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Board of directors meeting

July 21, 2006

Doubletree Hotel, Little Rock AR

The board of directors of the 99th Infantry Division Association met July 21, 2006, during the 57th annual convention at the Doubletree Hotel, Little Rock AR.

Those attending were president John Vasa, Glenn Bronson, Bill Meyer, Joe Johnson, Harry Clifton, Ron Kraemer, Bob Hogan, Joe Kagan, Howard Bowers, Jesse Coulter, Stan Colby, George Snell, J.R. McIlroy, Phil Benefiel, Herbert Knapp, Stewart Boone, Donna Bernhardt, and Ray Sager.

The meeting was called to order by president John Vasa.

Executive director Donna Bernhardt had the roll call of directors.

President Vasa distributed a president's report:

"It has been an eventful year for the association. We have been saddened by the deaths of Del Stumpff, sergeant at arms, and Vern Swanson, vice president. We acknowledge the great loss of these tireless, selfless, and loyal workers for the association.

"I have appointed two sergeants at arms to replace Mr. Stumpff. My purpose of appointing two members is twofold. At our age, who knows? And, we actually need two people for color bearers. I have appointed Jesse Coulter and Howard Bowers to this position. Both men were members of Company D, 394th Infantry, and also worked together in combat.

"In furtherance of the Mehus proposal concerning microfilming the Checkerboard, I have appointed Bill Meyer as chairman of a committee to look into this matter.

"We have no successor for the office of president at this time, due to the death of our vice president, Vern Swanson. Accordingly, I have appointed a nominating committee to solicit nominations for the following offices: president, vice president, and two directors. I have named J.R. McIlroy, Harry Clifton, and Glenn Bronson to this committee.

"The Executive Committee made a decision concerning a supplemental appropriate of travel expenses for the Diggers. The appropriation was approved.

"I see some clouds on the horizon for the future of the association. Old age is starting to get to us. This past year along, approximately 300 members and associates did not pay their dues before the end of the year. I believe that these figures will continue to increase. Our planning committee has its work cut out for them to decide what course of action to recommend for the future of the association.

"I thank all the officers and directors for their help and patience with me during the past year. I especially thank Donna Bernhardt for her cheerful and invaluable advice during the past year."

John J. Vasa, President

McIlroy gave the treasurer's report, stating the organization had $128,300 in checking accounts and certificates of deposit.

Bernhardt presented the membership report, saying there are 1,970 current members including 142 widows and 211 associates. There were 53 new members for the year and 75 listed in "Taps."

Bernhardt also gave the report on the San Antonio convention, reporting approximately 598 in attendance and a loss of $14,767. She said the loss was attributed to audio-visual charges, piano rental, wheelchair rentals, stringent fees in the hospitality room, and the free taco night.

A report for the Little Rock convention revealed approximately 380 registrations.

McIlroy said the planning committee had met and recommendations included continuing with annual conventions until the attendance reaches 50 veterans. He also suggested situating the convention in one location following the 2007 Washington convention. He also said the committee recommended publishing the membership roster every other year in the Checkerboard, instead of yearly.

Vasa said the planning committee would meet again at the Washington convention.

Under old business, Bernhardt said the plastic membership cards approved at the San Antonio convention had been ordered and received. Instead of making a separate mailing, they will be mailed with the dues notices later in the year. Those who attended the Little Rock convention received theirs with their convention materials.

Checkerboard microfilm for major libraries was discussed. Bill Meyer said, "Microfilm is like riding a dead horse. Nobody uses microfilm."

A motion was made by Ron Kraemer to approve four copies of microfilm for distribution to the 99th Archives, the National Archives, the Library of Congress, and the 99th Regional Readiness Command. The motion was seconded by Stan Colby and approved.

New business

A resolution was prepared in memory of deceased vice president Vern Swanson. (It is included elsewhere in this issue.)

Glenn Bronson asked about laying a wreath on Dec. 16 at the Krinkelt monument. He said Hans Wijers had offered to lay the wreath. Discussion followed about asking the Diggers to lay the wreath.

"The Diggers have done it in the past. I'm sure they'd be glad to do it again," Meyer said.

A motion was made by Glenn Bronson to appropriate up to $100 for a wreath at Krinkelt. The motion was approved.

Meyer suggested the association purchase computer equipment for keeping the mailing list and other records. Right now, the association records are kept on a computer at Meyer's newspaper office in Marion KS. Meyer moved, Kraemer seconded, and the board approved an expenditure of up to $1,500 for computer equipment.

Some discussion followed regarding the authorization of expenses for the association. It was suggested pre-authorization to spend association or convention funds come from the treasurer or executive director. After a lengthy discussion, it was decided to leave the authorization of convention expenses at the discretion of the executive director.

A motion was made by Kraemer and seconded by Joe Kagan to increase the executive director's salary to $9,600 per year. The motion was approved and will become effective at the beginning of the fiscal year, July 1, 2006.

Jesse Coulter and Howard Bowers were introduced as the new sergeants at arms.

The board expressed appreciation to retiring board members, Kraemer and George Snell.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:45 p.m.