Chapter President's Message for 2021
COL HERB SEGAL
I trust this message finds you well, on the coronavirus vaccination schedule and looking forward with renewed hope to a happy, healthy and productive 2021. I personally found that the pace of my activities slowed down substantially last year and my interest in activities I normally find energizing waned to a considerable extent. I suspect that many of you were consumed by the same level of inertia and bunker mentality and perhaps by some degree of depression from an inability to travel and interact with family and friends. Your Chapter was not immune from these pressures, and as event after event was cancelled, I personally began to feel pessimistic about our future. And the closure of another Chapter in contiguous counties didnít exactly brighten my day!
So I begin 2021 by posing a challenge to you. What steps do we take to restore the vibrancy to our Chapter meetings and community activities? I donít want to downplay the degree of difficulty we face. We clearly will not meet in person until at least mid-year. We are functioning within a community struggling to provide basic necessities to a large swath of its population. We may have been called upon as childcare providers for our adult children. We will begin over from the legislative perspective with new faces at many levels and the lowest number of legislators with military experience in recent times. Letís look at our opportunities:
Our first priority is to identify the next iteration of Chapter leaders. Donít think for a moment that we donít love what we do, but the current leadership has more than its share of grey hair (or in some cases no hair). Our need for a new secretary and treasurer is particularly acute. And the continued growth of our catchment area and the number of ROTC and JROTC units we service has become more than one manís full-time job. Will YOU step up?
Membership growth remains a daunting challenge and not only in our local area. We are currently engaged in efforts to create satellite chapters in the Rocky Mount and Wilson areas. We are told that there are over 600 MOAA members in Rocky Mount alone, and we need to engage them in our Chapter activities. Moreover, as I reported above, the Eastern Carolina Chapter has been dis-established and we have picked up responsibility for additional parts of Johnston and Wilson Counties.
We are also committed to addressing several administrative issues, largely to safeguard our Chapterís assets and better insure Chapter members who volunteer in community activities. We will re-incorporate as an LLC, as MOAA recommends. We will purchase insurance to protect members participating in Chapter related volunteer activities and we will re-establish our scholarship fund as a tax-exempt entity, making it more attractive to outside donors. We have also committed ourselves to improve our website and bring our Facebook page to a wider circle of Chapter members and supporters.
It is also my hope that we can resume our service at the RDU USO in the near term and broaden our interests to include other activities that serve veterans in need.
This may be a daunting agenda for 2021, but it is absolutely achievable. It requires your renewed commitment to our Chapter and your willingness to step up. Will you?