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Improving Club Meetings - Suggestions & Sign Ups!

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    Posted: February 06 2015 at 9:08pm
I was a bit surprised and disappointed to see that Krazie4Acans and Fatman aren't presenting on LEDs for the lighting meeting. They're the two most-knowledgeable on the subject in the club that I know, and they've spent a TON of time helping members (including me).

Guys, don't take this personally...but it saddens me to see all past/current presidency members speaking at meetings but not utilizing members we have in the club. I'm sure you Presidency members have enough on your plates without speaking, and I'm sure there are members who would love to share their expertise.

Neither one of them asked me to say anything or even mentioned this to me. I'm saying this because I feel like the same people dominate the club to the point where no one else feels welcome to participate. It's part of why I'm no longer a member.

Again, this isn't personal. I have a ton of respect for some of you. I just think there's room for improvement. Just my $0.02.

Edited by BobC63 - February 07 2015 at 7:04pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote proskier101 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 06 2015 at 9:25pm
based off those led set ups. i think this is an awesome idea!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BobC63 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2015 at 12:11am

From my perspective...

Having Kevin or Jeff - or both - involved in this meeting would be AWESOME. I will contact them and see if they are interested. Heck, like Nikki suggested, I would love to have meetings that showcased our Members talents, and took some of the burden off of the Presidency to run it all.

And, from the Presidency point of view (at least mine, anyway) I don't think it gets looked at as purposely not utilizing our more knowledgeable members talents; most times the Presidency just kind of divides up the meeting duties / responsibilities amongst ourselves to ensure we can have all facets of a particular meeting covered. We might also be a little 'gun shy' because we have had a few past instances where members agreed to head up a meeting / present at a meeting, but then ended up 'flaking out' sometimes the day of the meeting.

I agree, we (the Presidency) could do a better job soliciting volunteers.

But, you know what? I would also LOVE to have some of our members and guests just ASK to be included, or volunteer with, or even suggest, meeting topics they would like to see. That almost never happens. Heck, I have a hard enough time getting Tank Of The Month volunteers. So far this year I have just 2 lined up (that I need to get firmed up, note to self). In 2014, we had 8 TOTMS; 3 of them were Presidency tanks.

A good example of one time it DID happen would be the "Iron Chef" thing we did the last 2 summers. The original idea to do it came from Bacot Dinchak, not from anyone in the Presidency. And she not only suggested it, she helped plan it, advertise it, and then participated in it. And I only got involved because we couldn't get a 2nd non - Presidency person to commit to participate - otherwise we would have had two regular members battling it out and running the whole meeting.

So I do agree that we definitely have room to improve. But I look at the idea of 'dominating' people more as us asking for volunteers to come forward... and almost everyone then takes a step backward - leaving the same small group of people who didn't step back standing out front; volunteering yet again and perhaps looking like they are 'dominating' the Club.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pete Moss Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2015 at 2:39am
Have to agree. Jeff and Kevin are led masters. Would be nice to see the leading talent in LED lighting presenting. I would pay for a membership again just to see Nikki do a presentation on coral anatomy. How about the local sellers like Nick doing presentations on fragging corals? How about an underwater photography meeting spotlighting affordable water proof cameras? Power point presentations and videos spotlighting fish species and their care requirements could be in every meeting. The reason I didn't pay for a membership again is because I don't want to hear old knowledge, I want new information. No offense, but I don't want to hear about T8 and MH lighting. They're dying technologies.

You can't really expect members to ask to give presentations in the meetings, I really think that responsibility lies with the presidency. I personally have never seen any post asking members to participate in any meetings. While I'm sure it has happened before, it isn't a proactive cause. I personally would LOVE to give a presentation on light, spectrum analysis, and zooxanthellae as it is something I have researched extensively. I just never knew it was a possibility.

Tank of the month is a poor analogy. It is been running for years and years. Most of the serious hobbyists have been spotlighted.

Iron chef is a great example, it peaked lots of interest. A member had to come to the presidency though. I personally have tons of formulas for homemade food, I was never aware I could have been battling it out for glory.

Not to belittle anything the presidency does for the hobby, great folks, there is just definitely room to improve membership participation. The meeting model just feels a little stagnant.

Edited by Pete Moss - February 07 2015 at 7:21am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2015 at 9:58am
Having been in Bobs place for the first ~8 years of this clubs existence, I'm in total agreement with his viewpoint. It's also very awesome that Nikki made the suggestion. It would be nice to see someone step up to home plate. Heck, nobody really cares about sunlight, I know I'm the oddball so I'd be happy to give up my part if someone else wants to do the work.

Volunteer organisations are tricky. The leaders, who are of course, volunteers too, are faced with a hard task. For whatever reason, being a part of this club has always been enjoyable for me. My wife and I always go to the after meeting dinners at nearby restaurants. Everyone is invited but it's rare that anybody else comes besides Presidency. The announcement regarding dinner is often omitted since nobody else comes.

