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Thomas Demchuk, Fall 2019

Thomas DemchukAs I compose my final President’s message for GCSSEPM I am thankful for the opportunity to have served the membership and Society for the past 2 years. I am extremely grateful to the members of the Executive Council, particularly President-Elect Don van Nieuwenhuise who has been very supportive over the past year assisting with various duties, and learning more about the Society as he takes the reins into 2020. Many thanks to Secretary Milly Wright who has kept the documents and made certain the Board meetings and associated activities were all planned and ran appropriately. Thanks to Julitta Kirkova Pourciau as Treasurer for making certain we remained in the black and the financial records were complete, and thanks to the two Vice-Presidents who served over the past two years, Mike Sweet and Joe McQuaker for their insightful comments and support and guidance toward the success of the Society. Finally, many thanks to John Suter as Director of the GCSSEPM Foundation for keeping me on my toes with all the necessary Presidential duties, as well as Dorene West (Foundation Trustee) for her reminders of what needed to be done, and when. Additional thanks to Trustees that I have had the pleasure of working with including Ron Waszczak, Jory Pacht, and Bruce Hart, and the past Foundation Director Tony D’Agostino. I wish all the best to the new incoming Foundation Trustees John Snedden and Jennifer Wadsworth. I won’t be far away over the next couple of years as I will stick around through 2020 as Past-President to work further with Don, then to assist the 2021 President I’m sure.

One of the things I have learned over the past few years is dealing with the diverse personalities on the Board and making certain all opinions are heard appropriately and equally. Of course despite some slightly raised voices during meetings, and capital letters in e-mails and texts, the ultimate goal was the total success of the Society in its function to support the membership and fully carry out its goals. We all have our different ideas as to how that should be accomplished, and “herding the cats” was not easy…sometimes (mostly?) because of my lack of attentiveness and forgetfulness, but also sometimes simply because of the Board’s passion. Calmer heads always prevailed, and the Society is well founded moving into the future. Without keen interest and passion, why do anything at all? Both Don as President and John as Director have GCSSEPM in their very best interests as do the Executive Council and the Foundation Trustees.

The GeoGulf 2019 conference (GCAGS) was held earlier this fall and I’m pleased that GCSSEPM sponsored several very successful events. Although the final registration numbers were a bit lower than expected the conference was lively and the technical content was very high. The GCSSEPM Luncheon was sold out, and the speaker was Dr. Jim Pindell who gave a presentation entitled, “The Geological Evolution of Mexico.” Jim is an excellent speaker and he did not disappoint the crowd. Earlier, GCSSEPM also sponsored Jim’s short course, “Principles of Paleogeographic Evolutionary Synthesis” as well as the short course by Jon Rotzien, “Fundamentals of Deepwater Stratigraphy and Reservoirs.” During the course of the meeting, we further sponsored Jon’s technical sessions, “Global Deepwater Reservoirs.” During the Opening Ceremonies, we presented our highest honor, the Doris Malkin Curtis Award to Dr. John Anderson (Rice University) and also presented two Honorary Memberships to long-time volunteers to the Society, Tony D’Agostino and Jory Pacht.

As I am composing this message, the Perkins-Rosen Research Conference has just finished and reprised the theme, “Salt Tectonics, Associated Processes, and Exploration Potential: Revisited 1989–2019.” Carl Fiduk was the chairman of the technical sessions, with the capable assistance of Van Mount and Thomas Hearon as co-chairs. The conference was held at the Charles Davidson Hall at Noble Energy and ran from December 3–6. Registration kicked off with a Wine Tasting Event at the nearby Brix Wine Cellar in Vintage Park on Tuesday evening, with the technical sessions being held Wednesday through Friday morning. The GCSSEPM Board Meeting was held Thursday evening at the nearby Springhill Suites Hotel near Chasewood Park. Carl, Van and Thomas pulled together an excellent technical program and John Suter made sure the meeting venue and other arrangements led to an excellent overall experience. Thanks also to Carmen Fraticelli at Noble Energy for arranging the conference Hall.

Once again, I thank everyone for assisting me through the 2 years of my Presidency and I look forward to continued involvement in the Society working with Don and the Executive Council through 2020, and also into 2021. It’s been a learning experience on many levels. I greatly appreciated everyone’s support.

Respectfully submitted,

Thomas Demchuk