National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association

Virginia Federation of Chapters

VFC Notes - Winter 2007

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 Martin

Secretary

Robert H. Miller

Treasurer

Darlene Myer-Rhodes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Federation President’s Message

 

Happy New Year! The Virginia Federation (VFC) began 2007 with a total of 20,365 members, a net increase of 450 (2.26%) from last year. Membership data for the past three years: EOY Dec 2006 – 20,365; EOY Dec 2005 – 19,915; and EOY Dec 2004 – 20,076. Although reports from National show the VFC had 2,594 new members during 2006 (including 600+ members from the credit union incentive), the VFC could not have held such a large net increase for the year without the hard work of many membership chairs and members at the chapter level to recruit and retain members. Kudos to 32 of our 56 chapters that had a net increase in membership for CY 2006! Ten of those chapters met or exceeded the VFC goal of a net increase of 5% of more. Let’s keep up the momentum to attain the strongest voting power for the chapters in the Federation.

My two-year term limit as VFC President will end at the VFC Convention, April 22-25. Therefore, this will be my last article in VFC Notes in that capacity. Many of you have urged me to seek a National office. I am flattered and appreciate your confidence. As a LIFE member, NARFE will always have a place in my activities. However, after serving NARFE in a Federation or Chapter leader- ship position for the past eight (8) years with a strong commitment of involvement, I have now decided to continue my NARFE work more behind the scenes. I will remain a voting member of the Board, when I become VFC Immediate Past President. In addition, I will continue to represent NARFE as the VFC Congressional Liaison for the 11th District and as a Board member of the Virginia Coalition on Aging (VCA) for my elected term by the VCA (which ends December 2008).

It has been a privilege to serve as your Federation President. In my travels to chapters across Virginia and discussions with individual members, it became apparent there are many untapped talents, skills and experiences that are needed for the leadership and committee work of chapter operations. I will continue to encourage Chapter officials to seek out and empower those members by utilizing the 3 E’s (educate, encourage, and energize).

I have especially appreciated the wonderful support from so many chapters and members during both the triumphs and challenges during my term. And, as the second woman to hold this office in the Virginia Federation during the past 50+ years, there were, indeed, additional challenges. However, resiliency prevailed and I am pleased to report the Federation is presently in very good shape.

My annual report at the Convention will detail the events and activities during the past year. As a Federation/Chapter team, we achieved these major accomplishments during the past two years:

o Increased total membership from 20,076 to 20,365.

o Established formal positions as VFC congressional district liaisons to enhance VFC relationships with district offices. Appointees agreed to serve for the entire two-year session of Congress.

o Enhanced communications between the Federation and Chapters via emails directly from the VFC President and Program Chairs to chapter leaders; monitored content of official VFC emails; changed the web host and established separate web pages for each of the six NARFE program areas on the VFC web, www.vanarfe.org; expanded the distribution listing of the VFC Notes; and created three VFC Area newsletters, now giving a lifeline between the leadership and members of each chapter in those areas.

o Encouraged a mantra to raise the general awareness of NARFE and VFC in Virginia to make it a household name (NARFE as a brand name). VFC had numerous requests for matching funds covering planned recruiting events in nearly every VFC area. Also, the January 2007 outreach event held in Northern Virginia for current federal employees (CFE) and potential CFE members utilized a more subliminal approach to recruit members.

THANK YOU for your support and the opportunity to serve as your Federation President for NARFE chapters and members in Virginia. I look forward to seeing you in April at the VFC Convention!

Ann M. Collins

 

VFC Calendar of Events

March - April 2007

2007

MAR 1

Deadline for 2007 VFC Convention registration, Chapter ads, and convention supporters for names to appear in Program Book. Send applicable form and payment to 2007 NARFE/VFC Convention Committee, P. O. Box 224, Bumpass, VA. 23024-0224.

MAR 3-6 NARFE

National Legislative Training Conference, Bethesda Hyatt, MD

MAR 8 VFC

President will issue Call to 2007 Convention NLT March 8 (one copy will be mailed to each Chapter President and Chapter Secretary)

APR 1

Deadline to make reservations for 2007 VFC Convention at NARFE Rate of $91 plus tax. Phone 1-800-397-1034 (toll free) or 1-804-379-2763.

APR 22

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

APR 22-25

2007 VFC Convention,

Holiday Inn Select, Richmond (Midlothian), VA. (See 2007 VFC Convention Bulletins for registration and hotel reservation details on the VFC web site: www.vanarfe.org.)

Sunday evening, April 22

Welcome Reception, 5:30 p.m. NARFE National President Margaret Baptiste will be present for the entire Convention

Monday morning, April 23

Official Opening Ceremonies, 9:00 a.m. Keynote Speaker: Virginia Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell (Invited) “TRIAD/Outreach Programs for Seniors”

Remarks – NARFE Region X VP Joseph Beaudoin Election by Voice Vote for Uncontested Offices Memorial Service

Monday Afternoon, April 23

Area Caucus Meetings and Committee Meetings

Monday evening, April 23 -

Reception 7:30 – 9:00 pm hosted by Congressman Tom Davis (R-VA-11th)

Tuesday morning, April 24

Voting – Contested Offices (7:00 – 9:00 am) Convention Reconvenes at 9:00 am Report of the VFC President – Ann M. Collins Convention Committee Reports Keynote Speaker: Virginia Commissioner for Aging Julie Christopher “No Wrong Door”

