Note from our past President

//Note from our past President

Note from our past President

Just a note to wrap up and reflect on this wonderful year for NOVAC.


At the December meeting NOVAC elected officers for 2013:

•  Phil Wherry will become your new NOVAC President

•  Reelected and continuing to serve as the NOVAC officers are Alex Rogge, VP, Yvette Johnson, Secretary and Kent Allingham, Treasurer

•  Terry Cabell, John McDonnell and  Arlen Raasch were elected as Trustees joining Trustees Pedro Martinez and David Werth


After 5 years of serving on the NOVAC Board, 3 as a Trustee and the last 2 as your President, I plan to be spending my future NOVAC time on the observing field where I hope to see many of you in the upcoming years!  It has been my privilege to work with a wonderful group of NOVAC leadership and members, an incredibly dedicated group of volunteers.  It is through the combined efforts  of the leadership team and an active and supportive membership that makes NOVAC the premier astronomy cub in the nation.  The efforts of all of you are why we do so much and have grown to over 1,100 members!


The club is involved in so many areas that I’ll probably miss a few, but I want to thank and recognize people that I’ve had the privilege to work with these past years covering the many NOVAC areas:


–  Outstanding programs each month.  Thank you Alex Rogge for finding and managing the speakers for our meetings and thanks to each of our speakers, especially those that belong to NOVAC:  Kevin Quinn, Ralph Perrino, Dr. Tom Jones and Cal Powell

–  A wonderful collection of observing sites.  Thanks to each of the site coordinators:  Terry Cabell, John Deriso, Tom Finkenbinder, Lyle Mars, Allan Mayer, Jim Mosquera, Arlen Raasch and Eric Vondra along with the cadre of NOVAC telescope owners and cookie bakers.  Your efforts to schedule and host public and member observing events, negotiate the observing agreements, and keep the relationships in place between NOVAC and the organizations where we observe allow NOVAC to do outreach and for members to enjoy their hobby.

–  A frequently used equipment loaner program.  Bob Parks, you do a great job managing and upgrading the equipment our members can borrow for learning and evaluating the sky. Your work acquiring and disposing  of loaner equipment and coordinating members that serve as equipment custodians keeps the program running smoothly.  Thanks to the equipment custodians, too.  You are an integral part of the loaner program.

–  An extensive astronomical lending library.  John Deriso, you store and care for the library and bring a small portion of the library holdings to each meeting.  Your diligence in acquiring new items and managing the circulation of the collection keeps our library current relevant for the cub members.

–  Active community outreach.  Travis Eyster, you’ve handled constant requests for outreach requests and worked with the members to match outreach events to member coverage.  Those of you that volunteer by bringing your scopes and knowledge to outreach enable the core values of our club.

–  Astronomical League participation.  Paul Brewer, Thank you for keeping the club informed about the various Astronomical League areas of activity. The educational presentations you made show the opportunities available for members.  Your efforts have work as evidenced with the growing number of AL awards presented at our club meetings.

–  Wonderful major events.  Phil Wherry, your efforts coordinating and managing the Almost Heaven Star Party this year and years past has turned AHSP into a national draw and a sell out event.  AHSP is one of the top star parties in the US and that’s due to the work you and the volunteers you pull together accomplish.  Astronomy Day and Star Gaze draw crowds even when it rains!  The program, activities, and observing opportunities bring together NOVAC and the community.  David Werth, Travis Eyster, Yvette Johnson, Donna Blosser,  Henry Bishop, Richard Grauel along with many other volunteers make these two major NOVAC outreach events happen

–  Robust NOVAC communications.  NOVAC communicates using Social media and the NOVAC Web site supported by solid IT services.  Chris Lee, your efforts behind the scenes to generate the AHSP web site and the upcoming NOVAC web site are instrumental in enabling NOVAC communications.  Phil Wherry, your constant attention to the NOVAC IT infrastructure allows the club to exchange ideas, help one another, and register and meet to observe.  Through your efforts NOVAC members are able to communicate 24 hours a day because of the systems you put in place and maintain.  Yvette your efforts with Social Media brought us members we would otherwise have never reached.

–  Quality AV Support and event assistance.  Arlen Raasch, you’ve been the behind the scenes enabler at most every NOVAC event from finding and operating the AV equipment for the meetings to supporting major events.  You were actively involved in the work to make AHSP a success.

–  The ongoing Roboscope project.  David Hinzel, your push to revive the Roboscope project along with assistance from Pete Johnson, Arlen Raasch and Travis Eyster moved the needle closer to having a Roboscope for the club

–  Relevant Localized observing and satellite tracking:  Jeff Stetekluh and Chip Sufitchi, thank you for using your skills to provide us with local observing and satellite tracking information.

–  Supporting up and coming scientists.  Arlen Raasch, Phil Wherry and Alex Rogge thank your for taking time to judge astronomy projects at the Fairfax County regional science fair.


Most of all, a big thank you to each and every one of you for being part of NOVAC.  You are all part of the best Astronomy Club in the US!


Best regards and Happy Holidays,



Paul Derby, Outgoing President

Northern Virginia Astronomy Club

By | 2013-10-14T19:02:19-04:00 December 26th, 2012|News|0 Comments

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