JULY 1983 TO JULY 1984
The National Convention was held in Aurora, Colorado on July 26-31, 1983. Officers elected/appointed:
President - Otho Lister
1st Vice - E.W. Sawley
2nd Vice - Cameron Blagg
3rd Vice - Dan O'Connell
Treasurer - Jim Waddy
2 Yr. Director - Jim Williams
2 Yr. Director - Leo Acosta
2 Yr. Director - LeRoy Walters
1 Yr. Director - Gene Henning
1 Yr. Director - Larry Brown
1 Yr. Director - L.C. Repschlaeger
1 Yr. Director - Bill Morgan
Parliamentarian - Al Gutierrez
Chaplain - Johnnie White
Thursday, July 23, 1983:
Executive Director's Report: Executive Director Weibel welcomed the delegates and guests to the 1983 National Convention. In reference to the 1981 National Convention held at Junction City, Kansas, when membership in TREA was at 1300 members, Mr. Weibel stated that he was pleased to announce that today, membership in TREA has increased to 15,000 members. He added that TREA more than doubled their membership in the last year, from 7,000 at the 1982 Convention to 14,500 today.
As another example of our growth and progress, the Executive Director explained that: In 1981, we had a four-page Newsletter which was published on an infrequent basis. Today, we have an eight-page Newsletter which has been named the VOICE and is published on a monthly basis. He went on to say that on several occasions, the VOICE has been the first to publish information on an item of direct interest to the military retiree. As such, we have received several letters from members of TREA and individuals outside the TREA organization praising the material contained in the VOICE and requesting additional information about TREA.
Mr. Weibel commented that as a result of TREA becoming a member organization of the Council of Military Organizations (COMO) located in Washington, D.C., we have gained much more exposure in the legislative community. Consequently, TREA is now recognized as a viable organization by legislators, the various branches of the military service, and many other veterans' organizations. TREA is beginning to market itself effectively.
Financially, Mr. Weibel remarked that TREA is continuing to improve. For example, in fiscal year 1983, the first salaried position in the organization was created; consequently, the National Headquarter office is now operating on a normal, daily basis. Last year, the Scholarship Committee awarded four scholarships, while this year the Scholarship Committee is planning to award 15 $500 scholarships. Because of our growth, we can truly contemplate forming a TREA Foundation and a Political Action Committee. We are now financially able to seek professional advice and research from an attorney who can assist us in making our decisions.
Mr. Weibel reminded the assembly of the increase in TREA Chapters that President Duden spoke about, and he added that the five new Chapters were formed in just the last six months. The first new Chapter formed, Chapter 23 from Fort Meade, Maryland, now has nearly 60 members. Mr. Weibel stated that he felt TREA should be able to effectively establish at least ten new Chapters during the next fiscal year.
Briefing on the TREA Member Benefit Programs, the Executive Director mentioned that TREA now has a cancer insurance program and that an automobile insurance plan will be presented for consideration at this Convention.
Going back to 1970, Mr. Henning stated that at that time TREA had 12 Chapters with approximately $2,000 in the National Treasury and 1900 members, most of which joined TREA from REMCA during a recent TREA Chapter recruitment program. At the 1972 National Convention held in Junction City, Kansas, TREA had approximately 1,500 members and 15 Chapters. It was at this Convention that the National Auxiliary was formed with 119 members and four Chapters. The delegates at this Convention also authorized a Scholarship Fund to be established.
By 1973, TREA had lost six of its 15 Chapters. During that same year, Chapter 18 sued the federal government for discrimination against retirees in regard to the Veterans Preference Act of 1944; however, they eventually lost their suit. In 1975, TREA gained one more Chapter; although between 1974 and 1975, we lost two more Chapters, leaving us with only a total of eight active Chapters and 1,300 members. Over a ten-year period, TREA had lost more members and Chapters than it had gained. At the 1981 Convention in Junction City, Kansas: We knew at this time, without help, we were doomed. It was there that AGE offered us help.
