Well, it’s that time of year again – time to publicize FWAS Board Member positions that will become vacant so we can ask that they be filled in time for the 2017 – 2018 season.

We have four positions we need filled, and there are other positions (three of which are suggested) we would not mind adding if you don’t find one of those four positions of interest to you. Since we must have nominees to announce at the April 13th General Meeting, it is imperative that you let us know of your interest by the first week of April. The four basic positions are for Conservation, Newsletter, Field Trips, and Webmaster. You’ll find a description of the general duties of a FWAS board member first, then specific duties for open and suggested positions below. Of course, I’m still looking for someone to reply me as President, and I’ll discuss those duties directly with you.

Please keep in mind that we are open to suggestions for modifications in the duties of these positions if it makes things more efficient (easier) for us, yet fulfills the requirements of our mission statement and by-laws. We can also add someone as a Director-At-Large, which could allow a member to contribute in other ways, or to work into one of our other positions. However, the requirements for the “At-Large” board position state that you have to have previously served as a FWAS officer or committee chair, or have been active in FWAS for at least five years.

Finally, I want to assure anyone who might be interested that all current board members and those who are leaving their positions will help you all along the way until you are totally comfortable in your duties. So, if interested or you want further information, or if you have any suggestions, please feel free to call or E-mail me (cell # 817-965-7284, E-mail take5birder@charter.net).

Thank you one and all for your attention to this most urgent matter,

Michael Francis
President, FWAS

General Board Member Duties
1) Attend 6 monthly board meetings a year
• Meetings the first Thursday of the months of September, November, January, March, and May – these start at 6:30 p.m. and usually last one and a half hours.
• Summer planning meeting – usually held the end of June or sometime in July, we meet on a Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to between 1:00 and 2:00 p.m. – we break for lunch and food is provided.
2) Participate in E-mail communications
• Give input regarding FWAS board communications where appropriate
• Vote on motions put forward via E-mail

Conservation specific duties
• Report to the board on local, state, and national conservation issues having to do with bird habitat and laws protecting birds. Sources include National Audubon, American Bird Conservancy, and others you can identify or are brought to your attention by board members.
• On the more important/pressing issues, it would be helpful to prepare an article for the newsletter that we put online and possibly present at a meeting.
• Act as our representative to other conservation groups and interested parties. For instance, there is a local group called Tarrant Coalition for Environmental Awareness (TCEA) that is a networking of representatives from various area civic organizations – they meet from time to time, but mainly keep in contact via E-mail – we really need a FWAS member in that group.

Newsletter specific duties
• The newsletter is currently co-chaired, but one person can do it all if preferred. Currently, the information editor (Gail Morris) gathers all the material for the articles, edits the text, and then sends the group of articles or list of information to whoever we can get to do the layout so we can get it distributed via E-mail. The layout is currently done with Microsoft Word, but any software you might prefer to use for putting together a newsletter would be sufficient (MailChimp could be a quick and easy way to go). The articles do not always have accompanying graphics, so the layout editor may need to find appropriate graphics/photos to support the articles, or we can just go without much graphics. Much of the layout has been traditionally the same for several years, so we have lots of prepared material to hand over, which should make things a lot easier.
• We currently prepare a monthly electronic newsletter with trip descriptions, meeting and field trip announcements, conservation education articles, and other pertinent membership information. In some cases, we’ve been making the layout process simpler by having links from the newsletter to articles on our Website, especially when there is repeat material. Finally, you will be able to either E-mail the completed newsletter yourself with resources we provide, or you can let another board member do the mailing.

Field Trip specific duties
• Work with field trip leaders to get them to commit to places, dates, and times for FWAS field trips. We have many leaders we currently work with, and we would encourage the candidate for this position to develop more. Currently, we coordinate via E-mail, texts, and phone calls. There are some regularly scheduled events that will continue in the future, and other board members will suggest field trip leaders and even specific events to work, so this takes a lot of the work out of this position right away. Of course, we encourage suggestions from anyone to increase the number of field trips we sponsor.
• Update the board on the status of upcoming field trips and ask for assistance when needed.
• Along with our Publicity Chair, make sure our Website, Newsletter, and social media outlets get word of field trips ahead of time. Field trip leaders often will do some or all of this publicity for their specific trips, so you won’t always have to.

Webmaster specific duties
• Keep up with fees incurred by the Website such as for the actual FWAS domain name and domain hosting – reporting to the board on those fees and making sure they are paid on time (totally reimbursable).
• Recommend any software upgrades/patches you feel are needed – our provider can do the work for us if needed.
• Make changes to the Website (where feasible) as directed or approved by the board or where regular, ongoing modifications need to be made.
• Forward mail that comes in via the “Contact Us” functionality of the Website to the appropriate board member(s)
• Setup new users that request access to the full functionality of the forums (via “Contact Us”) or users referred by the board.

Social Media specific duties
• Though we have a volunteer Facebook administrator, it would be great to have someone whose comfortable using current social media technologies (and possibly interested in emerging technologies) to promote FWAS events and announcements approved and/or generated by fellow board members.
• Candidate for this position would work with the Publicity Chair, and possibly the current Website and Facebook administrators. Alternately, the Social Media position can be combined with one or more of those positions if someone feels ambitious enough.

Volunteer Coordinator specific duties
• Cultivate a list of volunteers we can call upon to help us at events we are invited to join, with educational opportunities at schools or scouting organizations, with presentations at the meetings of other organizations, to lead or assist with nature/birding walks, and other activities that fit with the FWAS mission statement.
• Communicate with appropriate volunteers as the need arises.

Director-At-Large board position requirements & possible duties
• Directors-at-large, providing historical perspective and continuity, shall have previously served as officers or committee chairs or shall have been active in FWAS for at least five (5) years.
• Do you have private or public sector experience that FWAS could use as an organization? Perhaps you have experience with business continuity and issues of personnel development? Maybe we can use your assistance to better plan, develop, and grow for our future.
• Have you thought of joining or helping out but were a bit intimidated and/or weren’t sure where you could fit in? Maybe you could join us “At Large” and let us mentor you into a much needed role over time.