TWS Council: Good news and opportunities

By David Frey

TWS' incoming council.

It was a session of good news and new opportunities as the TWS Council met Saturday and Sunday for its regular annual meeting at the Annual Conference in Cleveland.

The meeting included a fiscal year-end review that indicated TWS is in strong financial shape with a growing membership.

“This was an extraordinary year for The Wildlife Society,” said TWS CEO Ed Thompson. “It was achieved through strong leadership by TWS Council, combined with a focused and energetic effort by headquarters staff.”

Thompson reported that at the end of fiscal year 2018, TWS had achieved a $265,000 budget surplus. That far exceeded the goal of $94,000, which came in response to Council’s continued efforts to build a permanent reserve fund to cover six months of TWS budgetary expenses, in line with fiscally responsible business practices.

“With this result we have now achieved and exceeded that goal,” Thompson said.

By the end of September, TWS membership had grown to 10,335, up five percent over a year ago.

The membership renewal rate increased to 72 percent after three years hovering between 67 and 68 percent. “That reflects an increased level of membership satisfaction,” Thompson said.

Keith Norris, director of wildlife policy and programs, reported that exhibitor and sponsor support for the 2018 annual conference exceeded budget expectations, with about 80 organizations engaged.

General Manager Cameron Kovach reported that the fiscal-year 2018 audit was closed successfully. Early results from auditors indicated TWS will receive a clean audit, with auditors noting a number of procedural improvements made by staff during the past year.

Kovach also reported that staff and council have attended 33 organization unit meetings since March.

Thompson reported that the impact factors of two TWS journals increased over the past year, with efforts underway to improve business strategies and marketing aimed at increasing journal submissions and members’ use of their free access to the journals.

“None of this success would be possible without the commitment and loyalty demonstrated by our members throughout the past year,” Thompson said.

TWS thanks our outgoing council for their hard work and dedication.

Council took a number of actions during the two-day meeting. Among those actions, Council approved revisions to certified wildlife biologist requirements, providing more flexibility. The changes broaden the array of professional activities that qualify for meeting renewal requirements and add flexibility to contact hour requirements.

Council members also approved a new position statement, emphasizing the need to address wildlife needs in land management plans. It was approved after incorporating member comments provided during a 60-day review period and will be posted on wildlife.org.

Council also voted to extend the contract of Journal of Wildlife Management editor Paul Krausman to a third term, updated criteria and nomination procedures for a number of awards and reviewed a proposal from the Canadian section that would allow it to pursue incorporation in Canada and receive the beneficial tax-exempt status similar to the Society’s U.S.-based sections.

Among the items Council plans to continue to consider include actions related to charitable giving and the 2019-2023 TWS Strategic Plan. Members will be provided with a comments period to provide input on the proposed draft of that document.

David Frey is an editor at The Wildlife Society. Contact him at dfrey@wildlife.org with any questions or comments about his article. Read more of David's articles here.

You can follow him on Twitter at @davidmfrey.


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