We are off to an excellent start in 2019, and one of the most encouraging actions I’ve seen is the response to our Chapter survey. We received 49 responses, and I really appreciate those who took their time to respond. Everyone provided excellent suggestions and they ranged from “don’t change a thing to change everything”! There were ten questions on the survey, and I’ve read each response. No real analysis of the responses has been completed; however, here are some quick statistics on the question of should we increase dues, and if so by how much? 15 people supported $4 for the primary member and $5 for the supporting/surviving spouse; 12 people agreed with $6 and $6 for the two categories; 13 people listed $10 and $8 for the two categories; 4 people said no increase; 3 people provided other increase options from $20/$25 to $2/$0, and $10/$3; and two of the 49 did not respond to the question. The key point is we hopefully won’t have to increase dues at all. In June (mid-year), we’ll examine where we stand on budget execution and available finances and then make a recommendation/decision pertaining to an increase of dues. The following information is nice to know. The Central Ohio and Dayton Chapters charge $15.00 in dues for the primary member while Cleveland, Ohio Western Reserve, and the Mahoning & Shenango Chapters charge $20.00 for the primary member. I don’t have the Greater Cincinnati Chapter numbers, but all Chapters seem to be relatively close in their dues.
I thank you for your input and I will be addressing this to some extent in future versions of the President’s Corner. We’ll draw the name of the winner of the $25.00 American Express card for participation in the survey at the upcoming luncheon on 8 March. 40 people put their names on the survey which means you have a 1 in 40 chance of winning. I hope all 40 are at the luncheon, but if not, we’ll get the gift card to you.
I mentioned at our February luncheon and wrote last month about the establishment of a 501c3 Foundation underneath the Chapter. I believe I failed explaining “why” we want to take this action. We can separate dues from donations and aid in fund raising by taking this action. A 501c3 allows corporations and individuals to donate to the Foundation and receive a tax deduction for their donation. Anyone donating funds to the Chapter cannot take a tax deduction on their donation under our current status. Dues will go primarily to support Chapter expenses while donations will be the primary means to fund programs. I hope this helps in explaining the “why,” but I am willing to provide greater detail if you still have questions. Please, do not hesitate to contact me.
We held our Board of Directors (BOD) meeting at the National Veterans Memorial and Museum (NVMM) in February. We’ll discuss in the March BOD whether to continue this on a regular basis or remain with DSCC as our primary location. A nice surprise at the NVMM meeting was LTG Ferriter, the NVMM CEO, stopping by to say “hello” for about ten minutes and talking about the NVMM, how he got there, and a little on the future of NVMM.
We had an excellent speaker at the February luncheon, Mr. Kevin Gallagher. He is the Executive Director of the Cornerstone of Hope – Columbus organization. Cornerstone of Hope is a non-profit organization which works with children, teens, and adults at the time of the loss of a loved one. Kevin also talked about the advantages of a 501c3 organization and fundraising. He generated numerous questions from Chapter members.
March Speaker: We have Ms. Vivian Hutson who is the Director of the Veterans Administration (VA) Central Ohio Healthcare System speaking at the March luncheon. The Central Ohio Healthcare System includes the Chalmers P. Wylie VA Ambulatory Care Center in Columbus, OH. Ms. Hutson served 30 years in the U.S. Army Medical Corps and was appointed to her current position in October 2018. Her picture and a short biography are attached.
Please renew your membership, if you haven’t already done so. 2019 is going to be an exciting and great year.
Upcoming Events: 6 Mar 19is the Board of Directors meeting and will be held in Bldg. 11, Rm 906, at DSCC. 8 Mar 19is our luncheon at the Berwick. Our speaker, as noted above is Ms. Vivian Hutson. This is a great opportunity to learn about the impact, work, and hopefully the future of the VA medical system as it pertains to central Ohio. Make your reservations!
What’s on Your Mind: I still want to know what is on your mind, especially if you missed the survey. Please get in touch with me if you have concerns about our Chapter or suggestions to improve what we do. I will make certain we consider your suggestions and try to correct any problems. Call me at 571-217-8897 or email me at SharTom123@AOL.com.