National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association

Virginia Federation of Chapters

VFC Notes - Spring 2006

Serving Current, Former & Retired Federal Civilian Employees-
Spouses and Survivor Annuitants

President

Ann M. Collins

 

1st Vice President

R. David Smith

 

2nd Vice President

William F. Martin

Secretary

Robert H. Miller

Treasurer

Darlene Myer-Rhodes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Federation President’s Message

For the second year in a row, the Virginia Federation had over 300 registrations at the annual convention. The 2006 Convention, April 23-26, was a success thanks to the hard work by members of Area III Chapters (the Host Committee) and the outstanding direction and oversight provided by Area III VP Bob Boyd as Convention Chair and VFC 1st VP Dave Smith as Convention Coordinator. Save the date NOW for the 2007 VFC Convention at the same location, Holiday Inn Select, Richmond (Midlothian), VA., April 22-25, 2007, to be hosted by Area VIII chapters.

2006 Convention Highlights, the VFC President’s Annual Report, and Resolutions/Amendments along with Federation Action are posted on the VFC web site, www.vanarfe.org. Due to an oversight, the Convention Highlights should have mentioned an Innovation Award presented by Region X NFVP Bill Austin to outgoing Area II VP Joan Marvel for her suggestion last year that Region X have a slogan. A contest was announced and a winner from Kentucky gave us the slogan at the bottom of each page: “NARFE-YOUR FUTURE-OUR FOCUS.” Also, it was chosen as the 2006 VFC Convention theme.

I want to express THANKS to the Convention delegates for their confidence in providing me the opportunity to serve another year as Federation President to fulfill my 2-year term limit. I have appreciated the support from our chapters and members and look forward to working together again toward increasing our membership numbers and meeting the VFC goal of at least 5% net increase at the end of 2006. We ended 2005 with 19,915 members, a net decrease of 161 from 2004. During the first four months of 2006, we had some increases and at the end of April we had 19,926 members. We are moving in the right direction. Chapter members should be told often how important their continuous membership is to the VFC and NARFE. Their participation is key to a stable and well-functioning organization at every level.

If I were asked what was the highlight of my Presidency last year, it would be the visits to 23 chapters. (Over the past four years, I have now visited 48 of our 56 chapters; 22 at my own expense while campaigning for 2nd VP.) I appreciated the warm welcomes and each meeting offered an opportunity to talk with new as well as seasoned members. Chapter presidents are to be commended for juggling activities in striving to provide their chapter with a balance of advocacy, informative programs, and social time. Also, I appreciated the candid comments from our members. Many members appear to really want to help out with Chapter work but say it is easier to decline than to worry about it becoming a “lifetime commitment.” On occasion, I would be asked about the role and mission of the VFC and the Presidency. The VFC promotes the objectives of NARFE throughout Virginia in several ways. More information is available on the VFC web site. The VFC President personifies the organization, presides at meetings, and provides leadership as well as executive oversight to overall Federation programs and activities.

Based on those chapter visits, it appears the VFC Board needs to provide more assistance to chapters in educating our members on some of the basics of NARFE. National is encouraging us to go back to the “basics” as well. In the Winter VFC Notes, I focused on some examples of utilizing the 3E’s (educate, encourage, and energize) to recruit and retain members as well as raise the general awareness of NARFE toward making it a household name in Virginia. It would be great if we could bottle up the “initiative and enthusiasm” of some of the movers and shakers within our chapters then give regular doses to challenge the complacency of so many of our NARFE members at a time when our retirement benefits appear to be at the greatest risk for reduction.

At the NARFE National Convention, September 10-14, 2006, there will be many important issues for delegates to decide affecting the future of NARFE. We encourage 100% voting representation by all Chapters.

I look forward to a great year for the Virginia Federation and meeting our program goals. Working together, we can do it!

Ann M. Collins

VFC Calendar of Events May 2006 - April 2007

MAY 31 Deadline for Chapters to remit 2006 Federation Dues to VFC Treasurer

MAY 31 Deadline to submit Ads for publication in the NARFE National Convention Book.

JUN 9 Deadline for Chapters to submit Form C/06-1 (Delegate Authorization Certificate) to National Secretary

JUN 21 VFC State Legislation Committee Meeting, Richmond, to draft VFC 2007 State Legislation Agenda for VFC Board approval at the Summer meeting. Submit suggested topics to Bill Schmidt, Chair

JUL 10 Deadline for Chapters to submit Forms C/06-2 and C/06-3 (as applicable) to National Secretary

JUL 23-25 Summer VFC Executive Committee and Board Meetings, Richmond, VA.

JUL 31- AUG 2 2006 Region X Federation Presidents’ Conference, Bristol, VA. Theme - National Legislation. VFC is host Federation for 2006 conference. VFC President Collins has invited these Board members to also attend: lst VP, 2nd VP, IPP, and National Legislation Chair.

AUG 15 Deadline to submit NARFE National Convention Pre-Registration Form C/06-4 to National.

AUG 25 Deadline for Chapters to submit (as applicable) Designation of Proxy Delegate Form C/06-2 to National Secretary

SEP 10-14 NARFE National Convention, Albuquerque, NM. VFC President Collins will be a Delegate-At-Large.

SEP 15-22 Post National Convention Trip - Santa Fe/Durango adventure, sponsored by the VFC (Contact VFC Travel Coordinator Jann Masterson ).

SEP 26 State Legislative Forum Breakfast, Cosponsored by Northern Virginia Aging Network (NVAN), Virginia Federation of Chapters, (VFC NARFE), and AARP, to be held at the Greensprings Conference Center, Springfield, VA.

