April 15, 2004 Inaugural Chapter Banquet
The North Florida Local Chapter of the AMS held its Inaugural Chapter Banquet on April 15, 2004 at 7pm at the Silver Slipper in Tallahassee. Nearly 50 members were in attendance for the banquet, many of whom had taken part in the majority of the chapter’s functions over the past year. Designed to be a celebration of the events during the past year, the banquet highlighted a number of items from the past year and featured Mr. Craig Fugate, Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, as the speaker for the evening.
Vice-President Joe Marzen opened the banquet at approximately 7:20pm with a short introductory speech. However, with food on offer, Joe quickly dismissed members at various tables to help themselves to the buffet of food and cash bar on offer for the evening.
After a thirty minute interlude for dinner and dessert, President Clark Evans highlighted several key functions from the current chapter year. Highlights included the interactions with the national AMS, specifically with regards to chapter attendance and support of the 84th Annual AMS Conference in Seattle, WA in January 2004, as well as the development of the chapter’s science & education outreach program. Other events briefly mentioned included the efforts undertaken by the Program Subcommittee with regards to developing chapter meetings and the chapter banquet, clothing and food drives for ECHO Outreach Ministries in Tallahassee and the presentations given by each of the chapter’s features speakers over the past year.
Local Forecasting Contest Awards
At the beginning of the chapter year, the chapter announced that it would be sponsoring the FSU Dept. of Meteorology’s local forecasting contest over the coming year. Held twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring, the contest draws entries from meteorology students and members of the meteorological community each Friday over the course of 11-12 weeks, forecasting for Tallahassee and another city for Saturday and Sunday each week. Plaques were presented to the winners of the Fall 2003 edition of the contest, with Joe Marzen taking home first place, Bill Cottrill taking home second place and Brian Mackey claiming third place.
Featured Presentation – Craig Fugate, Director, Florida Division of Emergency Management
Vice-President Joe Marzen introduced the evening’s speaker, Mr. Craig Fugate. Originally of Alachua County, Mr. Fugate was appointed director of the Division of Emergency Management by Governor Jeb Bush several years ago. His talk for the evening centered around “Changing Outcomes,” a broad topic highlighting that no matter how many advances are made in meteorological prediction, unless people know what to do in the event of an emergency, we have failed. A perfect forecast of a meteorological disaster means little if there is needless loss of life. His job, as director of the Division of Emergency Management, is to push for a changing of the outcomes involved with these disasters through public enlightenment and understanding of the dangers involved with the weather.
After Mr. Fugate’s speech, which was well received by the chapter, President Clark Evans delivered a short list of thank yous to a select group of people, including Dr. Bob Ellingson, Mr. Bill Cottrill and Mrs. Phyllis Young of the FSU Dept. of Meteorology, each of the six speakers – Dr. Guosheng Liu, Dr. Robert Hart, Mr. T.J. Turnage, Mr. Mike McCall, Mr. Paul Duval and Mr. Craig Fugate – at chapter functions during the year, and to the entire executive board, specifically Joe Marzen and Richie Schwerdt.
Announcement of the 2004-05 Executive Board
Following his thank yous and final comments, Clark then announced the 2004-05 Executive Board. Severing as Past President will be Clark Evans; as Secretary, Robert Banks; as Treasurer, Cerese Albers; as Vice-President, Geoff Wagner; and as President, Chris Bennett. Full bios of each of the chapter officers are available on the chapter’s website at http://www.northflams.org/reports/elections.htm. Following announcement of the election results, President-Elect Chris Bennett delivered a short speech to the membership outlining some of his goals – greater community involvement, further development of outreach programs and permanent entrenchment of the chapter into the community – for the coming year.
Meeting Close & Final Acknowledgments
Vice-President Joe Marzen began to close the chapter banquet with closing comments for the evening and the year. He singled out two groups, President Clark Evans and the Program Subcommittee, for their efforts during the past year. As a token of his and the chapter’s appreciation, Joe presented Clark with a plaque commemorating his service as President during the past year along with an old dropsonde from the Natl. Hurricane Center and a 13 pack of chocolate chip cookies from Publix. As a token of the Program subcommittee’s and the chapter’s appreciation, Joe was presented with a parting gift. After these brief presentations, the banquet was called to a close shortly after 9pm. Pictures will be available in early summer from the chapter’s website at www.northflams.org.