History has always been an important part of our lives and the history of our organization is no different. We made history at the 47th Grand Lodge Convention with the important decisions lodge representatives made. Proposed law changes were brought before these members, along with education and presentations about the changes. All recommended changes were approved.
One major change was our official name. For more than 125 years, our official name has been Grand Lodge of the Order of the Sons of Hermann in the State of Texas. After regulatory filings are processed, our official name will be Hermann Sons Life. As has been written about in our member newspaper and in other blogs, Hermann Sons Life will provide a clearer representation of our organization.
The second major change regards the way we are governed. Our new form of governance includes an elected Board of Directors to provide strategic planning and fiduciary oversight and an appointed team of officers to oversee day-to-day operations. This more modern way of doing business will provide a framework for sustainability and be better suited to the expectations of regulators.
Delegates were asked to elect six members to the new Board of Directors. There were 13 very qualified candidates on the slate, which says a lot about the dedication and leadership of our members. The six elected were Mike Beam, Suzanne Hildebrand, David Noak, Stan Steiger, David Wolf and myself.
Being elected to this board meant so much to me and, when my name was read, I cannot tell you what I was feeling. This was such a special moment in my life. My mother always told me to work hard for what you want and good things will come your way. She was right, I have worked hard all my life and now I will work even harder to move Hermann Sons Life into the future.
Because of my desire to lead and serve our organization, I knew I wanted to serve as Chair of the Board. I am delighted to have been elected to this position and look forward to leading the Board and working as a team to make the best decisions for our organization.
One of the first decisions before the Board was hiring the President and CEO. This was an easy task - Allan “Buddy” Preuss. Then Buddy presented his slate of vice presidents and again this was an easy decision. The Board feels confident with these executive officers in place for the management of the company.
We now need to come together and continue the hard work of gaining new members and retaining current members. We have so much to share as an organization, which is why we want current members to benefit from the full value of their membership and why we want new members to experience what we have to offer.
So remember you are an important part of the team: invite all members who have not been attending meetings to come and hear about all we have to offer in Hermann Sons Life and ask what we need to do to keep them as members and to get their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to join. We are going to find the solutions and it will take all of us to do this.
Your Board of Directors is committed to the strategic development of our organization and we will be working hard for you. I am so looking forward to meeting more of you in the future and to attending meetings, dance recitals, parties, pin presentations and other activities around the state.