OCT 1-3 Fall VFC Executive Committee and Board Meetings, Richmond, VA.

JAN 21-23 Winter VFC Executive Committee and Board Meetings, Richmond, VA.

APR 22 Spring VFC Executive Committee and Board Meetings, Richmond, VA.

APR 22-25 2007 VFC Convention, Holiday Inn Select, Richmond (Midlothian), VA.

1ST VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT

As the VFC Coordinator for the 2006 VFC Convention, first I want to thank the Area III Chapters for hosting the convention. The committee was chaired by Robert Boyd, Area III Vice President with representatives from the seven area chapters including Midlothian, Colonial Heights, Petersburg, Tuckahoe, Richmond, Imperial Plaza and South of the James. In addition, Ralph Hoyle, AVP I, served as the data base manager again this year.

There were 320+ registered delegates at the convention and the feedback evaluations from attendees have been very good. Much credit goes to President Ann Collins who chaired the convention. Everything went smoothly from program, elections, resolutions, committees, registration, banquet and facilities standpoints. There were positive comments about our special guest speakers, Charles Fallis, NARFE National President; State Delegate Phillip Hamilton; Joan Veasey, NARFE National Alzheimer’s Chair; Dr. Randy Fitzgerald, banquet speaker; and the Rep. Tom Davis Reception.

After being re-elected as 1st Vice President, I am looking forward to working with the ten Area Vice Presidents and the Electronics Committee. I will also be responsible for overseeing next year’s convention that will be held at the Holiday Inn Select Hotel in Midlothian on April 22-25 2007. The Area VIII chapters have volunteered to host the convention.

Five of the current AVPs were re-elected for the coming year during area caucus meetings: I-Ralph Hoyle, III-Bob Boyd, IV-Joe Lee, VII-Glenn Zech, and IX-Bill Masterson. New AVPs elected were II-Betty Warren, V-Allen Wright, VI-George Hawkins, VIII-Arthur Klotz and X-Bill Boning.

My primary goals for the next year are communications, assistance, training and membership growth. I want to work with the AVPs in assisting the chapters in getting the job done through planning effective meetings, membership recruitment and retention efforts and addressing legislative initiatives. Rather than direct what needs to be done, we would appreciate input as to how the federation can assist chapters. Preferably, the chapter’s first point of contact for assistance should be with their Area Vice President. I am also available to assist the AVPs and the chapters. I am available to serve as your chapter program speaker if you wish. You can contact me as follows: R. David Smith, 13921 Krim Point Trail, Midlothian, VA 23114-5531, or Email

Some of my personal activities this past year as your 1st Vice President included many opportunities to promote NARFE through four NARFE pre-retirement presentations; joined the Federal Executive Association for Central Virginia to gain contacts with area federal agencies; served as Jump Start Speaker at the Model Chapter Symposium in Harrisburg, PA; participated in the Region X President’s Conference in Johnson City, TN; and served as Chapter President Instructor in the four VFC training sessions conducted in Manassas, Roanoke, Richmond and Portsmouth in February and March. I participated in five meetings for Areas I, III, IV, VII and VIII; visited eleven chapters around the state; and participated in the State Legislation Committee meeting in August.

Virginia had a number of accomplishments in 2005 to feel good about including the number of new NARFE members recruited; however, we experienced slippage in retaining members which gave us a net loss of 161 for the year. I want to challenge each chapter president to establish goals and strategies to address the erosion of members not renewing their membership. Think about what the chapter has to offer its members to make them want to come to meetings or to belong to the chapter. Is NARFE business discussed at chapter meetings, including legislative issues? Are members encouraged to contact their state and national representatives? Are chapter members well informed about NARFE being the only organization lobbying to protect their benefits? Do chapter meetings include good programs of interest? Do members have “fun” at meetings? Do they feel welcomed? Does the chapter have a newsletter to communicate with its members? Does the chapter have a telephone tree with interested callers not only reminding members about the chapter meetings, but to listen to any concerns of the person being called? These are just some thoughts to get your juices going to set goals and strategies.

R. David Smith, VP

Second Vice President's Report

This will be my first report as 2nd VP of the VFC. I want to thank all of you for allowing me to take on this position and hope that I’m able to fulfill the requirements to everyone’s satisfaction. If I don’t succeed, it will not be because I haven’t tried. As stated in my campaign promise note, “I am a dedicated NARFE and VFC member, concerned about our organization’s membership recruitment and retention efforts, and our legislative issues. If elected, I will work tirelessly to improve our performance in these areas.”

Keeping that promise will be much easier since oversight of the Program Areas is my major responsibility, and the folks heading the programs have already demonstrated their commitment to the success of those programs. With the exception of the State Legislation Program now chaired by Bill Schmidt, Dulles Chapter 1665, the programs are led by a dynamic group of returning members including Charles Delaplane, National Legislation; Wilton Ward, Alzheimer’s; Dennis Martin, Membership; Carolyn Wilson, Public Relations; and Co-Service Officer Chairs Sue and Jim Righter. Other appointees I’ll have the privilege of working with include Barbara Nugent, Pre-Retirement Seminar Coordinator; and Oscar Honeycutt and Carroll Graham, VFC State Legislative Representatives. I am really looking forward to working with these fine folks to see major improvements in all of these areas.

But, and I guess there’s always a “but”, without the support and commitment of you, the VFC member, progress and ultimate success will not be realized. We can only ask and hope that each of you actively participate in improving our performance in all these areas in order to do everything we can to protect the earned benefits of all active and retired federal employees. That, in fact, is what it’s all about. Please plan to participate.

