Board Meeting Minutes January 15, 2016



Friday, January 15, 2016 – 10:00 am, URC102



Present: Bob Church, David Donovan, Bill Givens, Connie Horak, Mike Klineman, Richard Martin, Art Ochoa, Jo Ochoa, Howard Saperston, Harriet Servis, Donna Simmons, David Tool, Victor Webb

Absent: Janette Brown, Jeanne Church, Fred Dear, Sue Edwin, Sally Emerson, Linda Forman, Carole Gustin, Dixon Johnson, Leslie Pittman, Lynn Williams

Others Present:

Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 10:03 AM by President Mike Klineman.

Minutes: October 15, 2015 minutes were approved as amended, with one additional change. November 20, 2015 minutes were approved as amended. Final amended minutes are attached.


President/Mike Klineman:

  • The President called the meeting to “some semblance of order” and noted that several Board members were absent.       President Mike requested that at the end of the meeting, the Board discuss Staff Retirement Association (SRA ) issues in general, seeking both old and new ideas.

Finance/Dick Martin:

  • Treasurer’s report: Dick circulated a detailed financial analysis of all income and expenses for the current fiscal year, as of 1/13/2016. SRA finances are “in good shape!” with strong membership growth. The USC Credit Union accounts total $31,757.01, with $18,141.90 in the checking account (and several checks still to clear). The SRA share of the Endowment Account is $46,655.82 (annual earnings rate = 4.30%).
  • As of 1/13/2016 we had 311 renewals/new members for 2015-16 (plus 145 spouse members) with 18 2014 delinquents and 94 2015 delinquents. Five members renewed beyond 2016, and we have 174 Life Members. Non-renewal letters and/or phone calls have been made. Year to date for 2015-16 total funds received for dues, endowment and gifts are $12,637.00.
  • SRA has been assigned a new USC accountant, Daniel Good, who will handle our internal requisitions.
  • A list of January and February birthdays and anniversaries has been sent to Alice Donahue, our “Card Lady”. Our most sincere thanks to Alice for mailing these for SRA. A get-well card has been sent to Carole Gustin.

Vice President’s Report/Connie Horak:

  • This year’s Staff Retirement lunch is scheduled for Thursday, March 17, 2016. The contract has been submitted, with help from Todd Dickey’s office staff. The budget for 2016 will be $10,000 compared to $9,300 for last year. We will have an entrée salad and dessert.
  • Invitations are proofed and printed. With the help of Harriet Servis, the Retiree invitation will be folded and stuffed next week. Address labels for 2015 retirees (from Bob Scales) will be affixed before mailing early in February.
  • Items still underway included recruiting volunteers for the check-in table, preparing “goody bags” for the new retirees, telephoning new retirees and encouraging them to attend, ensuring that the cart is available for our members who cannot walk from the parking and updating SRA brochures.
  • Nominations are now open for the J. Tillman Hall award. Nomination forms are available on the web site. Dick Martin noted that he will be nominating Bob Scales. Board members were enthusiastic about the nomination.
  • A photographer has been hired.
  • Todd Dickey has confirmed his attendance.
  • Howard Saperston suggested that Board members (with identifying name tags) should sit interspersed among the new retirees. The Board concurred. (post hoc: Dick will have plastic name tags made for all the Board members.)

.RFA/Victor Marshand Webb:

  • The SRA thanks Bob Stallings for three (3) years of dedicated support as liaison between RFA and SRA. He has stepped down as RFA president. Victor Webb is attending this meeting as temporary RFA representative – until a new president is elected.
  • The next Sherry Hour will be held on February 19, 2016, the same day as our next SRA Board meeting. See the RFA web site for more information.
  • The RFA is working to implement new administrative support structures, now that the EC budget has been reduced. The Board is working with Bob Scales and John Casagrande to “go digital”.
  • RFA programs, such as Caldwell Scholars continue to do well.

Programs/Leslie Pittman and Hospitality/Donna Simmons:

  • A great time was had by all at the December 4, 2015 Holiday Party. Highlights presented to the Board include: Total attendance: 193 (SRA = 123, RFA = 42, all others = 28), with a no-show rate of about 9%. The final invoice (payment shared by SRA, RFA and EC) was $6,156. The SRA share (net of EC payment to Dr. Fuller) was $3,102.08. Parmer Fuller and his student musicians presented an original musical, to an enthusiastic audience.
  • Next year’s Holiday Party is tentatively scheduled for Friday, December 2, 2016. The Board voted approval of that date at this meeting.

