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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys!

One of the things I inquired into at the NAS auction at the start of the month was membership to the Northeast Council of Aquarium Societies (NEC). Think of it as a club for clubs, with its own big convention up in northern CT each spring.

Anyway, I've received some info from Joe Masi, the NEC President, as follows:

The Northeast Council of Aquarium Societies consists of clubs that reside in the northeast part of the US. Currently there are 21 member clubs in the council. I've attached a copy of our September newsletter.

We meet 4 times per year (quarterly general meetings) with 4 additional BOG meetings. We currently meet at the Crown Plaza in Cromwell, CT. Two general and two of the board meetings are via conference call. Board meetings

are open to all NEC members.

Each club appoints/elects a delegate and alternate to attend the general meetings. Each delegate/alternate can vote (only one vote per club) at the general meeting. The yearly dues is $50 which is payable at the beginning of our fiscal year, July 1st.

Membership entitles each club to:

1. Representation at the general meeting
2. The newsletter (via email)
3. Advertising via the NEC web site
4. Web site space and an email address (under the NEC domain)
5. Access to the NEC membership list
6. Free advertising of events in the newsletter
7. Participation in NEC competitive events (e.g. - *BPP, Photo Contest, Articles Competition, etc)
8. Reduced registration rates for the annual convention
9. Each club has the opportunity to announce their events and discuss items at the meeting

The above list highlights some of the items that membership provides; also, the networking that occurs before, during and after the meetings. You will find that becoming a member of the NEC will help your club generate a network of supporters from other sister clubs.

Application for membership requires the club to present a letter to the council president requesting membership in the council, signed by the club president. The letter should contain information about the club ( something similar to a newsletter boilerplate) and should contain a list of the club officers with contact information, delegate/alternate (if available), and club web site (if available).

I would then review and present your application to the BOG. The BOG would vote on the application and when accepted, your club would have to pay dues for 1 year ($50). There is no probationary period, your club/members would be eligible for all amenities once your dues is paid.

regards,
Joe Masi

NEC President
Our club funds (consisting of donations and proceeds from our mini-auction) currently total a little over $100, so we could afford to join without anyone having to pay anything additional. We would have to elect a delegate, preferably somebody near the Cromwell area who could attend meetings. I figure we can put this to a formal vote at our next meeting (Sat Oct. 22 at 2pm) but would love to see some input from our members between now and then :)
 

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Their website appears to be down right now so it's difficult to judge how valuable that service is. Personally I'm not seeing a lot of value as creating a website is super easy and besides being able to promote your club to NEC members, there doesn't seem to be a lot there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
The website works fine for me - are you looking at http://northeastcouncil.org/nec/ ?

I think the primary value of us joining would be the networking opportunities - since we're a relatively small group and all, NEC membership would give us access to announce our events and meetings to a much broader group of hobbyists. I.e. if we hold a big planted tank themed auction (one of those things I think we should do one of these days, as opposed to a meeting mini-auction), we could get the word out to people to come from a larger radius than our normal CT crew. Or we could maybe network with other clubs to do something really cool - collecting road trip, anyone?

Also, plant propagation counts toward the BPP (Breeder Participation Program), not just fish, so our members would have a more or less even footing on that front. For that matter, my invert mini-farm counts as well :p
 

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I think the biggest issue with membership is distance - Interested people are scattered through CT, & it is virtually impossible to accommodate everyone with a meeting site. I think joining would add more members, but not more bodies at meetings. Can we still advertise without joining, to see if there is an interest within the NEC?
Julie
 

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I think it is a very good idea to join. Joining does a number of things for us as a club. The most important of which joining allows us access to a large pool of potential new members. These are people who already have a passion for fish tanks, they already have most of the right equipment for growing tanks and presumably they want the best tank conditions for their fish. Aquatic plants clearly provide benefits to fish, however, learning to grow aquatic plants represents somewhat of a challenge to most fish people. Our club could nicely fill this niche by teaching people how to care for plants. Have you seen how much money common plants fetch at the auctions?? These people are desperate for plants!

Look at these advertising benefits! We don't even have to do the work of sending them out to each member, they are automatically sent out and read.
1. Representation at the general meeting
5. Access to the NEC membership list
6. Free advertising of events in the newsletter

8. Reduced registration rates for the annual convention
9. Each club has the opportunity to announce their events and discuss items at the meeting
In addition, we get to participate in the aquarium community as whole. I'd love to enter some photography competitions.
7. Participation in NEC competitive events (e.g. - *BPP, Photo Contest, Articles Competition, etc)

For $50 that we already have we have nothing to lose, there are only a few meetings per year and they won't change our club's regular meeting locations. We only stand to gain from this in my opinion.
 

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:) I'm surprised it is only $50 to be honest. I wonder if they changed the price recently since I seem to remember the fee being much more expensive in the past which is one of the reasons we didn't join earlier.

Plus its time we nab some of those fish people and show them what they are missing out on!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the input Michael. I'm of the same mind with the advertising benefits - $50 a year is pretty cheap to send the word about our club out to hundreds of dedicated aquarium hobbyists in the region. Maybe we can even get some of those reef fans to start switching to planted tanks!

(We love you, reef people, we just want you to swap plants instead of frags)
 
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