After a hot summer, we identify autumn by bountiful harvests, the colorful foliage on the trees and the cooler morning temperatures. Fall is also when we hold our most important function of the year, the PERI annual meeting, which will be held on Monday, September 26th, at the Crowne Plaza North in Columbus.
OPERS will present information concerning challenges they face in the coming year concerning the stability of our retirement income and benefits. John Gilchrist, our lobbyist, will discuss legislation during the past year and what he sees happening at the statehouse in the current and next sessions of the General Assembly.
This has been the most exciting year I have experienced in my time on the PERI board. There will be information provided by our new President & CEO, Geoff Hetrick. Geoff has been leading the board through a comprehensive strategic planning process to develop and implement a five year plan to take PERI to new levels of success. Many different areas were examined including communications, advocacy, education, membership development, information technology, and much more.
I ask that all chapter members attending the annual meeting consider furnishing transportation to other members who may not be able to drive. Your gesture may make the difference for members such as these who otherwise would not be able to attend. The meeting will sell out quickly, so don’t delay in sending in your reservation. Knowledge is power. You do not want to miss this meeting. Mark your calendars, fill out the registration form (found on page 11) and send it in today.
This year you will be voting for new board members. We have one contested race for 1st Vice Chair. Both are very good candidates. Be sure to mark you ballot and return it to our state office in Westerville.
I will be leaving the PERI board after 14 years of service. It has definitely been a time of great experiences, many years of learning and the creation of many new friendships. One of the highlights of my PERI life has been meeting and working with each of you, the chapter members.
Our main mission as leaders and members is the importance of getting all OPERS retirees involved in your chapters. PERI depends on you and the chapters to maintain our strength and protect our pension and benefits from outside forces.
As an elected board member, I appreciate the trust you placed in me. I considered it my duty to make my decisions based on what would be in the best interest of all the members. I would be remiss if I did not thank the Columbus staff for all their patience and assistance they gave me over the years.
Thank you and I look forward to seeing you at the annual meeting.