January 2018 Comments
Greetings,We are starting the New Year strong with two new members. I would like to welcome LCDR (Ret) PaulMeyers and COL (Ret) Tristan Atkins to our Olympia Chapter. Please take the time to welcome thesegentlemen and their wives when you see them at our next meeting.
We are currently looking for volunteers to manage our monthly newsletter. Despite the web page andFacebook presence, it is vital that we publish a monthly newsletter because not everyone is interested inusing the Internet. And there is just something about holding a piece of paper in your hand that thecomputer cannot provide.We are also planning to give a $1000 scholarship to a student for his/her post-high schooleducation. This is our opportunity as a chapter to help a worthy student succeed and we would appreciatefolks stepping up to help in establishing a scholarship fund and award process.If you’re interested in helping with one of these current requirements, contact me or one of the officers/board members.
I am excited to announce our scheduled speaker for the February 21 Luncheon meeting. LTC ChrisBartos, a recent member and commander of the 3d Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion, will give us abriefing on his unit’s mission. As you know, we sponsored some of his soldiers with redeployment basketsand Chris relayed to us that the soldiers were very grateful for our support. His battalion is currently verybusy in preparation for deployment to the Middle East, but he is gracious enough to take the time to give usthis briefing. Please come out to support him and his troops before they deploy and learn about the criticalmission they will engage in.
We are working to improve communication to our members with the use of the Internet andFacebook. We recently established an online calendar to post our monthly events. You can find the link tothe chapter calendar at our web page, moaaolympia.org in the “events” link.
I’m also pleased to announce some changes this year to our menu at the Panorama. Our lunches will feature avariety of sandwiches with a new lower price of $15. The price of dinners will go up by $1 but for bothlunches and dinners, we will receive drink specials for featured wine, beer, and mixed drinks for only $3...that’s a savings of $2 per drink.
Finally, thanks again for being a member of our Chapter. I believe we will continue to make a significantdifference in supporting our community and taking care of our service members. Help us get the word outand tell your fellow officers about our great Olympia MOAA Chapter! See you at the next membershipmeeting.
Howard Lim, Chapter President
I represented our chapter at the recent 3d EOD Military Ball. Here I am cutting the ceremonial cake because I was the "old man" in the group.
Happy New Year!
Hello and welcome to the New Year 2018! I consider it an honor to be your new chapter president and my intent is to gain your trust and confidence. We have some great plans for the coming year and with your help, we hope to achieve the following goals:
•Increase chapter membership by 10% (e.g. ~ 16 new members).
•Increase service and support to the local community (e.g. Christmas Sports Ball drive, etc.).
•Plan an off-site activity for both spouses and families promoting fellowship among members (e.g. dinner theater, family picnic, etc.).
•Establish scholarship fund for a local student.
•Increase membership involvement in crucial legislative affairs remotely via email and phone.
•Establish supporting committees to assist the board’s efforts.
•Increase awareness of the Olympia Chapter activities via social media and web presence.
•Leverage non-profit status to obtain no-cost technology support (e.g. web page, network communications and storage, etc.).
As you can see, we have an ambitious plan. I nor the current Board of Directors can achieve these goals by ourselves; we need your assistance and participation. If you are unsure how you can help, contact myself or any of the officers to discuss. No matter the length of time you have available, we will find a way for you to contribute.
One area we need immediate assistance is the management of our monthly newsletter, the “Bugle”. If you or your spouse are proficient in Microsoft Office, enjoy graphic design and journalism, contact me or Sam Cagle for details. I want to thank Cal Taylor for his tremendous efforts in maintaining our newsletter with this edition being his last.
I also would like to thank our previous president, Ro Marcus, for her invaluable leadership she provided in 2017. It was her vision to re-examine our organization’s mission and her leadership that resulted in a clear strategic plan that charts an exciting path for our future.
Finally, I want to thank the Officers and Board of Directors for all they have done last year to make 2017 an amazing year; I know they will continue to serve us well for 2018.Please do not hesitate to contact me via email or cell should you have any questions or concerns. I am also eager to hear your suggestions on how to make this chapter better for the benefit of its members. Wishing all a blessed year and am looking forward to working alongside all of you.