Tuesday Afternoon, April 24 -

More Convention Committee Reports NARFE Member Guest Speaker – Jacqueline Richards (Falls Run Chapter 2343 “The Red Book” SeniorNavigator Liaison Report – Dick Murphy (Staunton-Augusta Chapter 178 “Update on VFC/SeniorNavigator Partnership”

Tuesday Evening, April 24

6:00 – 9:00 pm Social Hour, Banquet, Entertainment Banquet Speaker: NARFE National President Margaret Baptiste

Wednesday Morning, April 25 -

9:00 am – 12:00 noon Keynote Speaker: Jerome U. Burke, CFEBS, Underhill Financials Advisors, Inc. “Financial Facts for Retirees” Report of 2008 and 2009 Conventions Announcement of Balloting Results (as applicable) Discharge of Committee Chairs Installation of Officers – NARFE National President Margaret Baptiste Remarks by Newly Elected VFC President Convention adjourns

VFC SECRETARY’S REPORT

The "2007 Voting Strength and Federation Dues" was distributed to Area Vice Presidents at the January VFC Board meeting. This tabulation was prepared by VFC 2nd Vice President Bill Martin based on the National M110 Report of January 8, 2007 for the period ending December 31, 2006. A chapter is entitled to one convention vote (delegate) for each 25 voting members and any fraction thereof. A mailing will go to chapter presidents and chapter secretaries and the VFC Treasurer will send a separate dues notice to chapter treasurers.

This past quarter I installed officers at Manassas Chapter and spoke at two additional chapters; met Alexandria legislators at four local meetings, and visited legislators at the General Assembly Building.

Robert H. Miller, VFC Secretary

A NOTE FROM THE VFC TREASURER

Early in February an invoice was mailed to each chapter treasurer requesting their VFC dues be paid by May 31, 2007. These dues were calculated based on the number and category of voting members reported in the January 8, 2007 National M110 report. We thank those chapters that have already paid their dues in advance of the May 31 deadline. As in past years, hopefully, we will have another 100% response rate this year. The VFC continues to support our chapters for their efforts and accomplishments in membership recruitment and retention and their activities with their legislators by providing training and recognition for their accomplishments at the National Convention. It is a pleasure to serve the VFC Board and our chapters. Thank you for your support.

Darlene Myer Rhodes, VFC Treasurer.

 

1ST VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT

 

As we begin 2007, we have a lot to be thankful for in NARFE Virginia Federation of Chapters and it is time to set goals for the new year at the Chapter and Federation levels. Overall, Virginia had a slight membership gain due to hard work by the chapters and some National Headquarters initiatives. I thank you for all the efforts to recruit and retain members. Ten chapters achieved over 5% growth in 2006; twenty-five additional chapters had positive growth, while twenty-one chapters lost some ground. At the January VFC board meeting, we set the goals to increase membership by 5% and to increase dues withholding members by 5% in 2007. Let’s all pull together and make these membership goals.

Membership retention is our real challenge and I think we can do better in making NARFE a higher priority with our members. Chapters need to consider what they have to offer its members. Are there chapter newsletters? In Areas II, III an IV, they have begun Area Newsletters since a number of their chapters were unable to produce newsletters on their own. This allows all members in these areas to receive localized information concerning what NARFE is doing and encouraging meeting attendance. Are our Chapter Meetings worth the time to attend? Some chapters do a great job in this area and others could stand some self-assessment and improvement. We, as a united force, National, Federation and Chapters, need to let our members know what NARFE has done to protect the annuities and benefits we enjoy. It is my understanding that future NARFE magazines will emphasize the positive impact NARFE has in protecting our benefits.

The 2007 VFC State Convention is almost upon us. It’s time to send in the convention and banquet registration forms by March 1st to be included in the program book. Chapters are requested to submit chapter and commercial ads to help defray convention costs. Bulletins 1 & 2 have been issued with all the information, plus you will find information on our website at www.vanarfe.org. Area VIII has been actively working on putting together a great convention for you to enjoy April 22-25 in Richmond at the Holiday Inn Select. The VFC President has lined up some excellent speakers, including NARFE National President Margaret Baptiste and Julie Christopher, Virginia Commissioner for the Aging, speaking on “No Wrong Door.” A welcoming reception will be held Sunday at 5:30 PM with the business session beginning on Monday at 9:00 AM. Representative Tom Davis will sponsor a reception Monday evening and the banquet will be Tuesday evening.

Some of my personal activities during the past quarter included: participation in Area III and Area VIII meetings, speaker at Fredericksburg Chapter meeting, installed officers for four chapters in December, attended the Senior Navigator Compass Rose Ceremony where NARFE was recognized, attended the special VFC sponsored event for current federal employees in Northern Virginia, issued Bulletins 1 & 2 for the 2007 VFC Convention and guided coordination efforts with Area VIII chapters in setting up the convention committees.

R. David Smith, 1st VP

 

2ND VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT

 

2006 was a very good year for the Virginia Federation of Chapters (VFC). We ended the year with over 2% more members than we had at the end of 2004 or 2005. Congratulations for these results must go to the members and chapter officers who actively recruited new folks as well as worked very hard to bring back to our roles those who had let their membership drop. Recognition must also be given to the VFC Membership and Public Relations committee chairs Dennis Martin and Carolyn Wilson who conducted outstanding programs in several area and chapter meetings. Emphasis was placed on proper utilization of reports from NARFE to identify new members as well as prospects for membership. A goal of 5% has been set for increase in both membership and dues withholding for 2007. Both are obtainable. Retention efforts will be emphasized to include the benefits of dues withholding.

