2018/19 continues to be a scary time for the oil and gas business in Calgary. With three levels of government straining to understand the oil and gas business, a downtown office vacancy rate of greater than 50% and our inability to adequately sell our oil and gas commodities beyond our borders, we are straining to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Layoffs have started again…
Fortunately, the CSEG has had a very active and successful year. Originally budgeting a $125,000 loss, with the success of our social functions, the GeoConvention, and our educational endeavors, we were able to show a profit of approximately $15,000 for the 2018 calendar year. With total member equity of over 1.2 million dollars in the CSEG and a very healthy foundation, we are probably the most financially successful organization in the Geoscience world in Canada.
That does not mean we can sit back and not be concerned about the future of the CSEG. We continue to count our pennies, cutting costs at every corner.
We are concerned with our membership totals. We suffered a drop of about 12% in 2018, but it appears we are about level in 2019 with a slight upward blip.
You can help in that regard by spreading the word and encouraging membership by both corporations and individuals.
We are continuing to push the agenda we proposed at the start of the year: education and the dragging of the CSEG into the digital world.
We have been successful on both fronts.
DoodleTrain performed better than expected, thanks to increased participation and excellent corporate commitment..
Doodleship, our new educational endeavor in St. John’s, Newfoundland, has turned out to be a great success both financially and technically. This is our first major step in making the CSEG truly a Canadian organization. Thanks to John Townsley, John Fernando and Rainer Tonn, for making our maiden voyage outside of Calgary a major success.
The Digital Media Committee (DMC) took major steps to improve website usability/search ability and online advertising.
In addition, following my trip to the SEG convention and talking to Rob Stewart, president of the SEG, the SEG is proposing some joint educational opportunities for the coming years.
We also received in 2018 a clear commitment by APEGA to sponsor some of our educational initiatives. We are happy to report that APEGA has made similar commitments in 2019.
Also, our GeoConvention social and our Stampede party were huge successes, due to a combination of industry sponsorship and big crowds.
In addition, we renegotiated our office lease, which is good news. You always think you can do better, but we are happy with the result.
Alyssa, Jim’s right hand in the office, is on maternity leave and has been replaced by part time staff Jodi Sharman, who we are very pleased with.
I would be reticent if I did not mention the support and advice I have received from previous presidents and I thank them for their advice and encouragement.
Neda Bouramand is our newly installed President for the 2019/20 year, and I am confident she will be very successful as the 6th woman president of the CSEG. She is smart and articulate and I wish her all the best in the upcoming year.