March Newsletter

President's Message  

We had a BLAST at the February Conference. We visited Vandenberg Air Force Base and toured the rocket and missile launching facilities. We visited the Allan Hancock College Public Safety Training Center, where firefighters and police officers are put through rigorous training in a state-of-the-art facility.  We enjoyed a wonderful BBQ dinner at the Schuyler River Bottom Ranch (ask anyone at the Conference how much they liked it).  Saturday morning bright and early (8:00 a.m.) we had our Board Meeting. All three proposals were voted in with some slight amendments. I will send them to you as soon as we finalize our minutes.

The Membership Campaign will get underway soon. We will discuss further details at our Executive Committee meeting this month and then get moving on making contacts with historical societies throughout the state. This should make great improvements in communication with the societies, plus garner new members.

The Downsizing of the Board proposal was passed as well. We amended the Combined RVP Regions proposal to the following order: A: 1-2-3-4-5; B: 7-8-14-16-38; C: 6-9-11-13-35; D:10-12-21-23-24; E:15-17-18-19-22; F:20-32-33-34-36; G: 30-31-37-39-40;  and H: 25-26-27-28-29. The total number of board representatives for the RVPs remains at eight (8).

The notice for Special Called Meetings (Board or membership) was changed from the current 30 days notice to 21 days notice. Note: this will be achieved by snail mail or inserted into a mailing along with other CCHS business (dues or conference registration) as needed.

The two bylaw changes (Downsizing the Board and 21 days notice) will be voted on at the Annual Membership Meeting in May of this year. This serves as your notice to please attend the Annual Meeting. Per the bylaws, there is no requirement for a mailed notice of a regular Annual Membership Meeting (see: Art. XIII Sec. 13.02) - we'll see you there.

One important issue that has come up lately is the fact that we are way behind in our membership dues. If you have not sent in your dues for this year please do so ASAP.  You can renew your membership online, or contact CCHS to request an invoice.

 John Lenau, President

John Lenau
Conference of California Historical Societies
(760) 249-4650

Second Vice President's Message 

 “It’s a big state. It takes a long time to build up your resources.”
   –Jerry Brown, California’s first and only four-term governor giving advice to a prospective
   successor in 2018

As the newest member of the Executive Committee team, boy am I discovering this to be true. For the Conference of California Historical Societies (CCHS), we are also rebuilding our resources in “sharing California’s heritage.”

"Ask not what the Conference of California Historical Societies can do for you, ask what you can do for the CCHS", I might inquire in paraphrasing what former President John F. Kennedy used in bringing a fresh spirit to the Presidency.

And just what might you do?

  • Make sure your dues are current. For those who have been a member in the past or somehow didn’t receive your renewal notice, come back into the fold by sending in your membership dues or confirming that your organization is current. You can mail your renewal or save postage and renew online. Do it now while you are thinking of it.
  • Mark and reserve May 28-30 on your calendar for the CCHS Annual Meeting in the San Francisco area. Please note that the annual observance of Memorial Day is on May 25. We are developing a great program filled with fun and learning to accompany the Annual Meeting.
  • Recruit at least one new member. To borrow the slogan of the California Masonic brethren, "2B1, Ask1". Frankly, some of us have discovered that a lot of people are afraid of joining any organization because they think their lives are so busy that they will be asked to do something. Often, as a person discovers the value of an organization and how California’s rich history is so interconnected, they will choose to take on a larger role, but this is not required.
  • Discover the values of CCHS: They include the discount insurance program (what a bargain!), the California Historian, professional development, networking and the joys of connecting the historical dots.

Membership is the lifeblood of any organization. Dues are the oil that keeps it running and pays the bills. Somehow, when we converted our membership database from paper to digital, there were mix-ups in the addresses of organizations and individuals and that has hurt us. I was one of those and I know of others. If you are among this group, please help us remedy the situation ASAP and pay your dues. The 2015 dues should have been paid by the end of 2014.

As you may have heard, we had robust and spirited meetings at the Spring Symposium in Lompoc (more in the April message). Under President John Lenau’s leadership, we are asking you to approve a series of bylaw changes at the May Annual Meeting to improve our efficiency through some restructuring. This includes reducing the size of the Board of Directors to reflect today’s realities and calling special Board or membership meetings on 21 days notice rather than the current 30.

