The TSK 7-member Board met at the French Market on Gay Street on February 18, 2009 to discuss society business. Six out of seven members were present so that there was a quorum.
We began with discussing the finances. At the beginning of 2009 we had $687.82 in the kitty. We can maintain the present annual dues, which are $20, and we are making a small surplus from those who attend meetings, which pays for meeting costs, mainly the lunch for the speaker and occasional associates. Every year we face several percentage points of increase in the hotel charges. For 2009, the hotel charge for a meal is $10.70. We collect from the members $12. That leaves $1.30 per attendee with which we pay one or sometimes more then one lunch. The surcharge of eight attendees is required to pay for one lunch. Given the large number of meetings, the meetings have to be self-supporting. Since $12 is already a substantial outlay for those attending meetings we have to hold this cost as
long as possible. But every year the rising hotel costs cut more and more into the surplus so that our savings will shrink. Membership dues are used for other expenses, such as printing and mailing soupcons and annual reports.
At the beginning of 2008 we had saved enough money to make a contribution to the Charles E. Ferris Endowment that the TSK created in 1987 at the College of Engineering, UTK. On April 7, 2008, we donated $2500 to this endowment. The dean of the COE, Dr. Way Kuo, was quite appreciative of this contribution.
Any cost reduction we can make would stave off raising the luncheon fees and allow us to make occasional contributions to the Ferris Endowment. One cost cutting measure we discussed was emailing the Soupcon instead of mailing a hardcopy. The Board decided that we begin with emailing the April issue. Members without email will receive a hardcopy at the meeting or by mail. So watch for the Soupcon on your screen in April. Those who don’t want it emailed or have no email should call Walter (687 6591) to receive a hardcopy. The Soupcon is also posted on our website www.technicalsociety.net. Those who don’t want the personal email and just read it on the website should also call the above number or send an email to email@example.com.
The programming effort is distributed to monthly programmers. So far we have monthly programmers through June. Tim Moran who is the annual program coordinator is looking for additional members to take over a month from July through December. We are in this together and each programmer can expect to get some help from others. Continued at www.technicalsociety.net.
So don’t be shy and step forward to take on a part of the load. It can be quite rewarding to scout the community for speakers. Most valuable are speakers who can deliver a Professional Development Hour (PDH) for continuing education of professional engineers, as this attracts additional attendance. If the programmers are professional engineers themselves they know what the Tennessee Licensing Board requirements are for a presentation to qualify as a PDH. Others can obtain the requirements from the secretary (above number and email).
A basic guideline for programming is that the topic should be technical and community related; also it may be health and safety related. The TSK board can help with the decision as to declaring it a PDH, given the speaker is qualified and willing to do it.
A vital problem for TSK’s continuing activity is good attendance at meetings and sufficient membership. Any member who knows a potential candidate should invite him/her. We have sample Soupcons for them and they should also be referred to our website for information on TSK activities.
We especially would like to see more attendance from the nearby TVA. Our meetings are educational and inspiring and could make a contribution to work performance that may not be obvious to managers who only look at the short range.
To make the meeting time slot concise for those who have only a limited lunch time, we will start the meetings at 11:50 with preliminaries and business items and introduce the speaker promptly at 12:00 and adjourn at 13:00.
Anyone who has suggestions should address them to the given telephone number and email, or call the TSK president, Ely Driver (687 1076) or send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.