Tuesday, September 18, 2007

First ISEA Retired Conference Held in Cedar Rapids

The first ever ISEA Retired Conference was held today in Cedar Rapids. Nearly 60 people gathered from eastern Iowa to hear from leaders and staff and to continue to work for Team ISEA's goals on behalf the profession they dedicated their entire careers--education. Pictured at left are the great dedicated staff that work side-by-side our ISEA Retired Standing Committee and worked behind the scenes to make the conference a success....(seated) Sheryl Ballard, Director of Field Services and (standing) Joann Mackin, ISEA Advocacy Specialist.

ISEA-R members received a letter seven weeks ago inviting them to join us at one of two locations (Cedar Rapids on the 18th or Carroll on the 20th) for our first ever retired conference. All this was possible because of a modest grant we secured from NEA. Conference attendees had to only pay a minimal fee to help cover the cost of lunch.

I had the honor of opening the conference with the "Welcome". I thanked our ISEA-R members for making the choice to remain active in the education profession that they dedicated their entire careers to. I challenged them to continue to work with us on our team goals, Team ISEA, in: 1) building membership, 2) working to implement education legislation from the 2007 General Assembly, and 3) work to make needed changes to the so called No Child Left Behind Law.

ISEA-R members had the opportunity to reconnect with longtime association friends as well as build new acquaintances.

ISEA Retired Standing Committee Chair Barb Cunningham (on the right) from Shenandoah followed my welcome with introductions. Pictured with Barb is ISEA Executive Director Jan Reinicke (on the left).

NEA Member Benefits partners were key to the conference. Josh Hinrichs of A+ Auto and Home Insurance Programs made a brief presentation followed by a great question and answer session. I know I have heard numerous presentations from our partner/vendors, but until you personally are impacted...we don't pay close attention. It was a great "refresher"!

(L) ISEA-R members Pam Schmidt of NEIEU (on left) and Melva Lewis of Mississippi Bend UniServ Unit were happy to reconnect!
(R) Retired ISEA Associate Executive Director Lowell Dauenbaugh who wrote the grant application to NEA for the Retired Conference funding visits with NEA Political Action Specialist Mary Jane Cobb.
Other partners that presented were Clark Byers (left) from Delta Dental and Mary Grace Lee (right) NEA Member Benefits. Mary Grace's message was "What you would like your loved ones to know".
Following lunch on Tuesday Gene Craig, NEA-Retired Board of Directors, Secretary from Illinois shared the structure of NEA-R with our members.

ISEA Lobbyist (at right) Brad Hudson first shared the importance our ISEA-R members can have on the upcoming Iowa Caucuses by having their voices heard. Brad shared with us the education platforms of both the Iowa Republican Party and the Iowa Democratic Party. Members saw that party platforms don't truly reflect their professional goals...providing great public schools for all children. Brad also led a discussion about IPERS.
Mary Jane Cobb of Team NEA led a discussion on the impact we all can have in the presidential candidate forums on the reauthorization of the so called No Child Left Behind Law.

1 comment:

Melva said...

The first ever retired conference was a great beginning. Attendees heard information about NEA-R, how to an informed caucus goer, IPERS, insurance, will and estate matters, and using their talents to further ISEA/NEA goals. There was time to greet old friends and meet new ones...and the lunch was delicious, especially the dessert. Thanks Joann and Sheryl for all you did to make this happen. Thanks Lowell for writing the grant and thanks Barb for planting the seeds to grow the final project.