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Chapter Operations Overview

If Gunma JALT’s 2013 year could be summed up in one word, it would be “volunteerism”. There is always a spirit of positive participation among the members of our chapter, and that spirit manifested itself in many ways this year. From 2-hour presentations to 20-minute My Shares, Gunma JALT members presented their recent academic achievements no less than eight times. When officers found themselves unable, others gladly stepped in to fill their shoes. Lastly, the wonderfully punctual and participatory attendees at this year’s Workshop in Kusatsu helped keep things on time and on track. Thank you, members of Gunma JALT, for making this chapter what it is.

Nothing was added to this section at the AGM.

President: John Larson

The President coordinated and communicated with other officers to make sure Gunma JALT was running smoothly. He represented Gunma JALT at national meetings, organized our local AGM and put together our Chapter Report.
This year the job of President has been easy due to the positive contributions made by all Gunma JALT officers.

Nothing was added to this section at the AGM. 

Membership: Yoko Kamo

The Membership Chair took attendance at the front desk at monthly meetings, as well as processed new and renewing members to JALT. Also, the Membership Chair checked the monthly membership list, sending out any membership renewal reminders to members who had forgotten.
Compared with last year, this year’s Gunma JALT membership has decreased. Last year we had 56 members, as of October this year we have 51. However, attendance at meetings has been very good, with most meetings attracting between 15 and 20 attendees.
Special thanks goes to Junko Hoshino for stepping in and running the check-in desk when Yoko was unavailable!

Nothing was added to this section at the AGM.

Program: Michele Steele, Morijiro Shibayama, Harry Meyer, Daniel Potocki

The Program Chairs invited speakers to present at meetings, worked with the Facilities Chairs to arrange the venues for meetings, and relayed information about each meeting to the Publicity Chairs. They also were responsible for organizing the Sumer Workshop in Kusatsu, including working together with our counterparts in JACET to line up a lecturer and venue.
This year Gunma JALT had some lively and informative meetings, including many great presentations by local presenters. In addition, we had a wonderful My Share collaboration with Omiya Chapter. A list of our meetings with summaries can be found on our webpage: Hopefully next year our members can recommend some great presenters for our meetings.

At the AGM, Michele commented that if other officers or members have any ideas for presenters, those ideas can help the Program Chairs greatly. Please send any suggestions to 

Publicity: Raymond Hoogenboom, Makiko Shimizu

The Publicity Chairs maintained and expanded our email contact lists, sent out email notifications for meetings and other events such as Kusatsu, and occasionally sent out news, event notifications and information from JALT National. Publicity Chairs are also responsible for asking publishers such as Japan Times, Daily Yomiuri and Shukan ST to post our monthly meeting announcements.
Next year the Publicity Chairs hope to expand membership and meeting attendance by attracting younger members as well as primary- and secondary-school teachers.

At the AGM, John commented that our great attendance at meetings was most likely the great job done by the Publicity Chairs this past year.

Treasurer: Barry Keith

The Treasurer kept track of the money coming in and going out of Gunma JALT. For each event, he used chapter funds to pay for the speaker’s honorarium, transportation, lunch and group refreshments. Also, the Treasurer collected dues from the Membership Chair for national, local and one-day memberships. In addition, he made monthly financial reports to JALT National by inputting the income and expenses in an Excel spreadsheet. Finally, the Treasurer complied all the year’s financial records for the annual financial examination in April.
Gunma JALT is in good shape financially. We have approximately as much money as we have had in previous years. We could survive for at least a year on our supplemental funds even if we were not to receive our annual grant from JALT National.

At the AGM, Barry commented that we are financially healthy enough to take on a prominent presenter if an opportunity presents itself. 

Facilities: Hideto D. Harashima, Lori Ann Desrosiers, Emiko Ubukawa

Facilities Chairs arranged and coordinated meeting places for our monthly meetings. They reserved rooms, prepared equipment and put up signs for people to follow.
This year Gunma JALT meetings were held primarily at Kyoai, with other meetings at MIT and Gunma University. Thanks to the Facilities Chairs, Gunma JALT was able to use all these facilities free of charge.

Nothing was added to this section at the AGM.

Social: Yoko Miyazaki, Renee Sawazaki

Social Chairs prepared coffee, tea and snacks for break time at Gunma JALT monthly meetings, as well as for our Workshop in Kusatsu. These coffee breaks helped enhance communication among attendees. The Social Chairs also organized the year-end party in Takasaki and the Chinese dinner after our collaborative My Share with Omiya Chapter in April. Unfortunately, this year’s flower-viewing picnic was canceled, as various members’ schedules didn’t agree with the timing of this year’s cherry blossoms.

Nothing was added to this section at the AGM.

Newsletter: Barry Keith

The Editor of Speakeasy collected papers from authors, put them together, edited them and sent them to the printers. Finding people willing to submit papers for publication continued to be a difficult prospect.

At the AGM, Barry commented that finding people willing to submit papers for publication was difficult. Many ideas were discussed. Two of the most popular were 1) asking for at least one submission from each of the officers and 2) moving to some kind of online system so that publication could be done in a more timely manner.

Recording: Lori Ann Derosiers, John Larson, Daniel Potocki

The Recording Secretaries attended and summarized the contents of our meetings. These summaries were sent to JALT National for publication in TLT and were also uploaded to our website.

Nothing was added to this section at the AGM.

Web-site: John Larson, Daniel Potocki

The web-site editors maintained Gunma JALT’s website and Facebook page. They uploaded all meeting announcements and summaries to the webpage, as well updating the Facebook page with announcements and articles of interest to Gunma JALT members.

At the AGM, John added that it would be beneficial if officers and members could use the monthly Facebook event to invite their friends who might be interested attending.


The election this year was very positive, with all volunteers accepted unanimously. Our officers next year were decided as follows:
President: John Larson
Membership: Sylvain Bergeron
Program: Michele Steele, Morijiro Shibayama (Workshop), Joël Laurier
Publicity: Raymond Hoogenboom, Makiko Shimizu (Translation)
Treasurer: Barry Keith
Facilities: Hideto Harashima, Lori Ann Desrosiers
Social: Yoko Miyazaki, Renee Sawazaki
Newsletter: Barry Keith, Terry Dassow, Harry Meyer
Recording: John Larson, Yoko Kamo (Photography)
Website: John Larson