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CAOAC Meeting Minutes - Oct 14, 2023

Executive Caoac Meeting Date: Sat. Oct 14, 2023 Meeting Time: 8h30am (EDT); Hybrid Meeting (Zoom & In-person) Venue: HDAS Auction - Waterdown Legion Branch 551; 79 Hamilton St. N., Waterdown, ON, Canada, L0R 2H0


Topics: Welcome; Introductions of Frank Aguirre, and Ernest Biktimirov; Review of the PetExpo Caoac Convention; Financial Update; Initiative to Hold an Insurance Draw; Physical Transfer of CAOAC Files and Explanation of Key Documents; Next General CAOAC Meeting; Adjournment. Item 1: Introductions *The Executive Meeting was called to order and the two new Caoac Executives and guests gave a brief background about their positions and interests in the hobby. Frank Aguirre, New President, Caoac: Frank, mentioned out he grew up with an interest in fish from a young age, turned it into a business in Mexico, studied fish after high school, operated a pet store in Canada and ventured out into his own aquarium business in Toronto. Frank has always been part of the aquarium clubs as a member and as a speaker. He is delighted to be president of Caoac this year. Frank strives to defend, promote and protect the aquarium hobby in a world where it has come under scrutiny. Frank’s objective is to learn everything he can about the Canadian Association of Aquarium Clubs and take it to greater heights. He would like his term in office to test new ideas and yet have an appreciation for structure. Frank expressed a desire to further extend bilingualism into CAOAC to accommodate French Canada. Frank extended his thanks to everyone who has supported him in his bid for the presidency and continues to support him in his role as the new president of CAOAC. Ernest Biktimirov, New 1st Vice President, Caoac: Ernest grew up in Uzbekistan keeping fish from a very young age as a boy. He has been a member of the St Catharines & Area Aquarium Society for 20 years, and living in the Niagara Region for the same amount of time. Ernest was the Programme Coordinator for the St. Catharines & Area Aquarium Society up until 2023. His background is education and finance and he looks forward to helping to contribute to clubs nationwide, to the general direction of aquaria in Canada and working alongside the other CAOAC volunteers from various aquarium societies.


Item 2: Review of the Pet Expo - Caoac Convention 2023 was the first time that CAOAC had held its Convention within Pet Expo in Mississauga. It was the first post-emergency phase of the pandemic CAOAC Convention, and Pet Expo offered CAOAC a venue as the clubs were emerging slowly from a couple years of relative inactivity with fluctuating memberships. The consensus of those present at this meeting was that the level of interaction with the public was significant and that it was encouraging to see some clubs were even signing new members up to join their aquarium societies. This recruiting aspect of the exhibition could be emphasised if the Convention is to be held at Pet Expo again or anywhere there is exposure to the general public. Pet Expo offered an excellent way to showcase the hobby, and talk with the public about the value of fishkeeping right down to the Canadian Biotope Competition. Families did take interest in this contest. Holding the convention within PetExpo, however, did compromise annual fund raising for CAOAC/RSAC. This was necessary to accommodate the requirements of the Expo. Dry goods were not allowed to be sold and there could not be the usual live action with fish or plants that the convention attendees look forward to. Draws could not occur at the Pet Expo site. While continuing with Expo remains an option for the future, other things may need to change in order to compensate, and it is undetermined if the Pet Expo should be an annual convention commitment for Caoac. Item 3: Financial Update Albert van Montfort, Treasurer, stated that CAOAC had come through the Convention solvent and stated the current bank balance. He mentioned the revenue generators for the Caoac Convention in 2023 were the T-shirt sales and draws that were held at the Convention Hotel. CAOAC’s main source of revenue is the auction which was not possible at the Pet Expo site asmentioned. Item 4: Initiative to Hold an Insurance Draw Albert van Montfort, Treasurer, re-introduced the topic of an insurance draw. There has been an increasing problem with Clubs paying very late for insurance and membership fees such that some of the forms and fees are not collected until months after they are due. CAOAC does not wish to “punish” clubs for late payment, but it does create an issue when everything is not in order on time. A draw for 2024 would perhaps incentivise clubs to pay on time. It was proposed to hold a draw for clubs which pay their insurance dues on time, and that the prize would be that CAOAC pays their insurance fee for the year for the draw winner. It was decided that the clubs must also indicate a CAOAC Representative and a Fish Rescue Representative in order to qualify for the draw. All insurance money would have to be paid by December 15, 2023. A vote was taken of the Executive present and it was decided to proceed with this idea. Dave Holland was to send out an email bilingually to all the clubs announcing the Initiative. The motion passed with Ernest Biktimirov (First Vice President Caoac, SCAAS); Cindy Barrett (Corresponding Secretary, Caoac; SCAAS); Dave Holland (Recording Secretary, Caoac; PRAC); and Albert van Montfort (Treasurer, Caoac; DRAS) supporting the motion. (Note: President does not have a vote, unless there is as tie that must be broken; and, two members of the Executive were absent)


Item 5: Physical Transfer of CAOAC Files and Explanation of Key Documents


Former CAOAC President, Nancy Egelton, turned over several boxes of files and the CAOAC Minutes Book to Frank Aguirre. Nancy spent time going over many of the key files and briefing about significant issues affecting CAOAC in the past and highlighting important documents.


The CAOAC computer is still in the custody of Catherine Salmon, 2023 Caoac Convention Show Chair. It will be turned over to Frank and Catherine has requested assistance from CAOAC Webmaster Michael Beat obtaining some data. This transfer should occur within the next few weeks.




Item 6: First General CAOAC Meeting


Frank stated he would like to hold his first General CAOAC Meeting in conjunction with the Kitchener-Waterloo Aquarium Society (KWAS) Octoberfish Auction, October 22, 2023, and would make a formal announcement very soon.




Item 7: Adjournment


Frank Aguirre, President, adjourned the meeting at 9h30am (EDT - TORONTO)


Attendees: Frank Aguirre (President Caoac, PRAC); Ernest Biktimirov (First Vice President Caoac, SCAAS); Cindy Barrett (Corresponding Secretary, Caoac; SCAAS); Dave Holland (Recording Secretary, Caoac; PRAC); Albert van Montfort (Treasurer, Caoac; DRAS); Phil Barratt (SCAAS Caoac Rep); Peter DeSouza (Former First Vice-President, CAOAC); Nancy Egelton (Past President, CAOAC) Apologies: Michael Beat (Webmaster, Caoac; PRAC); Lisa Boorman (CAOAC Facebook Page Manager, CKAS); Ann Marie Towell (2nd vice-president, Caoac; CAS)

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