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chaptersinaction


Discussion of new initiatives On April 14, members of MOAA’s national staff briefed council and chapter leaders from across the country on program updates. “We truly believe that you’re the most effective way to mobilize the force,” Robertson told gathered representatives. Kathy Partain, MOAA’s direc-


tor of Membership and Marketing, detailed the association’s strides in reaching career and recently retired officers. She also revealed MOAA soon will begin to modify its e-newsletter delivery to ensure an efficient, customized experience. Gail Joyce, chair of the Surviv- ing Spouse Advisory Committee, identified one of her group’s goals as increasing awareness of the value surviving spouses bring to local chapters as members. “We bring new blood, fresh ideas, energy, cre- ativity, a can-do attitude, great or- ganizational skills, and a whole lot of experience,” she said. Following a short break, MOAA


President Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret), thanked attendees for participating in the previous day’s storming event. The morning ses- sion concluded with Council and Chapter Affairs Director Col. Barry Wright, USA (Ret), distributing the 2015 Col. Marvin J. Harris Commu- nications Awards. The group reconvened after lunch, at which point Wright described pro- gram changes and effective council and chapter management tools. The seminar concluded with leaders par- ticipating in an open session, during which they asked questions and ex- changed ideas and best practices.


PHOTO: SEAN SHANAHAN


Hidden in Plain Sight


Checking chapter information on MOAA’s website makes it easy for mem- bers to find the location closest to them, which can be a boon to individuals new to a community. National MOAA members who also are first-time guests at a chapter gather- ing will frequently approach me and say, “I’ve lived here for five years, and I had no idea we had a chapter in our community.” Even though I’ve heard this many times, it still amazes me. How-


ever, after I start to ask questions, a picture begins to develop of why this occurs. Typically, such individuals have received a letter from national MOAA announcing that a representative is visiting their local chapter. They usually come to the meeting to ask a question about an attention- grabbing issue like the proposed TRICARE fee hike or an item from the weekly Legislative Update email newsletter. I once met a recently retired couple who drove over 25 miles to at-


tend their first chapter meeting. They were new to the community and settling into their second careers when they received the letter from MOAA national with the chapter meeting information. Though they were busy adjusting to the changes in their lives, they still recognized they wanted to belong to a local chapter as well as contribute to and make a difference in their community. Networking opportunities and the ability to gain information about the local community and surround- ing area also appealed to them. Today we have more than 412 chapters located in all 50 states with


members who are actively involved with their communities. If you are a national member and don’t know the location of the chapter nearest to you, give us a call. Chapter location information also is available at www.moaa.org/chapters. After you find your local chapter’s information online, more often


than not, you can check out its website. You can browse their most recent newsletter, which provides a wealth of information about meet- ings, community service projects, and upcoming events. Relocations as a result of civilian jobs, new service assignments, or


retiring and transitioning to a new location often take place in the sum- mer. Chapter members can help with the transition to a new commu- nity, and hopefully, you won’t have to drive too far to get there. I look forward to seeing you during a future chapter meeting — thanks for your support.


— Col. Barry Wright, USA (Ret), director, Council and Chapter Affairs


JUNE 2016 MILITARY OFFICER 47


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