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April 2009 RVC Column

(Written and posted 03/09/09)

Northwest Passages

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

No foolin', it's April. What does that mean to us? All jokes aside, it means that congratulations are in order, because we in American Mensa just finished our membership year with the highest number of members ever. We did our part in Region 8; at the time of this writing we had an overall 4.5% increase and Southern Idaho Mensa led the way with an amazing 30% increase!

There are many reasons for this success. Our local groups have put a lot of effort into their testing programs and the National Office has provided a great deal of support. Local groups and the National Office have also focused on bringing back those who had let their membership lapse. Various promotions were offered to entice people to join with prior evidence. In addition the vast majority of members did not let their membership lapse at the beginning of the membership year, and this as much as anything enabled our strong growth.

The challenge before us now, then, is to continue to provide reasons for our members to stay and be a part of our organization. We need to be relevant, to provide what our members want from Mensa as a whole and from each other. As Chair of the Planning Committee for American Mensa's Board of Directors, I want to do all I can to provide strategic direction so that Mensa continues to be a success at attracting members and keeping them interested, involved and happy to be a part of this delightful extended family of ours.

Now that it is April, it is also election time for American Mensa. This is where I must say that yes, I have a personal interest, as I am running for the national position of Second Vice Chair. In Region 8 Debra Reiger has been declared elected as Regional Vice Chair. However, you should still vote, as there are important national races and bylaws amendments to be decided. I urge you to give them due consideration and to cast your ballot.

Finally, I want to thank the members of Oregon Mensa, the many speakers, volunteers and attendees, and especially my Co-Coordinator, Ruth Parvin, for working together with me to put on the most successful Leadership Development Workshop (LDW) that Region 8 has ever had. This is saying a great deal, as each of the LDWs in the past several years has been excellent. I am very proud of all of you folks! What's more, the LDW in March was a wonderful prelude to Oregon Mensa's Regional Gathering in Portland, which is coming up during the first weekend in May. If you haven't made your reservations, now is the time. Check it out at www.oregon.us.mensa.org/rg/. Hope to see you there!