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February 2009 RVC Column

(Written and posted 01/10/09)

Northwest Passages

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

In just a couple of months American Mensa will be having an election, and a short while after that my time as Regional Vice Chair (RVC) for Region 8 will come to an end. I hope to continue my service at the national level as Second Vice Chair, but I will have to wait until the ballots are counted to find out whether or not I will have that opportunity.

Either way, it has been a pleasure and a privilege to serve Region 8 as your RVC, and I will always treasure the memories that I get to keep from this wonderful time in my life. As a parting gift, I would like to take this opportunity to extend a special invitation to each of you to take part in the last major event that I am helping to put together as RVC.

If you are a current, former, or prospective volunteer leader in Mensa, please come to Portland, OR, to take part in a Leadership Development Workshop (LDW) scheduled for Mar. 13-15, 2009. The idea of the LDW is to present informational sessions on a variety of topics that will help leaders in our Local Groups do their best at what they have volunteered to do.

LDW attendees are often volunteers who are currently serving as leaders in their Local Groups, though just as often they are members who want to know more about becoming a Mensa leader, but who haven't actually tried it yet. Altogether, there have been about 30 people at each of the past several Region 8 LDWs.

Our chief source of material for the sessions is the LDW Guide, which is available on the American Mensa Web site. The topics in the LDW are organized in tracks, and are given at various levels, including some basic courses that first-timers will want to know about, along with a few more in-depth topics. Our presenters have both experience with their subject and experience in leadership positions in Mensa, which helps them bring the material to life and provides them with examples of best practices to share with the attendees.

The conversations tend to be very lively, and there is a kind of energy present that comes out only when people really work together to build something. It's very exhilarating, and it can be very intense. The program will begin on Friday evening and end at noon on Sunday. There will be ample opportunity for socializing outside of the program sessions, and we'll also have an informal suite for hospitality; nothing very elaborate, just a place for additional chat on Friday and Saturday evenings after the formal sessions.

Here's the best part: registration for the LDW is FREE. And, there is a FREE lunch on Saturday. FREE is a very good price!

The LDW will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn near the Portland Airport. The address is 12048 NE Airport Way, Portland, Oregon 97220, and the phone number is 503-255-8600. For more information about the hotel and to make reservations, check the hotel Web site at portlandairport.hgi.com.

To register for the LDW or for more information, you may send me an email at rvc8@us.mensa.org or contact the LDW Registrar, J Andrew Parsons at j.andrew.parsons@gmail.com. Hope to see you there!