2019-03 From the President: Success begets success

As many of you know, in recent years we’ve often had to cut off registrations for our monthly luncheons because of the limited capacity of Conference Room ABC in the Campus Club. To accommodate a maximum of barely more than 100 diners, tables must be set so closely together it is nearly impossible to move around the room and interact with others. So, I am pleased to announce on behalf of the UMRA Board of Directors that in the coming program year all monthly UMRA meetings will be held as luncheons in the Campus Club’s West Wing Dining Room!

Achieving this was no easy task. Last winter the UMRA board assigned a small task force to explore venue options in the campus area. The task force concluded that, while other sites were possible, the West Wing presented the best option for us. The Campus Club leadership has always been concerned about how their membership would react to reserving the West Wing for non-Campus Club members during the lunch hour. However, the Campus Club agreed to our request to pilot several West Wing luncheons this year.

A ‘green light’ for next year
With some creative arrangements on their part to accommodate Campus Club diners, and with large UMRA attendance at our West Wing luncheons in November and January (featuring Kathryn Pearson and Fred de Sam Lazaro), the Campus Club has given us an early “green light” to facilitate our planning for next year.

The West Wing easily seats 150 diners and allows for a comfortable social hour prior to the luncheon and speaker presentation. In addition, we are able to hold our monthly workshops in the Dale Shepherd room, adjacent to the West Wing.

Driven primarily by increased labor costs associated with the improvement in the minimum wage for the servers who staff our events, a modest increase in the charge for our luncheon meetings will be required. The UMRA board is reviewing the situation and will provide more information next month.

We are grateful for the Campus Club’s cooperation, and we look forward to enjoying the West Wing’s spacious and welcoming ambience as we come together for UMRA’s monthly gatherings in the year ahead.

—Jerry Rinehart, UMRA president