Another area I work with is Electronic Communications - primarily Email communications within the VFC. Currently, the VFC has over 4,500 of its 20,000 members with email addresses. This is an excellent way to communicate critical information thru out the VFC quickly and economically. To help this program grow and improve, please keep your email address up to date on the NARFE system. You can update your record by going to www.narfe.org, and clicking on updating your membership record. If you should have any problems or questions, feel free to contact me by EMAIL and I’ll do what I can to help. Please don’t hesitate to add your email address to NARFE GEMS as you’ll be kept current on both national and state issues. We need your help.

Before becoming the 2nd VP, I had the honor of being the Area 8 Vice President. Area 8 coincidentally, has eight chapters consisting of over 1,900 members. I want to thank the chapter officers and members for all they’ve done over the past three years to maintain and improve the situation with our earned benefits. They are truly a marvelous group to have had the opportunity to work with. I’ll always remember all the good they’ve done and I want to thank them all from the bottom of my heart.

I hope to see many of you at the NARFE National Convention, September 9-14, 2006, in Albuquerque, NM. It should prove to be beneficial to us all, and it should be a lot of fun.

I look forward to working with all of you this coming year and welcome any ideas or suggestions you may have that will help us help you.

William F. (Bill) Martin, 2nd VP

National Legislation

It is still not clear that Congress will pass a joint budget resolution for FY 07. The Senate has passed one, which does not harm retiree benefits. The House has not passed one, and it is in the House where we need to be watchful, but so far both Houses seem to be giving their attention more to other issues, such as immigration, Iraq, and security. Meanwhile the consensus seems to be that our priority bills are going nowhere in this campaigning year, and both measures - premium conversion and GPO/WEP repeal - need to find larger bills to get themselves attached to in order to make it.

The major national legislation news at the VFC convention was the gratifying jump-up in NARFE-PAC contributions during the first quarter of this year. Virginia’s total contributions for the first 5 quarters of the 8-quarter Congressional cycle stand at $71,650, second in the nation, after California. We usually stand third, after California and Florida, and sometimes fourth, after Texas. Our goal for 2005/2006 is $85,000, so we still have a way to go.

Five chapters - Bedford, Metro Northern Virginia, Southwest Highlands, Roanoke Valley, and Petersburg - have already exceeded 20 percent participation (percentage of members contributing) in giving to NARFE-PAC. But the State as a whole has a participation rate of 15.4 percent, and it would really be great if we could reach 20 percent as an average for Virginia. I hope Chapter officers will talk up giving to NARFE-PAC as we finish out this election year. Members need not send in large contributions, but with stronger participation our bi-annual goal is quite attainable.

On the political contributions side of the ledger, in this 2-year Congressional cycle NARFE-PAC has given to all House incumbents, except the 5th District’s Rep. Virgil Goode, as follows. District 1 - Rep. Jo Ann Davis $2,000 District 2 - Rep. Thelma Drake $3,000 District 3 - Rep. Bobby Scott $1,000 District 4 - Rep. Randy Forbes $2,000 District 6 - Rep. Bob Goodlatte $1,000 District 7 - Rep. Eric Cantor $2,000 District 8 - Rep. Jim Moran $5,000 District 9 - Rep. Rick Boucher $1,000 District 10 - Rep. Frank Wolf $5,000 District 11 - Rep. Tom Davis $5,000

Charles Delaplane National Legislation Chair

State Legislation Report

I have been appointed your new legislative chair. We began the VFC State Political Account last year and used the checks generated from this fund to make positive access to our legislators at the state level. The State legislation committee and the VFC Board will soon be developing a plan for the 2007 legislative session. Since many of our concerns in the 2006 plan were addressed but not fully implemented we will build on that plan for 2007. We also will also be asking our membership to become more involved in the process of contacting their legislators and in educating the legislators on who we are and what issues we feel are important. The state legislative coordinator in your chapter or your AVP will be looking to get your ideas on just what issues should be in the 2007 Legislative Plan. e will have Co-representatives this year at the State Legislature. Carroll Graham and Oscar Honeycutt have been appointed to these jobs. They are well known in Richmond and live close enough to be there for committee meetings as well as during the session. They can not do it alone, they need your help. Get to know your legislator.

One great concern is the level of donations to the VFC State Political Account which have fallen off. Carroll noted in his final report that the balance as of Mar 31 was only $3,326.00. It is extremely important to increase this fund. This is a Federal election year, but state candidate fundraising goes on all the time. The most effective way to gain the attention of your representatives is to come calling with a political donation. In 2005 we were able to have over $9,000.00 to give out. We must build this fund. In 2007, in addition to the 100 delegate seats, there will be 40 senate seats up for election.

The two most important things you can do for protecting our interests are; to help build the account balance in the VFC State Political Fund, and to get to know your legislator. Invite your legislator to your meeting. Proactive action can prevent a lot of mischief. I will do my best to be Paul Revere and let you know when problem issues are on the horizon.