The VFC is fortunate to have Charles Delaplane as our National Legislation committee chair. The major effort we have every year to maintain our earned benefits was once again successful. Nothing was taken away. While we didn’t succeed in our GPO, WEP, and Premium Conversion efforts, 2007 is a new year with a new group of politicians in Washington DC with a new slate of officers representing NARFE working with them. Plans for a Legislative Conference in March are moving along and we hope that many of our VFC members will take the opportunity to attend and to work with their representatives to help them see the need for their support helping us reach our legislative goals.

We are also fortunate to have such a talented State Legislation group headed by Bill Schmidt with Oscar Honeycutt and Carroll Graham as members of his immediate team. It looks like we will have several successes with our state legislation effort this year. Much of the success will be due to the preplanning efforts that started last summer. There have been several visits to Richmond working to convince these representatives to support our goals. Special thanks to all those chapter members who have been contacting their representatives encouraging them to support our efforts.

Alzheimer’s Research donations were once again successful in 2006. Over $46.000 was donated which represented a per capita donation of $2.38 for our membership. Although we didn’t reach our $55,000 goal, we came very close at 84%. Thanks here go to all our chapters and members who worked so hard this year with special thanks to Wilton Ward, VFC Alzheimer’s Committee Chair.

Several new programs in the service area were developed this year by Jim & Sue Righter, who co-Chair the VFC Co Service Office Committee. These programs are included on the VFC web site www.vanarfe.org and may be downloaded and used by chapters.

My personal activities this quarter included participation in combined Area meetings for Areas IX and X and for Areas I, II, and IV. Emphasis at these meetings was on membership. I was fortunate to have installed officers for five chapters and to have attended three other chapter meetings. I also actively participated in the preparation meetings for the upcoming VFC convention

William F. {Bill} Martin, 2nd VP

 

NATIONAL LEGISLATION

 

It’s now official – most of the Government will be running for the rest of FY ’07 on a continuing resolution (CR). The 109th Congress was able to enact just two appropriations bills last fall – Defense and Homeland Security – and then punted on the remainder, passing a CR good through February 17. So on January 31 the House passed House Joint Resolution 20 extending the general CR authority through September 30. That action limits most federal agencies to their FY ’06 spending levels, although some individual exceptions to spending ceilings are anticipated.

Meanwhile, pieces of NARFE’s legislative program are gradually being introduced. Repeal of the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) were introduced early in January, (I have to admit that before I retired I never thought the acronym “GPO” referred to anything other than the Government Printing Office.) Those bills are H.R. 82 and S. 206, introduced by two Democratic Californians, Rep. Howard Berman and Sen. Diane Feinstein. Both are acquiring cosponsors; as of this writing, on February 2, H.R. 82 had 169 cosponsors, and S. 206 had 8. All Virginia Representatives except Reps. Jo Ann Davis (R-1st), Randy Forbes (R-4th), and Jim Moran (D-8th) are already cosponsors of S. 82; neither Senator yet cosponsors S. 206. And on January 30 Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) has introduced another of his WEP reform bills, H.R. 726, which would eliminate the effect of WEP on COLA-adjusted annuities less than $2,500, and phase in the WEP by graduated steps above that amount.

Premium Conversion is still outstanding as of this writing. With the change of control in Congress from the Republicans to the Democrats, it may be the latter who are asked to take the lead on Premium Conversion in the House. On the Senate side it remains possible that Senator Warner will once again agree to champion the cause. Members will recall that two years ago Premium Conversion was introduced in both Houses at the time of our Legislative Training Conference, which is taking place again this year during the period March 3 – 6. With luck we will have Premium Conversion bills to focus on around that time.

It would be remiss of me not to point out that, regardless of the party in charge of Congress, cost considerations work against our two priorities. In the global picture of the federal budget either of these measures could get lost in rounding to the nearest $100 billion, but as a practical matter, deficit concerns and many, many other spending priorities (not the least of which is the war in Iraq) mean that our concerns fall fairly far down the list. Conventional wisdom seems to be that for these measures to be enacted they need to be attached to a broader bill – for example, a Social Security reform bill in the case of GPO/WEP, and a tax change or health-care bill in the case of Premium Conversion. Having these measures standing out there as single-issue bills reduces the likelihood that we’ll see success, at least until the budget gets back into balance.

Charles Delaplane

 

State Legislation Notes

 

As I write this the General Assembly is in the throes of their effort to get through “Crossover”, the date on the Legislative calendar after which neither the House of Delegates nor the State Senate can consider any bill not coming from the other house, except for the Budget bill. After the crossover date of Tuesday February 6 2007 we will have a much better idea of just what legislation is likely to survive.

