At the American Mensa Committee (AMC) meeting held at the Indianapolis Annual Gathering (AG) in July, there were three primary actions taken. We approved four Appointed AMC officers to one-year terms for 2018-2019. Continuing in their positions are Tommy Ryan as Communication Officer, Henri Buccine-Schraeder as Membership Officer, and Marie Meyer as Director of Science & Education, with new appointee Alex Huth taking on the position of Marketing Officer from departing officer Alexis Wise, who is beginning a graduate program this year. We also appointed Sue Ann Gilmore as Regional Coordinator to stand in for the recently vacated Region 8 RVC position until the 2019 election, and approved Reno, Nevada as the site of the Annual Gathering for 2022.
Several Region 10 members and local groups were honored at the Awards ceremony at the AG. Brian Reeves received a Chairman’s Service Award as part of the transition team for the replacement of our Executive Director. Southwest by South Florida Mensa received the Innovative Owl Award (best member retention) for the second time in the past four years, with a 92.5% retention rate. Four of our Local Groups received Jewel Awards for outstanding member service, with Broward Mensa achieving an Emerald Award in Class II groups (400 – 899 members), Manasota Mensa and Mensa of Jacksonville achieving Emerald Awards in Class III groups (200 – 399 members), and Northwest Florida Mensa achieving the Sapphire Award in Class IV groups (100 – 199 members). And for CultureQuest, Northwest Florida Mensa’s “Florida Panhandle Mensa Team” ranked 16th out of 107 teams, while Central Florida Mensa’s “Tragic Kingdom” team took first place for a remarkable fifth consecutive year, with a $550 prize for their group! Congratulations to all.
One of the projects our Membership Officer has been working on for the past year was to establish a Young Adult Mensan (YAM) program, which would focus on attracting and engaging members from ages 21-40. Those members currently have the highest lapse rate, so we want to find ways to make them feel more welcome and involved in the organization. To that end, Henri Buccine-Schraeder has appointed Josh Fishkind as the National YAM Coordinator, and each RVC has been asked to appoint a Regional YAM Coordinator to assist. I have appointed Deanna Kalil from Miami Mensa to be Region 10 YAM Coordinator, so please welcome her and wish her well in the position.
One of the most interesting discussions during the AG was a Debate Room program called “How Can Mensa Be Improved?”. There were dozens of members there brainstorming possibilities, such as microgrants for members, mentoring programs, Mensa sponsored events for the public, and many others. Of course, the challenge, as always, is finding volunteers to take these ideas and run with them, but to remain a thriving club, we must find ways to incorporate new and exciting ideas as they come up.
Along with other experiments, Tampa Bay Mensa has decided to shake things up a bit on the Regional Gathering front, and rather than the traditional style of gathering, will be hosting a “High Seas RG” next Memorial Day weekend, traveling between Tampa and Cozumel. Theresa Hohmann and Belinda Nemeth are busy promoting the event, so make your plans early to get the best rates, and to be sure your passports are up-to-date!
Until next month (or until I see you online),
Thomas George Thomas