American Society of Naval Engineers
Annual Business Meeting held on 06 July, 2016
“State of the Society”
Delivered by ASNE President, Anthony Lengerich (RADM, USN Ret.)
Fellow members of ASNE,
Welcome to our Annual Business Meeting, at which our by-laws require that I report to you on the “state of the society”.
Therefore, I am very pleased to report that we are operating in full accordance with the guidance provided in our Long Range Strategic Plan, which states that “… the Society will take action to continually:
- ascertain the needs of its members and constituencies, and invest or restructure as needed to meet those needs,
- assess and restructure as necessary its financial underpinning to provide for the society’s future fiscal viability and to assure compliance with applicable laws and regulations,
- examine its products, services and delivery methods to assure they are consistent with, and supportive of, the founding purposes; and restructure, refresh or redesign them as needed,
- assess and restructure its internal organization, staffs, governance and processes so as to provide for the effective and efficient operation of the society as a whole, its headquarters and its sub-elements,
- appreciate that the success of the society’s endeavors is the result of the combined efforts of its professional staff and the voluntary efforts of its members, and
- attend to the reputation of the society as a whole.”
Each of our accomplishments belies many hours of effort by a small handful of dedicated volunteers, including section heads, committee chairs, committee members, and event volunteers; and all of which is enabled by the work of our professional staff. A few statistics are in order:
- Over 3,000 members,
- 8 active sections,
- 6 major symposia conducted,
- 12 courses and 1 webinar delivered,
- Our branding has a fresh and modern look,
- A digital member newsletter was started,
- One of two long-standing audit deficiencies was cleared, and
- Our annual operating costs have been reduced; especially our IT costs.
This year also brought several changes within our professional staff and committees. Staff members who departed include: Director of Programs and Operations, Megan Sinesiou and Membership Manager, SCPO Danny Martin USN Ret. Committee departures include our Editorial Board Chair, Dr. Cliff Whitcomb and our Section’s Chair, Mr. Martin Oard. We are all thankful for their steadfast support and earnest efforts on behalf of the society.
Sincere thanks are also due to members of Council who have completed their “tour of duty”; Dr. Bill Luebke (SES & CAPT USN Ret), Mr. Dwight Alexander (CDR USN Ret), Mr. Bob Bernstein (LCDR USCG, Ret), Dr. Alan Brown (CAPT USN Ret), Dr. Jennifer Michaeli, Mr. Clarke Orzalli (RADM, USN Ret), Mr. John Tuttle, Mr. Matthew Von Ruden (CAPT USCG Ret), and Mr. Bruce Woodruff (CAPT USN Ret).
As we begin our new fiscal year, we welcome the following new members to the Council; Mr. Mark Hugel (RADM USN Ret), Dr. Norbert Doerry (CAPT USN Ret), Mr. Chuck Goddard (RDML USN Ret), Mr. Joe Johnson (CAPT USNR Ret), Mr. Peter Lyle (CAPT USN Ret), Mr. Dave Norris, Mr. John Preisel (CAPT USN Ret), Mr. Mike Rorstad (CAPT USCG Ret), and Mr. Greg Sanford (CAPT USN Ret).
Special appreciation is extended to those who chaired our symposia and event committees:
- Fleet Maintenance and Modernization Symposium Chair, Mr. Joe Luckard (CAPT USN Ret)
- Combat Systems Symposium Chair, Mr. Joe Johnson (CAPT USNR Ret)
- ASNE Day Chair, Mr. Rick White (CAPT USN Ret)
- Advanced Machinery Technology Symposium Chair, Mr. Mark Uva
- Multi-Agency Craft Conference Chair, Mr. Herb Hood (CDR USCG Ret)
- Mega-Rust Symposium Chair, Mr. John Mangano
- President’s Club Chair, Mr. Joe Carnevale (RDML USN Ret)
Notable speakers for these symposia/events included: Chief of Naval Operations, ADM John Richardson, USN; Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, the Honorable Sean Stackley; Congressman Ander Crenshaw (R-FL); Navy Vice Admirals Willy Hilarides, Jim Syring, Mike Shoemaker, Tom Rowden and Dave Johnson; Navy Rear Admirals, John Ailes, Bryant Fuller and Bill Galinis; and from the Coast Guard, Rear Admirals Bruce Baffer and Michael Haycock.
Going forward, our Executive Director, Dr. Leigh McCue, and I will continue the following future-oriented actions:
- Establishing strategic partnerships with non-profit organizations that share ASNE’s founding principles for the purpose of increasing ASNE’s exposure and reach into new membership pools,
- Developing the capacity to deliver one-day workshops that address naval engineering topics that are of current interest to the Department of the Navy, US Coast Guard and other federal maritime agencies. The upcoming “Arctic Day” is our first effort in this direction,
- Developing and delivering additional courses of instruction and professional education,
- Completing a full review of all policies and procedures; and deliver necessary revisions to Council this year for their consideration/ approval,
- Increasing the use of digital communications and social media for the purposes of reaching new potential members pools (e.g., warfare centers, systems centers engineering centers, shipyards, private industry. etc.), and
- Encouraging and promoting into positions of responsibility the next generation of ASNE leadership.
As necessary as these actions are, they are not the most critical item on our FY17 agenda. Our single most important objective for FY17 is to return the Society to a sound fiscal footing. To that end we will:
- Recalibrate the expectations that were built into our Long Range Strategic Plan and develop revisions based on the results we have experienced to date,
- Assist our Programs Committee to develop and deliver, in this year, a two year forecast of symposia and events (so that advance rates can be developed and offered to exhibitors),
- Assist our Ways and Means Committee to develop a two year operating plan (FY18/19), and deliver it to Council in January 2017 for debate and consideration, and for approval in June 2017,
- Continue to critically review operating expenses and implement changes as appropriate,
- And most importantly, assure that our symposia and events achieve their planned and Council approved net margins.
To sum it all up, we have made progress on the objectives we set for ourselves, but much remains to be done. From a financial point of view I believe we cannot give up any more “freeboard”. We must execute at, or better than, our approved FY17 operating plan.
From a staffing perspective, I cannot be more pleased with the leadership of our Executive Director and the work of the staff; but their efforts alone will not suffice. And, as I mentioned before, the dedication and work of those who volunteer is without question, “outstanding”.
The mission of our Society remains as valid and as necessary today as it was at our founding in 1888:
- to advance the knowledge and practice of naval engineering in public and private applications and operations,
- to enhance the professionalism and well-being of members,
- and, to promote naval engineering as a career field.
Our FY17 operating plan is filled with symposia, events and courses that speak directly to the needs of today’s naval engineers, who are at the forefront of delivering our nation’s future naval and maritime capabilities, or are engaged in maintaining and modernizing our current fleets. I look forward to the work that each of our members will do in this coming year to find and mentor new members into our society, and to actively participate in our committees and sections.
Lastly, the continued relevance and vibrancy of any organization requires a healthy dialogue between the leaders and the members they serve. Be a part of our progress, get involved, and let us hear from you!
Respectfully submitted to the membership,