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The History of the West Central Mosquito & Vector Control Association

 

The First 25 Years

by Ted Davis (Retired, now deceased)Colorado Department of Public Health and EnvironmentProvo, Utah

 

Interest in organizing a Colorado or regional mosquito control association was first discussed following the meeting of the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) held in Denver in 1971. The meeting had been hosted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) laboratory in Fort Collins, Colorado. This was unusual in that AMCA is normally hosted by a state or regional association. Richard O. Hayes, of CDC, received $500 from AMCA funds generated by the Denver meeting to host a meeting of interested mosquito control workers. This meeting was held at CDC in Fort Collins March 13-14, 1973.

 

Invitations were extended to mosquito control agencies and interested individuals from Colorado and Wyoming with 44 attending. Glen Collett, manager of the Salt Lake City Mosquito Abatement District and President of AMCA and Dr. Don M. Rees, University Of Utah, a past president of AMCA, led discussions regarding benefits of state or regional associations. The greatest benefit is that it provides a vehicle for professional meetings where research and field centered information can be exchanged to facilitate control activities specific to that area. In addition it was stressed that few of those present would be able to attend a meeting of the AMCA unless it was held in the state or region. An association would make it possible to host such a meeting thereby increasing the exposure of local control personnel to national and world leaders in a complex field of interest.

 

The members of this meeting group voted unanimously to form the West Central Mosquito and Vector Control Association (WCMVCA) to include the states of Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming on March 13, 1973. This was later amended to include all states of the West Central region of AMCA as well as any individual with an interest in the control of mosquitoes and other vectors regardless of location.

 

An organizing committee was formed on March 14, 1973 with Louis Ogden of CDC as chairman with John Bagby, Colorado State University (retired from CDC), Don Forcum, City of Laramie, Wyoming, Kenneth Howe, Florida Mesa Colorado Mosquito Control District, Harry Davis, EI Paso County Colorado Health Department and Ted Davis, Colorado Department of Health as members. The committee was given the charge to develop a constitution and by-laws to govern the association and to act as a nominating committee for officers. Tasks were assigned and a committee meeting scheduled for June 15, 1973.

 

John Bagby was the architect of the constitution and by-laws which were patterned after the North East Mosquito Control Association. At the conclusion of the meeting documents had been accepted to govern the proposed association. The committee forwarded copies of these documents to those who attended the March 13-14, 1973 meeting and to other interested individuals. It was decided that a meeting to formally create the association be held in February of 1974 at the conclusion of the State Public Health Vector Control Conference being held in Fort Collins.

 

The West Central Mosquito and Vector Control Association was formally organized on February 21, 1974 with the acceptance of the constitution and by-laws and the installation of officers. The WCMVCA consisted of 13 members, 6 from Colorado, 1 from Montana, 1 from Nebraska, 2 from New Mexico and 3 from Wyoming. Archie D. Hess, director of the CDC laboratory in Fort Collins, was elected as the first president of the association. It was voted to hold the first annual meeting in Fort Collins at the CDC laboratory

Membership dues were originally set at $5 with a registration fee of $1O. This would meet the obligations of the association but left no flexibility as to where meeting could be held. Annual meetings were held in government or university facilities where no fees were assessed. Following the 1978 meeting, Louis Ogden and Secretary Ted Davis were left to settle the affairs of the meeting. Mr. Ogden, with a little help from the secretary, personally paid the remaining costs for the coffee breaks leaving the association with a near zero balance. It was obvious that additional funds were needed.

 

Some members of the association had been opposed to including members of the pesticide industry for fear of loosing the original intent of the association by commercialization. The Executive Board decide that it was financially necessary to seek industry support and to keep peace in the association proposed an amendment to the constitution and by-laws establishing a non-voting sustaining membership of $25 for industry representatives. This was passed by the membership and was the beginning of financial security.

C. Mills Reeves, Jr., representing Public Health Equipment and Supply of San Antonio, Texas was the first member of industry to attend a WCMVCA meeting. This occurred in Laramie at the 1977 annual meeting. Mr. Reeves was made aware of WCMVCA in 1976 following the Big Thompson River flood. His participation in the Laramie meeting consisted of having literature available for those who wished to visit with him. In 1978 Mills invited Robert Lucas representing Zoecon to attend the meeting in Denver and a couple of tables were provided for them to display their literature. Had it not been for their assistance, Mr. Ogden would have spent more of his personal funds at the conclusion of that meeting.