From the President's Desk
Happy holidays and season’s greetings to all. Approximately 35 members attended our November luncheon and Annual meeting. After being called to order, Chaplain White and Chuck Peterson, CAPT, USN (ret) conducted our Two-Bell Memorial Service honoring past chapter members for 2017. Again, thank you, Chaplain and Chuck for executing this solemn ceremony. Before we moved into our annual meeting, 1LT Shun Hsu (787th Ordnance Company, EOD) shared with us a list of items requested to help in the sponsorship of approximately 10 returning single soldiers from the 3rd Ordnance Battalion, commanded by chapter member LTC Chris Bartos These soldiers are scheduled to return around Christmas and we are working with 1LT Hsu and the unit family readiness support group to finalize the items as it is our intent that each have a welcome home/ happy holiday packet upon their return to the barracks. We next moved on to our annual meeting. Following updates by our treasurer, program chair and chapter concerns, Barbara Cagle reviewed our volunteer eff orts in support of Santa’s Castle. Next was an update of the results from our board strategic planning conference, held in October. Howard Lim led the discussion which focused on the key issues from the board conference. If you have not viewed Howard’s presentation, I encourage you to do so; it is on our website and Facebook page. What is important to understand is that for the chapter to be attractive to potential currently serving or recently separated new members, we must demonstrate our relevance in the community and to do so, we are considering additional venues beyond our monthly meetings and charity support. Watch for these future events to be listed in the Bugle, on Facebook, and on our web site. Next, Treasurer Bill Moseley presented our first ever budget. Although a work in progress, it is an important step to ensure our long-term solvency. Following this discussion, the revised by-laws, budget, and 2018 Officer Slate were presented for acceptance; each passed unanimously. Congratulations to our 2018 officers and board members! President- Howard Lim, 1st VP- Dave Slotwinski, 2ndVP- Jim Richards, Treasurer- Bill Moseley, Secretary- Roselyn Marcus, and board members- John McConnel, Barbara Cagle, Marilyn Wilcox and Brian Burgess. Newly elected officers and board members will be installed at our December holiday luncheon. Again, please join me in congratulating each and wish them well as they execute their duties. I would next like to highlight the first ever Santa’s Castle Ball drop that took place on Nov 11. Upon hearing about Santa’s Castle, Rachael Jamison, one of Slots’s MBA students, organized a sports-ball collection effort that took on a life of its own culminating with a drop off, ball pumping and delivery of 516 sports balls to Santa’s Castle. At the drop site, we provided holiday refreshments for donors, assisted with inflating balls and then, with the help of a couple of JBLM MPs, delivered them to Santa’s Castle. Overall an outstanding event and if you want to see what 516 sports balls looks like, check out the links on our Facebook and web site as well MOAA national’s web site. Many thanks to all who volunteered and especially Howard for driving the moving truck to JBLM and creating the video. . Our next board meeting will be at 5:30pm, Tuesday, Dec 12, Quinault Auditorium. The Dec 20 luncheon/ meeting is our holiday celebration and installation of officers. The luncheon is being held in the seventeen 51 bistro at Panorama City with a social at 11:30 AM, lunch served at 12:00 and holiday entertainment provided by the Silver Bells. I hope to see you at our holiday luncheon and remember each of us is a recruiter- bring a new face to the meeting. And… as a reminder- keep sending those cards and letters to Congress.
From the President’s Desk
Ro Marcus President
Santa's Castle Ball Drive 2017
On November 11, the Olympia Chapter organized their first Santa's Castle Ball drive with great success; over 500 sport balls collected! Many thanks to Rachel and her wonderful friends in the Olympia community for making this happen. What a great way to celebrate Veterans Day.
