Thomas Thomas

     The American Mensa Committee (AMC) met on Saturday, December 7. As I mentioned last month, the motion to put forth a bylaws referendum to change the AMC Terms of Office from two years to three years starting in 2021 was a hot topic. There were several good points made both pro and con about the change itself, which made it clear that the decision belongs to the members, and our responsibility was to give the members the choice rather than preemptively block the referendum. The vote was not unanimous, but it did pass, and the referendum will be on the ballot in Spring 2021.

     Three other motions passed quickly, including a motion to include election date notification in the Mensa Bulletin, the appointment of Dan Burg as Bylaws Committee Chair following the resignation of Rick Magnus, and a motion to place reasonable controls on volunteer expense reimbursements. Beyond that, the rest of the meeting was comprised of presentations from the Executive Director, Risk Management Committee, Treasurer/Finance Committee, and Strategic Planning. These presentations, along with quarterly officer reports and the mini-minutes for the meeting, can be found on the American Mensa website at Select the dropdown for the 2019-12-07 meeting.

     The Strategic Planning presentation and discussion was particularly interesting, as it was a follow-up from the planning sessions held in September. The current Five-Year Plan runs through 2020, and the AMC is working to establish a new strategic plan for 2021-2025. The current plan focuses on five core values: Membership, Governance, Leadership Development, Public Awareness, and Finance. The proposed core values include Intelligence benefiting humanity, Valuing ideas and individualism, Intellectual integrity, and Connection. The proposed goals paired to these values are Membership growth, Membership value, and Diversification of revenue streams. This is still a work-in-progress, and there were several questions and challenges to this proposed strategy. There was no disagreement, however, about the need for a strategy, so this work will continue. Details about the current plan and the metrics being followed to track our progress can be found at


     On the horizon, Palm Beach Area Mensa and Broward Mensa will be honoring long-time members at a special event in February. For the purposes of this event, Long-Time members are defined as continuous for 25 years or longer. This is an example of local-group initiatives for recognizing members, and I’m proud of both the local groups for putting this together, and of the dedication of the members themselves. I look forward to the celebration.


     Looking further ahead, National Volunteer Week is April 19-25, 2020, and American Mensa’s Community Service Committee is looking for groups to participate through the Mensa Cares! program. Although this program runs throughout the year and many groups have projects during various seasons, we focus on getting our name out in the community during April in order to publicly emphasize our involvement as outlined in the first purpose in the Mensa Constitution: to use our intelligence “…for the benefit of humanity”. I look forward to hearing what sort of projects you have in store!


Until next month (or until I see you online),

Thomas George Thomas


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