Vic Riemenschneider Awarded the
2010 James H. Mason Service Award
by Amy and Carl Wilms
In 1973, Vic joined the Indiana Audubon Society. He brought a wealth of knowledge and service ethic from Ohio. As an educator, Vic moved to South Bend, IN to assume a position with Indiana University South Bend after receiving his BS, MS, and Ph.D. from Ohio State University along with a second BS from Kent State University. Vic was an Associate Professor of Biology and an Associate Professor of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUSB. While working as a faculty member Vic worked to instill his version of volunteerism in his students by modeling and encouraging his students to participate as well. His willingness to share his valuable time and expertise expands beyond the IAS confines as Vic, and Marge, have been ardent supporters for South Bend/Elkhart Audubon and its Sanctuary with countless hours of service in official offices, stewardship, maintenance and fundraising efforts.
But the James Mason Award is for service and dedication to the IAS. Let us turn our attention to this relatively invisible and yet essential service that Vic has provided our Society. As a biologist, Vic recognizes the value in habitat restoration and preservation and has generated, and maintained a botanical checklist for IAS’s Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary. As an educator, Vic, and Marge, have supported educational outreach efforts for IAS by providing dedicated funds for such purposes. In 2002, Vic became the membership chair for our IAS. For the last eight years he has helped our Society in a very quiet and dedicated fashion. As membership chair, Vic has spent numerous hours each month tracking current membership roles; sending renewal notices that many of us are thankful for; sending second and third notice reminders for those of us who are apt to need such prodings; and general promotion of our organization. Vic tracks our new members and is officially the first person to welcome members with new membership cards and welcoming information. Imagine what it would entail for you to manage the enrollment of over 400 IAS members. Renewal dates, address changes (some members have more than one), updates with marriages and the passing of our members and friends, separation of funds for membership, donations to endowments to the IAS or MGBS, or donations to the Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary or the Indiana Young Birders’ Club. It has been estimated that over the course of his membership chairmanship, Vic has made thousands of contacts in order to promote and maintain membership roles in the IAS. I ask you, who reminds Vic to maintain this vigilent dedication? That is the point… he does it because he believes in the cause. It is belief in a concept that is bigger than any of us.
Now that you may have attempted to visualize the size of this book-keeping task, let me add a serious monkey-wrench. Over the past two years, the IAS has pursued several concepts that will hopefully assist in the transition of the IAS into the internet age. With the development of the new IAS website a membership component was added so that membership via the internet is feasible and encouraged. What this seemingly innocuous web-page represents to the IAS visitor or member, is not the same for Vic, the membership chair. His time tested system that had been honed and established with the expertise of a scientist was thrown a bag of new tricks that may have been heaved with little thought as to the impact that it could generate. But Vic did not voice any objections to the ripples that headed his way. He adjusted to the changes and delivered his reports with continued expertise.
This service to us, members of the IAS, and the Society in general, represents the dedication and service ethic of the namesake of the James Mason Award. It is with pride and honor that the Indiana Audubon Society recognizes Vic Reimenschnider as the recipient of the Indiana Audubon Society’s 2010 James Mason Service Award.