A large part of the work of this session has been behind the scene with legislators trying to achieve a compromise on funding for Transportation. The large tax increase of 2004 was not used to address the problem, which has been identified as one of the states largest problems for many years, especially in Northern Virginia and Tidewater... Even with the significant budget surpluses in 2005 and 2006 the Governor and several members in the Senate want to find a state wide tax increase to pay for Transportation. The leadership in the House has worked with leaders in the Senate and developed a funding plan that relies on no general tax increase across the state. It is meeting resistance from those who wish to use the General fund surpluses for other issues. There is also resistance from some who find fault with local unelected regional transportation organizations having taxing ability. Like any compromise no one is happy with all of the measures. This issue will go down to the wire. The Senate has approved a 5% state wide tax on gasoline and the house appears ready to pass the compromise bill introduced by Speaker Howell which relies on a combination of general fund money, increased fees, and some borrowing. A solution is important because without it the state’s economic powerhouses of Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia will bog down as workers find their commuting time increasing.

The legislative program of the VFC this year has seen some successes. Our request for legislation to remove the discriminatory language in the Virginia Code where persons reaching their 65th birthday are not protected by minimum wage laws looks as if it will be accepted. Bills to accomplish this by Senator Stosch [SB758] and Delegate Englin [HB2738] have each passed in their house of origin with almost unanimous consent. It can be expected that the bills will be considered in the other house with the same acceptance and sent to the Governor for signature.

Several bills have been introduced that address our concerns about the overreaching of various state agencies when using eminent domain. Most are currently mired in committee. Senator Normant’s bill, [SJ404], which calls for a study of the issue by JLARC is the first one to reach the floor of either house. This may be the fall back position that survives. A proposed Constitutional amendment, first instance, by Delegate Bell [HJ723] has been passed unanimously in committee.

Our desire to resist any further increase in our taxes appears to be successful. Several bills were introduced by different legislators to restore our age deduction or to increase the amount of the deduction have been introduced, but they seem to be languishing in committee. We were forced to oppose one bill that would have offered to provide a better deduction for those of us with no Social Security pension, but it would have removed any age deduction for FERS retirees with Social Security pensions. Several bills have survived committee action that would increase the age and disability reductions for local real estate taxes.

Most of the bills introduced to deal with the impact of the increased senior population on state agencies require funding from the state and their success will depend on the budget bill that is adopted. Senator Stosch’s [SB790], bill to broaden the coverage of the caregivers grant program has passed the Senate unanimously. Delegate Watts [HB2636] bill which creates a pilot program for specialized treatment of Geriatric mental health issues is in the House Appropriations committee as is a companion budget amendment. Delegate Cline’s [HB2459] bill which increases the penalties for abusing an incapacitated adult has passed from House Courts to the Public Safety committee of the Appropriations Committee.

Developing the state budget is a complex process. In mid December the Governor released a proposed budget. This is the basis for the budget bills introduced into the House of Delegates and the State Senate. Every member is allowed to submit proposed amendments to the bill in their house. The Appropriations committee in the House and the Finance Committee in the Senate consider these amendments. The submitting member and the general public have an opportunity to testify on these amendments. Since the Governor has started with a balanced budget, any additions to expenditures will change the Governors suggested spending levels or rely new revenues that result from a changing economy. Many budget amendments are earmarks called “non state agency” spending. Members of the Senate alone have introduced non state agency amendments totaling over $112,000,000 for 2007. The budget adopted in 2006 included only a total of $34,000,000 of non state agency funding, so a significant number of these proposals will not prevail. Since the budget bills which pass the House and the Senate seldom match a conference committee is appointed to work out the differences. The 2006 budget is a biennium budget. During the 2007 session the budget will be amended to change how some expenditures are made, determine what to do with the surplus funds received beyond what was budgeted and how to spend future surpluses during the final year of the current budget. If the two houses can not agree on an amended version of the budget the original spending authorization remains in force.

Every member of the General assembly will be up for election this year. Many will find opposition both within their own party during the June Primary season and from other parties during the November election. The State Senators elected this November will still be members of the General Assembly when the 2011 redistricting is done so the control of the Senate will be important to both major parties. This gives us a good opportunity to make our case for issues that affect our members. Not only do all candidates want your vote, they need your support financially and in person to gain election or reelection. Get involved, you can make a difference. Support the VFC State Political Account.

Bill Schmidt

Membership Report

Although the 2006 membership increase didn’t reach the goal of 5% increase set by the VFC Board of Directors, there was a turnaround from the previous year and the VFC membership ended with an increase of over 2.25% or 450 new members. This increase was the result of hard work by the Public Relations Chairman (Thanks Carolyn Wilson) and the very energetic recruiting work of the individual Virginia NARFE members. 2594 new members joined in 2006, but we lost many to non-renewal, deaths of our aging membership and transfers to out-of-state Chapters. Fortunately this latter category is not lost to NARFE. 410 new prospects were identified by NARFE Headquarters. Only through the efforts of local Chapters can these prospective members be contacted and encouraged to join.

Current federal employees (CFE) now represent 11% of membership in the VFC. These members represent NARFE’s future and Chapters need to consider their unique needs such as periodic nighttime meetings and programs which address retirement planning. Towards this end, the VFC sponsored a seminar, “Luck is Not a Retirement Strategy,” in Northern Virginia conducted by Mr. Ruth, a frequent contributor to the NARFE magazine. It was well received with over 65 people attending. Also, we need to encourage these CFE members to recruit members from their place of work as it is getting more difficult to obtain access to Government facilities. As can be seen, 2006 was a generally successful year in the area of membership recruiting and the emphasis for 2007 will continue to target retention.