Staff Assembly Report/David Donovan:

  • David Donovan has been reelected President of the Staff Assembly (SA) for the 2016 calendar year. The first meeting of the year was held successfully in the URC Fishbowl.
  • A new 1,200 space, six story parking structure will open on Monday January 18, 2016 at the Health Science Campus (HSC) at San Pablo and Valley. Hospital parking will now be only for patients and visitors.
  • Debby Fabanish presented a summary of changes to the USC retirement plans. The new plans will simplify the options, including an automated choice for employees who do not respond. After a two-month media blitz changes will be instituted. Companies will be reduced from 4 to 3 and plan options will be reduced from a bewildering 300 to a more comprehensible 60. These changes will also apply to retirees who have their retirement accounts with USC.
  • The SRA/Staff Assembly relationship has been working very well.

Staff, Student and Community Opportunities and Activities Committee/David Tool:

  • Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti has asked Neighborhood Councils to be more involved in community emergency preparedness. The North Area Neighborhood Development Council has established an Emergency Preparedness Committee (EP) with representatives from the neighborhood and USC. The EP Ham Radio Team will undergo two (2) more days of training. The USC Community Network for EP meetings are held the last Saturday of every month.
  • A Los Angeles Countywide Comprehensive Park and Recreation Assessment is being conducted. Neighborhood input on parks is essential. As it stands, many neighborhood residents, and even some of the schools don’t know what park programs are available.
  • Tool and a team from USC will participate in the annual homeless count, scheduled County wide for January 28, 2016 from 8:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m..

Membership Recruitment and Renewals/Open

  • See notes in Dick Martin’s Treasurer’s Report.

Internet/Web Site Content/Linda Forman:

  • President Mike and John Casagrande have talked about our web page.

Benefits and Resources/Howard Saperston:

  • Janette Brown and Howard Saperston have met and discussed reorganization of the Benefits and Resources Committee. The Committee will be inactive until reorganization is complete.

Special Events/Dick Martin and Bill Givens:

  • Details are still being finalized for the Los Angeles downtown theater tour with lunch at the newly renovated Clifton’s Cafeteria. A date will be announced soon. Publicity and reservations will be done by e-mail through the Emeriti Center’s (EC) system already in place. Possible dates in January and February are being investigated.
  • A tour of the Los Angeles Asia museum is being organized. Details will be available on the EC web site.
  • SRA has 50 tickets for the Spring Musical, A Little Night Music, April 2, 2016 at 2:30 pm in the Bing Theater. An email invite, along with postcards, will be sent shortly. Tickets are $8.00.
  • New suggestions include: A visit to the Broad Museum followed by lunch at the family style restaurant next door. A small-group visit to the early California arts collection at the Jonathon Club hosted by member Mary Lane and organized by Harriet Servis.

Emeriti Center/Janette Brown (absent, Mike Klineman presenting):

  • Janette can now make changes to the SRA web site. Send feedback and specific corrections to her.
  • Our four student assistants are rather limited in their time availability this semester and therefore Janette will be hiring a new student or two very soon. Meghan, Lauren, and Mayra will be graduating at the end of this term. Student workers are keeping track of room reservations at URC. They are housed in URC 106.
  • We will not have executive committee meetings in January or February due to the ACE conference next week and an encore conference in February. At both conferences, Janette will be talking about the valuable contributions that retirees make to their universities and communities. Thanks to many of you who will be hosting dine around on Sunday night for the ACE conference and who will be part of the conference on Monday and Tuesday. Janette will send you updates about what we learn and will be in communication with you about upcoming events that I’m trying to plan with our various campus partners.
  • So far on the docket:
    • A conversation with leaders from the various “the village” initiatives (aging in place) throughout the Los Angeles area in early February.
    • A book signing and presentation by Oliver Mayer on his big dog books for children on February 26 just prior to the visions and voices libraries event taking place later that afternoon.
    • A special physical therapy afternoon with multiple workshops conducted by USC PT Faculty and PhD students. Friday, March 18.
    • Dates to be determined: smart phone and iPad workshops
  • Thanks to Jerry Walker’s efforts, we will have Dagmar Halamka presenting a six part “Joy of Law” workshop at the Palos Verdes library starting at the end of January.
  • A number of our group are experiencing serious health issues and we are wishing them the very best. So many of you have come to the rescue over the past several months and we are extremely grateful and appreciative of your continued efforts to support the retiree community.

Emeriti College/Janette Brown:

Old Business:

  • None

New Business:

  • General discussion of SRA strategic and tactical directions: We need more retirees on the Board. Jo Ochoa sent two names to President Mike earlier. Harriet Servis circulated a sign-up sheet at the general meeting, and received some interest. Phone calls and invitations are being made. The Board voted to invite Steve Barnhart to Board membership. Mike Klineman will make the formal invitation. New retirees with recent active contacts on campus would be especially helpful. We will invite those who’ve indicated interest as visitors/observers at a Board meeting.

Future Meeting Dates:

  • February 19 – SRA Board Meeting
  • March 17 – Staff Retirees Lunch – Town and Gown
  • April 15 – SRA Board Meeting
  • May 20 – SRA Board Meeting
  • June TBD – General Meeting

Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 12:03 pm.

Recorded by Donna Simmons, transcribed by Linda K. Forman