I am pleased to report that your Société is operating well with a great team of volunteers who are meeting the needs of members and applicants for membership, and that our organization has taken the needed steps towards stabilizing its financial circumstances and reorganizing itself to operate in a sustainable manner. This could only be accomplished with the hard work of our volunteers, new and established, and with the ongoing support of our members.
The current volunteer leaders of your Société include the following:
* Christine Racine, our Genealogy Chairperson and Coordinator of our PO Box as of last year, who is doing a great job of assembling, reorganizing and leading a new Genealogy committee, processing both our new applications for Full membership and requests for additional certificates of lineage, and reviewing and answering our snail mail through our PO Box. Her hard work has re-established the high quality and effectiveness of one of our primary objectives, the certification of lineages and support of good genealogical practices. Also, Christine is a Director of our association and has effectively taken on projects in that role.
* Michele Nadeau Hartmann, is the co-Editor of our Journal, Sent By The King and brings her high level of quality to all aspects of its publication. We continue to have a journal to be proud of, and it is thanks in large part to Michele’s hard work and talents. As well, she has taken on important projects in her role as a Director, including filling in as our Acting Secretary during this past year and undertaking the major and arduous task of reviewing and processing the Société’s old records. We’re very fortunate to have Michele as the volunteer in these positions and the positive results of her efforts are reflected in the high quality of our journal issues.
* Susan McNelley is our Website Manager, and she maintains and updates our website, responds to your website requests. Susan also serves on our Finance committee and takes on projects as one of our Directors. Susan’s wisdom and experience is highly valued in our group, and the high quality of our website reflects her talents and hard work.
* Rick Hudon, our new Treasurer as of last year, has processed and reported on our financial data on a monthly basis, has significantly upgraded our financial reporting and is leading us in a transition of the Treasurer position and Finance committee’s operation. He also has organized the Zoom meetings for our Directors, which has increased our effectiveness as the associations trustees. His skills and hard work have led to very important positive changes for the association and have secured our financial position.
* Lisa Elvin-Scaltari, our new Membership Chairperson and Coordinator of our webmail as of last year, who is doing a wonderful job leading our Membership committee, updating our membership database, and processing and responding to our webmail. Her enthusiasm and experience are a major asset for our association. We’re very pleased that Lisa is now a candidate for a Directorship and look forward to realizing her plans for membership growth and popularizing our association.
* Brian Montpellier, a new volunteer who prepares and mails out our certificates. Brian is providing high quality certificates to our members and is a valued addition to our group.
* Pamela Rawson continues to do excellent work in the role of desktop publisher of Sent By The King, providing us with the benefit of her skills and experience in this vital role in providing members with a high quality and lovely journal.
* Bill Kane is our Historian and helps us resolve issues and questions concerning our mission and historical data, as well as contributing content for our Journal. His wealth of knowledge and experience have been vital to our ongoing effort of highlighting the important role of the Filles du roi and soldiers of the Carignan Salières Regiment in the flourishing of New France for our French-Canadian ancestors.
These are the leaders who have safeguarded our Société and brought it through a difficult transition to new leadership and a bright future. I thank Christine, Lisa, Michele, Susan, Rick, Brian, Pam and Bill for their hard work and devotion to the association during the past year. I am very pleased and proud to be working with this wonderful group of people to serve our members.
Also, I thank Steve Arter, outgoing Director, for his dedication to our association and his past work to establish our group’s insignia and make medals and pins available to members. And I thank the many other volunteers who have contributed to this effort, including Margie Fuller (Membership), Jacques Toupin (Journal), Brenda Ozog (Membership), Helen Gibson Ugiccioni (Journal), Cathy Schott (Journal) and Sean O’Neil (Journal). Thank you for your valuable assistance and contributions (or offers of assistance) to our ongoing effort to serve our members. My apologies if I’ve inadvertently left out any volunteers – please send me an email so I might correct my omission.
Importantly, I also thank you, our members for your patience and support during our transition to new leadership over the past two years. The changes we have undergone have posed challenges to many of you, and we greatly appreciate your tolerance and the fact you stayed with us throughout this overhaul of our operations.
Part of the transition to a brighter future for the association is to reestablish financial stability. Our first step was to reinstate annual dues contributions from our members in the Fall of 2022. Also, the Directors increased annual dues to $20 US per year, starting in the Fall of 2022, to address our deficit position and the inflation in expenses. We introduced payment of renewal dues through PayPal in the Fall of 2022 for ease of payment and to save international members the cost of purchasing bank drafts for renewal payments. Most importantly, the Directors are introducing the electronic distribution of the Journal (by email) to most members, to start in 2023, in order to save money on expenses for costly printing and mailing of a paper copy.
NOTE: It is extremely important for all members to be aware of the change the Directors effectuated for the distribution of an electronic copy of our Journal issues to our members starting in 2023, as published to members in the Fall of 2022. UNLESS the member specifically requests to continue to receive a paper copy of each issue, the member will be sent a digital version of each journal issue by email, starting in the Spring of 2023. To continue to receive a paper copy of the journal, you must have responded to the survey sent to you in the Fall issue of Sent By The King and by email sent to all members (and by letter being sent to members for whom we do not have a valid email address), designating your choice of paper copy (or one could choose a digital copy). If you have not notified us of your choice of digital or paper issue of the journal, you will be deemed to have chosen digital copy. Again, this change is vital to our financial stability given the significant rise in costs. If you have not yet notified us of your choice, please do so now by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by letter to our PO Box (be sure to be using our new PO Box in Sebring, Florida – see the website).
As I noted previously, much remains to be done, and we ask that you consider volunteering to help us, whether with the Journal, with the work of reviewing applications, or with Membership committee’s efforts. However, currently our operations have vastly improved over the state of affairs in 2020 and we have a wonderful set of leaders who are working hard to bring you the services you need and expect. Please advertise our association wherever you can to help us recruit new members.
There is always room for improvement, and we ask you to send us your recommendations and comments to help us in our mission. Your responses mean a lot to those of us who are working hard to keep the ship on course, and we are grateful to hear from you.