After the January Frag Fest meeting, instead of the usual dinner, there was a Presidency Meeting. When I found out, I asked to sit in on it. (Any Member is welcome to sit in.) I just sat and listened. It was awesome. The amount of care that goes into this club is utterly fantastic. The Presidency is made up of people who really care about each of you, Members and Guests. They work hard to provide meaningful content at meetings and to keep things going. They know that people are busy with their lives. They know it takes a lot of commitment to get involved. Believe me, they are eager to have others get involved. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BobC63 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2015 at 10:51am

Pete -

I think your suggestions are great! We are always looking for meeting topic suggestions.

And we are working on getting our LFS (both home - based and brick - and - mortar) more involved in our meetings.

I am very open to getting us to 'think outside the box' as far as our meeting format, topics, and who our presenters are. We want the meetings to be as informative and enjoyable as possible. And I would love to see a 'packed house' at every meeting.

If you have a meeting presentation that you want to share with the Club - and it sounds like you do - then let's make it happen! Let me talk with Jeremy,  and we will get back to you...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2015 at 10:54am
Do we know who is speaking at the meeting?  I hadn't heard anything about it.  I just saw (at the banquet) that the next meeting was on lighting but that's all I've heard.

Adam

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BobC63 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2015 at 10:58am
Originally posted by Adam Blundell Adam Blundell wrote:

Do we know who is speaking at the meeting?  I hadn't heard anything about it.  I just saw (at the banquet) that the next meeting was on lighting but that's all I've heard.

Adam


It says you, me and Mark, LOL... but I'd rather see Kevin, Jeff and Pete Wink

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2015 at 11:18am
Agreed, do that.

Adam

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reefer4Ever Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2015 at 12:02pm
I find your comment Bob a bit intriguing as a presidency member asked if I would be interested in having my tank spotlighted as the tank of the month, they did say that this did not mean it would be chosen. I am now left feeling that I have not been a member long enough or maybe just not in the right click with some of you. I appreciate all that the Presidency does to keep this forum moving forward, but opening it up to input from all members sure sounds like a good idea to me. Your choice of words describing those that were not able to keep there commitments (flaking out), well I found that to be a horrible thing to say and as a member what would be said about me if I missed something. Again understand I know you all have a lot on your plate but this post has really rubbed me the wrong way.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pete Moss Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2015 at 12:05pm
I would be more than happy to come do a presentation on zoox and light spectrum. I could even set up a microscope and dissect a coral so anyone interested can see zoox for themselves. I will leave the discussion of lighting solutions up to people who know more than me on that subject though.

Thanks for not taking my advice as aggression.

Let me know if you want me to prep a presentation.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2015 at 12:25pm
I sat back to see where this was going to go yesterday. I was worried that it was going to get negative and  I can see that it has not taken that turn. 

I would not be apposed to the idea of doing a meeting at all. 

I am obviously pretty passionate about LED lighting and its benefits and capabilities. I would be more than happy to volunteer to do a meeting with Kevin and even others. That said March is not a great month for me to throw that on my plate.

I would also really appreciate some suggestions on topics for said meeting. I am quite versed in LED builds, controller interfaces, LED driver theory, DIY techniques, Circuits and PCB design, and even a bit into Spectrum and Chlorophyll absorption (although Pete and Nikki are better versed here).

As far as topics for additional meetings. How about something on Controller setup and programming? I've got lots of experience in Apex controllers (and advanced programming) and DIY Arduino based controllers.

What about a meeting on DIY mechanical filtration? Media reactors (Carbon, GFO, Bio-Pellet, de-Nitrators, Calcium, etc...), Algae turf scrubbers, ATO's, etc...

DIY Sumps?

Media reclamation? (GFO, DI resin, etc...)

Just some that come to mind. Maybe some voting on topics by forum users (as apposed to keeping it a surprise until the schedule is released), then once the main topics are decided vote again on sub topics to tailor the meetings to what the users are saying they want information on?

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Woo! Jeff is on board.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BobC63 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2015 at 12:37pm

Originally posted by Reefer4Ever Reefer4Ever wrote:

I find your comment Bob a bit intriguing as a presidency member asked if I would be interested in having my tank spotlighted as the tank of the month, they did say that this did not mean it would be chosen. I am now left feeling that I have not been a member long enough or maybe just not in the right click with some of you. I appreciate all that the Presidency does to keep this forum moving forward, but opening it up to input from all members sure sounds like a good idea to me. Your choice of words describing those that were not able to keep there commitments (flaking out), well I found that to be a horrible thing to say and as a member what would be said about me if I missed something. Again understand I know you all have a lot on your plate but this post has really rubbed me the wrong way.

Thanks


Dennis, not sure if it was me or someone else who spoke with you about your tank... but I would love to have you for a TOTM. I am still working on setting up a schedule for photography (Mike S usually does all the setup but he has been ill recently) and so we are a little behind. I have a couple of other volunteers who gave me phone numbers, and I need to get back to them as well.

