Hello and Happy New Year, WSEMA Members and Emergency Management Colleagues!
As we have – finally! thankfully! – arrived at the end of 2020, I would like to take just a few minutes of your time to give you an update from the Executive Board of the WA State Emergency Management Association (WSEMA).
Effective 10-December-2020, Kyle Bustad stepped down as WSEMA President, and I moved from the President-Elect position to President. With this change, the WSEMA Executive Board is:
- President – Chandra Fox, CEM
- President-Elect – Vacant
- Immediate Past-President – Kyle Bustad
- Secretary – Diana Hogan
- Treasurer – Charma Anderson
- Eastside Rep – JoAnn Boggs
- Westside Rep – Cindy Stanley
- Public Sector – Vivian Eason
- Private Sector – Matt Lieuallen
- Tribal Nations – Glen Roggenbuck
In spite of the challenges presented throughout the past year, the WSEMA Board has completed some necessary changes to support the efficient and effective management of the Association.
- Big thanks to our Treasurer, Charma Anderson, for completing the consolidation of WSEMA accounts from multiple accounts with multiple banks to a single account with Chase. Charma has also completed transitioning our accounting to QuickBooks. If you are not familiar with this software, QuickBooks is designed for small businesses, and provides an easily managed platform for accounting functions. This change will provide not only the ability for the Treasurer to quickly and easily complete tasks; it also supports the budget structure and reporting as required by Association By-Laws, and will make transitions between Treasurers seamless.
- The Board has entered into a five-year contract with Cvent for the provision of membership management services. This change allows for ease of dues payment and a readily accessible and current roster of Active (“In good standing”) Association members. The contract also includes event registration and payment management, as well.
- We are currently working on the update of our WSEMA website – stay tuned for new features.
- Big thanks also to Eli King for her work on Standard Operating Guidelines for WSEMA Executive Board and Committees. Eli drafted the bulk of the document during her time as Association Secretary, and the current Board is working to finish the document. The SOGs will include job descriptions for Board positions and Committee Chairs, so everyone will have a clear understanding of expectations and responsibilities before accepting a nomination to a position.
As you may recall, 2020 was the 50th Anniversary of the Association, and we had intended a celebration of that during our annual conference. With the cancellation of the 2020 conference due to the pandemic, we are now moving ahead with plans for an in-person conference this September, and we will incorporate the anniversary celebration into the activities.
- SAVE-The-DATE: Our 2021 Annual conference is scheduled for September 20-22, 2021, and will be held at the Northern Quest Resort in Spokane.
- The Board is also moving to multi-year contracts with conference venues. The use of multi-year contracts allows for better pricing, the ability to lock in our desired conference dates well in advance, and supports travel planning and budgeting for Members. We have contracts with Northern Quest for both 2021 and 2023, so we are looking for a venue in Central or Western WA for 2022 and 2024. If you have suggestions or a preference of location, please share that with Cindy Stanley ( Cindy.Stanley@clark.wa.gov ). We would like to have our even year location locked in before summer.
In addition to the completion of the Board SOGs, our primary tasks for this year include the completion of a Strategic Plan for the Association. We have a very bare-bones draft document to work from, and I would like to seat a committee to conduct the work on that document. If you are interested in serving in that capacity, please contact me directly ( firstname.lastname@example.org or 509.638.4627).
Some of our challenges this past year have been directly related to our Constitution and By-Laws, specifically, the lack of guidance/allowance for electronic voting and the requirement of officers to be “professionally engaged by RCW 38.52 local emergency management organizations.” I believe that we can effectively address both these issues with minor changes to the documents. Our existing By-Laws allow for ballot by mail if the Board believes the Association is best served by not waiting for an in-person meeting (Article XIV – Amendments). The Board does feel that this is the best way forward; so in order to accomplish this, I propose the following course of action:
- The Executive Board will draft the suggested changes to the documents, and provide to the Membership no later than 12-February
- Conduct a virtual General Membership meeting to discuss the proposed changes and receive Member input no later than 19-March
- Provide a final version of the proposed documents to the Membership no later than 2-April
- Conduct mailed ballot vote by Members In Good Standing no later than 7-May. Exact date is TBD based upon the required 30-day notice.
In order to be an active “In Good Standing” member, and be able to vote on the proposed By-Laws changes, your Membership Dues must be paid before 31-March-21. Our Cvent member portal is open and active, so you may click the link below to be taken to the site. We have ensured that the system will provide an emailed receipt for your records. The membership link is here:
Let me close by saying that we, as the E-Board of the Association, fully recognize and acknowledge the tremendous work that has been done throughout the State this past year. The pandemic, flooding, and fires have meant all of us have been working an extraordinary number of hours, trying to coordinate solutions to some of the most complex problems we’ve ever seen. You are amazing people. Individuals and leaders, big shops and 1-person operations, we are proud of you, and proud to be your colleagues.
We know that the challenges won’t end simply because we have turned the page on the calendar, and we are mindful that an ask to participate in the operations of the Association may well be a bridge to far for some of you. But we still need to make that ask. We are an entirely volunteer-led organization, and without people participating, we won’t survive. Our desire and our intent is that we keep the Association healthy and moving forward. Please join us in making that happen. If you have a couple of hours a month, and are interested in any of our current projects, or have ideas for new ones, please reach out to me, your Regional rep, or any E-Board member.
I am available by email or phone, and I welcome any conversation you wish to have.
Please feel free to forward and share this email with anyone I might have missed.
Thank you for your time and attention; and our best to you and yours for a happy, healthy 2021.
Chandra Fox, CEM