Wow, what can I say. Two years in a row the Association has finished at a “PLUS” and over 80% Retention. I can start by saying THANK-YOU to all the Lodges, Chapters, and Moose Legion that finished at a Plus. Without your efforts and hard work, we could not have done this. I hope to make it a three-peat and do it again this year.

As most of you should know by now, we are now in the Plains West Region. We are joining Territory 37, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota, Territory 38, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, South Kansas, and Arkansas, Territory 39, Arizona and New Mexico, Territory 41, Colorado, Montana, West Nebraska, and Wyoming. Overall this is a vast area, but there are a lot of good Territory Managers covering that space. All of this is managed by Regional Manager Jeff Gutowski. I know we will continue to do our thing and excel at everything that we do.

Now to address the elephant in the room. Many of you have asked if it is true that I am retiring. Well the answer is… NO. I am however looking into my VA Benefits to see what I will be rated at.  I retired from the service back in 2000 for medical reasons, and as I am now almost at full retirement age, I am starting the paperwork process, and any veteran knows, that takes forever.  I plan to continue what I am doing for as long as I can. Kellee Chwala has spent a lot of time with me while I train new Field Staff, and has picked up on my job remarkably well, and it does make sense that she could replace me, but currently she is just assisting me with training.  Maybe, when, and if, I decide to retire, or move on, and if she wants the position, and if she gets it, she would do great, but until them, she is a great asset to both me and the Association.

As we move forward with this Moose Year, we will be facing new changes, and challenges. I am confidant that you will make the transition, and adapt to the changes well. Jeff is a good manager, but has a different style than Frank or Darrell, and I look forward to working with him.  He will be joining me on Lodge visits later on in June, so please welcome him to the family.

Until next time – take care, be safe, and keep on Mooseing.

Mike Rynearson, TM