Sorry if my earlier post rubbed you the wrong way, let me explain a little better. We have had a few instances where a member volunteered to do a meeting presentation, we advertised it for weeks, promoted it for weeks, got it all set up... then, the day of the meeting, they either cancelled an hour before or flat out never showed up or even called. That's what I meant by 'flaking out'... I know stuff happens, but in these instances they left the whole Club hanging. And if my memory is correct, the persons who backed out knew they couldn't keep their commitment a week or more ahead of time, but did not have the courtesy to let us know until an hour before the meeting - Or even one or 2 who just flat out disappeared. I guess that has made me rely more on other Presidency members for meeting presentations and support.

I am glad for your post because you also mentioned the idea of a 'clique'. I hear that a lot. Frankly, there is no clique. But I appreciate you saying it because it tells me the perception is still out there. I can tell you that I heard the same comments when I first ran for a Presidency spot 4 years ago ("Oh, you'll never get in, you are not in their little clique"...) but I did it anyway. The best thing I can say is that anyone who wants to contribute their time, efforts or ideas please come forward and let me (us) know. I hear what Pete is saying that it should be a Presidency responsibility, but the reality is that all of us on the Presidency have other real paid jobs, families, lives, and problems just like the rest of you all do... and sometimes stuff gets by us. Sometimes we don't get a chance to chat with a lot of people at the meetings. Or someone makes a verbal suggestion at a meeting and it gets forgotten.

With me, if you write me something that works best; jot down a note at a meeting and hand it to me, or even send me a PM. This way I don't forget (because I am dumb like that).

I am glad we are all having this discussion. Thanks for being honest and letting us know what you want to see improved. And if anyone out there thinks they an help by joining the Presidency? PLEASE run in the next elections. I like the idea of getting some 'new blood' in. I think it makes the whole Club better.




Edited by BobC63 - February 07 2015 at 12:41pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pete Moss Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2015 at 12:43pm
Originally posted by Mark Peterson Mark Peterson wrote:

For a couple years there was another local club. It eventually fizzled. The one person that was most interested could not get any help and as far as I know he no longer keeps a reef aquarium.


Not to rub any salt in any wounds, but UTMAS meetings were some of the most informative I've been to. Jerry went on to start a LFS, Terence went on to work for Neptune developing controllers. It did fizzle out, and it is a sensitive subject here on WMAS, but I think some competition brought out the best of WMAS.

That all being said, I'm glad the community is no longer divided.

I'm really liking the direction Nikki's suggestion was taken. Might be time to look at membership again.

Edited by Pete Moss - February 07 2015 at 12:48pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BobC63 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2015 at 1:04pm

Jeff -

All great ideas Clap let me run things by Jeremy (he is the President, after all) but I think we can make things happen.

And you brought up a good point when you said March wasn't a good month for you. That is one of the issues we face. The first Pres meeting of the year is in January when the new Presidency takes effect. That is when we try and schedule out meetings for the entire year. Feb is usually the banquet; but March / April it is kind of hard to get non - Presidency people involved in running meetings, because that doesn't give you a lot of time or notice to get prepared. So we usually just split them up among the Presidency.

But it doesn't have to be that way, I can tell you most of our Presidency stress out a bit when they have to run a meeting. Even me. I think most of us would be relieved if we had some of our members lined up to do presentations and 'headline' a few meetings. It gets tough trying to think up new meeting topics after a few years, believe me.


Pete -

I think you are 100% right when you said UTMAS competition brought out the best in WMAS.

I'd go even further and say maybe it was a 'wake up call' for us here.

Maybe this is the start of another wake up call? If so, that's a perfectly good thing, IMO.

Helps keep us on our toes Wink




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BobC63 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2015 at 1:07pm
Oh, and Pete is John and Dennis is Dennis and I think this diet has made me too light - headed and senile, LOL LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pete Moss Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2015 at 2:33pm
Could do a two part lighting section for a March and April. Ask members if anyone wants to give a small presentation each month on their favorite fish, maybe coral species, then go on to a presentation on spectrum, zoox, what PAR is, wavelengths, chlorophyll, why we use blue light etc.

April could be demonstrations of all the different lighting types. Jeff could cover LEDs then etc.

Just an idea. Lighting is something all hobbyists are curious about.

Edited by Pete Moss - February 07 2015 at 2:33pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BobC63 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2015 at 7:13pm

After consulting with Nikki (the OP) I have decided to move this thread to the "Recommendations" Forum and change the title of the thread.

The reason for the Forum change was to hopefully give this topic more exposure. I think if we left it in the "General Discussion" Forum it will just end up getting buried by the hot general topic of the day / week.

The reason for the title change is I think this topic raises important issues that are bigger in scope than just who should be involved in the upcoming lighting meeting. So we wanted to encourage our Forum members to feel free to comment on the larger scope issues without feeling like they were hijacking the thread.

Everyone who has previously posted here should still be notified of replies, etc to this thread. And additional posts and new posters are most certainly welcome to join in.

So keep the comments & suggestions coming. I can't promise that everything discussed here will happen; but we are at least getting a good group dialogue going - and I'm hopeful that a lot of what gets put out here can come to fruition.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pete Moss Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2015 at 7:35pm
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