Dennis Martin

Service Report

Looking for programs for your area, or your chapter meeting? As your co-service officers, we offer topics of practical use – at no cost – to be relevant to your needs.

- Signs of Elder Abuse/Standards of Elder Care

- Lowering Your Risk of Identity Theft

- Avoiding the Most Common Elder Scams and Frauds

- Preparing for Care-giving

- Understanding Your Need for a “Survivor Kit”

- How Long to Keep Your Important Records & Papers

- How to Get Out of Debt and Stay Out of Debt

- How to Avoid Falls/Other Dangers Around the Home

We are open to suggestions for other topics as well. Just write, e-mail or call us as you have more ideas.

INVITATION FOR CO-SERVICE OFFICERS TO COME MAKE A PRESENTATION

At _____ Area Meeting or _____ Chapter ____________ Meeting (Check One)

Name __________________________________________

Proposed Date(s)_________________________________

Time of Meeting _________________________________

Contact Person__________________________________

Place of Meeting _________________________________

Topic Chosen ___________________________________

Directions: _____________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Return requests to Sue and Jim Righter, VFC Co-Service Officers, 11244 Harbor Court, Reston, VA 20191

Sue and Jim Righter-Co-Service Chairs

PUBLIC RELATIONS

 

I had a very busy 4th quarter of 2006. Beginning in October with attendance at a seminar on Identify Theft hosted by Congressman Randy Forbes. Spoke with Congressman Forbes regarding the NARFE National Legislative Plan. A request was made to Congressman Forbes to furnish tickets to Colonial Heights Chapter 1472 to tour the White House at Christmas time. Forty-nine members and friends of Colonial Heights Chapter toured the White House on December 13th.

A NARFE information booth was manned at the Virginia Coalition for the Aging and Elder Rights Coalition Legislative Forum in Richmond on October 28th. Another booth was manned at the October 31st AARP Mobility Forum, also in Richmond.

Public Relations presentations were given at Farmville, Chapter 2080 and Churchland, Chapter 1293. Also attended Tuckahoe, Chapter 1727’s Christmas Luncheon where I was presented a special award for my outstanding service and leadership in getting the Area III Newsletter to become a reality. This award was appreciated very much.

Assistance was provided to Areas II and IV in the publishing of a newsletter. As of the end of December 2006, three Area Newsletters are being published. Ninety-nine percent of the comments regarding the newsletters are favorable. Total savings for Chapters participating in the newsletters has not been calculated but considerable savings have been made.

A NARFE booth was manned at the Hanover regional TRIAD meeting. Carolyn has become a member of both the Chesterfield and Petersburg TRIADs assisting in planning and preparing for the Senior Day activities. In May 2006, 1200 senior citizens attended the Chesterfield Senior Day; new members joined NARFE as a result of obtaining information that day. The Petersburg TRIAD has just been formed in the last few months, so again I will assist in planning and preparing for their Senior Day. NARFE will have a booth at both Senior Day activities in May 2007.

Pre-Retirement Seminars (PRS) were given by Barbara Nugent, PRS Coordinator and Robert Boyd, Area III VP at Defense Logistics Agency Defense Supply Center. Barbara also had a booth at the Fort Lee Health Fair.

Carolyn Wilson, PR Chair

  “I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the US Congress.”

AREA I NOTES

Area 1 chapters seem to be doing well, notwithstanding our continuing challenge resulting from nonrenewals. Chapter 682 has instituted their membership attendance drawing and we’re all watching closely for the next few months to see how successful it might be. Chapter 685 will be trying something new in February with a dinner meeting and entertainment. Chapter 1757 has gained a new member and has several prospects. I held my first Area Council meeting in October. All Chapter presidents and area coordinators were present. I will hold another Council Meeting in February to pass on information received at the January VFC Board. I visited Chapter 1757 and 682 in October and will visit all chapters in February. I was privileged to install Officers in Chapter 682 at their December Holiday Luncheon. I attended the January 2007 VFC board in Midlothian and the Legislative Breakfast sponsored by the Virginia Center on Aging in Richmond on 25 January. Marie Collins, Area 1 Membership Coordinator, and Bill Seals, Chapter 682, attended 6 Health Fairs and distributed 500 kits. They signed up 13 new members. I attended the VFC Public Relations/Membership Training hosted by Area II in January. Betty Warren, Area II VP is a wonderful host. I continue to be encouraged by the enthusiasm I hear when talking with the Chapter Presidents.

Sharon Rose, Area I VP

 

AREA II Report

 

Area II Chapter members are meeting at their regular schedule time and place. I reported in my last notes the nominating committees were vigorously searching for people willing to serve. I am happy to report that all officer positions and most appointed committee chairs have been filled. Thanks to all who stepped up when they were most needed.

The winter issue of Area II Newsletter was published the first week in January, with special emphasis on recruitment and retention.

Area II in Norfolk, VA, January 16th, hosted VFC Membership Training. It was well attended by members from Area I and IV as well.

CHAPTER REPORTS: Metro 5 Virginia Beach had an increase in members attending monthly meetings. We believe this is partly a result of the Newsletter. Norfolk Chapter 66 had an increased in membership. Virginia Beach Chapter 974 had no change. Seaside Chapter 1175 and Eastern Shore had a slight decrease in membership.

Newly elected President Lynne Papis, Metro Chapter 5 will be first time attending the Legislative Training.

