President’s Report, Tad Larrabee April 24, 2019
My primary focus this past year has been governance. I had experienced too many times when we questioned what our rules were or what we had agreed to do in certain circumstances. I found some inconsistencies in our written policies, direct conflicts with current practices, some things that weren’t functional and some situations where we needed considered guidance, but had none.
I had started with the Policies & Procedures Manual over two years ago, but found that what seemed to be appropriate for that document was sometimes superseded by the By-Laws. And because the By-Laws depended on our Certificate of Incorporation, I went back to first base. I had some excellent help along the way, particularly from Peter Uhry, John Denne and Jim Fishbein.
We corrected the Certificate of Incorporation last fall. Then we spent five Board meetings primarily discussing the By-Laws which became a lot more convoluted than I had anticipated. But the rewritten By-Laws were finally approved by the Membership last April 3rd. And now I am back working on our Policies and Procedures Manual. The final version will be presented to the Board under Jerry’s Presidency, so with apologies to Jerry, I have some more work to look forward to. And I’m not doing it alone; Peter Uhry will be working with me as he did earlier, and I will seek advice from many others before it is finalized by the Board.
Other items during the year:
We improved our dues collection procedure last year and I think it went more smoothly thanks to Wayne DeVries and Horst Tebbe.
We sought competitive bids for our insurance coverage and determined that the vendor we have is the most appropriate for RMA.
Special Events expanded to enable RMA members to join special event trips run by St. Catherine’s Seniors. Mike Farrarese and Abby Smoler are passing on their extensive operation to Don Conway & Murice Krohn after they implemented a new approach where individual event volunteers will handle much of each event’s work.
The new Technology Committee was established with Andrzej Mazurek & Tony Cocchi leading that effort. They are to (a) be available to support all areas of the RMA regarding simple technologies such as Word and Excel, (b) document our current technologies and how they are used, and (c) examine our MailChimp capabilities for RMA’s communications needs. We have lots of work to do in this area.
I also worked on the RMA Archive which is in the Cloud where we now have ready access to a large collection of required history, finances, taxes etc, and various forms and examples of how we ran various things like the picnic and annual banquet. There is also extensive documentation about how to maintain the website.
I worked with Peter Stern to explore areas where we can enhance our Membership database. This includes our retention of the RMA Ladies list which includes widows.
Various audio/visual problems were identified and a team led by Steve Myers proposed a new screen for use in the Sanctuary which the church purchased and we are now using when we use the Sanctuary for our meetings. The church also undertook a project to improve the sound capabilities in the Sanctuary.
We also converted to using a projection system for our song lyrics which got off to a somewhat rocky start, but seems to be working fine now. Our digital song book was implemented last summer thanks to Jim Fishbein, Bob Morgan and Steve Marino.
A Certificate of Deposit was approved for a portion of RMA’s funds so that we can gain some income instead of leaving it in checking at no interest. Implementation was delayed until our By-Laws gave us some better options, but that should take place soon.
We also implemented two new elements in our Membership meetings:
Chet Risio has set up a regular series of brief Human Interest Stories that highlight a single event in one of our member’s lives.
Rich Bisk has set up a regular series of brief expositions about a particular volunteer activity by a member who explains why it is special for him and suggesting that other members take a look to see if he might be interested in volunteering for the same entity.
Chet Risio has also continued to develop the very special Member Profiles. We now have 29 of them in our Archive. Chet would welcome any member who wants to join this august group of RMA members who have already been profiled.
And most important for the future or RMA, this year, as of today, we have inducted thirty new members. Our current count of living members who paid dues this past year is 234.
We lost a few members this past year, and some will not renew their membership this May, but we are a healthy organization with a very active membership in many ways, all of which are rewarding personally and often are supportive of our communities. RMA makes our personal and communal lives richer, more rewarding and fun.
And on a personal note, I’d like to thank everyone in the RMA for making my year as President so personally rewarding. It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve! I can’t thank you enough. What a fantastic group of men!
First Vice President, Jerry Schwendeman April 24, 2019
• Continued to be musically active as a scheduled RMA meeting Song Leader.
• Continued to act as the MELODY MEN business Manager responsible for scheduling Fall and Spring MELODY MEN venues and appearances at over 30 different Nursing Homes and Senior centers.
• As a Board member, aided President Larrabee as he completely revised the RMA BY-LAWS. I provided some comments to those RMA BYLAWS which now have been formally approved by the membership.
• Continued to provide humorous, semi-humorous, semi-risqué, and “Groaners” as a member of the Correspondent Secretary team.
• Became a member of the Program Committee and successfully recommended, two speakers in May and July of 2018 which were approved by both the Program Committee Chairman and the Speaker Committee Board. I Contacted and coordinated the following Speakers: Alisyn Camerata who spoke on “A Television Journalist Search for Truth” and Dr. Marin Nguyen who spoke on “Islam. It’s Faith, Culture, and Place in America”. I clarified the format and coordinated and confirmed the Titles for those presentations.
• Acted as an RMA Mentor on several occasions and answered numerous questions re. many of the RMA activities as I interfaced with new inductees and potential members.
• I acted as the Chairman of the Annual RMA BANQUET and was responsible for all aspects of the Banquet including acting as Master of Ceremonies, introducing officers and wives at the head table plus Past Presidents; the current President’s message, closing remarks and the music of the Melody Men. There were many “behind the scenes” including but not limited to the following: Printed Programs; Ticket Sales; Table Hosts; Assigned Tables; Name Tags; to name a few.
Second Vice President, Russ Harden April 24, 2019
Unlike the RMA 3rd and 1st VP, the 2nd VP has no assigned picnic or dinner/banquet to run. There is however plenty of opportunity to assist in both and I did that this past year.
In addition to attending and participating in Bd. Meetings, I recorded RMA volunteer hrs, served as a mentor and volunteered for call a ride four half days a month. Most recently I joined the Melody Men.
I also recruit new members. So far I have successfully recruited 12 members with #13 scheduled for May 8.
I am currently working on a new RMA brochure.
As you know, RMA is not just 3 Vice Presidents and a President. The organizations bench is deep with so many more of you serving and contributing to its success. Thank you all for your support!
Third Vice President, Michael Ambrosino April 24th, 2019
Outside the RMA:
– Accumulated the second most volunteer hours
– Organized a food drive for the benefit of the New Covenant Center
Inside the RMA:
– Chairman of the indoor tennis at OGTA
– Attended all the board meetings
– Participant of outdoor and indoor tennis, pickle ball and hearts
– Member of the Membership Committee recording volunteer hours
– Member of the Mentor program – sponsored/cosponsored 5 members
– DJ’d the Melody Mens’ annual luncheon
– Provided music on a weekly basis for the enjoyment of the hearts group
– Chairman of the picnic – featuring music as the focal point for the first time, highlighted by a lip sync contest
– Hopefully provided some comfort to members by attending celebration of life ceremonies, visits to the hospitals and just listening while a member was receiving chemotherapy treatments.
It was my pleasure serving such a worthy organization and I thank you for giving me this opportunity.