I’m grateful for the confidence that has been shown towards me in electing me as your council president. Before anything else I have to express my gratitude and appreciation for the work of Greg Varga, our council’s prior president, as well as his chief-of-staff, Dan Dermer for keeping us moving forward during the recent trying times our nation has faced. Both Greg and Dan were supported by a committed team of officers and board members, all of whom share in the credit for keeping our council moving forward. Bravo Zulu to all!
While we faced a modest deficit in 2021 our finances were robust enough to see us through. This is a testament to planning ahead to ensure we maintained a ‘rainy day’ cash balance. Fund raising has been a challenge recently, as our typical mode of generating revenue has relied somewhat on ‘shake-the-can’ events which were severely hampered in frequency by COVID.
There was always a limit to how many of these events we could conduct in a year, and how much we could hope for in donations. To continue to grow we need additional sustainable revenue streams.
Like most volunteer organizations we also continue to face declining membership numbers within the Navy League as a whole. Our council remains one of the most vibrant and active councils, if not THE most. However, we also must anticipate challenges in retention and recruitment in the future and plan to mitigate these factors.
So we face the twin issues of funding and membership. Neither are new to us, but the landscape we work within continues to evolve requiring us to consider where else we can focus efforts.
To address these challenges we need to look for sustainable revenue sources as well as recruitment pools. This year I plan for our council to be reaching out to corporate sponsors for funding to enable us to continue to support our many adopted units. Additionally this affords us an opportunity to draw in new members from such companies.
One area I would like to see our council expand our activities within would be youth programs. While we have been supportive of several units in the past there is an opportunity to expand our efforts. This also allows us to potentially recruit parents, which would be a continually renewing pool of potential members. ROTC units within our geographic scope are an obvious target that will be approached to learn more about how we might help.
In conclusion while we continue to face challenges presented by the current health crisis our nation faces, I’m optimistic that with your support we will get through this and be able to be more active again in 2022 and beyond.