American Society of Naval Engineers
Annual Business Meeting held on 11 July 2017
“State of the Society”
Delivered by ASNE President, Anthony Lengerich (RADM, USN Ret.)
Fellow members of ASNE,
Welcome to our Annual Business Meeting. In accordance with our by-laws, I offer the following report on the “state of the society”.
As a first order of business, and on behalf of all the members of our society, I extend my sincerest thanks to outgoing Vice President, Mr. Mike D’Amato and the outgoing members of Council; RADM Jon Hill USN, CAPT Mike Anderson USN (retired), CAPT Paul Siebeking USN (Retired), CAPT Lisa Festa USCG (retired), and LCDR Heidi Koski USCG. Each of these members actively engaged in debating and deciding the many issues that we currently face. Their wisdom and counsel will be missed.
As we begin the new fiscal year, we welcome US Coast Guard Captain (retired) Paul Roden to the position of Vice President and the following new Council members: retired Navy Captains Gregg Baumann and Rick Delpizzo; and active duty members CAPT Mark Vandroff USN, CDR Timothy Connors USCG, and LCDR Savannah Gill USN.
Congratulations are also due to re-elected Council members Ms Victoria Dlugokecki, Mr. Tom Schubert; and Captains, US Navy retired Dave Herbein (representing Region 1) and Joe Luckard (representing Region V).
A great deal of thanks is also owed to our many volunteers and to the ASNE staff. Together, with the local symposia chairs and their committees, they are the engine that delivers the symposia, the courses, the journal and meet all the requests of our members.
In terms of statistics, the society currently has just under 2000 dues paying members; about 500 non-dues paying members. We conducted 9 symposia; including 3 new events, and the use of three new venues. We started a weekly news-gram that provides all our members with timely information on news worthy events in the Navy and Coast Guard. Finally, we created 7 courses (11 total deliveries) and delivered 3 webinars. Altogether 191 people took advantage of these learning opportunities, an increase of 70 over the previous year.
Symposia and events are essential to ASNE’s fiscal health. They are the primary means by which we earn the funds necessary to our Society’s operations, services and products. For that reason, we are especially thankful for each of our event Chairpersons and the members of their committees.
- Mike D'Amato: Fleet Maintenance and Modernization Symposium
- Mike Tangora: Arctic Day
- Frank DeBord: Launch & Recovery
- Joe Johnson: Combat Systems Symposium
- Rick White: Technology, Ships and Systems (the former ASNE Day)
- Mickey Skamangas: Mission Engineering, Analysis, Integration & Interoperability
- Allison DeRocco Hollish: Intelligent Ships Symposium
- John Mangano: Mega-Rust
The well-spring of ASNE’s strength and resilience resides wholly within in is its Sections. Each of our Section Chairs is an exceptional leader, equally dedicated to serving the needs of their members and the needs of their professional communities. They are the critical link between the Society and its members. Without them, ASNE would not, and could not exist.
Most importantly, our Council made several important decisions that enable the society to make necessary changes and adjustments to both our business model as well as our products and services. Specifically, Council authorized the sale of our headquarters property; required symposia chairs to acknowledge and agree to their budget (revenue and expenses) before Council approval; and agreed to changing the venue for our flagship event, aka “TSS 20xx”; previously known as ASNE Day.
Additionally, the Ways and Means Committee has delivered, and Council has approved, the Society’s first 2-year budget. The importance of this cannot be overstated. It forces Council to think and act on a longer time horizon, and it provides the symposia committees and HQ staff the guidance and authority to execute in a more deliberate and efficient manner. Development of the 2-year budget was not easy. Special “thanks” is owed to our staff and our Ways and Means Committee.
That’s all good news, but challenges remain, and in the coming months they will require the attention and action of the Council.
- Dues paying membership continues to decline year over year. In the past year our dues paying membership declined by about 300 persons. Rejuvenating our membership will not be easy or simple. It will require finding new “markets” and “populations”, discovering what these potential members need and value; and delivering it to them in ways that are probably not traditional to our Society.
- While we are making progress toward a positive annual operating statement, we are not there yet. Annual operating expenses have been significantly reduced and any further reduction will necessitate the restructure (if not the elimination of) some number of symposia, services and products. Increasing revenues is the way forward, and it will require some deliberate risk taking.
- Volunteers are necessary to ASNE’s continuation. Our volunteers are THE VERY BEST. But, there is very little new blood among the volunteers. We simply cannot continue if we do not gain a new, younger, cadre of persons to serve on committees and support events.
These are the critical topics that Council must consider and act on in this coming year. As your President, I will press forward on each. And I assure you that our staff is engaged and leaning forward with analysis and ideas.
I have great confidence in the future. The reason is that we’ve come a very long way in two years. All our products, marketing and outreach have been revamped or changed in those two years, and several key decisions have been made. We may not have yet “turned the corner” but we’re now in position where we can at least see around the corner.
As I said last year, the continued relevance and vibrancy of any organization requires a healthy dialogue between the leaders and the members they serve. As a member, I ask you to be active in moving us forward. Reach out within your sphere of influence and encourage your colleagues, protégés and those you mentor to join us.
Respectfully submitted to the membership,