CSBE-SCGAB
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Harry Huffman

Harry Huffman

Wednesday, 15 June 2016 11:17

VP Membership annual report 2015-2016

Vice-President (Membership) – Harry Huffman

Another busy year for me but I did manage to participate in most of the CSBE-SCGAB Council meetings via conference call as well as the ASABE Membership Development Committee meeting in December (also via telephone conference call).

We were able to introduce a new membership fee category for international members working in countries with lower income status which began for 2016 memberships.

New membership certificates and a welcoming letter were prepared and distributed in November, 2015 and again in May of 2016 for those people first joining our organization in each of these years. Thank you to our very capable Society Manager, John Feddes for doing all of the paper work.

Any current members who do not have a membership certificate and would like one should contact our Society Manager, John Feddes or myself.

The term of initial membership for students was clarified as being between 5 and 16 months. A membership application made in September at the start of fall school term would run until December 31 of the following calendar year. Any application received between January and August in the current year would only be effective until December 31 of that same year.

Along with Ontario Regional Director, Hugh Fraser, we promoted membership in the CSBE-SCGAB at a careers night held at the University of Guelph in January 2016 and gave out 10 free 1-year student memberships to CSBE/SCGAB as a way to introduce them to our organization.  

I was in contact with Mark Crossley, Membership Director of ASABE regarding the possibility of streamlining membership renewal with the use of automatic credit card debiting after email communication with the member. However, ASABE was not receptive to the idea given a number of pit falls that they have discovered with this type of approach. Mark’s response was as follows: “We have discussed this in the past, and while it seems easy enough, other organizations that do this have told me it’s nothing but trouble. Not only do you have to worry about outdated credit card information (exp dates, security codes, updated card numbers, etc…), there’s also the security issue. As it currently stands, we don’t retain credit card information (it’s encrypted), as it goes through PayPal. While I know PP has been problematic for a lot of Canadian members, we’re very close to having an alternative processing system in place for taking CC payments going forward. I’ll keep you posted on that.  Regards – Mark”

Again this year (2016) our big concern was the large number of members who did not renew their membership for 2016. As of the end of March 2016, 53 members and 118 students had not renewed their membership (total of 426 paid memberships received to date). I requested that the Regional Directors try to make a personal contact with these potential members as I did with all of the unpaid international members to give them a gentle nudge to re-join the fold.

It would appear that the various personal contacts by Regional Directors and the Vice President (Membership) were effective, since the over-all 2016 membership numbers did rebound significantly but are still lower than 2015 final numbers by about 14%. It is likely that we will pick up a few more student members once the fall semester begins but that does not address the decline in the general membership category.   



Membership

Statistics

Date

Number of Members

December 2013

692 including 288 students & grad students

December 2014

689 including 300 students & grad students

December 2015

632 including 265 students & grad students

May 2016

541 including 223 students & grad students


I believe that declining membership numbers is an issue that will need to be addressed by the incoming vice president of membership and the rest of council.

Ending on a bright note, we have welcomed 3 new full members, 52 new student members and 10 new graduate student members for 2016.

As of the end of February, 2016 there are more than 200 people that have not renewed their membership. This is very concerning as it represents about a third of our membership.

Hopefully this has been an oversight and you really did not intend to leave our engineering society CSBE-SCGAB and ASABE. Our member benefits and services are important for our personal professional growth and the health of our Societies. I hope you will renew your membership soon. Why not take a few minutes and do it now, while on the web?

http://www.asabe.org/membership/joinrenew.aspx

If you are no longer interested in the benefits of membership in our organization, I would appreciate an email back at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your reason(s) for this decision. It could help give direction to the Council regarding future programs and benefits to ensure the organization continues to meet the needs of its membership.

Hoping to welcome you back into the organization or hearing why it is not a good fit for some of your professional development.  Thank you.

Harry Huffman, P. Eng.
Vice President (Membership) for CSBE/SCGAB
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

This was an extremely busy year for me but I did manage to participate in most of the CSBE-SCGAB Council meetings via conference call as well as the ASABE Membership Development Committee meeting in December and the CSBE Membership Engagement Committee meeting in April (both also via telephone conference calls).