Bill Schmidt, State Legislation Chair

Membership Report

Although the 2005 VFC membership goal of a 5% increase was not reached, seven chapters were able to reach this goal. The results are all the more remarkable since the goal was set by the Board of Directors at its mid-year meeting. Thus the chapters only had a half year to plan and execute the Board’s plan. These seven chapters were awarded $100 each at the VFC convention for their efforts. These chapters are as follows: Number 7, Dulles Chapter 1241, 5.53% increase, 41 additional members; Number 6, Seaside Chapter 1827, 5.83% increase, 12 additional members; Number 5, Suffolk Chapter 1743, 5.96% increase, 9 additional members; Number 4, Louisa Chapter 2065, 6.50% increase, 8 additional members; Number 3, Colonial Heights Chapter 1472, 7.85% increase, 15 additional members; Number 2, Manassas Chapter 356, 8.33% increase, 30 additional members; Number 1, Falls Run Chapter 2343, 65.95% increase, 31 additional members.

As can be seen, most of these chapters significantly exceeded the VFC goal. These chapters, as well as those who were in positive territory for the year are to be commended for their recruitment effort.

Dennis M Martin Membership Chair

 

Service Report

At the recent Virginia Federation of Chapters Annual Convention, local chapter service officers were delighted at the new information for federal retirees that we as Service Co-Officers have gathered. People in attendance took home over 500 of the information sheets we have on “Preventing Identity Theft”, on the “Virginia Advanced Medical Directive”, and on the latest telephone “Jury Duty Scam.”

In the Jury Duty Scam, according to CBS, someone pretends to be a court official phones to warn that a warrant has been issued for your arrest because you didn’t appear for jury duty. When you protest you never received notice, the scammer asks for your Social Security Number, Date of Birth and other “identifying information” (like credit card numbers ) to verify your identity and cancel the arrest warrant. The FBI and federal court system warn that the scam has been reported in at least 11 states so far. DO NOT EVER GIVE OUT INFORMATION TO ANY STRANGER WHO CALLS THREATENING YOU. If in doubt, call your local courthouse to prove this is a scam.

There is a new version of the “Survivor Kit” that was distributed during the training session. We are continuing to develop new topics for presentation at area and at local chapter meetings. We are fully booked until after Labor Day; but now is the time to invite your Service Co-Officers to come FREE to your area or chapter meeting. There is time as well for you to suggest a topic of special interest to you; and in the intervening months, we will do the research and preparation needed to focus on just the presentation your group needs. Call at (703) or by EMAIL

All the service materials, including the Survivor Kit, are instantly available by going to the Virginia Federation of Chapters website www.vanarfe.org and clicking on “Service” and then on the topic of interest.

The information on the ten area service centers has been updated and is available on the service web page at www.vanarfe.org. Many of them are re-opening at federal and military locations for true “walk-in” convenience. Don’t have a computer or an internet connection? Libraries throughout Virginia offer access FREE, plus handy personal help in finding and downloading whatever you need.

We are glad to work as Service Co-Chairs on your behalf; and we look forward to visiting your area or local chapter whenever you invite us.

Sue and Jim Righter, Co-Service Officers

PUBLIC RELATIONS

In January during the Area III Council of Chapters meeting, a separate meeting was held regarding the possibility of having an Area III Newsletter. Subsequent meetings have been held with Chapter Presidents, newsletter editors, and other interested NARFE members. The Area III Newsletter will become a reality with the premier issue in September 2006.

In February, I traveled to beautiful Kings Mill in Colonial Williamsburg to present a Public Relations Program to members of Area I. Area VP Ralph Hoyle had a Council of Chapters meeting and invited me to speak. Several good ideas were exchanged during the meeting. Marie Collins was in attendance at this meeting and we were able to spend some time together talking about her experiences as Public Relations Chair, VFC. Marie has a wealth of knowledge and I appreciate the time she spends with me.

Also in February, as a member of the Chesterfield TRIAD, work really began on planning the 7th Annual Smooth Sailing Senior Day to be held May 3, 2006. The Virginia Federation of Chapters President and the Executive Board voted to fund a sponsorship of TRIAD, a booth at the Senior Day and to provide pencils for handouts. All of the arrangements were made for the NARFE participation during February and March. Next report will tell you the results of this day.

March brought an opportunity to share a booth with Senior Source at the Hopewell Health Care Center Health Fair. Senior Source publisher wanted information about NARFE, hopefully an article will appear in the summer issue. Also was able to make arrangements for Colonial Heights Chapter 1472 to have a Health Fair at their March meeting. As President of the Colonial Heights Chapter 1472 attended the VFC sponsored training in Richmond on March 23rd. I attended the session on newsletters since I spend quite a bit of time on that subject during my visited to Chapters and Council of Chapter meetings.

Carolyn Wilson, Public Relations

The VFC Web Page

The address for the VFC web page is www.vanarfe.org. It is regularly updated. You should check it out and let your members know of the valuable asset. If you find errors, please let me know by EMAIL If you see items that should be added to the web page, email me with the information or topic.

Each chapter has a page. You can reach your chapter's web page by going to the VFC web page, on links on the left side, click on chapters, click on your chapter name, number, zip code, or your area. Since we have a new web host, we have lots of space to expand your chapter's page. We have room for pictures, current events etc.

The following are about safe computing: I have run into several computer systems that have slowed down considerably mainly because they were infected with viruses. If you connect to the Internet in any way, you must have a firewall, and virus protection. There are also pop up adds that can infect your machine along with spybots that track your keystrokes. There are programs that will remove those also that should be run at least once a week. There are a number of free programs that will protect you. You can Google to find these programs or send me an email. Even if you never connect to the Internet, you can also be infected by putting any disk in your machine such as installing a new program. I have read about commercial programs that have a virus in them. If you use free wireless connections like those in hotels, you should not do sensitive things like on line banking. There are sniffer programs that can read what you are doing.

Stan Palen Co-WebMaster.

