Word from the MLGG …
To the men and women of the St. Louis Pond, I send greetings to you from the Grand Nest.
As you know I was elected and installed as the Most Loyal Grand Gander in Baltimore in July and currently serving the Order and all of you in that capacity.
My year as MLGG is off to a great start. In August, Libby and I traveled to Nashville to celebrate the 100th anniversary of their Charter as the Tennessee Pond. There were nearly eighty in attendance. In September, I traveled to Indianapolis for the organizational meeting of the new Indianapolis Pond. We initiated 33 new members that night and the Indianapolis chapter is off to the races. It will begin as a Puddle to the Dayton Pond and is under the guidance of the officers of the Dayton Pond and the Deputy Most Loyal Grand Gander (DMLGG) that I have assigned to them, Janice Folzenlogen out of Cincinnati.
One of the objectives of my year in office is to continue the progress that we have made in growing our honorable Order in membership and quality … both important to the health and vitality of every Pond or Puddle in the Order. As you may know, our overall international active membership has seen growth for two consecutive program years ended July 2014 and July 2015, and we are looking for expanded growth into the current year and beyond. In addition to the new chapter in Indianapolis, we have growth initiatives in a number of areas around the United States and Canada. Examples in the Central Region include plans for a new Pond in Minneapolis and a new Puddle in Bismarck, North Dakota.
As for quality initiatives, we have completely updated the Pond / Puddle Operations Guide or “POG,” and plan to roll that out to all of the chapters internationally this month. We have found that those chapters which focus their agenda on ‘achieving the objectives for which this Order was created,’ and add an element of fun and camaraderie are the most successful and vibrant Ponds and Puddles in our organization. If we make the St. Louis Pond the ‘cool, fun club that’s giving back to the community,’ the insurance professionals of quality will want to be involved. We have also developed a power point slide presentation for training and are working on offering a webinar for the distribution of program planning and officer training information.
Another exciting component to the objectives this year is the Rush for Goslings program. We are a fraternal organization of men and women in the insurance industry so why not have a Rush Party and invite our colleagues to get involved. We kicked off the program in Baltimore with the announcement of the International Rush Chairman, Dustin Bales of the Manitoba Pond who has since recruited a Rush Chair for every region in the organization. The Central Region Rush Chair is Fred Fernandez of the Michigan Pond. Fred is working with each Pond and Puddle in the region to get their rush event organized.
Upcoming events for me include official MLGG visits to several Ponds that have officially invited me to some of their special activities including the National Capital Pond in Baltimore and the Michigan Pond for their holiday charity events, the Cincinnati Puddle for its Monte Carlo Night and the Nova Scotia Pond for its Lobster Bash in the spring.
By the way, I am excited to announce that the Cincinnati Puddle has officially petitioned to become a Pond and will receive its Charter at the convention in St. Louis next summer. And, we expect to grant the charter to the new Pond in Indianapolis this next summer as well.
And, the convention is what we are working towards, Patty Semke and her convention committee have been working very hard in planning a wonderful Grand Nest Convention at the Hilton at the Ballpark downtown. We are hopeful that you will all participate in some way in the convention; whether it be in attending the Opening Ceremony, Model Initiation (by the Peace Garden and Manitoba Ponds) or the Golf Outing or the Cardinals Game or the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the granting of the charter to the St. Louis Pond in 1916, we would like everyone to find something that they can attend and enjoy.
I hope that you all have a great year in Blue Goose. It is an exciting one for the St. Louis Pond, a success story in the promotion of our precepts since 1916. Together we are stronger in our purpose of giving back; to our community in charity, to each other in fellowship and to ourselves in the development of our character and integrity.
As a final reminder, please visit the website for the Blue Goose International. There you will find the current Grand Nest Bulletin posted for your reference and information.
Most Loyal Grand Gander
Honorable Order of the Blue Goose International