I have reviewed the Bylaws and Procedures Operational Manual regarding “member emeritus” and have recommended some additions to be considered at the annual meeting.

I prepared a welcome letter for new members who joined our organization in 2014 to accompany the Membership Certificate that was prepared by John Feddes and mailed to each new member.

This will be done again this summer for new members joining in 2015. Any others who would like a membership certificate can contact Society Manager, John Feddes or myself.

The term of initial membership for students was clarified as being between 5 and 16 months. A membership application made in September at the start of fall school term would run until December 31 of the following calendar year. Any application received between January and August in the current year would only be effective until December 31 of that same year.

I promoted membership in the CSBE-SCGAB at an engineering meeting hosted by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Affairs in October 2014 and again at a careers night held at the University of Guelph in January 2015.

I researched the possibility of adding a sub-category of International Member to recognize the reduced ability of potential members from low income countries to afford the standard international fee to join CSBE-SCGAB and ASABE. A reduced fee schedule, similar to that used by ASABE was approved by Council at our April 15th, 2015 meeting starting for 2016 fees.

Our big concern early this year was the large number of members who did not renew their membership for 2015. As of the end of February 2015, 158 members and 95 students had not renewed their membership. I requested that the Regional Directors try to make a personal contact with these potential members as I did with all of the unpaid international members to give them a gentle nudge to re-join the fold. At the April meeting of Council, I was given approval to send out a letter via email to all unpaid members asking for them to reconsider or failing that a reason for not renewing. I sent out 210 emails to unpaid members on May 1st, 2015 with 9 invalid emails being bounced back to me. Of the potential 201 recipients, I received 14 responses (7%) with 7 not interested in renewing for the following reasons; 4 – no longer relevant to my work, 1 – budget cut at company, 1 – unemployed for 3 years so cannot continue with cost, 1 – retired for 4 years & no longer interested. For the 7 positive replies; 3 – payment processing issues, 3 – just did   not get around to it yet, 1 – department no longer covering my membership so will now need to pay myself.

It would appear that the various personal contacts by Regional Directors and the Vice President (Membership) were effective, since the over-all 2015 membership numbers did rebound significantly and are now essentially the same as last year. Not sure why members do not renew in a more timely manner.  

Membership

Statistics

Date

Number of Members

September 2013

660 paid including students

May 2014

570 paid including 125 students

May 2015

574 paid including 107 students

       

Ending on a bright note, we are welcoming 10 brand new members, 30 student members and 19 graduate student members for 2015.  

Friday, 12 December 2014 13:01

News from VP Membership

Renewal Time.   Decemberis membership renewal time. If you have not already done so, please complete your renewal form and send in with your cheque or credit card payment. Thank you.

Student Membership.   Did you and your faculty advisors know that a first time student membership can last up to 16 months? It’s true. If a student (graduate or undergraduate) first joins CSBE/SCGAB in September at the start of a school year; the student membership is good for the remainder of that calendar year and the entire following calendar year. Subsequent student membership renewals are on a calendar year basis similar to all other membership classifications. However, if a student first joins CSBE/SCGAB during the months of January through August, that membership is only good for the remainder of that calendar year. Therefore best membership value is for a student to join during the fall semester.

Awards for Members.   This is also the time of year to start thinking about the various awards available to the membership at large. These range from a host of student project and thesis awards to recognizing members for various outstanding contributions to the engineering profession. Faculty advisors please ensure the students (both graduate and under-graduate) are made aware of these awards since many schools miss these opportunities to help reward new knowledge. Members take a look around your department or organization and consider nominating a deserving colleague for one of the 7 engineering awards available each year. You may even identify a worthy candidate to receive a Fellow or Member Emeritus designation. Please visit our website and review the award categories and consider either applying or nominating a deserving member. 

