Minutes—General Membership Meeting, February 10, 2018

The meeting was called to order by President Larry Henneke at 10:13 am at the Matagorda County Birding Nature Center near Bay City. n attendance were: Members: Donna Bailey, Bob Cunningham, MaryJane Dence, Bob Friedrichs, Ruth Friedrichs, Larry Henneke, Mollie Huber, Kris Kirkwood, Ray Kirkwood, Paul Meredith, Diane Pletcher, Janet Price, Linda Shirey, Phil Stapleton, Rebecca Stapleton, Barbara Threatt, and Rick Workman; members-in-training: Robert Snider, Sharon Snider; guests: Erik Extrell (Alamo Area Chapter), James Coquat.

Program: (1.25 hours AT: with Chapter Meeting) Stephen Curtis presented an interesting program entitled “The Search for the American Eel – We Need You!”  He discussed the scope of the project, described the equipment, and how to collect the data.  If you are interested in volunteering for this project, contact Stephen at  or 512-754-6844 ext. 221.


President – Larry Henneke welcomed Erik Extrell, a visitor from the Alamo Area Chapter.

 Vice President – Rick Workman reported that the next chapter meeting (May 12, 2018) will be at the Coleto Creek Park Pavilion C.  The program about coastal prairies will be presented by Kirk Feuerbacher, who is with The Nature Conservancy.

Secretary – For Melanie Konarik, Linda Shirey reminded everyone to sign in. Barbara Threatt moved to accept the minutes from the last meeting as posted. Rebecca Stapleton seconded. The motion passed.

Treasurer – Larry reported for Anita Brunsting. See Treasurer’s report as of February 10, 2018.

Membership Director – Mollie Huber reported that the class for 2018 is full. She already has two applications for the Class of 2019. She reminded everyone to pay their dues.

Hours Keeper – Kris Kirkwood reported:

  • 98 members of the Chapter are currently active and eligible to report hours, including 17 new Members-in-Training
  • 48 members have reported hours so far in 2018 – 48.9% of the members who are eligible to report
  • No members have recertified and earned the 2018 ocelot recertification pin as of Feb 8
  • 16 of the 17 members of the Class of 2018 attended the Orientation initial training session Saturday Feb 3 and have successfully logged into the VMS system, edited their profiles, and reported their first training.
  • Class of 2017 Initial Certifications: Three members of the class are still working on initial certification and have until June 2, 2018 to complete it.
  • Milestone Awards Earned during 2018: Bronze 250-Hour Milestone Pin—Anita Brunsting, Dora Ann Ortego

Initial Training Directors – Bob Cunningham reported that Bill Burge deserves most of the credit for putting together the first day of initial training.  He recognized Kris and Ray Kirkwood for their participation in the initial training and Mollie Huber for putting together the potluck.  He welcomed Robert and Sharon Snider from the Class of 2018 to the meeting.  The graduation date for the Class of 2018 will be June 2, 2018.  Bob recognized Pat Garland for her contribution to filling the class.

Advanced Training Director – Linda Shirey reported that the Rockport area have lost two sources of training (Bay Education Center and Aquarium at Rockport Harbor) but have picked up another source: Texas Maritime Museum.  Two upcoming opportunities for training are the Matagorda Bay Bird Fest (Feb 16–18 in Palacios) and the Whooping Crane Festival (Feb 22–Feb 25 in Port Aransas).  She reminded everyone to check the Mid-Coast Chapter website for all the approved training opportunities because not all programs in a series or event are approved for advanced training

Projects Director – Catherine Koenig not present; no report 

Ray Kirkwood asked for volunteers for two whooping crane projects. The first is the roosting survey on March 9 . In this project, volunteers observe where the whooping cranes go at sundown to roost.  There will probably be a training session before the survey day.  If interested contact Ray or Corinna Holfus. The other project is reviewing pictures from the game cameras that have been placed on 22 ponds at ANWR to look for whooping cranes and other wildlife. If interested contact Ray.

Bob Cunningham discussed the ANWR pollinator garden. Workdays will be Feb 13, Feb 27, Mar 13, Mar 27, Apr 10, and Apr 14. Check your roster and contact Linda Frank if interested in volunteering for this project.

Bob Friedrichs mentioned that TPWD will be conducting the buff-breasted sandpiper survey again this year.  Further information will be posted on the website.

 Plant Sale – Janet Price explained the importance of the plant sale (during Hummer/Bird Celebration, Sep 13-18, 2018 in Rockport) and its benefits for promoting native plants and for recruiting new members for the chapter.  There are many opportunities to volunteer in addition to the days of the sale.  If interested in volunteering to help with the plant sale, contact Janet Price.  The plant sale is the only fund raiser for the chapter.

Communications Director – for Pat Garland, Larry explained the scope of the communications responsibilities.  He mentioned some of the handouts that Pat developed last year to use to recruit the Class of 2018.  Bob Cunningham mentioned that they have talked about having a plan for a blitz if the enrollment for the next year’s class is low.  The accomplishments in Communications have been:

  • Developing a member profile
  • Action team for recruitment
  • New recruiting brochure
  • Email communications with new members regarding recruitment
  • Press releases and articles in Rockport Pilot and Victoria Advocate
  • Ad in WWN
  • Post in Nextdoor Lamar
  • Developed newsletter
  • Post on Facebook of recruitment brochure and newsletter
  • Working on a booth at Matagorda Bay Bird Fest and purchasing a portable booth display

Past President – Janet Price had nothing to report

2017 Class Representative  Bob Cunningham for Bill Burge: Three people from the class of 2017 have not certified.

Chapter Advisor – Trey Barron was not present; no report.

Historian – Kris Kirkwood had nothing to report

Webmaster – Ray Kirkwood reported that the company that had been providing the chapter email boxes greatly raised the price, but the people who host our website found a way to work around this issue and provide secure email at no additional cost.  The website is working as before, and the change is transparent to the user.  Downside is that a member of the Board of Directors cannot log into their chapter email to send emails but that is minor.

Old Business


New Business

The Gideon Lincecum chapter wants to donate $200 to our chapter because of the devastation of Hurricane Harvey to our area.  Larry asked for ideas for what to do with the $200.  One suggestion was to buy plants for butterfly gardens.


Bob Friedrichs received his gold 1000-hour dragonfly pin. Not present to receive awards:

  • 2016 Recertification Pins—Patricia Rios, Patrick Rios
  • 2017 Kemp’s Ridley Recertification Pins—Claire Barnhart, Rebecca Bootzin, Claudia Dorn, Glenn Gomez, Ken Goodner, Judy Goodner, Patrick Hartigan, Wilfred Korth, Diane Roseberry, Ron Smudy
  • Bronze 250-hr Dragonfly—Patricia Rios, Dora Ann Ortego
  • Silver 500-hr Dragonfly—Patrick Rios
  • Enamel Dragonfly and Certification Plaque—Neill Amsler, Jynatha Kleypas, Neli Spurrell


The meeting was adjourned at 12:45.

Respectfully submitted,
Linda Shirey
for Melanie Konarik, Secretary

"Be the change you want to see in the world." – Gandhi
Don't live in our area? Go to TMN State.