DMS Meeting Minutes


New member
Desert Marine Society June 10, 2006

Purpose: To plan the revival of the Desert Marine Society. We will begin discussing the mission and direction of the organization, including the identification and delegation of preliminary action items.

Agenda Items:

1. Leadership â€"œ identify the leadership structure and appropriate people to fulfill those roles.

2. Infrastructure â€"œ development of website, fliers, other documentation.

3. Events â€"œ identify what events we would like to have this year.

4. Meetings â€"œ discuss the need for administrative meetings outside of the major events.

5. LFS liasons â€"œ

6. Fundraising/support for the next event â€"œ

JUNE 10, 2006

Meeting to discuss future of DMS took place at Prankster’s beginning at 1:10 p.m.

In attendance:
Che Herrera
Chris Johnson
Andy White
Tiffanie Aylesworth
Jeremy Powell
Chris Aragon
Pat Lombardo

Eva Herrera (Che’s wife) recorded minutes.

Che distributed an agenda, a copy of which is attached to these minutes.

The meeting began with a discussion regarding the new core group of leaders (those present plus additional interested parties not in attendance) moving forward as the new DMS. It was discussed that Che would assume the leadership role with AJ in a co-leadership role because of his history and experience with the organization. It was also discussed that the organization would operate with more of a Board-like structure than official roles and titles such as president, vice-president, etc., with a core group of decision-makers. Tiffanie offered to serve in a treasurer-like role.

Infrastructure items were discussed:
• The group needs recognition from LFS as an organization (i.e. discount cards for members, which need to be distributed quickly upon receiving dues from members)
• Tiffanie has a 54” format printer that can do poster, fliers, etc.
• It was agreed that the website should be kept simple, with no forum â€"œ the website should serve as a marketing tool and to provide resources, such as contact information for the organization, information about upcoming and past events (including photos from Parade of Reefs), advertisements for fundraising events, and educational links and information (i.e. DIY info, links to other pages and sites, identification pages â€"œ aspire to be like Melev’s Reef Site)
• Also, DMS maintains a library of books and other resources that could be listed on the website so that members can check out materials
• Tiffanie has some web experience and will work on developing the website
• Also, Corey mentioned at the first PoR event that he works for a company that registers domains
• The focus of the meeting was for the new DMS to keep it simple and not compete with FRAG

Future meetings for organizational items could be held before FRAG meetings, but to start at 12:00 p.m. so there is enough time for discussion before FRAG starts setting up

Prior to the next meeting, Tiffanie will vectorize DMS’s existing logo

There was also discussion about the status of DMS as a non-profit organization. The club will need a tax ID number, so there needs to be follow-up with AJ to determine what the club’s official status currently is.

Most marketing should be done by one-page emails, but some hard copies should also be printed to distribute to LFS and to have available for people to pick up at information tables set up at LFS prior to events. There was discussion about breaking up the Valley into 4 regions (NW, NE, SW, and SE) and assigning a representative/liaison for each region to make sure that LFS in that region have fliers up, to organize information tables at LFS within the region, etc. Reps can be assigned based on geographic convenience and existing contacts (i.e. Jeremy mentioned that he has contacts with Pets, Inc., About the Reef, and Aquarium Arts).
• Marketing materials should encourage members to support the LFS.
• DMS could try to initiate group buys through LFS rather than online through established relationships with the LFS. One idea was to poll members to see what they want to do a group buy on, then give LFS the first opportunity to participate before going online.
• Remember to send mass emails using bcc

Initially, regular (i.e. weekly) administrative/organizational meetings need to be held to get the new DMS up and running. There was discussion about rotating among members the obligation for recording minutes, but Eva also volunteered to perform that task when she is present. Based on scheduling, the next organizational meeting is tentatively scheduled for the evening of Friday, June 30 or sometime Saturday, July 1, probably to take place at Che’s house. Anyone who is interested in having any input regarding the future of DMS should be present. Tiffanie and/or Che are to check with AJ for a membership list to be sure to include any existing or past DMS members who may not learn about the meeting from RC. An email list of those present today was circulated, and Che will follow-up by email to set a specific date/time for the next meeting and distribute that information to anyone interested in attending.

The meeting concluded with discussion about the next PoR event, which AJ has offered to host in late July/early August. Need to follow-up with dates with AJ. There was discussion about donations for food and door-prizes, but it was suggested that with enough advance notice, it could be a potluck event and there could be a raffle for any door prizes offered.

Suggestions and things to consider for reviving the Desert Marine Society (from RC DMS and Frag forum discussion threads)

1. Leadership â€"œ
a. Need committed leaders to run the organization
b. Need President or point person
c. Find the right leader and establish the group’s structure
d. Leaders that have the time to dedicate to the organization
e. Leaders that are dedicated to promoting the hobby (without being paid)
f. Leaders need to be willing to present or organize presentations and workshops
g. More than one leader to run organization

2. Partnerships â€"œ
a. Get support from local fish stores
b. Work with Frag and Prop
c. Alternate meeting times with Frag and Prop
d. Promote support of local fish stores to get customer benefits
e. Demonstrate how the group members can benefit the lfs
f. All clubs to merge Frag and prop plus DMS to become a greater DMS
g. Combining and aligning of all valley groups