Thursday, 18 September 2014 11:50

Membership Reminders

We are always looking for new members to strengthen our organization. Have you asked a colleague about joining CSBE/SCGAB?

It will not be all that long before existing members will be receiving their notice to renew their membership for 2015. There are 4 categories of membership. These include student, regular member, member emeritus and fellow. Here is a brief outline of each category;

Student Member: is defined as an undergraduate or graduate student studying some aspect of bioengineering or interested in this area of study. Since the school year and calendar year do not coincide, a first time student member joining CSBE/SCGAB between September and December of the calendar year will have his membership run until the following December (up to 16 months). After that the student membership runs on the calendar year like all other member grades. If you have contact with engineering students invite them to consider membership in CSBE.

Regular Member: is a person who through employment, scientific attainments, education, or experience is interested in the advancement of the objectives of the Society. This is our main membership category and is the life blood of the CSBE/SCGAB. When renewing your membership, think about asking a colleague to consider joining if not already a member.

Member Emeritus: is a member aged 65 or more who has retired from professional life but who wishes to maintain professional contact with CSBE/SCGAB. This member category has all member benefits except voting privileges. A member or ex-member may either ask or be invited to become a “Member Emeritus”. If you qualify for this member designation, give it consideration as the dues are minimal.  

Fellow: is an honorary status to which to which members of distinction may be elected but for which they may not apply.  A “fellow” shall be a member of outstanding and extraordinary qualifications and experience in the fields of agricultural, food, and biological engineering. Additionally, a “fellow” shall have been a member of the Society for at least 10 years and have 20 years of active practice in the profession. If you wish to nominate a member for this honour, please let us know.

Membership Certificates: It has come to our attention that for the last several years, a Membership Certificate has not been printed and sent to a new member joining CSBE/SCGAB. Recently, several members have enquired about the possibility of getting such a document to hang on their office wall. Therefore, we have re-instated this practice and would like to hear from anyone who did not receive a membership certificate when they joined and would like to request one at this time. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your contact information so that the proper arrangements can be made to send you one. 

I took on this position in July 2013 at the annual meeting held in Saskatoon. While I’m still learning the job requirements, it has been a good experience to date.

I did participate in 5 of the 6 regularly scheduled CSBE-SCGAB Council meetings held during the year and represented CSBE-SCGAB on the ASABE Membership Council with one teleconference meeting and several email contacts.

All of the Agricultural/Biological/Biosystems Engineering departments were contacted and asked to consider our various awards for student design projects and thesis awards through CSBE and the CSBE Foundation. To date (May 21) only Laval University and University of Guelph have submitted student winners.

Regarding membership numbers for the CSBE-SCGAB we are in decline and may wish to develop some strategies to address this situation.

Membership Statistics:                       

  • September 2013: 660 paid members including students
  • March 2014: 445 paid members including 63 students
  • May 2014: 570 paid members including 128 students    

The unpaid membership was contacted via email during April 2014 and as you can see we did encourage a good number to continue their membership in the organization. However, the paid membership is still down by approximately 14%. 

I did develop a set of personal goals for this position on council but was only partially successful in meeting them. Hopefully I will be more successful next year. 

Thursday, 13 March 2014 09:35

Reminder regarding 2014 Student Awards

Be sure to check out the various Undergraduate and Graduate Student Competitions available through the Canadian Society for BioEngineering (CSBE/SCGAB) Foundation.

Information can be found on our website www.csbe-scgab.ca/members/students/awards-competitions-and-scholarships or by contacting Harry Huffman, Vice-President (Membership) at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Note that both a Masters and Doctorate Thesis Award are now available each year rather than in alternating years as in the past. 

We have extra copies!

We have extra hard copies of CBE Journal

Volume 56 (2014)
Volume 57 (2015)
Volume 58 (2016)

Available at only 60 CAD each (including shipping).

Please contact John Feddes at manager@csbe-scgab.ca  to place your order.

Submit your news

The CSBE is looking for news from its members!

Please send your text with good resolution pictures to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.Your news will be published in the next Perspectives Newsletter.

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