Betty Warren Area II VP

Area III Notes

 

This past quarter was the time of year for most Chapters in Area III to do various things to raise money for the Chapter and to raise money for their Alzheimer’s contributions. Chapters have had raffles, bake/craft sales and lots of other different things, all of which have been successful.

The past quarter was also the time of year where Chapters are locating candidates for officer positions for the upcoming year. There are seven Chapters in Area III and three of them have new Presidents and that’s a good thing. I think we need to continually seek new ideas within the Chapters, Areas and State. James Barr is the new President for Chapter 1472 Colonial Heights; Bettye Thornton is the new President for Chapter 1510 Imperial Plaza. For Chapter 2265 Midlothian, Pat Hoffert is the new President. I have seen some of these new Presidents in action, and I can tell they will do well in their new positions. When I look at the Chapter officers I see that a female dominated board is leading four (4) of the seven (7) Chapters: (South of the James, Colonial Heights, Imperial Plaza and Midlothian).

All Area III Chapters have started planning for the 2007 convention by getting delegates and supporters. With the financial success of last year’s convention I think the Chapters would like to support the convention the next time it is in Richmond.

As an Area we gained a few members last year but we did not reach our 5% goal.

As I mentioned above about the need for new ideas and moving in that direction, this will be my last quarterly notes submission. After three (3) years as the Area Vice President I am stepping down so that the area can get new ideas from new leadership. I do want to thank all of you who have helped me over the past three (3) years and I hope that you will give the new Area VP your support.

Liza Minnelli once said, “Religion is for people who are afraid of hell, and spirituality is for people who have been in hell”.

Leonardo da Vinci said, “it is by logic we prove, but by intuition we discover”. obtaining information that day.

Pre-Retirement Seminars (PRS) were given by Barbara Nugent, PRS Coordinator and Robert Boyd, Area III VP at Defense Logistics Agency Defense Supply Center. Barbara also had a booth at the Fort Lee Health Fair.

Bob Boyd Area III VP

Area IV Notes

Greetings and best wishes to the NARFE members in Area IV. I trust we are adjusting to the cooler weather but wishing we had some of the warmer conditions we experienced a few weeks ago. Area IV members have been involved in several endeavors to promote NARFE and generate meaningful participation.

1. Health Fair - Norfolk Naval Shipyard Building #68, 28 November 06 - Started out on left foot by not having the ordered materials on the day the fair was scheduled. Driver of the delivery vehicle could not enter and had to secure replacement driver with proper credentials. Fortunately, the materials arrived about 12:00 noon and Norma and I filled the envelopes PDQ. The situation turned better and we distributed over 850 kits.

2. Health Fair - Navy Medical Center, 29 November 06. Waverly Cassell, coordinator, received his materials the day before the scheduled date and proceeded to distribute over 150 kits to personnel at the Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth, VA.

3. Peanut Festival - Suffolk, VA (Airport), 12-15 October 2006. Coordinated by Joe Silberholtz, Vice President. Display table was well set up using the American Flag, NARFE Banner, and the Zapper. Many attendees came to the table to get Free Samples of Peanuts (sealed in plastic bags) which a company provided at no cost to the chapter. At least 550 information kits sealed in plastic zipper bags were distributed to prospective members. Personal contact was made and discussed with each as to the need and importance of being a NARFE member. A successful and a pleasant day was enjoyed by the participating members of the Suffolk Chapter.

4. Area IV Newsletter has been set up and first edition has been issued. Thanks to the special efforts of our Editor Ed Wilusz. Out of the 896 copies issued, only 5 have been returned as not deliverable. Ed deserves a lot of credit for doing an outstanding job even though he had surgery during the set up process.

5. A gentle reminder to all Area IV Chapters to support the upcoming VFC Convention, April 22-25, Holiday Inn Select, Koger Center, Richmond, VA 23235. Please note required response dates as indicated in Bulletins #1 and #2.

Thank you for your participation.

 

Joseph D. Lee, Area IV Vice President

Stop repeat offenders. Don’t re-elect them.

Area V Report

 

During the past quarter, I have been in contact with all the chapter presidents concerning their individual statuses for meeting attendance, programs, membership emphasis and the need to have newsletters to keep their members informed. Most of my contacts have been by phone; however, I have visited the Danville Chapter each month.

The Lynchburg Chapter continues to be a challenge in that no one will step forward to serve as chapter president or any other officer position, except for treasurer. VFC President, Ann Collins, has appointed Ken Williams, past president of the Danville Chapter, to serve as interim president until someone from the Lynchburg Chapter can be identified. Their last meeting was a banquet in December and the next meeting will be March 22nd with Ken presiding.

A combined Area V and Area VI meeting is planned in Roanoke on March 31st that will include Membership training by Dennis Martin, Bill Martin and Carolyn Wilson. In addition, discussion will be held with the chapters concerning hosting the 2008 VFC Convention at the Wyndham Hotel in Roanoke.

Allen Wright, Congressional District Liaison with Representative Goode’s Office, plans to attend the NARFE sponsored National Legislative Conference in Bethesda, MD in March.

At the most recent Danville Chapter meeting, I discussed membership recruitment and retention, provided feedback from the recent VFC Board Meeting, my attendance at the Virginia Center on Aging Legislative Breakfast and discussed the VFC sponsored trip to Europe later this year. I also suggested the chapter needs to have a monthly newsletter going to all members. Those who are sick should be sent a card to let them know we are thinking about themay; new members joined NARFE as a result of obtaining information that day.

