May 2014 Newsletter

President's Address

Since I am nearing my term of office as your President, I'm going to give you a State of CCHS message.  In the last two years, there have been challenges and triumphs.  For starters, the California Historian was looking a bit dated and needed a facelift.  Mary Ellen Jones and her team did a major revamp and gave the publication a much-needed modern design.  The last issue was very well received by CCHS members and nonmembers alike.  Mary Ellen, the editorial board and designer continue to work diligently to bring the best possible magazine to the readers and I commend them for their efforts. 

Funding has always been a concern to the officers.  During the last two years, the Trustees of the CCHS Trust looked carefully at the investment portfolio and made major changes.  Underperforming assets were liquidated in favor of funds that would provide more income on a regular basis.  Currently, all CCHS Trust money is invested in top notch securities.  Contributions to the Trust are always welcome.

Our accountants prepared our tax returns and CCHS is in excellent standing with both the Internal Revenue Service and the Franchise Tax Board.  Our organization is stable and we are able to pay our bills on time.

This is a membership organization and we look forward to adding many new members, both societies and individuals, to our roster.  Members receive the California Historian magazine, notices of meetings and workshops and other information on the activities of CCHS.

When I took office two years ago, I decided CCHS should not be the best kept secret in the California historical community.  We have participated in numerous events, including the "L.A. as Subject" Archives Bazaar at USC, Heritage Day L.A. at El Pueblo, and had a tabletop exhibit at the California Library Association Annual Conference in November 2013.  Our presence at these events has enabled us to get acquainted with many prospective members throughout California and attendees now look for us at major gatherings within the historical community.  Most of these events were attended at no cost to CCHS and our efforts brought new members and subscribers.

It has been a pleasure to serve as your president and I look forward to seeing many of you at future meetings and events.

Best Wishes, 

Ann Shea
President, 2012-2014

First Vice President's Message

As of our Regional Vice President's (RVP) meeting at the Annual Meeting this June, I will have served for two years as your 1st Vice President, Chairman of the RVP Council and Coordinator of the RVPs. It has been a pleasure working with all of you.

I will be installed as the President of the Conference of California Historical Societies at the June 21st Saturday dinner during the Annual Meeting.  I would like to introduce Andrea Blachman:  she will be the next 1st Vice President. Andrea will continue where I left off and I am sure she will have new ideas and programs for you to think about. I hope that you will continue to work with Andrea as you have with me: The 1st VP and the RVPs need to stay in contact and work together to keep this great organization going strong.

I am going to take this time to brag a little. When I came on board in June of 2012, I read the bylaws and standing rules and realized that I had better find out which RVPs were still available and functioning in their regions. I was amazed to find out that many were not. I contacted each one individually and some said that they had not heard from CCHS in years.  I set up an updated RVP list and contact list and later found out that there were 5 duplicate lists (all a little different) in our files! I am happy to report that now all 5 lists match and are up to date. With your help, we garnered a total of 23 RVPs;  we still need to fill 17 vacancies.

I enjoy working with maps and thought that it would be beneficial if we had a California Counties map with our regions on it. With the help of our staff team, we now have this map available.  We also devised a map for LA County to show its 10 regions.

Last but not least, I wanted to be sure to say something about the upcoming Annual Meeting.  As with every conference, it has taken a great deal of time and money to put the Annual Meeting together - and these events are at their best when many historical societies and interests are represented.  We need your help to promote this conference.  Please sign up for the conference yourself and then pick up the phone or email the historical societies near you to remind them to register for this great conference. Oftentimes it is that little encouragement that gets someone to attend. The final date to book hotel rooms is this Friday, so time is of the essence!  

Thank you for all that you do for CCHS. Keep up the good work and see you at the Annual Meeting!


John Lenau
1st Vice President 

Top 4 Reasons You Can't Miss the CCHS Annual Meeting

June 19-21, 2014 ~ Los Angeles

1. Top Notch Networking.  From informal networking during tours to formal networking opportunities like the Leadership Reception and History Fair, the Annual Meeting is prime time to connect with other people just like you.  Whether you are looking for ways to improve your historical society, hoping to build connections for collaborations or just want to get to know other individuals with like interests, the Annual Meeting will connect you to the right people.

2. Informative Workshops.  Choose from historical as well as society leadership topics.  From "California's Aerospace Legacy" to "Building a Strong Relationship with Your Municipality", there is something for everyone.  View workshops.    

3. Awesome Tours.  When else will you have the chance to check out the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) or go behind the scenes with a curator at the Natural History Museum?  

4. Celebration of the 60th Anniversary of CCHS and Installment of New Officers.  CCHS is celebrating its 60th year and you should be a part of it!  Join us as we commemorate this important milestone and meet the new officers who will be leading our Conference moving forward.

Register Now!


Top 3 Reasons You Should Register for the Annual Meeting Today

1.  The deadline to book your hotel is Friday, May 30 - and rooms are filling up!  
Book hotel now.

2.  The deadline to register for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) tour is Friday, May 30. Register now.

3.  The deadline to register for the Behind the Scenes Tour at the Natural History Museum is Friday, May 30.  Register now.

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Conference of California Historical Societies
Bringing together California's historical community to share California's heritage, learn from one another and strengthen our communities.