President Larry Connor called the Business Meeting to order at 1720. Secretary/Treasurer Vic DiCenzo determined there was a quorum present. President Conner began the meeting by thanking the SDAFS membership for allowing him to serve as President. Previous Southern Division Presidents who were in attendance were Fred Harris, Larry Wilson, and Jeff Boxrucker. President Conner then recognized AFS Executive Director Gus Rassam and AFS President Barb Knuth and thanked them for attending. President Conner then introduced the current Southern Division officers, President-Elect Pat Mazik, Vice President Bob Curry, Secretary-Treasurer Vic DiCenzo and Past President Steve Filipek.
AFS Executive Director’s Remarks: Gus Rassam gave a brief summary on the many activities that AFS has been involved in. First, there is a new membership category called Young Professionals where recently graduated students will get to pay the student membership rate for three years in hopes of retaining them in the Society. Gus also discussed the growing popularity of having joint meetings with other conservation societies such as The Wildlife Society and the Society of American Foresters. These joint conferences offer the best opportunity for biologists in different fields to have workshops and/or symposia on common issues. AFS journals continue to be made available online. Eventually, Transactions will be available all the way back to 1872. AFS also has created an International Membership where individuals from developing countries can join AFS for a much reduced rate. The SDAFS last year contributed $250 to help subsidize this drive. Finally, AFS has taken an active role in aiding the Tsunami disaster area by collecting money and donating gear and expertise to restore fisheries in a conservative, sustainable manner.
AFS President’s Remarks: Barb Knuth thanked the SDAFS for inviting her to attend the SDAFS meeting. Barb’s presidency involves three major programs: aquatic services, member services and information transfer. Some of the highlights from these three programs include implementing and tracking accomplishments of the strategic plan, a Capital Hill briefing on invasive species, continued meetings of officers and Congressmen, participation in the National Fish Habitat Initiative, assist with the Mexican Fisheries Symposium at the Western Division meeting, Developing Country Membership Initiative, and tsunami relief. Finally, Barb invited everyone to the AFS Annual Meeting in August in Anchorage, Alaska. The theme of the meeting is “Creating a Fisheries Mosaic: Connections Across Jurisdictions, Disciplines, and Cultures”.
Secretary-Treasurer’s Remarks: Secretary-Treasurer Vic DiCenzo stated that at the fall business meeting in Hilton Head, a quorum was not present so no official business could be conducted. Therefore, a motion was needed to approve the minutes from the 2003 spring business meeting in Wilmington. Fred Heitman moved to approve the minutes and Dave Rizzuto seconded the motion. The motion carried without discussion. The Division’s account balance as of December 31, 2004 was $23,124.37 and details of the income and expenses were discussed at the EXCOM meeting.
President Elect’s Remarks: As President-elect, Pat Mazik served as Program Chair for the SEAFWA and SDAFS Spring meetings. Pat mentioned that nearly all details for these two meetings were handled at the local level and she commended individuals in South Carolina and Virginia for the outstanding meetings that were organized. Pat listed accomplishments of several Chapters: the Auburn Chapter has developed a Hutton Scholarship Ready Kit; Florida celebrated the 25th anniversary of their Chapter; the Kentucky Chapter hosted a mussel ID workshop; the Virginia Chapter developed a color brochure and served as hosts of the 2005 SDAFS Spring Meeting; Tidewater organized a symposium at the Virginia Beach SDAFS meeting; and the West Virginia Chapter held their annual meeting with the Society of American Foresters and the Wildlife Society. At the SEAFWA meeting, there was an interdisciplinary symposium. At the Spring meeting in Virginia Beach, there were 131 presentations (58 student) and 26 poster presentations (16 student) and four continuing education workshops.
Award Presentations: Representing the Reservoir Committee, Mike Colvin presented two Robert M. Jenkins Memorial Reservoir Research Scholarships, each for $1,000, to Mark Rogers of the University of Florida and Lori Davias of North Carolina State University.
Stuart Welsh, Chair of the Student Affairs Committee presented the Outstanding Student Subunit to the North Carolina State University Student Subunit. The Best Student Paper Award from the 2004 spring meeting went to Ben Lubinski and second place awards to Liz Heitman and Nicholas Utrup. The Best Student Poster from the 2004 meeting was awarded to Caleb Hunter. Best student presentation at the 2004 SEAFWA went to Hayden Mattingly and honorable mention went to John Jacobs and Jeffrey Hill.
John Copeland, Chair of the Warmwater Streams Committee, presented the Jimmie Pigg Memorial Outstanding Student Achievement Award to Dan Dauwalter of Oklahoma State University.
Resolutions: Dennis Riecke, Chair of the Resolutions Committee brought two resolutions for discussion. The first was a Resolution Protecting the Nationally Significant Aquatic Natural Resources of the Lower Mississippi River Ecosystem. Discussion involved clarifying and simplifying some of the text. A motion to approve the amended resolution was made by Fred Heitman and seconded by Hal Schramm. The resolution passed unanimously. The second resolution was for “The Establishment and Development of Comprehensive Safety Training Programs for Fisheries Personnel” and was initiated by the warmwater Streams Technical Committee.
Old Business, Election Results: Dave Rizzuto announced that Fred Heitman (TN) was elected as Vice President and Greg Summers (OK) was elected the new Secretary-Treasurer.
Installation of New Officers: Pat Mazik was introduced as the new President of the SDAFS. Bob Curry was introduced as the new President-Elect. Fred Heitman was introduced as the new Vice Presdient. And Greg Summers was introduced as the new Secretary-Treasurer.
Incoming President’s Remarks: Newly installed President Pat Mazik thanked the Virginia Chapter for their hard work in hosting the meeting and presented Larry Conner with a plaque showing the SDAFS’s appreciation for his service as President. President Mazik closed by asking membership for their participation in Division activities because it can be a truly rewarding experience.
A motion was made by Jeff Boxrucker and seconded by Fred Heitman to adjourn the meeting. The motion carried and President Connor adjourned the meeting at 1842.
Submitted by Vic DiCenzo Outgoing Secretary-Treasurer, SDAFS