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Meeting Minutes- January 2013

NYCAAZK General Meeting Minutes - Jan 20th 2013 Meeting Minutes

Members: Elizabeth Mills, Deanna DeRosa, Joe Nappi, Lisa Walker, Melanie Weber, Danielle Steele, Adam Segal, Matthew LeBron, Ty Nickens, Roxie Watts, Julio Aquino, Cindy Maur, Sara Koplish, Sarah Parker, Ronnie Thomas, Nora Beirne, Cristina Mendonca, Ronnie Smith, Angie Coccoma, Sarina Cella, Nikki Ethier, Melanie Melendez, Karen Kolstad, Karen Wallack, Rob Blakely

Welcome new members!
-        We have 30 members- 22 new!
-        We are open to all of the staff, interns and volunteers at all 5 facilities
Welcome new officers!
-        Robin has hit the ground running and is ready to make this year our chapter best year yet!  She is very sorry she is not here right now.
-        She plans on making the chapter even more web accessible. She has created a general calendar of events so that people can have a more concrete idea of what the chapter has to offer and when.
-        Sarah Parker will be the new secretary since Megan Baumer has left the zoo and therefore her position.
-        We look forward to a year of having officer representation from multiple facilities! We look forward to a year of having members from all 5 facilities!

Name Change Proposal
-        We would like the name of our chapter to reflect its members
-        Our options are NYC AAZK or WCS AAZK. Discuss and open floor for other suggestions
-        This proposal was made and was second by Lisa Walker and will be voted on by members through our online voting

Online Voting
-        For all voting that affects the chapter’s constitution, we vote online to make it easy for all members to vote at a time and place that is convenient for them.
-        Once an amendment is proposed, voting is open online until before the next month’s meeting.
-        To register to vote, go to our blogspot and go to the voting tab. You will see prompts to  register. Please use the email information that you provided to receive emails. Once your email info is verified, you will be fully registered. If you are having problems, contact one of your officers or liaisons.
-        All other voting that does not affect the constitution- chapter spending, voting on events will be done in person at the monthly meeting.

Tentative Calendar of Events (please refer to attached handout)
-        We plan on have an event just about every month.
-        Meetings are on the 20th of every month. We do not want all of our meetings to be in the Bronx! We are encouraging all of our facilities to step forward and host at least one meeting this year! Whether it is an animal presentation, a guest speaker, a bbq, a softball game, we would like for all facilities to let us know as soon as possible when you can host a meeting. Please   speak to your facility liaison to discuss what you would like to do!

Panel Discussion/ Barnanza Charity Voting
-        The meeting of Feb 20th will be panel discussion by WCS’s Global Conservation Team will most likely take place at 6:30-7 PM and there should be some food and refreshments provided. Liz Bennett will be among the 3 WCS Global Conservation team who will give a presentation on what global does and after they will open the floor for a question and answer session.
-        We also want to vote for the charity that we will be fundraising for at this year’s Bar-nanza. To do this we ask for people to contact their officers ASAP if they have a conservation effort that they would like our chapter to raise money for. The conservation effort should be in line with AAZK’s mission. Once it is given the ‘ok’ please make a small poster presentation or hand out or diorama or anything that you feel could help encourage people that your cause is worth drinking for.
-        All Barnanza displays will be presented during the 10 minute break and voting will close 10 minutes after the end of the panel discussions.

What can we do for you??
-        This chapter is a volunteer nonprofit org and needs you, its members and supporter to survive.
-        The chapter offers members discounts on events and merchandise, travel grants, raffles for    national membership, a unique  experience to get to know other animal folk, professional growth, and much more!
-        What can you think of to make the chapter a better experience for you and your co-workers? Officers and liaisons are always open for thought and suggestions. We encourage solution based ideas for ways to improve our chapter.
-        We are considering having “virtual raffle tickets” that we will be giving out throughout the year for attending meetings, events, participating in committees, etc. At the end of the year we will then hold a drawing for prizes. More details to follow.

