The Board approved the applications of eight new Regular Members. Continued concern for the financial well-being of the Society, and the treasurer’s announcement that additional financing would be required, not-later-than the middle of the month, resulted in the approval of a motion authorizing the officers to sell any of the Society’s financial assets, toward reducing/eliminating current outstanding debt. The Board then approved a motion to consider reinvesting some/all of the Kate Gleason Fund, currently all held exclusively in Eastman Kodak common stock, toward increasing its yield. Chair of the Employment Committee Graham Chamberlain, and RES Executive Secretary Norm Howden presented plans to establish a unit of V.E.S.T. (Volunteer Engineers, Scientists and Technicians) to support re-employment of recently-discharged employees of the US Aerospace Program. (Editor’s note: At its peak in 1968, aerospace employment was 1.5 Million (including 235,000 engineers & scientists). By 1972 total employment in this industry had dropped to 917,000 (including 157,000 engineers & scientists). Led by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the VEST Program was a national effort to provide job search office space and travel/relocation grants to laid-off aerospace workers, for seeking and securing new employment. The Board approved up to $50 for sponsorship/implementation of this project by the Society. The Membership Committee announced plans to enlist the services of the Remington/Stockdale Agency to develop a membership recruitment brochure. RES Director Edwin Anthony reported on a recent meeting of the Operation RESOURCE leadership with Hercules Company, to review current and developing processes for reclamation of municipal waste materials. Mr. Anthony further reported that Mrs. Ann Nelson of Eco-Trans has requested that the RES participate in a study of the transportation requirements in the Rochester area. While the Board indicated general consent for this requested involvement, RES Director, Jack Corson, expressed a concern that the RES was becoming a “consulting organization.” RES Director George Landberg expressed the belief that the minutes of each RES Board meeting should be published in The Rochester Engineer toward keeping the membership informed of the actions of the Board.
Following extensive discussion of the financial status of the Society, the Board unanimously approved a motion to reduce the RES holdings in Eastman Kodak common stock, to 3,000 shares. The proceeds of this would then be used to completely retire the Society’s indebtedness, retain $5,000 as working capital, with the balance to be reinvested for optimum cash return. The Board then approved this action, unanimously.
“Some of the problems that we have today are too serious to wait much longer,” according to Eastman Kodak President, Gerald B. Zornow. Of today’s engineers, he said, “No group is better qualified to give definition to our dreams than the engineers, for they are equipped by ability and training to show us how far our dreams can go.” He further admonished, “And a corollary to this responsible assignment is the obligation to point out to us where the nightmares might be lurking.” He went on, “To those who voice apprehensions that ‘technology has gone too far’, it hasn’t gone far enough, for it has not yet served man as well as it can.” Anticipating a large crowd for Mr. Zornow’s address to the RES Luncheon at the Chamber of Commerce, reservations and advance ticket purchases, at $3, were encouraged. The title of his presentation was announced as, “The New Engineering: Giving Definition to the Dreams.” The 1972 RES Luncheon series was announced including; “Balanced Transportation – Needs and Effects” by Bernard F. Perry, PE, NYSDOT, “Artificial Blood Vessels” by Dr. Charles G. Rob, U of R School of Medicine, “Master Plan – Concepts and Constraints” by Don Martin, Monroe County Department of Planning, “Automobile Air Bag Restraint Systems” by Dr. John H. States, U of R School of Medicine.
The RES Finance Committee reported that, upon recommendation of the Executive Committee, 900 shares of Eastman Kodak had been sold, realizing $86,799.70, which was used to pay all debts of the Society, and the balance deposited into an interest-bearing account at Lincoln Rochester Trust Company. It was also reported that approximately one- third of this amount had been invested in convertible debentures of National Cash Register and Reynolds Metals Company, in anticipation of an approximate 6.2% annual yield.
Subsequent articles in this series will describe the RES' continuing outreach to other technical societies as it considered its role in this and the larger community, along with more of the activities of the RES as it moved to be of greater service to its membership, especially those suffering from current economic crises, and adopted a greater role in shaping the future of the City and its environs. Noted also, will be the contributions made by RES members in the struggle to meet the challenges coming out of World War II and the Korean Conflict, as well as a hoped-for period of post- war growth and prosperity. These articles will also feature an impressive array of RES activities in support of post-war re-emergence of Rochester area industry, and the ensuing prosperity of the second-half of the 20th Century.
We welcome your questions and comments on this series.
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