together despite being unable to meet in person. We have enjoyed meeting via Zoom which has given us the opportunity to have speakers and welcome new members from around the globe. For all of this I am grateful.

The Eastern Federation of Mineralogical Societies (EFMLS) invites clubs to show they are grateful by recognizing one of their members each year as "Club Rockhound of the Year." But what do you do when you have a club full of members who deserve recognition for their contributions? Nominating one is just not enough. But since I am not submitting any nomination to the EFMLS, there is no limit to how many folks I can recognize! Accordingly, from my bully pulpit, here are my many nominations for MSDC Club Rockhounds of the Year for 2021.

Yury Kalish, thank you for finding so many excellent presenters for our Zoom meetings and for running the newsletter until Ken volunteered to take it on. You found a diverse array of speakers who increased our mineralogical and geological knowledge. Extra bonus, several of those speakers have joined to become members of the club!  

Andy Thompson, thank you for your excellent write-ups following each presentation. I find reading them reinforces the knowledge that the speaker conveyed. And thank you for being the forward face of the club with EFMLS, with George Washington University regarding our yearly scholarship, and for being our club point of contact as potential new members find us through the web.

Betty Thompson, thank you for being our webmistress and hosting our Zoom meetings. It is always a joy to see your smiling face greeting us each month when we log in for our meetings. Without your efforts the club would have withered away. Thanks also for heading the nominating committee which has identified members willing to provide leadership to the club in 2022.

John Weidner, thank you for keeping our budget balanced, paying all the bills, and keeping us right with EFMLS, the DC government, and with our corporate tax status. Thanks also for being the principal communicator for the club with notices, announcements, member lists, newsletter addressee lists, and others.

Casper Voogt, thank you for being our webmaster (along with Betty), and for building the website that leads people to our club, provides info on our activities, meeting times and places, archives our newsletter, etc.  I know you do this kind of work professionally, but for us you do it for love of the hobby. We appreciate you.

Ken Rock, thank you for stepping up and taking on the daunting task of producing our monthly newsletter. You have given the newsletter a more contemporary format that makes it much easier for readers to follow articles of interest and which lets us know which articles prove interesting and which articles produce yawns. Thank you for helping us step into the future.

Tim Rose, thank you for being our Smithsonian sponsor and so much more. You have seen to our needs, scrambling to find rooms for meetings when our regular room was out of commission, and with programs you presented or programs you arranged for colleagues to present. We are lucky to have you.

I am also grateful for the counsel of the members of our board of directors (Ken Reynolds, Dan Teich, Alex Venzke) and past presidents who participate regularly (Dave Nanney, Andy Thompson, Ed Fisher). COVID kept us from meeting in person this past year but with virtual BOD meetings we conducted largely through emails, we got the job done.

MSDC is a great club and I am grateful to each and every member. It has been a pleasure to be the president these past three years, getting to know each of you better. Thank you all.

And lastly, I am grateful that this is the last Pres Sez column I have to write!