It’s been a Great Year… despite COVID-19!
While we were never able to hold an in-person meeting during the past year, we became accomplished at using video conferencing and conducting virtual meetings up and down the state of California and drawing in many members who previously had not been able to attend meetings. Frankly, I think these meetings proved to be a huge success in carrying out our mission and engaging with our members.
We sorely missed the comaraderie that goes with face-to-face meetings: the many friendships that are created or renewed in meetings, over lunch and dinner, or in the hospitality suite. And, who doesn’t miss the pomp and circumstance of the gala banquets!
I was privileged to work with a great group of senior officers, program chairmen, and chapter officers while attending a ton of Zoom meetings. I become a regular at a number of Chapter meetings up and down the state. I also got to sleep in my own bed every night and lost a few pounds by maintaining a regular stay-at-home workout schedule.
During the past year we established a few new processes. I held monthly Operating Committee meetings with your senior officers. Brian Stephens published three editions of the California Compatriot as well as negotiating and then renegotiating hotel contracts for the semi-annual meetings. Fred Schuster chaired annual dues and reconciliation briefings for chapter secretaries. John Ferris and Jim Klingler chaired compliance meetings for chapter treasurers. Jim Klingler organized a Speaker’s Bureau of members willing to give presentations via Zoom to chapters throughout the state. Craig Anderson was my righthand for Zoom contracts and doing whatever was needed when an extra set of hands was necessary.
I must also give kudos to the other officers, program chairs and committee members who lend their time, experience, and professional expertise to make your California Society function smoothly. Matt Bowdish and Charlie Frye gave presentations at chapter meetings throughout the state. Terry Briggs and his team of volunteers completed data entry into the Patriot Research System of 8,000 record copies for California compatriot ancestors. Our Youth Program chairmen kept our Orations, JROTC, Scouting, Knight Essay, Brochure and Americanism Poster contests all functioning without a hitch.
Thank you compatriots for a year well done! If you visit our Officers web page at URL: https://www.californiasar.org/officers/ everyone named on that page has earned and deserves every thank you and kudos you can give them.
We have a great California Society and I only hope that I have done you and my position justice during the past 12 months.
May God Bess each of you and the SAR,
Donald B Littlefield
California Society Sons of the American Revolution