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2015 Reunion National Assembly Minutes
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Second Marine Division Association National Assembly
September 11, 2015
Huntsville Marriott
Huntsville, Alabama

 

The National Assembly was called to order by President Ron Himsworth at 9:25 a.m.  The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Wendell Perkins.  The invocation was given by Chaplain “Doc” Strait.


Officers Present:  President Ron Himsworth, 1st Vice-President John Deitle and Past President Mike PiserchiaAlso in attendance were Executive Director Bret Roy, Surgeon General Vito M. Rao, Memorial Scholarship Fund Chairman Marty McNulty and Nominating Committee Chairman Bill Steele.                       

Excused:  2nd Vice-President Nick Naumov, Treasurer JC Hardee, Staff Judge Advocate Mastin Robeson, Adjutant James Cuneo and Sergeant at Arms Robert Williams.


A motion was made by Wendell Perkins and seconded by Ed Haas to approve the minutes of the 65th National Assembly.  Motion carried unanimously.


President’s Report.

The 2016 Division Birthday celebration will be 4-6 February at Camp Lejeune.  The SMDA will be celebrating the 75th birthday of the 2d Marine Division on February 1st.  There will be a parade in downtown Jacksonville on Saturday to commemorate this historic event.  The CG, MajGen Brian Boudreault, will march the 2d Marine Division from the Beirut Memorial through downtown, where a memorial service will then take place.  SMDA members will be invited to ride in the parade as well.  If the ladies prefer not to attend the parade, they will be invited on a shopping trip in Old Swansboro.  Swansboro has retail shops, craft shops, a couple of nice restaurants and a great view of the White Oak River.

On Friday, we’re going to get the regiments and units you served with to host you, rather than doing static displays, as we have in the past.  Later that day would normally be the traditional Sergeants’ Major Reception.  Rather than that, it will be changed to a SNCO and Officer’s Call at the Officers Club aboard Camp Lejeune.  They have the Follow Me room to accommodate us and we’ll move that reception up from 6:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  That will allow the SNCOs and Officers to leave their jobs and come straight over to the reception.  It will increase attendance and be a fun time for all.

Our guest of honor at the banquet on Saturday night will be the Commandant of the Marine Corps.  The flag rededication will go at the banquet dinner in Goettge Field House, with SMDA members doing the streamers.  We will have the traditional cake cutting ceremony with the oldest Marine, youngest Marine and, of course, the guest of honor.  We will also do the SMDA awards that evening.  The event is well organized and will move along quickly.  


Treasurer’s Report.

On behalf of Treasurer JC Hardee, Ron Himsworth reported that the SMDA investment portfolio currently stands at $1,190,444, down 5.07% from year end 2014.  By comparison, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 7.98% over the same period of time.  The Endowment Fund stands at $795,352; the Life Fund stands at $254,558 and the Memorial Scholarship Fund stands at $140,534. The SMDA portfolio continues to focus on conservative, income paying investments.


A motion was made by Marty McNulty and seconded by Dick VanHorne to approve the Treasurer’s Report.  Motion carried unanimously. 

 1st Vice-President’s Report.


John Deitle reported that he and Mike Piserchia will man the Modern Day Marine Expo 23-25 September.  They will have SMDA membership applications, literature and give-away items.  John also attended the National Marine Corps Council Meeting in October, 2014.  Topics of discussion included Wounded Warriors, Op Tempo, Legislative Affairs and Budgeting. 

The SMDA application for the Combined Federal Campaign was approved in January; posters for unit bulletin boards were created and printed as well.  The Executive Director will distribute posters to 2d Marine Division units and will publish a related article in the Follow Me magazine.  John Deitle will mirror that effort at HQMC, the Pentagon and Quantico as well.

John Deitle will pursue capital fundraising efforts in 2016 to benefit the General Fund, to include donations from “Corporate America”.


2nd Vice-President’s Report.  None.


Executive Director’s Report.

Executive Director Bret Roy reported 112 new members in 2015, 43 deaths, and current membership nationally stands at 4,346.  Bret estimated that 81% of our members are “life members”.  As a result, only 19% of the membership generates income to the General Fund.


