February Board Week Wrap-Up

Written by: Lynn Young, President General
February 11, 2015

It has been such a busy two weeks since I left home on January 25!  Monday through Friday of the first week was spent in meetings at Headquarters, including a Department Head meeting, Congress Planning meeting, and a meeting with NSDAR’s auditors and tax attorney. 

On Sunday evening, Ann Dillon and I hosted the Executive Committee for dinner at the condo.  Ann is a delicious cook and they were all asking for her recipes for Knorr Chicken, Sundried Tomatoes and Artichoke casserole as well as the dessert made with ice cream sandwiches.

Following presentations by Administrator Steve Nordholt and Controller Susan Kinnecome on Monday, the Executive Committee started discussing potential motions.    

Tuesday morning we recognized 18 employees for service to the National Society ranging from 5 to 40 years.  Barbara Meisky in the Treasurer General’s office has worked at National for 40 years and it was amusing to hear about the big key punch machine in the office when she started.  Together, these 18 employees were a few months shy of 300 years of service!

On Wednesday, Leanne Vigliano, Human Resources Director, provided an update on our staff.

During four of the five Executive weeks, one of the execs takes a turn hosting a formal luncheon. The theme and menu is always a surprise and this time we went to Hawaii with Reporter General Mindy Kammeyer.  Mindy lived there for 3-1/2 years when her children were little and in fact she was living there when we met at our first Continental Congress in 1980 when we were assigned a room to share as Pages.  We have a very talented team of ladies who cook for the formal luncheons – Kay Titus, Martina Caputy and Sally Kamb (Chaplain General Ann Crider’s daughter).  Mindy greeted each of us with a lei and invited us to remove our shoes, which is a custom in Hawaii.

After lunch on Wednesday, we had a docent tour of the CIA Headquarters in Virginia.  It was fascinating to learn more about the history, including the fist intelligence organization was the OSS.  Our tour guide was delighted to learn our own Yvonne Boone, Honorary Vice President General, had worked for the OSS during World War II.

To make up for the time away on Wednesday, the Execs arrived even earlier than usual the rest of the week so we could get through the many items on our agenda.  I can assure you that these ladies arrive on time and fully prepared for the week’s discussions!

On Thursday morning, Sandy Pollack, Development Director, provided an update about the gifts to the National Society.  We remain astounded at the generosity of our Daughters and the amazing success of the Sustaining Supporter Program!

I was delighted to join the Vice Presidents General Club, Nancy Hemmrich, President, for dinner at Acadiana Restaurant near the Grand Hyatt.  The newest VPG class does a skit and the one this year was on lost baggage.  Horrors!

Friday morning Billie Spence, Senior National President of the Children of the American Revolution and other Senior Leaders hosted a lovely coffee for the National Board of Management in the O’Byrne Gallery.  We have had a wonderful relationship with the C.A.R. since its founding in 1895 and I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a Senior Leader.  In fact, when my daughter was State President, I learned accidently while looking through old records that my father and uncle had not only been members, but had led the Pledge of Allegiance at the State Conference in 1924.  How I wish I had also had been a member!  Following the coffee, we all gathered in the Library for the Go Red for Women’s Heart Health photo.

Immediately after the photo we thoroughly enjoyed two Leadership Training workshops.  Denise VanBuren, Organizing Secretary General gave an excellent one on organization and time management.  I took copious notes and hope I can find them among all the papers in my home office.  Parliamentarian Beverly Przybylski led a delightful skit on Parliamentary Procedure.  Our favorite point was hearing that if a motion is on the floor and a delegate rambles about something not relevant to the motion at hand, the chair, after gently reminding her to speak to the topic, may say “Your point is not well taken.”

I had an opportunity to address the National Board of Management informally and we were able to provide a sneak preview of DAR-opoly, a game designed by some of our DAR volunteers in Houston.  Instead of Community Chest and Go to Jail cards it has “Have some Fun!” and “you have hit a genealogy brick wall" cards.  They were even more enthused with the announcement that supporting documentation could be purchased through the GRS.  The DAR has adopted a very conservative policy and will restrict vital records and sensitive documents for 100 years.

With an administration focused on service projects, we asked each member of the National Board of Management to bring signed Valentines. We were delighted to have collected about 2,000 of them which were sent to the DAR Schools where we felt they were most needed.  Other ladies made beautiful unsigned Valentines which were sent to our service men and women overseas for them to send to their loved ones back home.

On Friday, we had a delicious luncheon in the newly redecorated Banquet Hall where we were joined by members of the Development Committee and Long Range Planning Commission.  After reading last year about Nancy Kritch’s generous donation of Insignia #9 which she found on eBay, Virginia Member-at-Large Joanna Miller contacted the Development Office to say she had Insignia #1 which belonged to Eugenia Washington.  Joanna realized that our 125th anniversary is the time for the insignia to come home and she announced at the luncheon that she would like to donate it to our Archives.  Her mother was regent of the Eugenia Washington Chapter when it disbanded, and Joanna is donating her mother’s ribbon with the historic insignia.  Honestly, there was not a dry eye in the place as we all eagerly wanted to see it up close and touch something which had been worn by one of our Four Founders.  If you are at all like me, you are wondering what other treasures are out in private collections that could be lost to DAR’s history.

Shortly after lunch we departed for the NBM event, a tour of the U.S. Capitol.  National Vice Chair Brenda Baker Lee had managed to obtain a few tickets for a tour of the Brumidi corridors and we were in awe of the magnificent frescoes.  Having shared the DAR’s history of the sponsorship of the Cox  murals on the House side, we were delighted to see them up close and to see the plaque placed when they were dedicated as NSDAR’S Gift to the Nation during the bicentennial.

Saturday morning the National Board met, heard reports and considered proposed Bylaw amendments, about which you will be hearing more this spring.  Following another lovely luncheon, we departed for home.

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