The following is by Dr. Staffan Lindgren, ESC President
Christmas has come and gone and it is now closing in on the end of 2014. Most of us are busy with family and friends, and although winter seems to be spotty across the country (it is plus 3 oC in Prince George as I write this), our insect friends are mostly hibernating – at least those that don’t share our homes (like the pesky fruit flies and other small flies from my wife’s indoor worm compost I am constantly batting!) It is much more than just the end of another year for the Entomological Society of Canada, however. Over the past few years, largely in response to an increasingly challenging fiscal environment, the ESC is continuing the transitioning into a new era. Many of our colleagues have put in a lot of their time to make this happen, and I want to highlight a few of them here.
The transition started in 2011 with the move of The Canadian Entomologist from NRC Press to Cambridge University Press. This should restore TCE to its former glory, because we no longer have page charges, and colour plates are also free of charge. The hard work of former Editors-in-Chief Robb Bennett and Chris Buddle, as well as current EiC Kevin Floate and the Publications Committee made this move possible. Another big change has been our transition to the new Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act. I want to thank Alec McClay, whose diligence alerted us to the requirement for transitioning in a timely manner. Thanks to the invaluable help from the painstaking and detailed work by Gary Gibson and Bill Riel the ESC made a smooth transition and has been operating under this legislation for some time now. As is often the case, there are unforeseen complications with these types of bureaucratic exercises, and one of them is that we have to change the end of our fiscal year to be in compliance with the legislation.
The change that will be most tangible for members happened this fall. At the Annual General Meeting of the ESC on September 30, 2014, in Saskatoon, attending members voted unanimously in favour of contracting office and some other services to Strauss Event & Association Management. After negotiating terms, a contract was signed at the end of October, and as members of the ESC have already noted, communication with members is now handled by Strauss on behalf of the ESC. This means that we are no longer located in Ottawa, but in Winnipeg.
Over the next few months, you will see some tangible evidence of the move. It is important that we get your feedback to refine some of the new features that will be available to us. A major consequence of the change is that the headquarters building in Ottawa will be sold, which will provide some much needed capital to help us get through potential rough patches in the future. It also means that Derna Lisi, ESC’s office manager for the past eight plus years, has moved on to another job, so when you contact the ESC from now on, your first point of contact will be our partners at Strauss. In addition to the executives of the past few years (including Peter Mason, Michel Cusson, Rose DeClerck-Floate, and Rebecca Hallett), Bernie Roitberg, Scott Brooks, and Christopher Dufault among others have been instrumental in moving these issues along, and we owe them all a debt of gratitude for their efforts.
We are looking forward to continuing the traditions of the ESC into the next era, but we also hope that we can strengthen ESC. That can only be done with help from members. You can do your part by remaining a member, encouraging non-member colleagues to join, participating in meetings at the regional and national level, and volunteering for service on one of the many committees or even as a member on the Governing Board. I wish you all a wonderful 2015.