With the new marketing program in effect, TREA had increased to 7,000 members by the 1982 Convention. In less than nine months, we had increased our membership by 5,700 new members. Having changed from REA to TREA, Mr. Henning stated that: Now we have come to the 1983 Convention, with a total strength of over 14,000. We have picked up Chapter 23 in Temple Hills, Maryland, Chapter 24 in Fort Meade, Maryland, Chapter 25 in San Jose, California, Chapter 26 in Tooele, Utah, Chapter 27 in Wichita, Kansas, Chapter 28 in Indianapolis, Indiana, Chapter 29 in Rapid City, South Dakota, and Chapter 30 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our members-at-large have doubled, with good prospects of more Chapters being formed in the near future.
TREA is like any other association or organization. It requires a continuous program of input. For example, if we had 10,000 members paid up today with no membership program, in ten years the association would dissolve itself. With our age category of membership, 1.5% die annually, while 3% relocate or move after full retirement. We lost 6% through normal/natural reasons and non-renewal of membership; however, this association is experiencing a 25% non-renewal, because we are new. Based on these statistics, an organization loses as many members as it gains over a ten year period. That is why this association cannot stand back and think that the membership will take care of itself.
Friday, July 29, 1983:
Scholarship Committee Report: The Chairman of the Scholarship Committee, Mr. Lister, stated that last year TREA awarded four scholarships; however, this year it appears that we will be able to award 15 TREA scholarship awards. He thanked all who donated to the scholarship program for their generous contributions. Mr. Lister informed the delegation that there were over 30 applications submitted from persons living in 17 different states.
Awards Committee Report: Mr. Orsak, Chairman of the Committee, introduced Mr. Horan and Mr. Hall as the members of his committee. Mr. Orsak stated that he met with President Duden in March to lay the groundwork for the Awards Committee. He explained that since the Committee received permission to change the awards this year from the types of awards previously given, they would be able to present 16 awards during this Convention.
Saturday, July 30, 1983:
Credential Committee Report: Mr. Marshall, Chairman of the Committee, called the roll of the delegates by Chapters. He then presented the number of votes which may be cast according to Chapters. (The votes changed, because of the revised By-Laws approval.)
Chapter Authorized Voted
1 13 3 12 4 6 9 3 19 4 20 6 23 3 24 4 25 3 26 3 27 3 TOTAL 60
Changes in Internal Revenue Service Tax Status: Mr. Carnes (Chapter 1) made a motion that: TREA change their tax exemption status from 501(c)(4) to 501(c)(19). The motion was seconded by Mr. Beldon (Chapter 1) and carried.
Mr. Hall (Chapter 1) made a motion that: The Founders and Past Presidents of TREA be designed as delegates-at-large to future Conventions. The motion was seconded by Mr. Sorell. Mr. Beldon (Chapter 1) made a motion to amend Mr. Hall's motion to include with their expenses to be paid by the National Headquarters. The amended motion was seconded by Mr. Sorell and passed, with Mr. Skonce abstaining. A vote was taken on the original motion, and it was also passed, with Mr. Skonce abstaining.
Prescription and Vitamin Benefits Program made available to all TREA members as well as National Car Rental Discounts.
MINUTES OF BOARD OF DIRECTORS' MEETING FEBRUARY 18, 1984
The meeting was held at the Holiday Inn in Pueblo, Colorado.
Legislative Committee: Mr. Morgan reported a number of issues on which significant in-roads have been made. The issues that face military retirees are these:
(1) The cost of care for retirees in military hospitals. (2) The closing of commissaries in the continental U.S. (3) The altering of the methods for computing retired pay. (4) The reduction of COLA for military retirees.
It is likely that Congress will continue to look toward the retiree as a source for budget reforms and cuts as two of the President's committees, the Grace Commission and the Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation, continue to influence the decision-makers in Washington. He continued that the Survivors' Benefit Plan was under fire through S719 and HR1376 which would eliminate the Social Security offset in the Survivors' Benefit Plan if the beneficiary received Social Security benefits in his or her own right. Mr. Morgan also stated that he would introduce a resolution regarding transportation of remains at the July Convention. Mr. Henning stressed the importance of writing our members of Congress.