 

Joseph Spence, Area V VP

 

Area VII Report

 

Area VII consists of five chapters—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. Officers for 2007 were installed in December and January by the five chapters. All Chapters have officers in place in key positions for the program year.

Special recognition is given to Neal McKendry, of Page Valley, and Dick Murphy, Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro, for their leadership as Presidents of their respective chapters. Both served with distinction for a number of years. The good news is that both will continue to serve their chapter in other capacities. Thank you for your service!

Page Valley elected James Blubaugh as ita new president. Jim has set up several positive program goals to increase chapter membership and chapter participation. Chapter meetings have been moved to a restaurant were lunch will be served. Art Henderickson agreed to return after several years to again serve as President of the Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro chapter. Thanks Art! Dick Taylor, Charlottesville Chapter; Al Lilliendahl, Harrisonburg Chapter; and Milt Boyce were each elected to another year as President of their respective Chapters. Thanks to each for your leadership.

Area VII Chapters are committed to member recruitment and retention. Area II experienced a small increase in membership in 2006. Although the increase was small (nineteen members), each of Chapters is working to improve the numbers this program year.

Finally, all Chapters have reported that one or more members plan to attend the 2007 VFC Convention. citizens attended the Chesterfield Senior Day; new members joined NARFE as a result of obtaining information that day.

Glenn M. Zech, Area VII VP

“We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress.”

AREA VIII REPORT

With the conclusion of the 2006 holiday season, chapter officers have been elected and installed, and the chapters in Area VIII are starting 2007 in good condition. Three of the eight chapters have new presidents. They are Dave Upchurch, Fredericksburg Chapter 90; Ray Stewart, Louisa Chapter 2065; and Don Shifter, Falls Run Chapter 2343. While they are new presidents for 2007, all three have been chapter presidents before and bring experience to the job. The five returning presidents are Anna Payne, Colonial Beach Chapter 595; Bob McCone, Warrenton Fauquier Chapter 1549; Jon Baer, Northern Neck Chapter 1823; Mary Ryan, Lake of the Woods Chapter 1885; and Annette McDonald, Caroline Chapter 2112. Area VIII is fortunate to have these experienced and dedicated individuals providing the leadership to the local chapters.

Area VIII ended 2006 with a net increase of 52 (2.62%) members over 2005. Six chapters showed a net increase, one chapter showed no change, and one chapter showed a net decrease. Two chapters showed a net increase that exceeded the VFC goal of a 5% increase: Warrenton Fauquier Chapter 1549 (5.48%) and Falls Run Chapter 2343 (17.95%). The net increase of 52 members in 2006 was double the net increase experienced in 2005.

Last year was also a good year for Alzheimer's contributions in Area VIII. All eight chapters contributed to this worthwhile cause, with six chapters exceeding the VFC per capita amount. Based on the year-end per capita amounts, the top two chapters were in Area VIII: Louisa Chapter 2065 with $11.32 per member and Falls Run Chapter 2343 with $15.07 per member. Congratulations to everyone for a job well done.

Now that the holiday season is over, the Super Bowl has been played, and everyone is finishing their 2006 income tax returns, what should you do now? If you haven't already --- complete those registration forms and mail them in, make the hotel reservations, and prepare for the 2007 VFC Convention at the Holiday Inn Select Koger Center on April 22-25 The chapters in Area VIII are working very hard to make this a successful convention and your stay enjoyable. Convention information is contained in Convention Bulletin Nos. 1 and 2. Make your plans now and mark your calendar. See you at the Koger Center. ay; new members joined NARFE as a result of obtaining information that day.

Art Klotz, Area VIII VP

AREA IX Report

 

The chapters in AREA IX have been doing an excellent job in turning around the membership decline and the gaining of membership in the last quarter of 2006. We had and excellent membership retention/follow-up training session in place of the regular Area IX and X Caucus meeting in October, 2006. I think it was an outstanding session for Chapter Presidents and Membership Chairs and I recommend it to all AREAS in Virginia. We had a lot of help from the VFC President, 2nd Vice President and Membership Chair.

Northern Virginia TRIAD Conference: From all reports, the TRIAD Conference in October 2006 was a big success. Again, AREA IX and X manned a table with a display of NARFE materials and our zapper. Many people stopped by to talk and to participate in a $50.00 drawing. This Conference was for seniors and those interested in issues involving Senior Citizens. Some of the featured programs were on ID Theft, Cyber Crime, Prescription Drugs and much more.

Congratulations are due to Springfield Chapter 893 for contributions of $5,932.00 to Alzheimer’s in 2006, which the most for any chapter in Virginia. Woodbridge Chapter 1270 was close behind with contributions of $5,181.50. I’m sure they would be happy to share with you what they did to raise that much money. ay; new members joined NARFE as a result of obtaining information that day.

Bill Masterson Area IX VP

What happens if you get scared half to death twice?

AREA X REPORT

It was really good to see the recent membership statistics and see that chapters in Area X have reversed the summer trend of declining membership. Although the year end numbers reflect substantial gains as a result of the NARFE Credit Union enrollments, the correction to the downward trend was apparent even without this windfall. Chapter Presidents and their officers, especially their Membership Chairs are to be commended for their hard work on the membership issue.