Hello and greetings to all. Over 50 members attended our October dinner where our guest speaker was Keith Looker, Director, Lacey Veterans Hub, and NWYL Conference participants--Pierce Nguyen, River Ridge HS;Francis Scolaro, Jr., Capital HS; Alexandra England, Timberline HS; and Ms Leslie Stepherson, Counselor at River Ridge HS. We opened our meeting with presentations by the students who expressed their appreciation for our sponsorship.After dinner, Keith Looker took us inside the Lacey Veterans Hub, sharing his insights on the center’s mission, history, operations, and funding. Keith and his team are doing a great job and if you are in the area, drop by. The center is behind the SPSCC Lacey campus off 6th Ave, behind the Fred Meyer.Our November meeting is the annual meeting and election of officers. This should be an exciting meeting as we will be reporting the results of the board retreat and will present our purposed annual budget, new by-laws and a slate of 2018 chapter officers. This will also be the third year we memorialize fellow chapter members with a traditional bell ceremony. The meeting is a luncheon with an 11:30 social. Lunch will be served at 12:00 followed by the business meeting.This brings me to an important issue--nonpartisanship. It is important for us tokeep politics out of our meetings and that we stay focused on the myriad of issues needing our support. To be successful in Olympia or the other Washington requires collaboration and the supportfrom both sides of the aisle. Our meetings are not the appropriate place to vent personal issues. I also ask that you please show respect to our guest speakers and elected officers who serve as volunteers.We continue to work with the new restaurant management. Based on the quality of the meal and service, it appears things are looking up. I am confi dent we will continue our mutually beneficial, healthy working relationship with the “bistro.”Upcoming activities include a MOAA day at JBLM’s Santa’s Castle. On November 11, we will be offering support to a unique group of citizens in Olympia who, although not affiliated with JBLM or a veterans’ serviceorganization, collected over 500 sports balls--footballs, basketballs, soccer and playground balls--for Santa’s Castle. We’re working with the Army National Guard to obtain a truck to transport the balls. And we are lookingto sponsor approximately 10 returning single soldiers from the 3rd Ordnance Battalion commanded by chapter member LTC Chris Bartos. These soldiers are scheduled to return around Christmas and it would be great if we could provide a welcome home/ happy holiday packet for each before they return to the barracks.And, as a reminder, check out our Facebook page and website. If you have material of interest, please contact Howard Lim to help with the posting.Our next board meeting will be at 5:30pm, Tuesday, Nov 14; Quinault Auditorium. Our upcoming November 15 meeting will be a luncheon meeting in the seventeen 51 bistro at Panorama City with a social at 11:30 AM and the meeting being called to order at 12:00 noon. I hope to see you at our annualmeeting on the 15th and remember, each of us is a recruiter--bring a new face to the meeting.
Ro Marcus, President
September's membership meeting
Greetings. We had a good turnout for our September dinner where our guest speaker, Andrea Rand, providedsome great information about the MOAA Scholarship Fund. The Fund was established in 1948 to provideeducational assistance to children of military families. This year, three youths from our chapter area have receivedscholarships from this Fund. To learn more about the Scholarship Fund, go to http://www.moaa.org/Content/About-MOAA/Scholarship-Fund/Scholarship-Fund.aspx. We also had a chance to get to meet Andrea’s mom,who lives in the area.
And we welcomed new member, Robert Conklin and his service dog Rommel.I did hear from a few of you after our meeting that there are still some concerns about the dinner and service.The restaurant is working hard to improve and meet our needs, and we will continue to work with them on qualityand service. I do, however, want to remind you that we have preselected the meals for our meetings to help withservice and cost containment. I apologize in advance if the meal selection is not to your liking, but substitutionof meals or desserts is not in our agreement. But if you have concerns about the quality or service, please bringthem to my attention or one of the Board members.The chapter Board of Directors held an all-day retreat on September 15th.
Board member Gary Walker was able to secure the classroom at the Lacey Veterans Service Hub for the retreat. The Board spent the first half of theretreat assessing our current vision, mission and activities. We then brainstormed ideas to update our mission andfuture activities. We focused on recruiting and retention, meeting schedules, communications, and communityservice activities. We also worked on our financial planning, which culminated in a proposed budget.
Finally,we carefully reviewed the chapter by-laws and are updating them to reflect the current state of our organization.A report on the retreat, along with the proposed updated by-laws and budget will all be presented at our annualmeeting in November. The Board is working on finalizing these documents so that you can receive them well inadvance of our annual meeting.Finally, as a reminder--check out our Facebook page and website. If you have materials of interest, please contactHoward Lim to help with the posting.
