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ALA 2Q23 Newsletter & Annual Meeting Reminder

We hope you are all enjoying moments of summer in the Averill Lakes despite the historic and recurring rainfall in the region. We have some important updates for you - a new 2023-2025 set of strategic priorities, a proposed revision of our bylaws, and a reminder / registration link to the Annual Meeting.

2023 - 2025 Priorities for the Averill Lakes Association As the summer season began, your ALA leadership and directors gathered at Quimby Country to craft a 2023-2025 strategy for the organization. There was substantial prework for this meeting done last spring. This included:

  • A comprehensive ALA SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats)

  • An ALA ACEs inventory (Assets, Capabilities, and Enablers)

  • A comprehensive severity/likelihood risk assessment for our lakes and organization

  • A PESTLE factors assessment (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal & Regulatory, and Environmental)

Handouts of this prework (with updates made in the meeting) will be made available and referred to at our 8/28 annual meeting at Quimby Country.

Our agenda for that meeting was as follows:

  1. Review of baseline consolidated SWOT, PESTLE, ACEs, and Severity/Likelihood Assessment - what does it inform us as a set of strategic questions for our lakes, this organization, and the community? What issue(s) should we consider tackling?

  2. Where will the ALA focus our efforts and why?

  3. What would success look like (quantitative and/or qualitative) for the top 3-5 priorities?

  4. How should the ALA evolve based on 1,2, and 3 above. How should we organize, what new/revised roles and responsibilities? Board responsibilities? Partnerships? Technical Advisors? What type of talent should we recruit? What are our mutual obligations to each other, the membership, and the community?

The review and in-meeting update of the pre-work materials in agenda item #1 generated 14 candidate priorities in agenda item #2 of which 5 were prioritized in agenda item #3. The 14 candidate priorities were:

  1. Expand education and awareness to members, camp owners, and the community

  2. Continue and expand water testing in cooperation with VTDEC on Big and Little Averill

  3. Increase ALA membership

  4. Expand scope of water testing with funding from the ALA

  5. Reorganize the Board and Leadership

  6. Create a 501(c)(3) to allow tax deductible donations to the ALA

  7. Redefine/refine the ALA mission statement and vision

  8. Publish annual reports on our lakes

  9. Enhance partnerships with local, regional, state, and federal entities

  10. Create Community cleanup days

  11. Establish Cyanobacterial patrols (with state training)

  12. Establish Aquatic Invasive Species patrols (with state training)

  13. Establish boat washing/decontamination station/site

  14. Launch a capital campaign to fund boat site decontamination, enhanced water quality testing, boat ramp stewards, and future risks (e.g. mitigation of invasive species)

After vigorous definitions and debate - each participating leader and director was given 5 votes (with only 1 vote allowed per topic) on the 14 candidate priorities. The top 5 vote getters would be the focus through 2025. The following were the top 5 priorities in rank order:

  1. Expand Education and Awareness to members, camp owners, and the community

  2. Continue and expand water testing in cooperation with VTDEC on Big and Little Averill

  3. Increase ALA membership

  4. Reorganize the Board and Leadership

  5. Establish Cyanobacterial Patrols

We are happy (and proud) to announce that in 2023 we have already DOUBLED the membership of the ALA to 81 camps! We would like to get to 100 by the end of the year!

The leadership and board will be focused on these 5 items through 2025. However we do want to "double click" on "reorganize the board and leadership" as it has driven a proposed revision to our bylaws.

Proposed Revision to the ALA Bylaws As we near the 50th anniversary of the ALA - this process caused much reflection on our mission and vision, our legacy, the new environmental and regulatory challenges we face, and our own governance. After much discussion, we aligned on the concept of a "working board" where directors would not just be valued advisors and stewards but have material roles based on our go forward priorities and challenges for the future. As such we have defined 6 specific and distinct roles for directors, a new "at-large" leadership role, and a more detailed auditor role in an updated draft bylaws document. You can see the draft redlined revision of the bylaws with the new roles here (you will need Microsoft Word to view) or a clean PDF draft revision here. The clean revision of the bylaws will also be made available for every member in attendance at the Annual Meeting. Based on our existing Constitution, this draft (and any amendments made to it at the meeting) must be approved by the membership at the 2023 Annual Meeting. Please come and make your voice heard. Moreover, if you have interest in being a member of our "working board" or an auditor and are willing to take on one of these important roles please let us know.

Reminder of the 2023 Annual Meeting

The 2023 Annual Meeting will take place on August 26th from 12 pm to 3 pm at Quimby Country, 1127 Forest Lake Rd in Norton. You can register for the Annual Meeting here.

On behalf of the leadership and board of the Averill Lakes Association, we wish you a great remaining summer season with days of sunshine and star filled nights and hope to see you at our Annual Meeting. Bernie Gracy President, Averill Lakes Association

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