AREA 1 REPORT

The VFC 2006 Convention in Richmond was most successful and is now history. We had interesting speakers in NARFE National President Charles Fallis and Del Phil Hamilton ( R) 93rd House District. We were encouraged that the statewide turnout was larger than last year, with approximately 320 members and guests registered. Area 1 representation, however, was disappointing with only 15 members and guests registered. Considering the close proximity of Richmond to Area 1, we should be able to do much better than that. Area 1 supported the Convention with Mike Michel, Chapter 682, as Constitution & Bylaws Chair, Shirley Atkins, Chapter 682, as Nominating Committee Chair and myself , Chapter 685, as the Convention Data Base Manager.

An important issue in Area 1 is increasing our membership count. We rank fifth in the ten VFC Areas in number of members. In addition, we are one of only two VFC Areas to show an increase in membership during 2005. So far in 2006 we have increased our membership count from 1,333 up to 1,349. Much of our success in Area 1 has been due to Marie Collins, Chapter 682, who has been busy conducting Pre-retirement seminars and representing NARFE at local Health Fairs. Many thanks to Marie and to all Area 1 members! Hopefully, we will see a continued increase in our membership count this year. I think we have a high potential for member recruiting when you consider our relatively high density population, the many government installations, and the number of retirees moving here.

Also important is the success that we have had in maintaining our legislative contacts, meeting with and providing NARFE goals and objectives to our federal and state legislators. We have visited them in their district offices, and have held legislative forums and had them as speakers at our chapter meetings. This has given NARFE much needed visibility and has built a strong relationship with our legislators. If we are to be successful in protecting our earned benefits it is essential that we have their unwavering support.

My thanks to all Area 1 chapter officers and members for your continued hard work and support. If you have any ideas or suggestions for improving NARFE effectiveness in our area, I’d like to hear from you.

Ralph Hoyle, Area I VP

Area II VFC Report

If you read my VFC Annual Report - 2006 you noted that I mentioned each of the five Chapters within Area 2 and one positive factor of their operation. Chapter Five was dying and Lynne Pipis, Secretary/Treasurer, stepped up to the plate and they now have a program schedule up to the year end and every meeting has an agenda that is shared with the members that attend. Chapter 66 has good meeting turn-outs because Mr. John Rameriz greets each attendee with a hug as they enter the door to the meeting room. Chapter 974, President, Betty Warren has made an effort to contact all legislators in Area 2 and invite them to her Chapter meetings. This effort has made NARFE a (Known Factor) within Area 2. Chapter 1175 on the Eastern Shore is gaining members due to the fact Mr. & Mrs. Turner are operating this chapter for the benefit of all members and it is greatly appreciated by the members. Chapter 1827 has a new President, Ron Butler, who is one of the youngest members of his Chapter. He is in the good hands of a fantastic mentor, Ken Gimbert.

Do you pick up the fact that each of these positive factors is what enables NARFE Chapters to survive and also to get new members to attend? I am so very proud of what these Chapters are doing. I know Betty Warren will take the torch and continue to assist the Chapters within Area 2. While writing this I kept thinking of the slogan, (WARREN WILL WORK WONDERS). Please extend to Betty the cooperation and support that I have received during the past eight months. I would also like to thank the VFC President, Ann Collins and VFC 1st VP, Dave Smith for their support.

Joan F. Marvel (Outgoing Area II VP)

Meet A New Area II VP

BETTY L. WARREN: Area II VP because, my predecessor, Joan Marvel was so involved with NARFE her enthusiasm greatly influenced me in accepting this position. I have always had an interest in the political process of our country and struggled with choosing political science as a major while in college. Although I reluctantly choose business with emphasis in finance, this landed me in the federal sector. After thirty-three years of federal service, I retired as the Logistics Officer, Detroit District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Shortly after retirement, I became a NARFE member and served as First VP, Membership, and Legislative officer for Chapter 89 Detroit. After moving to Virginia Beach in July 1999 I was invited to join Virginia Beach Chapter 974 where I am now a member. I immediately began taking an active role and served as the Legislative Officer. I currently serve as Chapter president. As Area II VP my goals are to improve communication between chapters and increase NARFE awareness in the Tidewater Federal Sector.

In 2004-2005, I served in AmeriCorps Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA). This is the domestic side of Peace Corps. This was one of the most rewarding experiences, working among poor and needy people to improve the conditions of their lives. On the Civic side: I was appointed Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation Commission Member. I am a member of the Princess Anne Civic League, where I serve as coordinator to the Council of Civic Organizations. My husband Donald and I look forward to the challenge. We have two sons Edward and Donald. And, our three grandchildren, Kanon 12, Parker 10, and Nyla 6 said, you go grandma.

Thank you, Betty Warren Area II VP

 

Area III News

It’s over! All of the Chapters in Area 3 can now take a little break. Note I said a little break. I know that some of you are looking forward to summer when some of us take a month or two off.

You deserve a rest! All seven Chapters in Area 3 along with Ralph Hoyle of Williamsburg did an excellent job in sponsoring the 2006 VFC Convention. You obtained over 300 registrants and you collected a bunch of commercial ads. There will be a profit but at the time of writing these notes we cannot determine the final balance because there is still a little money to come in and there are some bills to be paid.

What is Area 3 up to next? Well, it won’t be easy, folks, but we are going to start an Area 3 newsletter. Carolyn Wilson, the President of the Colonial Heights Chapter and the Chair of the VFC Public Relations Committee, is heading up the process. (It must be a good thing having the PR Chair in your Area). All seven Chapters are represented on her committee and they are working hard to get the first issue out by late summer or early fall. Carolyn has already shown each Chapter that they can save money with the Area approach.

