Membership Report -- As of June 30, 2014, the House of Gordon USA had 373 paid members. Out of that total of 373, there were 122 NEW members. Of these 24 were paid via Pay Pal this past year and 15 new members paid by Pay Pal. So Pay Pal is certainly working in getting new members, and could be used as a tool in the tent by directing prospective members to use their smart phone to log onto our website and pay their memberships with Paypal. Our focus on getting new members has been paying off and now we need to put a membership retention plan in place with emphasis on the personal contact on the local level with our current and expired members.
Respectively Submitted: Bonnie G. Linse, Membership Secretary House of Gordon USA
President's Report -- Sadly we lost our past president and board member Lu Gordon in November, and we have accepted four resignations. We also have good news and sad news to report. Yesterday morning we were informed that our long-time member and good friend, Art Wilson, passed on Friday, July 4th. After suffering two mini-strokes on Wednesday week, he went to sleep and never woke, and his passing was a peaceful one. It was a fitting date for Art to pass from this realm to the next as he was one of the original Navy Seals having graduated in the class before Class One. He never talked to me about his WWII service, I knew he had been a Navy Vet and a Seal, but I found out yesterday that he had served in UDT under my father in WWII. Such a small world, and to find he had spoken to some of his military buddies of my father was amazing to me. We are all saddened at his loss but remember him well and hold him dear as we celebrate his life. Lu was the most loyal of friends and her energy, wit, and advice are sorely missed. She was such a fun person to be with, she could be totally straight faced and handing out sound advice and sharing memories of how things went in the past one minute and cracking a zinger with her dry wit when least expected. She was passionate about the Gordons and about her family and her friends. Those who knew her best always looked forward to the fun that could and usually did ensue. She was also passionate about the scholarship program and followed in Charlie's footsteps in helping out many young folks along the way. Thursday night at the torchlight ceremony we paid tribute to her and to Charlie's memories and symbolically passed the torch along to the next generation. It is our duty to ensure that their example lives bright and our younger generations are shown the way to keep the clan alive and well and doing good wherever we go throughout this century and into the next. The good news is that earlier today we were rewarded the Best Clan Tent Award! Such a celebration as Gordons were literally dancing and shouting "A GORDON! A GORDON!" in clan row and we all knew that Lu was not only smiling down from heaven, but on the other side dancing a jig right along with us! ... Read more.
Convener's Chair Report-- After several years of trying to get accepted to have a clan tent at the New Hampshire Highland Games we have received the invitation and will be hosting a tent there! We have a new convener for NH in Robert Gordon, and Rob and Kathy are very excited. Merle Gordon our convener in Maine, Jim Gordon, one of the administrators for the DNA Project, and Bonnie & Keith Linse (Bonnie as our treasurer and membership secretary will head up the efforts) will all be going to give Rob a hand on his first time out as convener so he will be in good hands! Bonnie will be stopping off in Virginia to pick up our extra tent and some of our display items to supplement his new convener's kit which Lois & I are putting together for him. We are planning on starting off with a big bang in NH to show them all what they have been missing by leaving the Gordons out! With a huge number of Gordons in the area we are anticipating a big turnout and there has been much interest in the event among the Gordons on our Facebook Group who are in the area! As many of you know Alexander Gordon was one of the earliest Gordon immigrants to America and he came to New Hampshire and there is a large group of his descendants among our members. We expect to be meeting many more at this event! ... Read More
Communications Committee Report --Over the last several months I have designed a new logo for the House of Gordon DNA pages and updated them and designed and put out an informational pamphlet on our House of Gordon DNA Project. I also created and launched a House of Gordon DNA Project Facebook Group. This is a private group where people of Gordon heritage can come together specifically to talk about genealogy and the DNA Project results.
The House of Gordon USA Facebook Group gained its 700th member on New Year’s Day and since then has added over 140 more members and is growing every day. ...Read more
Scholarship Report -- This year we gave a special one-time $500.00 scholarship in honor and in memory of our past president, Lu Gordon. A House of Gordon USA member from Utah, Rachel Noorda, was chosen as the recipient of this award. Rachel is currently studying abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland working on her PhD, and is using the scholarship toward her Gaelic language studies. ...Read more
DNA Project Report -- The DNA Project Fund was originally established by vote of the membership at the 2008 AGM with a $1000.00 balance and has been used to support the testing of candidates for the DNA Project who would or could not test without assistance whose inclusion is deemed as beneficial to furthering our understanding of the Gordon Clan make-up and origins. The administrators of the DNA Fund along with the House of Gordon USA Project liaison review the paper genealogy trail of the candidate along with the family’s oral history in their consideration of the use of funds. Following member discussion on this fund at the 2010 AGM the board decided that any future funds donated or voted for this purpose would be set aside in a fund within our budget and a check written to ftDNA when needed, all but $17.00 have been used to date. If we wish to continue to support this project we will need to replenish this fund.
Bylaws Revision Committee Report -- Last year, the Board of Directors appointed a committee to review the organization’s bylaws. The goals of the committee were to conform the bylaws to the organization’s actual practices, clarify ambiguities and inconsistencies in the text, and propose new language that would contribute to the smooth administration of the organization. I am grateful to the committee for their invaluable contributions. We relied heavily on Bonnie and Keith Linse's wealth of knowledge about non-profit operations; John Lowry's wisdom (as always!) and his long experience with the House of Gordon; and Lois Todd's insightful analysis and clear vision for the organization. We hope you agree that the proposed amendments will improve the organization’ s ability to fulfill its mission, and we look forward to honing the bylaws further over time. We received a letter from Jason Shepherd, member of the House from Georgia sent the following linked letter with his proxy instructing us to read this into the record and make the motion for him regarding the bylaws changes. Those changes that were allowed under Robert's Rule of Order were acted upon and accepted at the AGM. Those that require publication prior to changes were referred to the Bylaws Committee for further study and possible inclusion in further revisions and refinements to the Bylaws. We have asked Jason to join the committee and he has accepted. We are including the letter here for the record and invite all members to send their thoughts on the proposed changes as well as any other items within the Bylaws that may be in need of further revision for the study of the Bylaws revision committee. Jason Shepherd letter.
Evan Rose, VP House of Gordon USA
Proposed Goals for 2014-2015
Grow the membership and put a membership retention plan into effect
Find better ways to support our conveners and open new areas
Set-up an online store to sell a few items with the proceeds designated to support the Scholarship and Gordon Scottish Heritage Charities Fund