And…tohelp with meal reservations, we are sending outemail reminders of the meeting time, speakerand meal choices. When you receive the Bugleor one of the reminders, please contact MarilynnWilcox with your meal reservations. We thinkthese reminders are helping our attendance andin addition, we are open to any suggestions forother ways we can ensure all of our members getthe word regarding our monthly meetings.Our next board meeting will be at 5:30pm,Tuesday, Oct. 10; Quinault Auditorium andour upcoming Oct. 18 meeting will be a dinnermeeting held in the seventeen 51 bistro atPanorama City with a social at 5:30 PM andthe meeting being called to order at 6:00 PM.Our guest speaker for October is Keith Looker,Director, Lacey Veterans Service Hub. I hope tosee you on the 18th and remember each of us is arecruiter- bring a new face to the meeting.
The Olympia Chapter sponsored four students to the NorthwestYouth Leadership Conference. Shown are Kaleb Jacobs(Olympia HS), Nathaniel Sanchex (Timberline HS), AlexandraEngland (Timberline HS) LT John McConnel and FrancisScolaro (Capital HS).
Congressman Denny Heck visits Olympia Area Chapter
Hello and greetings to all. Over 40 members attended our August dinnerwhere our guest speaker was Congressman Denny Heck, 10th CongressionalDistrict Representative. Congressman Heck, his spouse Paula and his legislative assistant Roel Van Der Lugt joined us for the social and dinner, then provided an excellent update followed by alively discussion. Less directly taking on the issue of sequestration,he was direct and supportive of MOAA’s legislative agenda and spoketo the importance of JBLM to our nation’s security and the region, aswell as the potential threat from North Korea. He also discussed the Library of Congress’s American Folklife Center sponsored VeteransHistory Project. This oral history program collects and preserves thefirsthand interviews of American wartime veterans. The program relieson volunteers to conduct the interviews and document the historicalstories. It is a program that we can all participate. For additional information,contact Congressman Heck at www.dennyheck.house.gov/vetshistory. Overall, I thought he provided an excellent update andopportunity for our members to interface with our representative.
Last month I mentioned that we would be meeting with the newrestaurant management to discuss our growing concerns over the quality of meals and service received over past months.On Aug 15, Slots and I met with new restaurant manager Tavis Crayk to discuss our concerns. Mr. Crayk is engaged,attentive and assured us of his commitment to provide us the quality of meals and service we have come to expect. At ourchapter meeting the next day, he made good as the table settings, service and quality of meals were excellent and a significantimprovement over the previous two months. Based on this experience, I am confident that the quality of meals andservice will remain high and we will continue our mutually beneficial, healthy working relationship with the “bistro.”
I also mentioned last month that your Board of Directors will be conducting a retreat to reassess our programs andby-laws to ensure our chapter remains vibrant. The retreat will be held on September 15, 9:00 AM- 4 PM at the LaceyVeterans Service Hub. The main focus will be in the areas following areas: recruiting and retention, meeting schedules,communications, budget planning and the by-laws. If you have any ideas you want us to consider, please let one of theboard members know.I am happy to report that I have received notification that we are once again recognized as a 5-Star Chapter of Excellencewinner. Hooah, and many thanks to each of you who have contributed to helping us earned this recognition. Don’tyet know when, where, or how we will receive the streamer but will keep you posted.
Finally as a reminder- checkout our Facebook page and website. If you have materials of interest, please contact HowardLim to help with the posting. And…to help with meal reservations, we are sending out email reminders of the meetingtime, speaker and meal choices. When you receive the Bugle or one of the reminders, please contact Marilyn Willcoxwith your meal reservations. We think these reminders are helping our attendance and we in addition, we are open to anysuggestions for other ways we can ensure all of our members get the word regarding our monthly meetings.Our next board meeting will be at 5:30pm, Tuesday, Sep 12; Quinault Auditorium and our upcoming Sep 20 meetingwill be a dinner meeting held in the seventeen 51 bistro at Panorama City with a social at 5:30 PM and the meeting beingcalled to order at 6:00 PM. Our guest speaker for September is Keith Looker, Director, Lacey Veterans Service Hub. Ihope to see you on the 20th and remember each of us is a recruiter- bring a new face to the meeting.From the President’s DeskRo MarcusPresident
MOAA Olympia supports OCS Commissioning at JBLM Watkins Field
Ten MOAA Olympia Area Chapter members took part in a National Guard Officer Candidate School Regimental Graduation Phase III ceremony at the JBLM Watkins Field on August 4. Phase III is a requirement to graduate from the OCS commissioning program. A total of 191 OfficerCandidates from 15 states attended, including 14 from Washington. Each graduate received a boxed set of second lieutenant gold bars and a two-year MOAA application,recognizing the long hours, determination and commitment required for their commissions.