During the fall quarter Chapters in Area X filled most of their officer positions. Owing to a problem with finding a President in Chapter 1241, yours truly let his arm be twisted and is taking on this responsibility again after a two year reprieve, as well as serving as the Area VP. Counting myself, five of the seven Chapters in Area X have new Presidents, and most of them have not held the position before. Two Chapters have returning Presidents, with Benny Parker of Chapter 1665 having served too many years to count. Benny is to be commended for his long service to NARFE. As Area X VP I attended four meetings of chapters other than my home Chapter, and installed new officers at three of these meetings.

Subsequent to the October 1-3 VFC Board meeting, Areas IX and X held a membership training caucus that was attended by 15 members of Chapters in Area X. The training was well received and no doubt aided in helping correct the declining membership. Many thanks to the VFC officers who were the principal organizers and who conducted the training at this Caucus.

Prior to the winter VFC Board meeting, a meeting of Area X Chapter Presidents was held. This meeting was beneficial in allowing the new and returning Presidents to meet and to share information about their respective chapters. Of particular benefit was the sharing of ideas on programs at Chapter meetings. A common concern among the Chapters is the continuing problem of finding members willing to step forward and take on necessary Chapter duties and responsibilities.

Despite some inclement weather making driving quite hazardous, I made it to Richmond and attended the January 21-23, 2007 VFC Board meeting. Various handouts received at this meeting and considered to be informative to the Chapters have been provided to the Chapter Presidents in Area X.

Area X, along with Area IX, was active this past quarter in several age-related meetings. Participation at the NVAN legislative breakfast was noted in the Fall VFC Notes. I and several other NARFE members in Area X, also attended a NOVA TRIAD Conference which was sponsored by the Virginia Attorney General’s office. Bill Schmidt, VFC State Legislative Chair and a member of Dulles 1241, and Joe Smucker also of Dulles 1241, attended the Virginia Coalition for the Aging Fall Meeting and Elder Rights Coalition Legislative Forum in Richmond. A Conversations on Aging meeting held at the Loudoun Senior Center featured some exciting speakers, particularly Julie Cristopher, Head of the Virginia Department of Aging; and Leon Harper, of Harper and Associates Housing consultants. A Symposium sponsored by Congressman Tom Davis on the FEHBP was attended by a number of NARFE members as well as by a number of other Federal retirees. At all of the noted meetings, NARFE members from Areas IX or X manned a table to pass out NARFE literature; Dulles 1241 members provided this support at the FEHBP Symposium and at the Conversations on Aging meeting.

Plans are underway by the Chapters in Area X for their spring meetings; most Chapters have interesting programs lined up for the coming months. Plans also are underway for the VFC Convention in April and we are hopeful that all Chapters will be represented. 52 members in 2006 was double the net increase experienced in b the job. The five returning presidents are Anna Payne, Colonial Beach Chapter 595; Bob McCone, Warrenton Fauquier Chapter 1549; Jon Baer, Northern Neck Chapter 1823; Mary Ryan, Lake of the Woods Chapter 1885; and Annette McDonald, Caroline Chapter 2112.

Bill Boning Area X VP

 

Alzheimers Report

We had a successful year in 2006 raising funds for Alzheimer’s Research. Not as successful as hoped for when the goal of $ 55,000 was set at the convention in April, but still successful. More than $ 46,000 is a substantial number of dollars.

Many thanks go toVFC members who made an individual donation and / or contributed through chapter fund raising projects. There were many projects: silent auctions, 50-50’s, yard sales, a fashion show, travel, a grocery store agreement, raffles, dinner dances, business donations and others. In addition to the projects, there was an increase in the number of individuals honored through memorial gifts.

The missing golf tournaments and dinner dance certainly affected our total donations, but we understand that current chapter circumstances control fund raising efforts. The fashion show was a great substitute for one of the golf tournaments. Individual donations continue to be the primary source for research dollars. So, we now are in a new year. Hopefully, chapters will look at their fund raising activities and ask the question – “Are our past efforts the best we can do?”

A number of chapters are involved with local Alzheimers or similar groups through memory walks, health fairs or other such activities. I believe this is a mostly untold story of NARFE member contributions to their local communities. I would like to compile a VFC record of these activities; therefore, it is suggested that chapters send me information on their activities-what, where, number of members involved, donations, etc…

The 2007 VFC convention is only a few weeks away. Donations for the silent auction will be most welcome. If someone has a significant and appropriate item for donation a raffle can be arranged. The 50-50 will be available with multiple winners. Assistance will be needed to conduct these activities, so let me know if you can volunteer.

Chapter Alzheimer’s chairs and area coordinators and anyone interested are urged to attend the convention and participate in the Alzheimer’s Committee session. This is an updating, discussion and training opportunity that can greatly benefit the VFC Alzheimer’s program. Your attendance and input at the convention will be greatly appreciated.

Again, thanks to all who support our Alzheimer’s program.

Wilton Ward VFC Alzheimer's Chair

  Strange Proverbs

Success is relative: the greater the success, the more relatives.

The slower you work, the fewer mistakes you make.

If at first you succeed, try to hide your astonishment.

If you look like your passport picture, you probably need the trip.

Worry kills more people than work because more people worry than work.

Middle age is when broadness of mind and narrowness of the waist change places.

When you’re getting kicked from behind, that means you’re in front.

A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

NARFE - YOUR FUTURE - OUR FOCUS