Jim McMurchy, the President of Petersburg Chapter 28, is off and running with a new burst of enthusiasm. With a lot of encouragement and promises Michael Muldowney accepted the President’s position of Richmond Chapter 60 and soon found out that the Chapter’s newsletter editor would not be able to continue due to health reasons. The new President of the South of the James Chapter 1138 Don Holman is wondering where all of the paper work is coming from. He wasn’t in office very long till he found out that his Chapter would be responsible for hospitality at the Convention. Carolyn Wilson, President of Colonial Heights Chapter 1472, has said that if you want to have fun and find out what is going on to come to her Chapter meeting. (Oh, I wish I had all that energy.) George Bland, the new President of Chapter 1510 Imperial Plaza, got sick soon after taking on his new role. I understand that he is better now and will soon get rolling with his new job. Carroll Graham stuck it out again with Chapter 1727 Tuckahoe. Carroll said that he just likes having a job. Midlothian Chapter 2265 President Jim Bradley claims that NARFE is the reason his computer keeps slowing down.

I used to have a handle on life...but it broke off.

Try not to let your mind wander...It is too small and fragile to be out by itself.

Robert H. Boyd Area III VP

 

Area IV News

Greetings and best wishes to all the members of NARFE, VFC Area 4. I wish to express my sincere appreciation for being selected to serve as your Area 4 Vice President. It is my desire to support and assist each chapter in any manner I can. It is only through joint effort that we can achieve the objectives set forth and maintain our chapters in a strong, effective, well functioning organization.

Norma and I had the good fortune to attend the VFC 52nd convention held at the Holiday Inn Select, Koger Center, Richmond, VA on April 23-26. Norma served as proxy for Portsmouth Ch. #63 and I served as proxy for Suffolk Ch. #1743. Resolution results are as follows: Adopted - R-1, R-2, R-3, R-5, R-6. Rejected - R-4. Constitution/Bylaws results are as follows: Adopted - A-3. Rejected - A-1 and A-2. Postponed indefinitely pending National action on single dues structure - A-4.

Area 4 selected two members to serve on the VFC Nominating Committee for 2007 elections as follows: Committee Member: Allen Earnhardt (Ch. 1697) Alternate: Joanne Mason (Ch. 1682)

A complete VFC listing of the committee will be provided at a later time.

The following is a list of Area 4 members attending the 2006 VFC Convention: Joseph D. Lee, Area 4 V.P., Norma T. Lee, Ch. 1293; Allen J. Earnhardt, Ch. 1693; Joanne Mason, Ch. 1682; Lois Broadnax, Ch. 1697 and Walter Broadnax, Ch. 1697.

There is an item that I would like to encourage each member of each chapter in Area 4 to consider - making a generous contribution to NARFE PAC and VFC Political Account. It is very important to establish close liaison with Senators/Representatives who support our positions and work earnestly to retain our earned benefits. Your support and participation in this endeavor would be greatly appreciated.

Enjoy a safe summer, and your vacation activities.

Joseph D. Lee Area IV VP

AREA V REPORT

I have been temporarily appointed as Area V Vice President until a permanent one is located. Area V Vice President is a very important and challenging position. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in leadership and a gratifying experience. Any chapter who has anyone in mind please contact me by EMAIL . I plan to visit each and every chapter during the summer months and challenge them to support the National and State PAC Funds. These funds are necessary in involving our state delegates and senators in our concerns. I need all chapters to talk to their delegates one on one. This is necessary to maintain a level of communication and involvement with them.

Any chapter who needs assistance in training, officer participation, or direction please contact me. I plan to attend the State Legislative conference with the Area V Legislative Coordinator. I appeal to all chapters to provide input so that we may make this conference a positive one.

I look forward to working with all chapters in Area V. Lets make this a banner year and with your help we CAN!

Allen R. Wright Temp Area V Vice President

Area VII Report

During a discussion concerning our need to protect our earned benefits a member of the Southwest Highlands Chapter made the following comment, "Retirees are personnel. We seem to think that we are some special group that is separate from personnel. Unfortunately, that is not the case. We are a subset in the larger group of federal employees whose retirement benefits are administered by the Office of Personnel Management. When management in any organization determines that the cost of operation needs to be reduced, they always look to personnel as one of the possibilities. This is very likely to be the case for the federal government. Our benefits could become one of the areas considered for cost reductions." When one couples this with a federal deficit in the trillions of dollars and growing with each new budget, it seems to me that the "hand writing is on the wall". Peter Peterson gives expression to this type of thinking in his book " Running On Empty " in which he states, "In 1994 I served on President Clinton's Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform, whose interim report flatly declared:' In 2030, unless appropriate policy changes are made in the interim, projected spending for Medicare, Medicade, Social Security and Federal employee retirement programs alone will consume all tax revenues collected by the federal government'" (page 39). In case you are wondering who is Peter Peterson, he is chairman of The Blackstone Group, chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, and former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York. He is a founding president of The Concord Coalition.

George Hawkins Area VI Vice President

Area VII Report

Area VII consists of five chapter-Charlottesville 135, Harrisonburg 163, Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro 178, Winchester 180, and Page Valley 1793. All Chapters were active during the quarter holding regular monthly meetings. Each Chapter has officers in place in key positions for the 2006 program year.

