Since my election in October, 2008, I have filled the vacant Executive Committee positions, established a bank account and credit card capability to use for membership payments and talked with many present and past CIE/USA members. My notification to the CIE about the status of the USA and my invitation for the requested meeting with the CIE President and Past President at our 18 March 2009 meeting went unanswered. My first response from the CIE was a notification from the CIE treasurer that we must pay the balance of our 2007 dues by 31 December 2008 or the USA membership would terminate. Since this indicated that we were not being given the time to reorganize and collect dues as I had requested in my original email, I informed the CIE that I was terminating my reorganization and dues collection activity and at our meeting on 18 March we would finalize our termination of the CIE/USA. The immediate reply from the CIE President was that he had not replied to my several emails since he was waiting for the face to face meeting which he had requested. My response was that I had proposed that meeting to be held on 18 March 2009 in my first email which he then recognized as his mistake and he accepted that meeting date when the future of the USA’s membership would be decided.
In talking to many present and past USA members, the question of the amount of dues which the USA must pay the CIE has often been raised. The USA dues for 2007 were € 27,027.78 and we owe a balance of € 20,749.77 (≈ $26,000) and for 2008 we owe € 30,392.00 (≈ $38,000). This dues amount has steadily increased from less than $10,000 paid in the mid 1980’s when the dollar was strong and we benefited by the conversion rate. The benefits we obtain for these dues is the ability to purchase CIE Publications for resale at half price and our members may purchase CIE Publications at half price. (Other member countries, I am told, receive one copy of each publication at no cost.) Our dues are based on a percentage of the CIE budget expenses and this percentage relates to the percentages used by the UN for their member dues. Since the UN General Assembly and Security Council meet in New York City where their offices are located, the benefits for the USA are great which includes the fact that there are many jobs for US citizens to support the UN and the member country activities. With the lack of similar benefits to the USA for its CIE membership, the USA has for years requested a change in the basis for the CIE dues but no relief has been provided. We have now been informed that the CIE General Assembly meeting in Budapest on 26 May 2009 would be the only opportunity we have to again have this issue addressed.
Publication sales, which have been my responsibility since 1993, produced a profit of about $5,000 in 1993 and increased to over $15,000 in 1999 when the CIE made a major change in their policy for the sale of publications. Prior to 2000, the USA received 5 copies of each new publication on consignment and we had the exclusive rights for all CIE Publication sales in the USA. In 2000, a third party vendor, TechStreet located in Colorado, became the source of CIE Publication sales; the USA no longer had exclusive rights for sales in the USA; the USA was given all the publications that we had in stock and we had to purchase all new publications. As a result our profit from publication sales fell to about $5,000 in 2000 where it has remained ever since. At present we have an inventory of 171 of the 201 CIE Publications which cost us € 9103 (≈ $11,000). All future sales are very limited since we do not have 30 publications in stock and I can no longer order CIE Publications.
We list 15 Constituent Societies members on our website but data from the 2000-1 fiscal year indicates that only 9 paid their dues that year and this year only 2 have paid their dues. We list 35 Contributing Organization members on our website and in the 2000-1 fiscal year only 21 paid their dues and this year only one paid along with one new member. Some of this I attribute to the economy but much of it is the lack of contact and public relation activity with our members. The mailing list that I was able to create from lists used last year by our Secretary had just over 250 names. Corrections have reduced this list to about 230 names and from this we have received dues totaling just over $10,000 from 49 individuals, companies and organizations. As we have found in the past, our ability to collect dues from many companies and organizations has required personal contact by individuals that know key people in them but my attempts at this with GE and Sylvania has not been fruitful. With the present economy, I believe we have a long, tough road to double our present membership and dues income but this should be our #1 goal if we want to remain in business.
At our meeting on 18 March, we will have a Treasurer’s report which will identify that we can now pay the balance we owe for 2007. We should then have between $10,000 and $20,000 for our regular expenses, communication expenses, the March and October meeting expenses and some money to support travel to various CIE Division meetings and especially the Budapest Midterm Division and General Assembly meetings. We should request that the issue of the USA dues should be included on the General Assembly agenda and go with a presentation to support our request of a major reduction. If a reduction is obtained and we all work to double our present membership, we will be able to remain a CIE member. Without a reduction I do not believe that we will be able to pay our 2008 dues by the end of this year which would result in our membership termination which we can address at our October meeting. It should be noted that if we vote at our 18 March meeting to immediately terminate our activity, several members have requested a refund of their dues and we probably should return all dues received since last October.
My request to everyone that reads this report is to identify how you can assist with maintaining the USA’s CIE membership. If you have questions, please let me know. The IES Board at last November’s meeting was informed by President Ron Gibbons that the CIE/USA was about to go under. I am sure that this has not helped us obtain dues income. We need your help and ideas to overcome the negative information that has been circulated and without us all working together we will go under.
Tom Lemons, President