What you can do for us!
-        Be active! Come to our events and meetings! Make sure you vote when voting comes up!
-        Stay informed! You should receive meeting minutes after every meeting. If you do not receive the minutes, email one of the officers so we can find out why you are not receiving emails. You will receive email reminders for all events, meetings and opportunities that the chapter offers.
-        Help spread the word! You will be sent every flyer that we post to get the word out about events and meetings. We encourage you to print and post the flyer where you work to help us get the word out.
Committees and Committee Updates
-        All committees are looking for you to join them. If there is a committee that you are interested in, please let your liaison or any officer know RIGHT NOW! Committees are starting to meet now.
-        NZKW
o   The committee in the Bronx will meet on Jan 27th. Our goal is to have NZKW celebrated at all 5 parks to some capacity this year.
o   Bronx Zoo last year offered showcasing of poster presentations and artwork from staff members, a silent auction of most of the artwork, animal care staff appreciation awards, a social night with a scavenger hunt. During our members’ night, we had a station where we were able to talk to the public about zoo keeping and our organization and we had a kids station with crayons and coloring sheets that were made by staff and supporters.
o   Queens Zoo offer a collage of photos and signage around the park along with set enrichment times with keeper chats for the public.
-        Chopsticks for Salamanders
o   Lauren Augustine, a former WCS keeper started this organization a year ago. Its  purpose it to  create awareness about the overuse of disposable wooden chopsticks. We sell stainless steel chopsticks with pamphlet info about the organization for $10.
o   Let’s get awareness out! Please go to your favorite Asian food spots and ask if they can at least post up signage about using less chopsticks and using renewable chopsticks. If you would like signage or handout information, please contact an officer.
o   We are looking into restaurant option to hold an event. We are focusing on all you can eat/drink sushi spots and Chinese food with free wine. If anyone has any suggestions, please let us   know!
-        Travel Grant Committee
o   Travel Grant Deadlines in April and October for $500 each.
o   If you are interested in going to a conference, workshop or other professional development event, this grant is for you! Please see our website ( for grant application details. You can refer to the BZAC 2013 calendars for most of the conferences and workshops available this year.
o   Also, we are offering a travel grant for the conference to waive the registration fee.
-        Bar-nanza
o   We would like the person whose charity wins the votes of membership to help with planning the event. We are looking for a new location central to all facilities- any suggestions?
o   We will be voting on the charity to fundraise for at the Feb 20th meeting.
-        Girl Scouts
o   We go to girl scout meetings and talk to kids about the value of enrichment and zoo keeping We have plans set for all age ranges. For the younger groups we give the girls basic information and they make enrichment that does not involve tools. When we hold meetings with the older girls, we work more on getting the girls to think about the enrichment, its purpose and its application. If you know of any troops that would be interested or want to help, let us know. We are open to spreading this program to other area in the city and to boy scout troops.
-        Enrichment Committee
o   The committee is in charge of everything enrichment related including the Enrichment Bonanza. They have set up the bonanza multiple ways, the last enrichment bonanzas were set with stations of making specific enrichment so that we can together create and share ideas.
-        Calendar Committee
o   We are hoping to start the committee earlier than past years so we can sell the calendars much earlier in the year.
o   We were given a tip from one of the BZ zoo keepers about’s calendar prices and are eager to look into options for our chapter.
o   We also hope to have a photo contest- more info to follow.
-        BFR
o   The committee will be looking into another bowling alley tomorrow in hopes for a better deal so that we can raise more money for rhino conservation.
o   The committee is asking all members and supporters to help gather items for the silent auction. The silent auction is how we get to raise the most money for rhino conservation.
o   The committee is also will be asking for volunteers to assist with the setup and breakdown of the signage and the silent auction during the event.
-        Volunteer Opportunities Committee
o   The goal was to find local projects for staff to get involved with- like beach clean-ups, shelter volunteering, etc.
o   There is currently no one in this committee, so we are especially looking for members in this committee.
Guest Speakers
-        We want more guest speakers! Please give an email saying one person that you would love to hear speak and one person who you have a connection with that could speak  at a meeting.

Involvement with conservation and WCS projects
-        WCS has great programs that would benefit our members to be a part of. Frogwatch, Run for the Wild, T.I.G.E.R program (Together In Getting Everyone Reading). We will help provide information on WCS based events that are great opportunities for professional growth and for fundraising.