From the President

(YYYY-MM From the President: Title)

2021-11 From the President: UMRA people

UMRA runs on the energy and inspiration of members who get involved to organize, to lead, to participate. Here’s news about some recent personnel changes.

In October, the board elected a new secretary, Julie Sweitzer, to complete the one-year term of Gary Engstrand, who needed to step down from the role. Julie is a relatively new retiree and UMRA member, but you may have worked with her as executive director of the University’s College Readiness Consortium, co-director of the Educational Equity Resource Center, or director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action. 

The board elected Gary to a special term as a board member through June 2022. Gary will also continue in his role as administrator of UMRA’s Facebook group.

The Communications & Outreach Committee is a fundamental part of the engine that helps UMRA to attract and retain members and strengthen our brand. Jean Kinsey has led the committee for the past three-plus years through a time of many accomplishments and decisions, including the redesign of our newsletter and logo, enhancements to the website, and the addition of the Facebook group that is a private space for University retirees. I'm pleased to say that board member Eric Hockert has agreed to serve as the new chair of the committee. Eric recently finished a term as president of the University Retirees Volunteer Center, where he personally reached out to University academic units to connect their retirees with volunteer opportunities through URVC. 

UMRA Past President Jerry Rinehart was elected to succeed Eric as chair of the board of URVC, and UMRA board member Cathrine Wambach has agreed to be appointed as our new liaison to the Board of Regents, succeeding Jerry in that role. The liaison connects UMRA to the work of the Regents and governance of the University. With Jerry continuing as co-chair of UMRA’s Organizational Continuity Committee, we get the multiplied benefit of both these outstanding UMRA people.

UMRA people are retirees who worked in all parts of the U, doing all kinds of work, and the UMRA community gets better with the diverse skills and life experiences our members bring to bear. If you’re not already participating in an interest group, serving on a committee, or connecting with other UMRA members and would like to consider how to do that, give me a shout, or contact any of our board members or committee chairs. We’d love for you to join in the mix.

—Jan Morlock, UMRA president


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