Because the Area VII portion of the 2006 Annual Report was published in April and distribute at the Virginia Federation of Chapters (VFC) 2006 Convention, this quarterly report will be brief. Four of five Chapters retained the incumbent President for another year-Dick Taylor in Charlottesville, Al Lilliendahl in Harrisonburg, Dick Murphy in Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro, and Neil McKendry in Page Valley. Milton Boyce is the new President in Winchester. These Presidents and others serving in key chapter positions are commended for stepping forward to serve in leadership roles.

While all Area VII Chapters are committed to member recruitment and retention, the Area experienced a decline in membership in 2005. Although the decrease was small (1.6%), it is a situation Chapter officers are working to reverse. Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro did increase its membership in 2005 and Harrisonburg increased its membership in the first quarter of 2006.

All Chapters had one or more members registered for the 2006 VFC Convention. Winchester Chapter 180 is recognized for having 12 delegates participating in the Convention. Chapter 180 is also commended for contributing a beautiful Counted Cross Stitch work-of-art, prepared by one of its members, to be raffled at the Convention. The raffle raised $575 for the NARFE Alzheimer’s Fund.

I participated in four Chapter Board or regular meetings in March and April-Harrisonburg, Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro, Winchester and Page Valley. Plans are underway to hold an Area-wide meeting of Chapter Presidents, other officers and chairpersons prior to the end of the program year. Issues to be addressed are membership, public relations and National and State legislation, as well as review chapter activities and exchange best practices.

Finally, I want to express appreciation to Area VII Convention delegates for retaining me as the Area Vice President for the 2006-2007 program year.

Glenn Zech Area VII Vice President

Area VIII Report

I want to thank the Area 8 delegates for their confidence in electing me their new Area VP. I am sure this will be a learning experience for me (and maybe for some of you too), but I know we can work together to keep the ball rolling in Area 8. A lot was accomplished last year and we need to continue those efforts in the coming year to maintain active and viable chapters.

Highlights of last year include:

* Membership - Area 8 had an overall 1.33% net increase in members. Louisa Chapter 2065 and Falls Run Chapter 2343 both exceeded the VFC goal of a 5% increase.

* Legislation - During the designated Lobby Week (March 20-24), Area 8 members met with members of Congress and/or their staff to discuss the legislative issues that concern NARFE. Also, these meetings emphasized that there is a definite NARFE presence in the congressional districts.

* Alzheimer's - Two chapters in Area 8 were recognized for helping the VFC exceed its goal. Falls Run Chapter 2343 raised over $5,000 for Alzheimer's and Colonial Beach Chapter 595 had the largest average contribution per member.

All Chapters in Area 8 attended this year's VFC Convention. I hope the delegates took notes, since Area 8 will sponsor the 2007 VFC Convention April 22-25, 2007, at the Holiday Inn Koger Center in Richmond. Mark your calendars now.

Art Klotz Area VIII VP

AREA IX Report

The six Chapters in Area IX have been working hard this year to respond to the opportunities and challenges of recruiting and retention of our members. As with most Areas, Area IX ended the last year with fewer members than we started with in January 2005. There were a couple of bright spots. Three chapters that ended the year with more members than they had at the beginning of the year, were 232, 356 and 1270. It would be great to report next January that all chapters in Area IX increased membership this year.

Chapters consider their monthly newsletters their “lifeline” to members because even with interesting speakers and programs the meeting attendance is often sparse. Newsletters range from two to eight pages in length. Four chapters do not meet in July and August.

Wilton Ward, Chapter 1159, VFC Alzheimer’s Chair, also serves as Area 9 Alzheimer’s Coordinator. Area IX chapters that were in the top five chapters in the VFC with sizable Alzheimer’s contributions are Chapters 893 and 1270. The total VFC donations in 2005 was $58,851.35, seven percent over our goal of $55,000. If every member in Virginia donated just $5.00 for Alzheimer’s Research in 2006, we would contribute almost $100,000.

During Lobby Month, March 2006, Area 9 members visited the offices of Senators George Allen and John Warner and Congressmen Tom Davis and James Moran to discuss and promote NARFE issues and legislation.

I am happy to report that 28 Area IX officers attended the Chapter Officers Training in Manassas, VA on February 23, 2006. From the feedback I received from the attendees, it was a very worth while training session.

The Northern Virginia Caucus of Chapter (NVCC) which includes chapter officers from Areas IX and X meets monthly. Although not an official NARFE organization, NVCC serves as an excellent forum for discussing the problems and successes of the chapters as well as local, state and national political issues.

Over the past two years, I have enjoyed serving as Area IX VP and will continue to serve for another year. In the Area IX Caucus at the VFC Convention last month, I was elected to serve another year. If I can be of assistance to any of the chapters in Area IX, please let me know.

Bill Masterson Area IX VP

Area X Report

Two meetings of the Council of chapter presidents have been held in 2006, thereby furthering communication among the chapters on issues that are of interest and importance to all.

Discussions covered a proposal to be brought before the VFC convention to reduce the number of voting members on the VFC board. One suggestion was to reduce the number of AVPs from 10 to 4. No one favored the reduction, and there was a suggestion to increase the number to 11 to coincide with the number of Virginia Congressional districts. The second proposal was to eliminate the vote of appointed committee chairs and the immediate VFC past president. No vote was taken on this issue.

The NARFE Executive Board proposal for eliminating mandatory chapter membership after the initial membership period was another issue discussed by the council. Several voiced predictions that chapters would lose members and that this proposal was giving the impression that the Executive Board was diminishing the importance of local chapters.

