After the meal, Tom Basten and John Byrd each spoke to the group. Shimek Forester John Byrd reported on the accomplishments of the Shimek DNR Crew and FOS this past year and plans for completing the two new equestrian parking areas this year. Shimek Forest is now a part of the Southeast Area of the Parks Bureau under Supervisor Tom Basten. Tom Basten reported to the group on the upcoming budget for DNR. While the state budget is getting smaller and smaller, due to increases in camping, the incoming revenue to Parks state wide is up, which helps the Parks budget. He is hopeful that a DNR Technician can be hired for Lacey and Shimek (shared assignment) again. Tom Basten (left)and John Byrd (right) are shown speaking to the Friends of Shimek at dinner.
The FOS gavel was passed from President Ann Bennett to in-coming President Ringo Covert at the beginning of the program.
He introduced the 2018 Board to the attendees. Changes on the Board included the addition of Bonnie Moothart who is now Secretary/Editor and the addition of Jo Watson as an additional Board Member at Large. The members of the 2018 FOS Board of Directors pictured below (left to right) are: Ann Bennett, Past-President; Ringo Covert, President; Bonnie Moothart, Secretary; Jo Watson; Marsha Achenbach, Vice President; Debbie Miller, Treasurer; John Byrd, DNR Board Advisor; Neal Hartman; and Lora Conrad.
Selected as the Bennett Volunteers of the Year for 2017 were Bill & Linda Fiordelise. They have been reliable, hard-working volunteers at many work days over the past years. If you have volunteered--you have almost certainly worked with Bill and Linda. They were presented with a Certificate of Appreciation from the Board, and a lovely hand turned wooden Bowl made and donated by Bob Achenbach as well as dinner at the awards program, funded by a donation from Ann & John Bennett. The award was presented by FOS President Ringo Covert.
Denise Schieffer was presented a Certificate of Appreciation by the Board and a lovely southwestern style blanket in recognition of her support for FOS and the equestrian community through her leadership of the Iowa Trail Riders Association for many years. The organization has disbanded, but the impact of Denise's support for trails and equestrians will long be felt.