3. Dues and Fundraising â€"œ
a. Need funding to support events
b. Need to determine dues rates and tiered structure
c. Dues need to be reasonable
d. Tiered structure for different levels of access
e. Raffle events and tickets
f. Types of fundraising events
g. Sell DMS t-shirts, hats, notepads, clocks, buttons, etc
h. "Park & Swap" events with a portion going to the club.
i. Sales of current reef related books personally signed by the authors.
j. Events need to be commensurate with the dollar amount of dues
k. Level of membership and dues structure

4. Benefits â€"œ
a. What will the member get for their dues?
b. What is the value of the membership?
c. Need to sell memberships.
d. Need to learn what members’ needs are and to meet them.
e. What are new members going to use the organization for?
f. Set out a schedule well ahead of time so members can plan
g. Discount cards for local fish stores.
h. Tiered membership

5. Mission â€"œ
a. Focus of DMS is Education
b. Need to have truly helpful info
c. Provide education through expert presenters
d. Provide teaching and workshops
e. Layered approach â€"œ beginner through experienced
f. Provide education through local resources
g. Provide a focused educational seminar at each meeting
h. Input from fellow hobbyists
i. Promote knowledge and each other’s efforts
j. Social atmosphere â€"œ conversation, food, and drink

6. Advertising and Recruitment â€"œ
a. Need to attract new members
b. DMS days at lfs
c. Set up a booth: offer a membership with $20 paid dues - Give that new member a $5 certificate good in the store and their new DMS 10% discount card.
d. DMS website
e. DMS fliers and official documentation

7. Events â€"œ
a. Guest speakers
b. Parade of reefs
c. Workshops and seminars
d. Other options?

8. Time and Location â€"œ
a. Need to change the time and location
b. Central location for meetings, convenient for the greatest number of people
c. Location where food and drink are accessible
d. Weekends are better than weekdays
e. Rotating venues
f. Field trips

9. Infrastructure â€"œ
a. Website
b. Bank account
c. Mailbox
d. Meeting place
e. Library
f. Raffle prizes
g. Emergency equipment
h. Fliers and documents
i. Keeping these things current and up to date


New member
I would like to thank Eva and Che for their participation, and look forward to the future meetings that will put DMS back on the map.


New member
f. All clubs to merge Frag and prop plus DMS to become a greater DMS

???? This has me confused . Sounds like a dismantling of clubs to make them all DMS so DMS is the only club left ????

IMO Frag has been the longest standing most active non formal group to combine it with DMS eliminating Frag or Prop as it started from people part of frag .

IMO each group needs to hold their own but support each other .

I know this prolly isn't the place to talk about it but I feel this wasn't the place for this post so .........

c. Alternate meeting times with Frag and Prop.

Prop and Frag only meets 6 times a year for auctions so alternating would knock it down to 3-4 times a year times a year for auctions . I feel DMS should meet on the 3rd or last Saturday of each month as not to take the limited meeting times from frag or prop. JMO

6 c. Set up a booth: offer a membership with $20 paid dues - Give that new member a $5 certificate good in the store and their new DMS 10% discount card.

Good idea but I feel a $5 donation from each membership can go to a good cause maybe a conservation group or other reef related causes. IMO thats much more gratifiying than a 5 dollar certificate.

g. Combining and aligning of all valley groups

Sorry again sounds like DMS is looking to be the only club assimlating others. JMO


New member
Also may I ask that in future posts you can add a middle inital for Chris Johnson as that is my name also and I don't want people to look at the wrong person ;) I have already been asked by others about my involment with DMS which is none at this time However I do support DMS .


New member
Thanks Chris. I think the detailed minutes should have been kept to email and a summary of the progress that we made Saturday should have been posted, not the whole thing. I believe Che was concerned that there may be people interested in participating in the reforming of DMS that could not attend the meeting. I won't speak for him entirely, but we will get that ironed out. I'd like to see full names and other details removed from the post myself.

f. All clubs to merge Frag and prop plus DMS to become a greater DMS

This was not discussed!!!!!!!! This has not been mentioned at all by any DMS person. In fact, it is the opposite entirely. We will be working closely with PROP and FRAG to make sure that there is no conflict and we will try to all support each others interests. That is what we are about. All of the lettered bullets were items summarized by Che that were suggestions/feedback by everyone in the recent threads and at the parade of reefs event. These items do not represent the goals of the club. They are the communities feedback that will kickstart the discussions we need to have.

I like the idea of making charitable contributions. I had been thinking about that myself.

I will personally guarantee (and I am confident that the rest of the group is behind me on this) that DMS does not intend to assimilate anyone else or dominate the valley. This was in the discussion minutes • The focus of the meeting was for the new DMS to keep it simple and not compete with FRAG Should say FRAG and PROP, but the message is there.

Thanks for bringing that up. I am glad we can clear it up before anyone else starts to worry.



New member
Thank you for the response. I know DMS will be working with PROP and FRAG closely I mainly wanted to point out that I felt the detailed minutes was too much info . Therefore I felt I had to point out the other items in the above post . I only took them the way it was wrote which left lots of open space :D I agree a sumary would have been better IMO.

Deweys Dad

New member
I'm sorry Chris, if I knew we had the same last name as well I would have given Che my middle initial for clarity. I'll ask him to put it in. It's Chris R. Johnson by the way, hope your middle initial is different. :D

Deweys Dad

New member
It was said a number of times at the meeting that we were not looking to compete with FRAG or PROP so I'm not exactly sure what Che was getting at there. Unfortunately we didn't have the chance to get that far as we were overtaken by the auction but I have a feeling that his point was simply misworded.