National Charter: President Lister brought the Board's attention to a letter written by Founder George Skonce regarding a National Charter. It was the consensus of the Board that steps be taken to that end. President Lister appointed a committee to report in July with George Skonce, Chairperson, Mr. Vince Horan, Mr. Otho Lister, Mr. Bill Morgan, Mr. Del Duden, and Mr. Frank Fini. Mr. Gutierrez will write a personal letter to Dr. Floyd M. Riddick, Parliamentarian-Emeritus, requesting his support for a National Charter for TREA.
Full-Time Legislative Representative: In his report, Mr. Cusimano reported that the legislative duties representing TREA have increased tremendously and that it is his recommendation to TREA that a full-time legislative representative be considered. President Lister questioned whether we could afford a full-time representative, whether it should be Mr. Weibel and that perhaps before hiring this full-time person, a stronger fiscal position might be needed. Several suggestions were made. Mr. O'Connell made a motion that President Lister appoint a committee to suggest alternatives to a paid full-time legislative representative and submit them to President Lister within 30 days. The motion was seconded by Mr. Brown and carried. President Lister appointed Dan O'Connell as Chairperson, with Mr. Larry Brown, Mr. Dean Sorell, Mr. Al Gutierrez and Mr. Bill Morgan as members. Their report will be due to President Lister on March 31, 1984.
Dedication: Chapter 20 will have the dedication of their cemetery section on May 28.
MINUTES OF PRE-CONVENTION BOARD OF DIRECTORS' MEETING JULY 17, 1984
National President's Address:
President Otho Lister cited a number of areas of emphasis during his 1983-84 tenure in office, the following being among them:
(1) Improvement in communication - Bi-monthly letters to Chapters - Column in VOICE, Lister Wants To Know.
(2) Change in status of TREA - As of June 29, 1984, TREA is a Veterans' Organization with 501(c)(19) status.
(3) Formation of new Chapters - Eight new Chapters have been formed: 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34 and 35.
Past President Advisory Council:
(1) Awards Program - Mr. Orsak called the Board's attention to the groups of awards that the PPAC was responsible for - Group 1, and the Board of Directors was responsible for - Groups 2, 3, and 4. He reported that five Chapters had submitted letters of consideration for the Founder's Award of Most Outstanding Chapter. Chapter 1 being selected, the other Chapters - 3, 20, 26 and 29 will receive recognition certificates. Other award winners are: Mr. Sorell, Mr. Acosta (posthumously), Mr. Duden, Mr. Concannon and Mr. Orsak.
(2) National Charter Project - Mr. Skonce reported written support from Senator Armstrong and Representative Ken Kramer to sponsor a bill granting TREA a National Charter. Mr. Skonce requested coordination with attorney Guthrie and that Chapter 3 seek co-sponsorship from Senator Hart.
Mr. Skonce requested that the same committee be re-appointed for continuity during 1985. He also stated corrections are needed such as including the 'The' in the TREA name.
(3) Historical Program - Mr. Duden recommended that:
a. A special edition be published on our 24th Anniversary having the TREA history in narrative form. b. That the By-laws be amended whereby a historian either is appointed or elected.
It was determined that the position could be an appointed position and a Standing Rule could accommodate that situation.
Scholarship Report: Mr. Brown submitted:
(1) A proposed scholarship brochure. (2) A revised proposed scholarship awards packet for 1985. (3) Information regarding the committee from George Washington University that has agreed to review applications and recommend finalists.
(4) Suggestions for generating funds for the scholarship program and recommending fund-raising begin earlier.
Mr. Waddy made a motion that the Scholarship Committee award 15 scholarships at $750 each,. The motion was seconded by Mr. Sawley and carried.