The Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society held its Annual
Meeting of the general membership on Saturday, April 5. Members ratified
a proposed ballot of officers and members of the Society's governing
Board of Directors. The membership voted unanimously for the new slate
Jim Van Alstine was voted in as president and will
serve a three-year term. He succeeds Roberta Schiff who moves into the
vice president post after serving two, three-year terms as president.
Term limits set in the bylaws required Robbie to step down as president.
Jennifer Van Alstine continues in the position of
secretary. Marvin Lang, who is new to the Board, was elected treasurer,
replacing Ron Osborne. Judi Gelardi continues her service as membership
coordinator. Rae Schlecht stays on as president emeritus. Zinnia
Konviser remains a member-at-large.
Also new to the Board are: Jane Curran, outreach
coordinator; Robin Henderson, volunteer coordinator; and Jeff Baker,
The bribe for participating in the business of
democracy for those attending in was a cooking demo, followed by eating
the results. Billed as, "Cooking With the Guys: demo by three
testosterone-infused MHVS cooks," Jeff Baker, Jim Van Alstine, and Nate
Williams took turns in the kitchen. Jeff led off, demonstrating his
vegan cheese cake which has been a delights at MHVS potlucks.
Following Jeff, there was an additional demo of a
SoyaPower soy milk maker by Judi Gelardi (not a guy). The machine makes
homemade soy milk production quick easy and inexpensive (cents per quart
rather than dollars per quart for the retail packaged stuff). MHVS sells
the machine for $100 each.
Jim Van Alstine made colcannon, a veganized version of
an Irish soul food classic made with potatoes, cabbage and leeks.
Nate Williams, with help from fiancÚ Robin Henderson,
prepared country fried seitan, served with a variety of dipping sauces.
Nate and Robin noted that seitan is a big vegan favorite, yet relatively
few people prepare their own at home. They showed how inexpensive and
easy it is to prepare a batch of the versatile "wheat meat (see recipes
on the web; www.mhvs.org).
Following lunch, ballot results were announced. In
accepting the presidency, Jim Van Alstine thanked Robbie, who was absent
due to a sudden illness. While attending an animal rights conference the
weekend prior to the Annual Meeting, she suffered an acute illness and
had to have gall bladder surgery. Jim remarked on phenomenal commitment
of time, energy and dedication Robbie brought to her six years of
service as president. "I couldn't even try to match the time and effort
she has put in," Jim said. "While we are letting her step down and serve
as vice president, we continue to need and expect Robbie to continue her
incredible efforts for MHVS." He added that just as Robbie expected her
predecessor, Rae Schlecht, to remain deeply involved in the Society, he,
too, expects Robbie to remain a vital part of MHVS.
Earlier in the day, in her President's Report Read on
behalf by Jim) Robbie said, "This is the sixth annual report I have
written and, as always, on completion, I am amazed at all the things we
have accomplished in one calendar year." She went on to provide an
account of a full, diverse year of activities.
Robbie reported "I have thoroughly enjoyed serving as
president of MHVS for the past six years. Term limits require a change
after that time. Over the years, I have enjoyed working with and
benefited from my relationship with MHVS members, especially Judi
Gelardi who does so much more than her job of membership chair, Jim and
Jen Van Alstine, of course, and Rae Schlecht."
Robbie's report concluded with individual thanks to
many of the Board members and volunteers who have been most helpful over
the years of her tenure.
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