Q and A about the upcoming convention

Western Fraternal Life building

Western Fraternal Life building

Q: What is the National Convention?
A: The National Convention is Western Fraternal Life’s legislative and governing body. Delegates are elected by members from each lodge. At the Convention, delegates elect the Board of Directors and the Association President. They also consider and vote on proposals for changes to the bylaws and donations from the Association.

Q: When is the National Convention Held?

A: The National Convention is held every four years. The next convention will be July 23-July 24, 2015 at the Mariott Hotel in Cedar Rapids, IA.

Q: Who can be a Delegate?
A: Any member 16 years or older in good standing both at the time of the election and at the time of service. Member delegates and alternates are elected by the lodge and should have attended at least four meetings per year and be active participants in the lodge.
Q: How are Delegates chosen?
A: Each lodge is entitled to one delegate and alternate for every one hundred (100) members, rounded to the nearest 100. (For example, a lodge with 231 delegates would get two delegates and two alternates. A lodge with 460 members would get five delegates and five alternates.) Any member in good standing is entitled to be voted on and elected. To encourage young members to become actively involved, each lodge will be granted one additional delegate if that additional delegate is age 40 or under at the time of election. Lodges vote for delegates and alternates between November 1 and April 1 in the twelve month period preceding the Convention. Results of the election must be received by the Association no later than April 15.
Q: What are the responsibilities of the delegates?
A: The main job is to understand the issues and to know who is running for election. Since you are representing the lodge, you need to find out how members feel about the issues and who the majority would vote for. Once at the convention, you should be present for all votes.
Q: If I am a delegate for my lodge, will I have to pay for travel, hotel, meals, and registration expenses?
A: The delegate will receive a set travel allowance and a set hotel allowance not to exceed three nights from the Association. Most meals will be provided during the Convention. Your lodge may vote to cover the cost of the difference for the hotel, meals, or travel expenses not covered. There will be a registration fee for each delegate that is either covered by the lodge or the member delegate. Please check with your lodge to find out if money has been or will be set aside for such expenses.
Q: Can guests be a part of the convention?
A: Yes, there is a special place where paid guests can register and watch the proceedings; however they are not allowed to address the floor or vote. Paid guests will be able to receive the same meal package as the group.
Q: Who should I contact with questions?
A: Contact the Association’s Administrative Assistant Sandi Seaver through our toll free telephone: (877) 935-2467 or e-mail at sseaver@wflains.org.

Generations

Denmark 108

This entry is a reproduction of a Kelsey’s Korner article that was first published in the June 2013 Fraternal Herald.

Here is something interesting to think about: wfla’s long history (116 years and counting!) means that right now is not the first time we have run into generational differences. This is a quote from one of our Presidents, “We need to make greater progress in reviving all lodge activities so that greater numbers of members will attend our meetings where in a friendly atmosphere they may enjoy proper social contact with their fellowmen.” What decade do you think that sentence was written? If you said 1950, you would be correct. President John Rompotl said this in his annual address to the members in the Fraternal Herald in January 1956.

It is clear that getting new members and maintaining the lodge system is something wfla has always strived to do, even 60 years ago. The dedication of our members and agents is what has made this organization survive and thrive for so many years. Because of our members, we have survived! Those who are in leadership positions now, many in their 70’s, 80’s, or even 90’s, were young in the 1950’s when the article was written. Something drove those members to come to the meetings. It was the commonality, the bonds of community and the fraternalism we have always provided. Today, we can offer the same thing, but we need to package it differently to appeal to different generations. Looking to offer family fun, community involvement, and leadership opportunities are the same values as before, but using words the younger generations ‘get.’ If you need more ideas about how to get young members involved, contact Kelsey Logan at klogan@wflains.org.