With the introduction of the new website, the SFA Board made a change to membership renewals at its January 2022 Board meeting. Annual memberships went from August 1st through July 31st of every year, regardless of the date that you joined or renewed. That worked fine in the past because most of the SFA business was done by those who attended the annual meeting. However, when the SFA took the annual meeting virtual a few years ago and began sending election and Bylaws ballots out to the entire membership in good standing, things got very complicated.
The change: New annual memberships now expire one year from the day you that you send in your payment (or multi-year payments). For example, if you paid for a 1-year membership on January 1, 2022, your membership will expire on Jan 1, 2023. This change makes membership much easier to administer, and the new membership portal automates renewal reminders for us. Additionally, you have the ability to create your own profile and manage changes yourself. Please create your profile so that you are able to make use of your membership benefits.
SFA had its ups and downs in calendar year 2021. In the Spring, there was a reshuffling of responsibilities when Sue Sheldon resigned as Treasurer and also gave up her roles as Membership Chairperson and Database Administrator (our Ancestry Tree data). I reviewed some of this in my annual report during our Annual Meeting. There remain several unresolved issues from her resignation and the Board continues to act on solving them. The Social Media Administrator also resigned. Wende Warren stepped up to fill the Membership, Database Administrator, Publications, and Social Media roles. Susan Russell filled in and was subsequently elected as our Treasurer. An earlier resignation by Marvin Parsons for health reasons left us a need to fill the Webmaster role and Archives. A big thank you goes out to Kevin Sheldon, our new Webmaster, who created our fabulous new webpage. Elizabeth Townsend, our Secretary, took on the responsibility of the Archives.
The other Board members have also been working hard behind the scenes. Libby Wilson, our VP, is making progress on the Policy and Procedure Manual. Several of us are regularly talking with and in collaboration with the Allen County Public Library to create solutions to restart the ACPL project.
The financial year ended basically with a no net gain to put into our reserves due to donations we made to the Henry Sheldon Museum in Middlebury, Vermont to help with their renovations and to the FTDNA Sheldon DNA project to purchase more DNA test kits for English roots research.
Sadly, we also lost a member of the Board. Joseph Uphoff, who was a Director at Large and our SFAQ editor, passed away in November.
As you can see, there have been challenges yet we have still put out editions of the SFAQ and we have grown our Ancestry tree by over 500 people. We’ve created a new Facebook group and a new website. We remain committed to recover unreturned property, regaining our (c)3 charitable status, and expanding the ACPL Sheldon site data.
I once again put out a call for volunteers to help SFA. Be it a Director at Large, one our chairpersons (Social Media or SFAQ Editor), or a committee member, if you have some time to spare and want to contribute your skills to our 83 year old organization, please contact me at email@example.com.