Presidents’ Message by Liz Jordan and Charmen Goehring

Liz Jordan

Dear Members,

As everyone who sends you a message these days, the first and last thing we say to each other is, “I wish you well, good health, peace of mind.” And I do wish that for all our members.

What happened to the April Newsletter?

The April newsletter was nearly complete, but due to illness and work/life imbalance, it was never sent. Sometimes life happens, and boy has life happened to our world these days. We just have to move on. And so, we are moving on.

The Election

In my message to you last month, we wrote about the election, which is now completed. Because our in-person Annual meeting was canceled due to the pandemic, we needed an electronic method for the membership to vote remotely. Fortunately, our go-to-whenever-you-need-help, Shari Beck, had experience with Google Docs and Google templates. Also, Shari’s good friend at CalRTA, Jim Sterling, just happened to be available to help us create an electronic ballot. It was sent by e-blast on April 10 with a deadline of April 17.

The election was a success in that:

  1. We need a quorum of the membership to vote. Our Bylaws require a 15 percent quorum, and we had nearly a 30 percent turnout. A member who doesn’t have email were mailed a ballot with an addressed envelope, and six of those 11 members returned their ballots.
  2. We put two measures forward to change the terms of our elected officers to two years, and to stagger the offices to be elected so that we have half of the board with a year of experience under their belts. This is the way AAUW and AAUW CA elect officers, and it allows for new blood and experience simultaneously. Our branch membership voted overwhelmingly to make these changes, which will also allow us to submit our change to National’s 5 Star Recognition program.
  3. Congratulations to our new 2020-2021 elected Board of Directors are:
  • President – Angela Scarlett
  • President-Elect – unfilled
  • Program Directors – Kim Rutledge and Gloria Yost
  • Membership Director – Jan Stuter and Co-Director unfilled
  • AAUW Fund Director – Charmen Goehring
  • Finance Director – unfilled**
  • Secretary – Della Knowles
  • Nominating Committee – elected members Molly Dugan, Liz Jordan, Donna Holmes.

Charmen Goehring

  1. How does a branch exist without a Finance Director?

     Short Answer: it doesn’t.

The Nominating Committee did much of the same searching that I did last Summer and Fall, phoning many members, asking for a member to take the Finance Directorship. No one has been willing/able to step forward.

Our current Finance Director, Donna Holmes, was Finance Director previously for more than a single term. She also served as Funds Director, Scholarship Director, and as President for two years. She is unable to continue as Finance Director, and she has contributed greatly to our branch. Our previous Finance Director, May Ruth Lynch, served for six years, and she spoiled us with her expertise year after year. But her doctor won the argument.

It’s time for someone else to take on this position. It becomes less complicated with our transition to MPP, the online renewal program that National provides. No branch can exist without a Finance Director. This 100-year-old branch with more than 200 members will have to disband if no one steps forward to volunteer.


Membership Outreach During the Pandemic

Fourteen board members volunteered to call their fellow members during the first two weeks of our membership renewal. Their goals are two-fold:

  1. Make sure members are well and have the help they need.
  2. Make sure they understand how to renew their local, state and national membership and donate to their favorite outreach programs.

Past-President Molly Dugan volunteered to organize an Errand Squad that provides small, in-person services for members who are struggling to accomplish grocery pickup or other small errands.

Those board member volunteers are Charmen Goehring, Kathy Asay, Anna Storey, Karen Burley, Ruth Ann Hines, Linda Patterson, Ann Arneill, Jane Cooley, Shari Beck, Cathy Locke, Jo Reiken, Kim Rutledge, Gloria Yost, and Barbara Smith.

Liz feels like quoting her grandmother: Bless their hearts!

 May Branch Meeting

The May Branch meeting has developed a traditional program: Installing the incoming officers, honoring our 50-year members as well as our Named Gift Honorees, and having the Speech Trek Branch winner reprise her/his speech for the audience.

Because of social distancing restrictions related to the coronavirus, our Saturday, May 30 installation meeting will be conducted online, beginning at 10 a.m. We are developing a meeting the membership can attend via the Zoom App much like the AAUW CA Annual Meeting was done on April 18. Stay tuned for further information that will be sent by e-blast in early May.