Prosit Neujahr! Online registration for the 2024 Capital Chapter Membership Meeting is now open! Please make reservations by Monday, February 12, 2024. This year’s Membership Meeting will take place on Saturday, February 17, 2024, starting at 4:00 pm EST, and planned to last until about 6:30 pm. As with our last Membership Meeting in February 2023, the Membership Meeting this year will be held online, using Zoom. Though the pandemic is officially over, viruses still abound during this winter, and meeting virtually also avoids the risk of having to postpone for inclement weather, while permitting our members in more distant locations to attend conveniently. You will need to have access to Zoom to participate in the meeting, either downloaded on your computer or otherwise available through your browser (please note, however, that there is an option for members to vote in the election by mail even if you do not have Zoom access). Everyone who provides notification of their intent to come (by registering on the website, by mail or by email to the Secretary) will receive a Zoom link from Board member Karen Stokes by email prior to the event, which can be used to log in at the start time. The meeting’s start time at 4:00 pm EST allows members to finish in time for dinner, and also allows members who may be in Europe to participate.
Our agenda will begin with reports from the officers of the Chapter, including discussion of our finances, membership, and cellar status, followed by the Board election, and then open discussion of other chapter business and questions, and plans for the future. What would you like to have the Society do – what are your expectations? The Board needs to know! The business portion of the meeting will be followed by the fun part – a multiple-choice quiz on knowledge of German wines with the chance to win several wine prizes from our cellar (to be delivered at the next in-person events the winners attend, or by arrangement with the Cellarmaster for pickup).
Of course, as this is an online event, members will supply their own choice of wines, cheeses and other foods, and there will be an opportunity to discuss your wine choices with other participants, as we did during the last Membership Meeting. Members in good standing (current on dues) pay nothing for this event (but still need to register via our website or mail, or by email to the Secretary, so that we can have an accurate count of who is coming and can send the Zoom link to everyone); non-members (including those who have been registered as members before but are not current on dues) pay $15 each, through website registration using PayPal or by check.
It is at this annual meeting we elect new officers and directors to the Chapter Board. Only members in good standing, with annual dues payments current, are entitled to vote in the election or to attend this event free of charge; $35 annual dues payments per individual or couple may be made online through the website using PayPal or by check to ensure that you are current, before the meeting. A dues payment made prior to the meeting is sufficient to restore membership status and allow you to attend without charge and participate in the election. Please contact the Secretary if you are not sure whether you are current.
Members can vote in person at the meeting, or by returning their written ballots (found at the end of the candidate statements) by February 12, 2024. Candidate statements and the ballot form (for those who will not be voting in person at the election but would still like to submit a vote) are attached in a separate document, in the version of this notice sent by e-mail. Nominations of other candidates than those listed below and on the attached ballot have to be received by no later than Saturday, February 3, 2024, under our By-Laws, so as to allow revised ballots for the election to be prepared and distributed. All of the candidates running have already been serving in their positions, but we have one open Director position without a candidate. The Chapter President is also running for Chapter Secretary, in the absence of a separate candidate to fill the Secretary position; he was elected to serve in both capacities for the past four years.
The candidates running for positions on the Board this election are:
Carl Willner – for Chapter President and Secretary (positions listed separately on ballot)
Christian Schiller – for Chapter Vice President
Ken Belsley – for Chapter Treasurer
Jim Palanchar – for Director
Karen Stokes – for Director, also serving as Cellarmaster
Klaus Teuter – for Director, also serving as Webmaster
Our By-Laws do not permit nominations from the floor at the meeting for any position for which a candidate is already running, but only in advance so that ballots for a disputed election can be prepared, although floor nominations for uncontested positions are allowed. For this election, most Board positions except for one Director slot have one candidate running. You can give back to the Chapter by seeking to join the Board, or by volunteering to plan or help with a monthly tasting. Your active participation in planning and managing events helps the organization grow – and to do so in the direction you choose.
All correspondence in response to this email should be directed to our President and Secretary, Carl Willner, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org o
1014 Reserve Champion Drive
Rockville, MD 20850
If you are attending as a non-member and need to pay online, please be sure to have a PayPal account in advance, as we cannot accept payments by other forms of credit. If you decide to register by mail, please mail your registration (and check, made out to the German Wine Society, if registering as a non-member) to the Chapter Secretary, Carl Willner, whose address is listed above.
All GWS members and guests are reminded that alcohol consumption can lead to intoxication. Therefore Society members and their guests are expected to drink in moderation at Society events. Fortunately, one of the benefits of holding an online event is that most of you will be safely at home and not driving to the event, but should you decide to visit a friend in order to participate from there, please bear in mind the usual cautions about having a designated driver where available, or mostly tasting rather than consuming alcohol when such drivers are not available. Drinking in moderation will also help to avoid any mishaps using your computer!