From the Helm . . .
A year ago this November, MCBA experienced one of the lowest points in our organizationís history. Our drug program was in a shambles, and our future looked pretty bleak. A year later, our ship is sailing full-speed ahead once again. Our membership remains strong and growing. We passed our annual USCG drug audit with flying colors in October, thanks to the masterful administration of our new program director, Capt. Larry Lienczewski.
Capt. Dean Hobbs has written and implemented a new drug program and provided the training sessions for our captains that lead the industry.
Our Annual Conference, orchestrated by Capt. Jim Fenner, was a tremendous success and maybe our best attended ever: great seminars; dignitaries from both our State and Federal governments; congressional representatives; a packed banquet hall; and a very successful scholarship raffle conducted by Capt. Frank English.
At the Sunday morning general membership meeting, your current officers and board members again won support of the membership. We sincerely appreciate your faith in us as we begin a new term of leadership. Remember, all board meetings are open to the membership, and we urge you to attend. Our next meeting will be held at 10 a.m. on January 15 at the Sport and Fishing Show at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.
A real highlight of the general meeting was the membershipsí naming one of the two $1000 annual scholarships in honor of Capt. Denny Grinold. Capt. Grinold was instrumental in establishing the original scholarship with Michigan State Universityís College of Fisheries and has served a long and distinguished service to our organization. He has served on our board, been a vice-president, and president. He currently serves as our State and Federal Affairs Officer, Chairs the U.S. Committee of Advisors to the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission, and Chairs the Lake Michigan Citizensí Advisory Committee to the DNR. Capt. Grinold was awarded the Fisheries Conservationist of the Year Award by the Michigan Conservation Club in 2000 and received the Distinguished Service Award from Michigan State University in 2004.
An election year looms ahead. We must continue to press legislators to stop the Asian carp from reaching Lake Michigan. Strong ballast water controls must be implemented to stop any future invasive species. Water diversions from our Great Lakes must not be tolerated. We must elect strong men and women of character to accomplish these objectives and others that threaten our Great Lakes.
Enjoy the holidays ahead and donít hesitate to contact your officers or board members or me if matters of concern come up.
Captain Terry Walsh
President – MCBA