It is hard to believe that one year ago I became President of the Iowa Chapter, time sure flies when you are having fun! It is mid-September and I thought fall was going to make an early appearance with these cool days and 50 degree nights lately, but the upcoming forecast calls for multiple 90 degree days, so fall will have to wait for now. I hope that you have all had a great summer.
The great Iowa State Fair recently wrapped up here in Des Moines in early August. I heard it described recently as “Des Moines’ Disney”. I haven’t been to Disneyland, but I will take their word for it, but there is plenty to do (and eat) at the fair. Many of our members play key roles in making sure the DNR state fair aquarium is successful. Whether that is collecting and/or transporting fish, conducting presentations, making sure the tanks are working, cleaning out the building, or working the aquarium answering questions for the public. Know that your work does not go unnoticed for this large event and you are providing great representation for the fisheries profession.
As my time as President comes to a close I am reminded of the importance of not only AFS in general, but the opportunities it can provide. As many of you know this is my second stint as a state chapter President as I was previously President of the Mississippi Chapter a few years ago. After serving both places I can assure you that these EXCOM positions provide valuable experiences that can help you both personally and in your career. As a fairly new (5 years) employee it provided the opportunity to directly interact with colleagues that I typically don’t work with everyday. It also provides a better understanding of how the chapter and the society function. I want to thank our current EXCOM (Chris Larson, Rebecca Krogman, and Seth Fopma) for their patience in working with me (I ask a lot of questions) and for their dedication to the chapter and the profession. It truly is a team effort. Thank you to Past President Chris Larson for his wisdom and mentorship as I learned the ropes, it was greatly appreciated.
My advice to anyone thinking about running for a chapter officer position is to simply give it a try. At the NCD business meeting I heard multiple times that the NCD President position will be highly contested soon as the majority of the people they asked said, “ask me again in a few years.” I highly encourage you to not use that phrase and to get involved with AFS at the parent and chapter levels as soon as you can, you won’t regret it.
I am excited for the future of our chapter as Rebecca Krogman becomes President. Not only will the chapter have back-to-back Mississippi State Bulldogs as President, but Rebecca has been spearheading some pretty exciting things that will benefit the chapter and I look forward to seeing all of them come to fruition. Rebecca and Seth have also been working on the website this last year and have made a number of great updates. Go check it out!
I would also like to welcome a new Iowa State University student Sub-Unit EXCOM this year. I look forward to getting to know them and having their new President Michael Musal join the EXCOM.
A big thank you goes to Darcy Cashatt for her continued dedication in editing our newsletter!
In closing, thank you for the opportunity to serve the chapter in this role. I hope that you each have a safe and productive fall sampling and stocking season and know that your work is appreciated.