Bret encouraged all members to log onto the SMDA website (www.2mardiv.com) and create their own personal profile.  Simply log in with your first name, last name (all lower case with no spaces) and your first time password will be “semperfi”.  Once you’re logged in, you can change your information to make it confidential.  You can read the Follow Me magazine on the website, post photos, chat with others, check on friends signing up for the reunion, etc.  When added together, the personal profiles of each SMDA member create a free “member directory” with names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses.  It can only be viewed by SMDA members in good standing (paid dues). 


The Second Marine Division Association recruits more new members through Facebook than anywhere else.  If you have a Facebook account, simply search for “Second Marine Division Association” and view all of the photos and activities going on.  Bret Roy posts stories and photos regularly, without having to wait for the Follow Me magazine.  Facebook is a very efficient way to communicate with our members and it’s free, unlike the publishing/mailing expense of the Follow Me magazine.


Surgeon General’s Report.

Surgeon General Matt Rao encouraged all members to contact him with VA health and service issues.  It is recommended that members read his articles in the Follow Me and don’t hesitate to call or write him personally for help.


Memorial Scholarship Fund Committee Report.

Twenty-five upperclassmen and eighteen new applicants were approved for SMDA scholarships for the 2015-2016 academic year.  All 43 students are eligible to receive $500 per semester, not to exceed $1,000 for the school year.  The recommended annual expenditure authorization is $43,000.  The scholarship committee recommended an increase in the adjustable gross income maximum from $90,000 to $94,000. 


Endowment Fund Committee Report.  None.


Chapter Reports.


Mid-Atlantic ChapterMike Piserchia reported very poor attendance at reunions and an aging membership.  As a result, they are turning in their charter and presenting a check of $2,113.17 to the SMDA, to be split evenly between the Memorial Scholarship Fund and the General Fund.


Georgia Chapter.  Marty McNulty reported that the Georgia has been no participation for several years and they are turning in the charter.  He will close out their financial records and mail a check to SMDA Headquarters.


Texas Chapter:   Sylvia Lent reported that the Texas Chapter is turning in their charter, due to the aging of current members and declining membership.  Sylvia presented a check of $500 for the benefit of the General Fund.


Devil Docs Chapter:  Chaplain “Doc” Strait reported they are continuing with member recruitment efforts by reaching out to the Battalion and Regimental aid stations as active duty Marines transition between units.

Destroyers Chapter:  Scott Durano reports that new enrollment has slowed, but they have created a new incentive program.  The chapter will provide select chapter gear to those new members and any referring members.  Our initial goal to refinish the LAR memorial is now complete.  We’re standing by to execute Phase II, which involves installing a walkway to and around the memorial.  Work will commence as soon as renovations of the Battalion CP are completed. 

The Destroyers Chapter has an ongoing program to support the Battalion Heritage Room.  Chapter members can purchase personalized dog tags, that will hang on the 25 mm barrel within the Heritage Room.

The Destroyers Chapter would like to present a check of $200 to the General Fund.


Old Business.  None


New Business.

Election of New Officers.  Bill Steele, Chairman of the Nominating Committee, reported that current SMDA officers were willing to move up through the chairs, subject to a vote of the National Assembly.  The proposed slate for the 2015 - 2016 Board of Directors is as follows:  President – Ron Himsworth;  1st Vice-President – John Deitle;  2nd Vice-President – Nick Naumov; Adjutant – James Cuneo; Judge Advocate – Mastin Robeson;  Sergeant at Arms – Robert Williams;  Past President – Mike Piserchia.  After the slate of nominees was announced, Bill Steele called for additional nominations from the floor (3 times) and there were none.  The slate of SMDA officers for 2014-2015 was approved and the Adjutant was directed to cast one affirmative vote of the slate, on behalf of the National Assembly.

2016 Reunion.  The tentative reunion site for 2016 is Orlando, Florida.  Reunion dates and details to follow.


Benediction.  None.


Adjournment.  With no further business, President Ron Himsworth called for a motion to adjourn the National Assembly.  A motion to adjourn was made by Mike Piserchia, seconded by John Deitle, and passed unanimously.  National Assembly adjourned at 10:32.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Richard F. VanHorne
Adjutant (Acting)
(910) 673-3123

 

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