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August 2008 RVC Column

(Written and posted 7/10/08)

Northwest Passages

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

As most of you know by now, the 2008 Annual Gathering (AG) in Denver was a huge success. Over 2,000 Mensans and their guests came to the Mile High City for a spectacular party despite hellish gas prices everywhere and high water in the Midwest.

What we found when we arrived was a perfectly situated hotel in a lively downtown area with lots to see and do nearby, and a well-organized and well-run AG that lived up to our high hopes and expectations. AG Co-Chairs Kim and Tony Jackowski, the rest of the AG volunteers, the National Office staff, and everyone else involved deserve a huge round of applause for giving us such a first-rate event, one that we will fondly remember as one of the best AGs ever.

For members in our region, what could be more exciting than an AG in Denver, you ask? While I have no doubt that the 2009 AG in Pittsburgh and the 2010 AG near Detroit will be splendid affairs, those of us in the Pacific Intermountain Region are already looking ahead to 2011, when American Mensa will come to Portland. And, beating the odds, Region 8 will host a second consecutive AG in Reno in 2012, as decided by the American Mensa Committee (AMC) at the meeting in Denver.

It isn't too early to climb on the bandwagon, folks! If you want to be part of the crew helping with the 2011 Portland AG, contact AG Chair Michael Meagher at 2011AGChair@comcast.net. For the 2012 Reno AG, contact Ken Wright at strtwlkr2@charter.net. And for an early warm-up for the 2012 AG, I recommend that you come to the Reno Regional Gathering (RG) this fall on October 3-5. Biggest Little RG information and registration are available on the Northern Nevada Mensa Web site at http://northernnevada.us.mensa.org/.

Now, back to the Denver wrap up: I put together the AG 2008 Leadership Development Workshop (LDW) program and I was very pleased with the result, with several hundred attendees at more than two dozen sessions. I am going over the feedback forms now, to help me plan the LDW sessions for the 2009 AG.

The AMC meetings in Denver also went well. In particular the presentations by Leigh Wintz of Tecker Consultants were extremely informative, and those in attendance were very impressed by Tecker's grasp of the current situation in Mensa. We expect great things to come of the effort to revise our governance structure, beginning with the development of a new strategic plan that addresses the bigger issues with which Mensa is struggling.

Please stay tuned for a lot more information about the Governance Project, and as always, I look forward to hearing from you on this or any other topic that you feel the AMC should attend to. Please email me at rvc8@us.mensa.org or talk to me at the upcoming RGs this fall in Reno, Sacramento, and San Francisco. Hope to see you there!