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October 2005 RVC Column

(Written and posted 9/6/05)

Northwest Passages

RVC Column for October Newsletters in Region 8
by John Recht, Region 8 RVC

As I write this, we are a nation stunned by the horror of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In the city where we so blithely met just two months ago, there is enormous tragedy and misery that has forever changed the lives of the people who welcomed us so hospitably.

In the months and years to come, as our fellow Mensa members and the rest of the people affected by Katrina try to put their lives back together, please remember the warmth and grace of the people we met, and share what you can to help them recover from the terrible events that we witnessed from afar. For those of us in a high risk earthquake zone, which includes many of us in Region 8, let this also serve as notice of what may be in store for us if we do not prepare adequately, and I encourage you to take sensible precautions that may make a huge difference for you and your loved ones in case such a tragedy should occur. The American Red Cross in particular provides helpful information on disaster preparedness, and I recommend that you follow the links on their website to help make your home safer before disaster strikes.

Next week the AMC will meet in Arlington, TX, and relief efforts from Hurricane Katrina will be much on our minds. As usual, we will have a full plate of regular business to attend to as well. I am pleased to note here that I have nominated Debra Reiger of Sacramento Regional Mensa and Dan Burg of Oregon Mensa as Assistant RVCs for Region 8, and I expect their confirmation as a part of the Consent Agenda at the meeting.

Debra and Dan are highly qualified, experienced leaders who have already proven their commitment to Mensa, and I welcome them to their new posts on behalf of Region 8. Debra is already hard at work on preparing a Leadership Development Workshop to be held in Sacramento early next year, a task she is performing at the same time that she is chairing the Gold Country RG to be held October 21-23. I hope you will be attending the RG along with us, and when you are there I encourage you to talk to Debra about plans for the LDW.

Dan, who most recently served as Second Vice Chair of American Mensa, has a long resume of service at the local and national levels, and I feel very fortunate to have his assistance in the region. I have spoken with Dan about special projects that are perfectly suited to his talents and experience, and he is already moving ahead with his assignments. Thank you Dan and Debra!

Another item of note to be taken up at the AMC meeting will be a motion to adopt a policy and set of guidelines for electronic communication services using American Mensa's servers and staff. This document, intended for the use of administrators of Internet communication services, clearly sets forth the minimum standards while describing how such services are to be run at the national level. It specifically empowers local groups, regions, SIGs and members to set up their own Internet sites and services with minimal interference from the National Office or the AMC. I expect that this highly useful document will provide the foundation for the future of our electronic communications services, which in turn are critical to the success of our organization.

Finally, I wish to remind you all once again to support National Testing Day on October 22. Please do all you can to help publicize and bring in prospective new members to join us in Mensa. I also wish to mention the three upcoming RGs this fall in Region 8: October 21-23 in Sacramento; October 28-30 in Seattle; and November 25-27 in San Francisco. For information and registration forms please check the local group websites for Sacramento Regional Mensa, Mensa of Western Washington, and San Francisco Regional Mensa, and then come and see how much fun it is to socialize with 100 or more of your best friends for a weekend...you'll be glad you did.