Another proposal discussed by the council was Chapter 1665’s resolution for single dues that would be allocated to the chapters by zip code. This concept was generally, but not unanimously accepted. Most of those present agreed that the simpler the dues structure the better. They agreed that chapter dues should be maintained and that chapters should be allowed to manage their own dues.

Chapters in Area X had meeting programs that were a mix of legislative themes and issues of concern to seniors. Several chapters had meetings with both state and national elected officials during this period, with many being held during NARFE Lobby Week, and several state legislators spoke at local chapters in their home districts. Vienna 1116 enjoyed a former Congressional Aide’s presentation that described how legislation is made and approved, and another meeting in which a State Delegate summarized the spring legislative activity in Richmond. That meeting also featured candidates for Mayor and Council positions for the Town of Vienna. Dulles 1241 also received an update on State legislation from a State Senator and a Delegate. Arlington 7’s program that featured their U.S. Congressman drew a large gathering. Non-legislative oriented meetings among the chapters included such activities as County police presentations about crime and identity theft, Office of Aging presentations on problems facing seniors and county or city programs and facilities that address these issues, transportation problems by Dr. Gridlock, reverse mortgages, self-defense, and learning opportunities for seniors.

Chapter newsletters inform chapter members of legislative actions or pending actions that are of concern to NARFE, as well as the programs to be presented at the meetings. Chapter newsletters are mailed to local legislators and to appropriate national legislators. Membership packets were given to staff members of both state and national legislators.

Several Chapter presidents and membership, PR, and newsletter chairs attended the VFC training sessions held in Manassas in February. The consensus was that good meeting programs are the key to maintaining and/or increasing chapter membership. For example, Arlington Chapter 7 doubled its usual attendance by having Congressman Jim Moran speak. More than two chapters have worked out effective telephone trees to inform current and potential members of meetings. Attendees agreed that the role of chapter service officers needs to be emphasized since that is when retired federal employees need NARFE help the most.

A major concern among the chapters is difficulty in getting members to step forward and accept officer positions in the Chapter. Several chapters have officer vacancies, and search and nominating committees have had little success in finding candidates for those positions. The future of several chapters is at stake because of this problem. Nevertheless, chapters are continuing to work toward NARFE goals by keeping members informed, working to increase participation at meetings, and to increase membership by reducing the dropout rates.

All Chapters were represented at the 2006 VFC Convention, either by their own delegates or by proxy. Delegates attended and participated in a broad range of committee meetings and in the general sessions. At the Area X caucus, Bill Boning was elected to serve a Area Vice President for the 2006-2007 term, with Joe Smucker agreeing to fill in when Bill is traveling. Bill is a member of Dulles Chapter 1241, has been a NARFE member since 1994 and a Life member since 2000. He has served in various officer positions in the Chapter, also was recently appointed to the VFC Constitution and Bylaws Committee. Also at the Area X caucus, Bill Willis, the outgoing AVP, was elected to serve as Area X representative on the VFC Nominating Committee, with Elsie Cunningham elected as the Area X alternate.

Bill Boning, newly elected AVP and William A. Willis, outgoing AVP

Alzheimer's News and Views

The 2006 VFC Convention has come and gone and we all benefited. It was a great Convention, especially for Alzheimer's fund raising. The generosity of the VFC "conventioneers" is highly commendable. The silent auction, raffle, 50-50 (7 $50) winners and a donation by GEHA totaled $ 2162.00. In addition, chapter and individual donations totaled $650.00 (credited to chapters), bringing the overall convention $2812.00. This includes $250.00 in raffle sales by the Winchester chapter 180 prior to the Convention. Jim Wilson from the chapter donated the counted cross-stitch picture. The VFC Alzheimer' Committee established the 2006 goal at $55,000, the same as 2005. Hopefully, we will significantly exceed this. Just an average donation of $5.00 per VFC member would be nearly $100,000. How about it? Seven chapters exceeded this amount in 2005. The VFC first quarter report was $6144.77, somewhat less than first quarter 2005. Mrs. Joan Veazey, the National Alzheimer's Committee Chair, attended the Convention and participated in the Alzheimer's meeting and was a speaker during a general session of the Convention. Many favorable comments were received. Thank you, Mrs. Veazey.

Frequently, questions are asked about the results of NARFE sponsored research and other research projects. Among Mrs. Veazey's comments was that 35 projects have received NARFE funds. As I have commented in previous reports, medical research is long term, expensive and positive results seem to be minimal. However, several drugs are now available for helping some Alzheimer's patients cope with the disease. One gene has been discovered that increases the risk for Alzheimer's. A vaccine is under development. (Previously, a vaccine was withdrawn from use due to adverse side effects) Brain imaging has been developed that helps track the development of the disease The role of vascular factors is receiving close attention. Research indicates that maintaining a healthy life style may reduce the risk of developing the disease. Control the blood pressure, cholesterol and weight, exercise the body and the mind and stay socially active "MAINTAIN THE BRAIN". {based on Alzheimer's Association publications.)

Five chapters - Falls Run, Springfield, Midlothian, Woodbridge and Colonial Beach received Certificates of Appreciation during the Convention for their support of the Alzheimer's program. I have scheduled two program speaker visits to chapters for the Fall. I am open for additional requests.

THANKS AGAIN TO EVERYONE WHO SUPPORTS THE NARFE ALZHEIMER'S PROGRAM!.

Wilton Ward Alzheimer's Chair

The hard copy that was mailed out included Convention Highlights, Constitution and By Law Amendments as well as Resolutions that are available at the top of the main page. The pictures of officers are available under Federation Officers and are not repeated here. (CoWebmaster)