It’s all good news at the TWS members meeting

By Dana Kobilinsky

It’s been a successful year for TWS and this years’ TWS Annual Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, is off to a great start.

At the Sunday morning TWS Membership Meeting, President Gary Potts, Executive Director Ken Williams and Chief Operating Officer Ed Thompson described the current state of TWS and the success that the Society has achieved in regards to finances, partnerships, publications and more.

Potts, whose presidential theme focused on expanding partnerships in wildlife conservation and management, told members that the Society has expanded its outreach to nearly 30 organizations in recent years. These partnerships are helping expand the Society’s influence as well as helping TWS become “the go-to Society.”

Williams described some exciting aspects of the conference: This year there will be four plenaries and keynote sessions as well as 900 education opportunities that will enhance the conference experience. About 1,850 eager wildlifers who are attending the conference are getting the opportunity to take advantage of these exciting opportunities, which make this conference one of the largest in the 23 years they have been taking place. “This is good,” Williams said. “This is a good indication of where we are as a society.”

Williams says the Society is showing a resurgence in finances resulting in stability and growth that has allowed TWS to expand member services such as website content, the weekly eWIldlifer and an increase in The Wildlife Professional magazine from four to six issues a year. “I am pleased to report to you today that we have made and are making major strides in every one of our five strategic plan areas,” Williams said. “The future looks very bright for the Society.”

Because Williams is stepping down from his executive director position in July 2017, President Potts along with staff and Council members presented Williams with an award and thanked him for all of his help in bringing the society to a stable, successful place today. Williams asked members to spread the word about the opportunity to become the Society’s next executive director. “It’s a great job,” he said.

TWS plans to build on its recent successes, and Chief Operating Officer Ed Thompson spoke at the meeting about some new programs designed to grow the membership.

One of The Wildlife Society’s new benefits is making subscriptions to the Society’s two scientific journals a free benefit of membership starting Jan. 1. This new benefit, worth $75, is an added incentive to join TWS.

Thompson also announced a new program that will allow members to gift a six-month membership to a nonmember. “This is a chance for members to give back to the Society and help us grow our membership,” Thompson said. “Just imagine if a thousand members invited a thousand nonmembers to join The Wildlife Society, and those people decided to join.” This program will launch Dec. 1.

Also recognized at the Members Meeting were a group of award recipients. Congratulations to all!

Chapter of the Year:

San Francisco Bay Area

Student Chapter of the Year:

University of Wisconsin Steven’s Point Student Chapter

W.L. McAtee and G.V. Burger Award for Outstanding Service as an Associate Editor:

Roger D. Applegate

Student Chapter Adviser of the Year:

Scott E. Henke

TWS Fellows:

Rick Baydack
Carol Chambers
Darren Miller
David Haukos
Karl Martin
Karla Guyn
Michael Gillingham
Michael Mengak
Rhys Evans
Valorie Titus
William Clark

Distinguished Service Award:

Northwest Section – Blake Murden
Southwest Section – Brian L. Hanson
Southeastern Section – Stephen V. Rockwood
Western Section – William G. Standley
Canadian Section – Elston H. Dzus

Honorary Members:

Terry Kreeger
Terry Blankenship

Dana KobilinskyDana Kobilinsky is a science writer at The Wildlife Society. Contact her at dkobilinsky@wildlife.org with any questions or comments about her article. You can follow her on Twitter at @DanaKobi.

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