2017 AGM


President’s Report

We have had a very successful year in 2016-2017 adding new conveners for areas where we haven’t had
coverage for a while, welcoming back two conveners who have been away for a while for health reasons, and adding many new members. It is satisfying to be ending this year and beginning the next at Grandfather Mountain Highland Games as the Honored Clan and with the Chief as the Honored Guest of the Games! It isn’t very often that we have the opportunity to welcome the Chief to our Gordon Tent here in the USA, so we are praying for a good weather year at the festival to enjoy it to the fullest. Of course, a bit of rain won’t stop us from having fun, but it does make it a bit of a squeeze in the tent where I am sure we will already be a crowd.

We sent our donation to the Gordon Highlander Museum with Mark Dodd, Convener for KY and TN when he went to visit his daughter in Scotland. We received thanks from Brian Snelling at the museum and I hear from him that they are in fund raising mode right now as much of the corporate business utilizing their conference rooms and facilities has gone away with the depression in the economy over there. I would like to remind our members that if you make extra donations earmarked for the museum through the House, those donations are included on your tax letter from the House at the end of the year. The same goes for the C. O. Gordon Memorial Scholarship Fund and The Epic Project. All worthy charitable efforts.

We did not have anyone members deployed at Christmas time that we were alerted to this past year, so we did not have a Christmas in a Box Project, but we did send out several care packages to deployed members over the course of the year. If you have deployed family, please let us know so that we can send them something to bring a bit of Home from the House to them while they are away from their kith and kin protecting our freedom. And, if anyone will be deployed over the holidays, let us know so we can support their squad, platoon, company or battalion with cards, banners, and Christmas cheer!

Vice Presidents Report

As VP, I have coordinated a major revision to the bylaws (2014), and a subsequent narrower revision (2015). I have also helped us come into compliance with California state reporting requirements for nonprofits (2016). On an annual basis, I initiate the Board’s compliance with the conflict of interest policy that was introduced with the 2014 revision of the bylaws. In addition, I have participated in a variety of Board decisions, including choosing scholarship recipients and setting funding priorities. I am excited at the opportunity to continue my contribution to the House as an At-Large Board member!

Respectfully submitted,
Evan Rose.

Convener’s Chair Report

This year we welcomed back Loren & Nola Adams as conveners in Utah, as well as Tom & Sarah Gardenhire in Arizona who had been away for health reasons. We have also continued our efforts actively working on getting coverage in areas that we’ve not had covered before. Now we have the first ever House of Gordon convener for Montana in Ann Donnelly who recently hosted her first Gordon tent in Great Falls, Montana at the Kilt O’ the Falls Festival and did it in fantastic style! Melinda Gordon Proctor is our new convener for Oklahoma, and we are very excited to once again have a presence there. It has been a long time since Rawny Gordon had to step down due to health reasons. We know from all of the comments received in our Facebook Groups that there are Oklahomans anxiously awaiting the return of the Gordon Tent in the Sooner State! I believe the next event coming up is SCOTFEST in Tulsa September 15 through the 17.

Finally, the Mid-Atlantic Region is adding two new games conveners for North Carolina, Megan Todd Faulkner & Marianne Mills Knapp! Megan helped Lois Todd in hosting the Gordon Tent at the Loch Norman Highland Games near Charlotte, NC in April and without her we would not have been able to have a Gordon Tent at this event. Megan and Marianne live near each other and will make an enthusiastic and fun team. Having these two hosting games throughout North Carolina will give our members more opportunities to get together and we look forward to seeing their efforts help to continue to grow membership in the region. Good luck to you both!

Special thanks and kudos to all of our conveners whose hard work, dedication and enthusiasm in the House of Gordon have resulted in a 110.2% increase in membership over last year’s numbers, and a staggering 411% over the all-time low reported back in 2012. That is an average increase of 82 percent per year!! Our conveners have continued to make incredible leaps and bounds in generating excitement and interest in joining our wonderful clan family! One of the most exciting trends we’ve seen over the past couple of years is the increase in younger members joining the House! We continue to move towards becoming the premier clan organization we know we should be!

Robert Gordon, our convener in New England, will be taking on the role of Convener Chair and I don’t think we could ask for a better person to take on this responsibility. He has done a fantastic job as convener and will bring great leadership to the group. I will be continuing as a Board Member at Large and look forward to continuing to serve the House in any way I can.

Geof Baker

Membership Report

Certified 2017 Voting Members: 477
Number Needed for Quorum: 96
New memberships for this fiscal year: 153

Renewals from members who had been inactive since:

  • 2012 – 4
  • 2013 – 2
  • 2014 – 5
  • 2015 – 7

For a Total of 18 Memberships returning to active status from past years.
Memberships paid via Pay Pal : 58

As of June 20, 2017, we have 273 FY 2018 Paid Memberships. We are 51 Memberships ahead of this time last year.

Respectfully submitted,
Bonnie G. Linse

Communications Report

Our main website will hopefully be seeing some changes in the next year. We are looking at ways to bring new functionality and optimization to the website. As computer systems evolve we need to revamp every so often and it is time for us to make some changes. I have one volunteer working on some ideas.

In the meantime, our Facebook groups, and pages are doing well. The House of Gordon USA Group has over 1350 members, Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Oklahoma & Texas have individual pages/groups to communicate with their members on a more local level. Our Facebook Conveners Group has proven to be a great asset giving the conveners a place to share ideas and compare notes. Our Facebook Page is used for making announcements, as is our Twitter account. And lastly The House of Gordon DNA Project Group on Facebook now has 276 members and as you see from the article in this May’s In The House! on the Gordons of the Carolinas we are making connections and getting a better understanding of our history.

Respectfully submitted,
Lois Todd

Scholarship & Epic Project Report

We awarded three scholarships this year through the Charles O. Gordon Memorial Scholarship to three very deserving recipients:

  • Emma Schiff of Oakland Park, CA received a $500.00 cash grant toward returning to the Highland Dance World Championships in Scotland as well as her Masters level degree in coaching.
  • Megan Ashworth of Simi Valley, CA received a $250.00 cash grant toward her theory class preparation for her Highland Dance Judge’s examination.
  • Autumn Giancchina of Clearwater, FL received a $500.00 cash grant toward the Ohio Scottish Arts School for a week-long Highland Dance workshop.
  • We will award the final $250.00 cash grant and trophy to the Grade 4 Junior Piper of the Day at Grandfather Mountain Highland Games on Saturday during the AGM.

The Epic Project recipient is Dana Leigh Smith, of Searcy, Arkansas. This young lady is a Highland Bass
Drummer with the Lyon College Marching Band. She will receive complete handmade kilt outfits from My Kiltmaker as well as a new bass drum and accessories.

Respectfully submitted,
Lois Todd

DNA Project Report

We currently have 828 members in the study. Our goals for this coming year are:

  • Concentrate on enrolling members from Scotland and Ireland within the next couple of years.
  • Encourage members to upgrade their Y-DNA to 67 and eventually 111 markers, especially where they have close matches (genetic differences of 1 to 3). This allow condensation of family trees.
  • Encourage members to correspond with their Y-DNA and Family Finder matches and compare trees.
  • Furnish all Conveners with a copy of Why DNA? For them to reproduce and use as a handout at Games and Festivals.

In accomplishing the above, we hope to reduce the variety of ancestors to determine the actual progenitor(s).

Respectfully submitted,
Jim Gordon

Treasurer’s Report