In my first message as chair of AME’s Board of Directors, I want to take this opportunity to thank AME’s volunteers. In my first three months as chair, I have become much more aware of the number of volunteers who contribute their time, energy and ideas to this Association. Without this exceptional base of support that AME has from its volunteers, we would be hard-pressed to deliver on the programs and services – especially the annual Roundup conference – that the Association provides to its membership every year.
Just to give a quick overview of how extensive this volunteer base really is, starting with the Board, AME has 21 volunteers who provide governance guidance and oversight for the Association. There are also another 12 active committees, comprising 138 volunteers – a few of whom are also Board members, and some of whom serve on more than one committee. These committees provide invaluable insight and advice to the Association management and the Board on a range of issues and programs. The 12 committees are:
- Communications and Marketing
- Environment, Health and Safety
- Finance and Audit
- Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
- Integrated Social Responsibility
- Land Access and Use
- Roundup Organizing
- Taxation, Securities and Investment
The Roundup Organizing Committee deserves special mention, and I would like to thank last year’s chair, David Gale, and the other 19 members of this committee for all their efforts in bringing together another very successful event. In addition to this committee, AME Roundup 2018 was made possible by the 128 volunteers who donned red shirts and helped with various elements of delivering the conference – from answering delegates’ questions to ensuring that the events ran smoothly. Events such as Discovery Day and Short Courses were also made possible largely through volunteer effort, including working with partners like Below BC.
In addition to Roundup, AME offers safety workshops every year that are organized and delivered with the help of volunteers from AME and throughout the industry – ranging from members of our Environment, Health and Safety Committee to industry practitioners who are either long-time members of AME or affiliated with one of our 362 corporate members.
Networking and advocacy have always been key components of AME’s activities, and many of our volunteers have been active in both. Don Rotherham was a volunteer on our Mining and Parks Committee in the 1960s; then he was one of the founders of Roundup while he was on the Executive Committee; and later he was the first chair of the Old-Timers’ Committee, on which he still serves – totalling 50 years of service to AME! Other past presidents and past chairs who are active on committees include Nick Carter, Gerry Carlson, Shari Gardiner, Michael Gray, David Caulfield, Mona Forster and Diane Nicolson; Robert Stevens and Diane also sit on our present Board.
Frequently referred to as the bedrock of the industry, Don Bragg, a long-time prospector, has served on the Board for 42 years, since 1976. He is also active on three committees: Communications and Marketing; Land Access and Use; and Membership.
Our Board members make great contributions, whether they serve for a one-year appointment or the long run. I particularly want to acknowledge a few of our past, long-time AME Board members for their contributions. John Murray served on the Board nearly every year from 1999 through 2018, and continues to serve on the Communications and Marketing Committee and the Land Access and Use Committee. Long-time Board member and past Roundup chair Robert Boyd continues to serve on our Finance and Audit Committee; other past Board and Executive members who continue to serve on our committees include Alex Christopher, Tom Isaac, Terry Macauley, Fran Macpherson, Darrell Podowski, David Watkins, Jason Weber and Scott Weston.
Each year, the Association recognizes some of our outstanding volunteers through awards. Two of our volunteers who received awards at AME Roundup 2018 for their service are Janice Fingler, who received the David Barr Award (see page 34) for excellence in leadership and innovation in mineral exploration health and safety, and Mona Forster, another former Chair of the Board, who received the Gold Pan Award for exceptional meritorious service to the mineral exploration community through AME.
Although I have been involved with AME for many years, through my career at the Geological Survey of Canada, Geoscience BC and now Imperial Metals, it has been through my experience on the Board, and now as chair, that I have had the opportunity to see what an exceptional base of support our dedicated and generous volunteers provide to AME. Volunteers are truly the backbone of the Association. On behalf of the Board and staff of AME, thank you all.