Notes from the Ledger

This will be my last message to the Division as Treasurer. My term is up, and I will not be running for the post again. So I want to take a few moments to make some final comments and send my appreciation to those who have been such a big help during my term.

When my term started, the Division had a budget deficit that threatened the health, and perhaps even the viability of the Division. As a result, I have had to take a very hard line on expenses, and ask everyone to help us make cuts. Of course that is never a popular thing to have to do – the person in charge of cuts always takes the blame. But, I have to say that everyone in the Division has responded with understanding and helpfulness. So all of you deserve my appreciation.

The budget that ExComm will vote on at the Fall National Meeting will have a deficit nearly equal to the expected returns on our investments. Thus, we expect to spend only the money that we expect to receive. Technically, the budget is not yet balanced, as it will require a withdrawal of earnings from the investment accounts. However, what is the investment account for if not to help fund the programs of the Division?

AT the suggestion of the chair succession, I started the practice of asking committee chairs to propose a future budget for their committee in January of each year. A few chairs needed reminders, but everyone responded with good information and sensible requests. When a budget proposal had to be denied, the committee chairs showed understanding. Their help in putting together each future budget has been critical.

The other two people that have helped with the budget were our business manager/controller, Patty Lawrence and accountant Heather Good, of Turbo Execs. They have always been responsive, dedicated to improving the division, and have helped me to maintain our records and answer questions that no one had even thought to ask in years past.

Of course, our chairs – who have plenty of their own work to do – have also been a great help to me. Going back to Marci Towns, Cathy Middlecamp, Mary Kay Orgill, Cheryl Frech, and on to Irv Levy, Dawn DelCarlo, and Stacey Lowery Bretz (not necessarily in that order), each one has made my job easier, and provided counsel when needed. Heather Johnson, our executive assistant has also been a key resource and has often lent her assistance to tasks the treasurer must complete. She has suggested a number of, sometimes small, but nonetheless helpful ways to save money and cut the budget.

Finally, I must thank the Finance Committee Chair Cathy Middlecamp for all she has done to make my work possible. I could not say enough about how important she has been to working though the budget difficulties, and finding ways to move the Division forward. And, of course, I want to thank the other members of the Finance Committee, many of whom served on financial working groups to help us resolve problems crucial to the financial well-being of the Division.

During my term I have tried to make the transition to my successor as quick and straightforward as possible. The treasurer has an ongoing email address on the Division account that I can pass on, along with all the files I have compiled. In that way everything from the past three years is fully documented for reference and confirmation. I have also prepared a detailed document describing the work of the treasurer, the tasks to be completed, and detailed instructions for completing those tasks. All the crucial documents needed to open and manage Division accounts are compiled together and ready for use. If my successors will keep up with changes and maintain files, passing on the office of treasurer will be an easily accomplished task.

Again, my thanks to all the Division for allowing me to serve as treasurer, and for you support with the tasks I had to fulfill, and especially for understanding and helping with the crucial job of returning the Division to fiscal responsibility.