The first business sessions of NAPUS’ 106th National Convention got under way Monday morning in Grand Rapids, MI. Michigan Postmasters have been working hard these past three years to prepare for it and NAPUS members were not disappointed.
The Color Guard was from the Gun Lake Band of Potawatomi Indians in Allegan County, Michigan. The tribe entertained the convention with five dancers. The Michigan Chapter proudly presented President Bob Rapoza with a new NAPUS flag. The flag features the NAPUS eagle on a dark blue background, to be displayed at national conventions and leadership conferences and the National Office.
President Bob Rapoza promised everyone it is going to be a great convention week. He discussed the challenges facing NAPUS and the Postal Service, but said, “We will weather this storm. Why? Because we are good at what we do. We are America’s Postmasters and we are proud of it!”
George Heartwell, mayor of Grand Rapids, gave a warm welcome to convention attendees. Speakers from the Postal Service included David Williams, inspector general, OIG; Karen Schenck, district manager, Lakeland District; Nancy Rettinhouse, acting district manager, Greater Michigan District; Chris Tinkham, Postmaster of Grand Rapids; Charles Howe, acting district manager, Detroit District; and JoAnn Feindt, Great Lakes Area vice president. They all thanked Postmasters for the phenomenal jobs they are doing under tough circumstances.
Mark Strong, newly elected president of the National League of Postmasters, and Louis Atkins, newly elected president of the National Association of Postal Supervisors, promised NAPUS members the three management organizations will continue to work together for the welfare of their members. Atkins pledged to ensure being treated with dignity and respect. “They don’t cost money,” he stressed, “they save money. If you are treated right, you increase your discretionary efforts, which will improve your job performance and results.”
Outgoing NAPUS Executive Director Ken Engstrom thanked Postmasters for the opportunity to serve them these past four years. He assured everyone his service has been a labor of love and he remains committed to serving NAPUS.
PM Retired President Paul Edd Butler gave his address, offering the help and support of retirees. He stressed the importance of membership, saying, “We need to get out there and find people who are not members and sign them up. It is everyone’s responsibility to sign up members.”
Education & Development Chair John Galera invited Postmasters to take advantage of the many training classes he and co-chair Linda Gurka have organized. Everything from SOX compliance to salsa dancing (in preparation for next year’s convention in Puerto Rico) is being offered this week.
President Bob Rapoza had declared Monday “Purple Day” in honor of cancer survivors. Dr. Jeff MacKeigan, head of the Van Andel Research Institute’s Laboratory of Systems Biology in Grand Rapids, addressed the convention, explaining the institute’s research efforts in trying to tackle cancer. “We have scientists representing 19 different countries and our budget approaches $300 million annually.” The institute is part of Grand Rapid’s “Medical Mile,” which is made up of hospitals, research facilities and universities.
At the end of the business session, President Bob Rapoza asked all the cancer survivors in attendance to come up on stage to be recognized and receive T-shirts donated by the American Cancer Society. Lorraine Lindsey, Postmaster of Tekonsha, MI, and a cancer survivor, urged everyone to get checkups. And if you have been diagnosed with cancer, “Stay with your treatments,” she urged. “Get as much information as you can and get support.”
Just as important, she told everyone to “enjoy life. Life is too short,” she said, “don’t wait until you have a serious illness to make your ‘bucket’ list. But don’t let it ruin your day, either.” She thanked President Bob Rapoza for the opportunity to speak for the survivors.
The NAPUS Executive Board convened its meeting Friday, Sept. 10, in Grand Rapids. President Bob Rapoza welcomed everyone to the national convention, promising a great convention in a great location. In his opening remarks, Rapoza said, “These are tough times, but not hopeless times.” He stressed the importance of working carefully, balancing the demands of …Continue Reading
There is still time to register and attend the National Convention.
This week National Secretary/Treasurer Wayne Orshak and the NAPUS budget committee met at the NAPUS national office to draft the FY 2011 budget. This draft will be presented to the National Executive Board during the national convention in September.
There will be a preview of the new site by Ed at the National Executive Board meeting September 11.