COL (Ret) Dave Slotwinski and CW-4 (Ret) Jim Richards talked to new OCS Second Lieutenants from Washington state, including those locally, about MOAA and chapter membership.
Chapter participants were CAPT (Ret) Chuck Peterson (USN), Lt Col (Ret) Mark Foutch (USAF), CAPT (Ret) Ralph Hensley (USN), COL (REt) Dave Slotwinski (USA), CW-4 (Ret) Jim Richards (USN/USA), Capt (Fmr) Ro Marcus (USA), COL (Ret) Molly O'Donnell (USA), Chaplain Lt Col (Ret) Doug White (USAF), COL (Ret) Howard Lim (USA) and Col (Ret) Sam Cagle (USAF – taking the pictures).
COL (Ret) Howard Lim, assisted by CAPT (Ret) Frank Hensley, and CPT (Fmr) Ro Marcus, in background, make the Gold Bar presentations.
From the President's Desk:
Hello and greetings to all. Over 40 members attended ourJuly dinner where our guest speaker was COL Mike Place. Commander of Madigan Army Medical Center. COL Place shared with us Madigan’s movement to electronic medical records as a step to enhance communication between the hos- pital and local care providers. He also discussed the hospital’s growth, its role as a nationally acclaimed teaching hospital, and the possibility of Madigan eventually being designated a Level 1 Trauma Center. For those using the extension clinics, he talk- ed of expansion in Lacey and the renovations at the Puyallup Center. Overall, he left us with a positive image of Madigan as a patient centric facility that cares about each of us.Along with recognizing the challenges members face as we adjust to an electronic Bugle and having a Facebook and Web presence, I am equally concerned about meeting attendance and the quality of the meals we have recently received. Wehave heard from members about the size of portions, the lack ofChapter President Ro Marcus presents a MOAA mug to Col Michael L. Place, commander of Madigan Army Medical Centerbread plates and flatware, and variations in drink prices. In the past, I think I safely say that most have been satisfied with the quality of meal and the value we had received. Given the numerous staff changes, we seem to be experienc- ing a downturn in quality which we are addressing with management. In the interim, if something isn’t right at our next dinner, let either me or one of the chapter’s officers know so we can get it fixed on the spot; fortunately, when we have pointed out a deficiency, they have attempted to quickly remedy the problem.This brings me to our next topic, revisiting our programs and meeting locations. I know it has been several years since we last took up the issue of our programs and meeting locations and I would like to revisit this at our Novem- ber annual meeting. In preparation for that meeting and the planned officer/board planning retreat, I would like to hear your thoughts and suggestions on ways to improve our programs, meeting times, quality of the meals, et al. As an example of this effort to gather information, we are planning a sensing session with a group of National Guard of- ficers to solicit their ideas on how to get those currently serving to participate. Don’t be surprised if we add quarterly social/ happy hour meetings at a local sports bar to create an opportunity to bond.To further remind our members to respond to Marilynn Wilcox with their meal reservations, we started last month to send out email reminders of the monthly meeting, the speaker and the meal choices. We think this helped withour attendance and we are open to your suggestions for other ways we can ensure all of our members get the word regarding our monthly meetings.Our next board meeting will be at 5:30pm, Tuesday, Aug 8; Quinault Auditorium and our upcoming Aug 16 meet- ing will be a dinner meeting in the seventeen 51 bistro at Panorama City with a social at 5:30 PM and the meeting being called to order at 6:00 PM. Our guest speaker for August is tentatively Congressman Heck. Please be alert to possible time changes as we may need to make slight adjustments to accommodate his schedule. I hope to see you there. Remember each of us is a recruiter- bring a new face to the meeting.
Ro Marcu, President