 

In 1978 Mr. Reeves suggested the association actively seek the support of industry and with the help of other members began to contact industry representatives. They were successful and industry became an important partner in the association even though they were still non-voting members but financial stability was becoming a reality. Industry representatives, or sustaining members, do much more than contribute financially. They were first given the title exhibitors in 1983 at the annual meeting held in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Dann Watson, of Cornbelt Chemical, organized and conducted the first exhibitor workshop as a part of the annual meeting giving industry the opportunity to present information as a part of the regular meeting and not just at coffee breaks.

 

The fee structure of the association was revised at the 1981 annual meeting held in Boulder, Colorado. The by-laws were amended to raise the membership dues to $10 and that a registration fee could be charged that would meet the expenses of the meetings enabling the association to schedule meetings at sites other than government or university facilities. The first meeting at a hotel was in Scottsbluff, Nebraska in 1983. The registration fee was $25 and has remained at that figure since. It is interesting to note that the only dissenting vote for an amendment to the constitution or by-laws was voiced at the meeting in Boulder in 1981. One member expressed the fear that by raising the dues and allowing for a flexible registration fee that in a few years many members would not be able to afford to attend annual meetings. This has not been the case and at the modest expense WCMVCA offers the most return for the cost and has met its goal of bringing $50.

 

With financial security a reality the association submitted an invitation to host the AMCA 1988 meeting in Denver. That invitation was accepted. President Everett Spackman established a site selection committee which chose the Marriott City Center Hotel in 1985 as the host hotel. Presidents Gerald Hollandsworth and Curtis Montman established committees to organize the affairs for the meeting. Bruce Francy and Ted Davis co-chaired the over a local arrangements. Both were involved in the 1971 meeting mentioned earlier. All committees fulfilled their responsibilities and a most successful meeting was held.

 

The meeting was scientifically and financially successful. Nearly $8000 was added to the association funds. It "vas decided that these funds should be used to increase interest and research in vector control. A scholarship program was proposed aimed at college and university under graduate and graduate students. This met with limited success for three years but was not receiving much interest or support from students or administrators in the region. The first scholarship was awarded to a student from the University of Arizona at the 1991 meeting held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The 1992 scholarship was awarded to a student from the University of Wyoming at the meeting held in Fort Collins, Colorado. A student from Peru State College of Peru, Nebraska was the awardee at the 1993 meeting held in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Most administrators and students felt that the $500 offered for the winning entry was insufficient and not worth the effort. It was decided that science classes in middle schools of the host city of the annual meeting be given the opportunity to compete for the $500. This was awarded as US savings bonds to students and gift certificates for the teacher to purchase much needed supplies. This was successful in Santa Fe, New Mexico at the 1995 meeting. The following year in Greeley, Colorado was a failure due to lack of interest by school administrators. It was decided that contact be made with AMCA to see if the scholarship could be made a part of their awards program without loosing its identity. AMCA said it could and would be identified as originating from WCMVCA.

The scholarship program was developed by Chester Moore and Kenneth Minson. The scholarship idea was strongly supported by Gerald Hollandsworth, a member of the executive board as past president. Gerald was later a cancer casualty and it was voted by the association that the scholarship be known as the Gerald Hollandsworth Memorial Scholarship. It is for this reason that the association wanted the award to retain its identity. Gerald's widow, Jane, has been a faithful contributor to the scholarship fund and was included in all decisions regarding the scholarship program.

 

Annual meetings are held usually in mid February because it conflicts least with other state and regional associations. A joint meeting was held in 1987 with the Utah association which is traditionally a fall meeting. A spring training program and business meeting was held that year for members of WCMVCA to maintain some continuity but was not overly successful. The executive board has held to the premise that February or early spring is in the best interest of the association. The membership voted in 1986 to hold the annual meeting in Colorado every other year because of its central location.

 

The association has had two problems that have been partially solved. One is a consistently printed proceedings and the other is a newsletter. The proceedings were printed and on schedule in the early years through the efforts of John Lloyd at the University of Wyoming. The disruption of the meeting schedule in 1987 and in 1988 was a significant factor. Great effort was extended to accumulate abstracts and complete papers for inclusion in a combined multi-year proceedings. This effort was thwarted when the US Postal Service lost the large envelope between Denver and Laramie. The proceedings is once again being printed and this problem may be solved.

