Click Here for Information on this Graphic
DVOC Main Page > Meetings / Programs > January 2, 2014

Minutes of the DVOC
January 2, 2014

At the Jenkins Arboretum in Devon, PA, President Art McMorris called the meeting to order at 7:39 PM. Despite driving snow (9 inches as measured at Philadelphia International Airport), twenty members were present, as was 1 guest, Dr. Harold Sweetman.

The minutes of the 19 December 2013 meeting were approved as submitted.
Guests: Arboretum Director Harold Sweetman served the dual function of meeting guest, and facility host, welcoming us to arboretum.

President Art McMorris called for annual elections, which traditionally occur on the first meeting of the year, and include the election of officers, councilors, Fellows and Honorary Members. Art announced slate of nominations for 2014 officers for the club, which included:
Phil Witmer (President)
Steve Kacir (Vice President)
George (Secretary)
Bert Filemyr (Treasurer)
Linda Widdop (DVOC Council)
Gregg Gorton (DVOC Council)
Art solicited opposing nominations and none were made. A vote was called, and all members present voted in favor of the nominees presented by the Nominations Committee with no dissenting votes. He thanked outgoing council members Connie Goldman and Bob Horton.
Art called for a vote for council’s nomination of Dave Long as a DVOC Fellow, made in part for his work as editor of Cassinia. All members present voted in favor.
Art put before the membership council’s nomination of Bert Filemyr as an Honorary Member. He quoted the club’s constitution, which states: "Ornithologists who have attained special prominence in their ornithological work may be chosen at the annual meeting to be Honorary Members of the Club." All members present voted in favor. And so Bert joins Alan Brady, Frank Gill, Robert Ridgely, and Scott Weidensaul as the only living Honorary Members.

In his last act as DVOC President, Art McMorris thanked his fellow officers, council members, and all DVOC members for the honor of serving as club president the past two years.

New president Phil Witmer presented Art McMorris a certificate of appreciation for his service to the club, and also rewarded him with a $100 gift certificate to REI.

Phil Witmer named Tony Croasdale as a new council member, replacing new club secretary George Armistead on council.

Committees Reports:

Bonnie Witmer reported a new gift membership to Jenkins Arboretum Director Dr. Harold Sweetman.

No report

No Report

New Bins for New Birders (NB4NB):
No Report

Bob Billings Big Year:
Chairperson Art McMorris reminded those who participated in the 2013 Bob Billings Big Year Competition that they need to hand in their checklist. Those wishing to participate in the 2014 Billings Competition, have until March 31st to announce their entry. Each annual winner is awarded $200. More details on the Bob Billings Big Year can be found on this DVOC website:

Chairperson Phil Witmer: no report
Linda Widdop mentioned Project SNOWstorm ( The project’s goal is to “to take advantage of the 2013-14 Snowy Owl irruption to better understand, and ultimately conserve, this spectacular visitor from the north.” Bert stated that we would provide a link on the DVOC website.

Field Trips:
Committee member Bob Horton noted that the new chair of the DVOC Field Trip program is Tony Croasdale.
Bob also mentioned that as usual on the 2nd Saturday of January, on Jan. 11th, Keith Russell’s annual Philadelphia Mid-winter Bird Census will take place. George suggested that those interested meet at the pub “For Pete’s Sake” for revelry after the conclusion of the field time at 5pm.
Bob and Art both discussed the upcoming field trip to Montauk Point, and Bob mentioned a club field trip to Cape May to be guided by Martin Seltzer.

Upcoming on Jan. 16th, 2014
Robert Peck - "Exploring the West with John James Audubon: The Last Expedition

Trip Reports:
No report

Treasurer’s report:
Another feature of the Annual Meeting is a presentation of reports from the Treasurer and Trustees. Trustees report is to be heard later in 2014 but Bert presented a report on the club’s financial health.
Bert noted that the club continues to regain a strong financial footing. “While the cash balance we had at the end of 2013 took a hit due to the formatting, publishing and distributing of Cassinia that was expected. Cassinia is an important part of the club. But we should, as a club, explore all options related to the cost. Basically spent/lost a total of $3200. Cassinia being the major cost.”
There was a total of $5700 remaining in general fund, which it was suggested might be best used towards publishing another volume of Cassinia. Bert noted that that much of the money from endowment comes from Life memberships, and interest that accrues upon investment of those funds.

Trip Announcements:
No report

Ornithological Moments:
No report

No report

Trustee’s report
No report.

Bert Filemyr: David R. Whitten, club member since 1939, will be 75 years after the first of the year! David is experiencing some major medical issues and he would be thrilled to receive any cards or notes of encouragement from DVOC members. Bert circulated a card for members to sign.
Bob Horton and Bert discussed how the New York Historical Society will have on display some of Audubon’s original works beginning in March, running for six weeks.

Local Notes:
Linda Widdop noted an Ash-throated Flycatcher in Cape May.

Ornithological Moment:

Main Program:
Bert Filemyr: From the Archives series, “Founder George Spencer Morris."

The meeting was adjourned at 8:37 PM. Thanks to Bonnie and Phil Witmer for organizing the food and drink, as they have done each at each annual meeting since 2010.

Respectfully submitted,
George L. Armistead, Secretary