In a continuing effort to establish a Regional Vice President (or a shared RVP role) for each of our 40 regions covering our 58 counties, we are recommending that you endorse our motion to combine our regions into groups of five for board voting purposes.

This is how the proposed new structure will look with Groups A to H:

A: Regions 1 (Redwood Empire: Del Norte, Humboldt Counties), 2 (Menlo-Lake: Mendocino, Lake), 3 (Siskiyou, Trinity, Shasta), (Range and River: Tehama, Glenn, Butte, Colusa), and 5 (Northeast Corner: Modoc, Lassen, Plumas)

B: Regions 7 (Goldfield Gateway: Sacramento, Yolo), 8 (Sierra Gateway: Placer, Nevada, Sutter, Yuba, Sierra), 14 (North San Joaquin Valley: San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced), 16 (South Mother Lode: Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne), and 38 (El Dorado)

C:  Regions 6 (Sonoma, Marin), 9 (San Francisco), 11 (Contra Costa), 13 (Alameda), and 35 (Napa, Solano)

D: Regions 10 (San Mateo), 12 (Santa Clara), 21 (Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito), 23 (San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara), and 24 (Ventura)

E: Regions 15 (Mid-State: Mariposa, Madera, Fresno), 17 (High Desert: San Bernardino), 18 (Alpine, Mono, Inyo), 19 (Inland Empire: San Bernardino and Riverside Valleys), and 22 (Kings, Tulare, Kern)

F: Regions 20 (Low Desert: Riverside County), 32 (North Orange: North of Santa Ana River), 33 (South Orange: South of Santa Ana River), 34 (San Diego), and 36 (Imperial)

G: Regions 30 (San Gabriel), 31 (Rancho San Pedro), 37 (Southeast Los Angeles), 39 (Long Beach), and 40 (Arroyo Seco)

H: Regions 25 (Mission San Fernando: San Fernando Valley), 26 (Santa Monica Bay), 27 (Central Los Angeles), 28 (West San Gabriel Valley), and 29 (East San Gabriel Valley)

To visualize how this will look, please go to the maps in the Regional Vice Presidents subheading under “About” at the CCHS website. We will have more information at the Annual Meeting at the end of May. See you there!

Michael Otten, 2nd Vice President

Michael Otten
2nd Vice President
Conference of California Historical Societies
(530) 888-7837

CCHS Annual Meeting

May 28 - 30, 2015
Looking Back, Moving Forward
Crowne Plaza San Francisco Airport
Burlingame, CA


It’s an exciting time for the Conference of California Historical Societies (CCHS). Now in its 61st year, CCHS is updating its programs to reflect the needs of today’s historian, historical society staff member and volunteer. You’ll see we have some exciting enhancements to our Annual Meeting format: you’ll have more options than ever before to create a customized path throughout the event to meet your needs. Whether you want to dive deep on historical topics, build your management skills, get training specific to historical societies or just like seeing interesting historical sites (or a combination of all four), you’ll find a match at this year’s Annual Meeting!  Learn more.

Registration and more information coming soon!

Annual Meeting Call for Proposals

The CCHS Annual Meeting Planning Committee is accepting session proposals for innovative and dynamic sessions for the Annual Meeting, May 28-30, 2015. The Committee is seeking workshop presentations to support two tracks for the conference: the History Track and the Skills Track.

  • The History Track is intended to dive deep on lesser known California historical topics. Example topics include: "A New Look at the New Deal", "The History of Aerospace in Los Angeles" and "Hollywood Scandals". 
  • The Skills Track is intended to provide new strategies and tools to help volunteers and staff of historical societies improve the governance and management of their organizations. Example topics include: marketing and communications, volunteer engagement and board governance.

Submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis. Final submission deadline: April 17, 2015.

Submit Session Proposal Here.

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published this page 2015-03-24 18:44:25 -0700
Conference of California Historical Societies
Bringing together California's historical community to share California's heritage, learn from one another and strengthen our communities.