The newsletter has been attempted by several of the association presidents and has taken the identity of a presidential message but has not been consistently done over the years. This problem still exists and probably will since it is often thought of but seldom discussed. Time and professional schedules seem to be the major problems.

 

A listing of presidents and meeting sites is included as a part of the association history.

PRESIDENTS

 

1974--Archie Hess, Colorado1975--Louis Ogden, Colorado1976--Donald Forcum, Wyoming1977--Fred Malone, New Mexico1978--Harold Butterfield, Nebraska1979--John Lloyd, Wyoming1980--Jay Linam, Colorado1981--Garth Graves, New Mexico1982--Bruce Francy, Colorado1983--Everert Spackman, Wyoming1984--William Rapp, Jr. Nebraska1985--Donald Forcum, Wyoming1986--Gerald Hollandsworth, Colorado1987--Curtis Montman, New Mexico1988--Chester Moore, Colorado1989--Kenneth Minson, Utah1990--Kenneth Conright--Colorado1991--Gary Maupin, Colorado1992--Jim Harrison, Colorado1993--Sammie Dickson, Utah1994--Fred Holbrook, Wyoming1995--Eugene Mortimer, New Mexico1996--Pamela Reynolds, New Mexico1997--C. Mills Reeves, Jr., Texas1998--Wayne Kramer, Nebraska*1999--Joseph Targehetta, New Mexico  2000--Gary Hatch, Davis County M.A.D., Utah  2001--Mike McGinnis, Colorado Mosquito Control, Inc.  2002--Brad Asay, Uintah County, Wyoming  2003--Monte Deatrich, Tri County Health Dept, Colorado  2004--Evan Lusty, Magna Mosquito Control, Utah  2005--Tom Janousek, Pest Consulting Services, Nebraska  2006--Mike Doyle, Colorado Mosquito Control, Inc.  2007--Robert Brand, Utah  2008--Janet McAllister, CDC, Fort Collins, CO

*added

 

MEETING SITES

1974--Fort Collins, Colorado1975--Fort Collins, Colorado1976--Albuquerque, New Mexico1977--Laramie, Wyoming1978--Denver, Colorado1979--Albuquerque, New Mexico1980--Laramie, Wyoming1981--Boulder, Colorado1982--Golden, Colorado1983--Scortsbluff, Nebraska1984--Fort Collins, Colorado1985--Albuquerque, New Mexico1986--Pueblo, Colorado1987--Park City, Utah1988--Denver, Colorado (AMCA)1989--Laramie, Wyoming1990--Grand Junction, Colorado1991--Albuquerque, New Mexico1992--Fort Collins, Colorado1993--Scottsbluff, Nebraska1994--Colorado Springs, Colorado1995--Santa Fe, New Mexico1996--Greeley, Colorado1997--Casper, Wyoming1998--Grand Junction, Colorado*1999--Moab, Utah  2000--Fort Collins, Colorado  2001--Sydney, Nebraska  2002--Denver, Colorado (in conjuction with AMCA)  2003--Albuquerque, New Mexico  2004--Grand Junction, Colorado  2005--Cheyenne, Wyoming  2006--Grand Junction, Colorado  2007--Layton, Utah  2008--Estes Park, Colorado  2009--Rapid City, South Dakota   2010--Fort Collins, Colorado  2011--Jackson, Wyoming_2012--Grand Junction, Colorado_2013--Albuquerque, NM_2014--Westminster, Colorado

 

 

(*added)

 

The success of WCMVCA is a result of the work of many people over the years. Early consideration was given to the constitution and by-laws to make them meet the needs of a growing organization. As of 1994 sustaining members have full voting rights.

The people involved in WVMVCA have made it what it is. The diversity of the region and the problems we face have provided strength. Our meetings have been unique from the beginning with wide ranging topics pertaining to every discipline in the complex field of vector control. The membership has been comprised of scientists recognized for their contributions inside and outside the region and of dedicated administrators and field technicians each making positive contributions to success. A revue of the list of presidents will show that many have served as president of AMCA and other professional organizations. Many members are leaders in industry, the broad field of public health and academics. Equally important to the success of WCMVCA is that all of these and the general membership are good people.

 

May it continue to be so.

 

Share your thoughts!

 

West Central Mosquito & Vector Control Association, Inc.

Post Office Box 4031 Grand Junction, CO 81501

 

Email : tjmosq@msn.com

 

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© 2015 by West Central Mosquito & Vector Control Association, Inc.

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