Three honored with 'Service to UMRA' awards in May
In 2013 and 2014 UMRA presented service awards for three types of service – Service to UMRA, Service to the University, and Service to the Community. This year the executive committee awarded three awards for Service to UMRA. All three of the awardees have served UMRA for many years in demanding positions, which required steady and consistent leadership. All three are leaving their respective positions this year. With thanks, we recognize them for helping to making UMRA the successful organization that it is.
Ginny Hanson became UMRA’s newsletter 13 years ago. Under her leadership the newsletter was redesigned, expanded, edited, printed and mailed eight months of each year. It has been one of our main communication methods among UMRA members. Ginny not only solicited all the content for the newsletter from a variety of UMRA members, but she edited it ruthlessly, making it grammatically correct, readable, and attractive. She was the photographer at most UMRA events, adding her photographs to make it even more appealing. Her former experience in University Relations Communications and Marketing proved a valuable asset in this demanding retirement position.
Every summer Ginny would “educate” the incoming presidents about their duties to write a monthly column and help solicit content for the newsletter. Attending board meetings and joining committees, Ginny has been a continuous pivot point around our communications activities.
To quote earlier presidents: Frank Miller (2007) said, “The reason that the newsletter looks so good is that publisher/editor Ginny Hanson has such an eagle-eye for aesthetic and literary infelicities. I have also consulted with her about organizational dynamics, a domain in which she has a lot of “street smarts.” Warren Ibele (2006) said, “Our Newsletter, which receives favorable comment when Big Ten officers exchange views, is the product of editor/publisher Ginny Hanson, who has patiently dealt with multiple article writers and flexible deadlines with rare good humor.”
David Naumann served on the Board of Directors for five years and has been vigorously working on the website for UMRA since 2014. Educating himself and UMRA members in how to use University software (Drupal) has been an enormous help in building an interactive and workable communication tool. Dave’s knowledge and motivation have been invaluable in moving UMRA into the 21st century. He has found expertise to help with programming and design of a website and database that works for us. His vision of how we can use the Internet to communicate with our members and the larger community has served us well. We now have an interactive website and database where we can use credit cards to make luncheon reservations and join and renew membership. His website partner, Cathy Gierke says, “Dave has worked tirelessly, and determinedly. As he retires from the board and the position of “Web Master” we thank him for his dedication to and hard work in developing our web page. We also wish him well as he watches us build on his contributions.”
Jan Hogan-Schiltgen has chaired the Professional Development Grants for Retirees (PDGR) Committee for four years. She led the charge to obtain funds from the provost’s office and coordinated the grant review process and the administration of the grants with the University’s Associate Vice President for Research. During her tenure as chair of this committee, 37 retirees received a grant. She is motivated by the belief that retirees who are pursuing new knowledge or continuing ongoing passions will not only appreciate the financial help but will produce research and writing that is valuable to all of us.
She says “The quality of applications and the diverse scholarship interests keep me committed to this small grants program.” Prior to chairing the Professional Development for Retirees Grant Program, she chaired a committee to establish a U of M Foundation account and raise money to support the grants program in case U administrators did not fully fund the program. In 2011, we raised about $25,000 from 45 retirees to use as an emergency fund.
In 2014 Jan received a “Service to Community” award from UMRA for her leadership of volunteers to open a shelter for the homeless. Jan is a true servant to her community and to UMRA. We thank her for her extraordinary vision, dedication, and service.
Past President Jean Kinsey presents special award to Earl Nolting
In 2014 Earl Nolting received the UMRA Service Award for his tireless efforts to make UMRA a strong, vibrant organization. He had been the treasurer and a member of the membership committee. But he was just getting started. As a founding member and chair of the Cares Committee, he has helped to design and coordinate our workshops and a program for caregiver advice. It was his idea to procure sponsors so we could expand the newsletter and for many years he has arranged for the campus discounts UMRA members enjoy.
“It seems that Earl has an idea a week for ways to find benefits and activities for UMRA. While I was president I came to call him UMRA’s Energizer Bunny,” Jean said as she presented Earl with a special thank and a “reminder of how much we owe him and love him.”