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American Mensa Region 10

RVC Column


February 2018

The American Mensa Committee (AMC) met via teleconference on January 16. This brief meeting involved the approval of the minutes of the December 2 AMC Meeting (now posted online), the official appointment of the Chair for the Community Services Committee (yours truly), the Transition Committee's report regarding a new Executive Director, and a vote on a motion to clarify the Duties, Responsibilities, and Authority of Regional Vice Chairmen for inclusion in the ASIEs (Appendix 26). This is the topic I mentioned in my column last month, and I hope it will be useful information for anyone interested in running for the position in the future, as I have heard many amusing misconceptions about what the RVC's role actually is.

The details of the agenda for this meeting are available on the national website at under the dropdown 2018-01-16 -- Teleconference.  The next in-person meeting of the AMC will be in Denver, CO on March 3, 2018. The agenda will be posted online at the link above on February 16.

CultureQuest registration opened on January 16, and there's still time for your Local Group to field a team (or three)! Last year Central Florida Mensa and Tampa Bay Mensa both took money prizes, and maybe this year it's your turn. The deadline for registration is March 31, and remember, all members of your team(s) must also have renewed by that date! Rules and registration are at

Does your Local Group have a great Gifted Youth Coordinator? Nominations for Gifted Youth Coordinator of the Year are due on February 20. Information on this program is available at

And finally, with National Volunteer Week (Mensa Cares!) coming up on April 15-22, I'm starting to hear groups coming up with different programs they would like to create, from beach and road and park cleanup to library support to group home visits and other projects. Besides being a good way to give to your local communities, it's also great visibility and promotion for your local group. I'd love to year what kind of creative ideas you could come up with! You're Mensa -- and you're Brilliant!

Until next month (or until I see you online),

Thomas George Thomas
Twitter: @FardleBear

January 2018

The American Mensa Committee (AMC) met on December 2 to discuss several matters, including the Transition Committee's progress in seeking a new Executive Director to replace Pam Donahoo, as I'd mentioned in last month's column. After presenting their report, the AMC thanked them for their work so far and asked them to continue with their work. In the meantime, Trevor Mitchell, AML's Director of Membership and Strategy, was named Acting Executive Director.

Other appointments made at the meeting included Palm Beach Area Mensa member (and former AMC Chair) Elissa Rudolph as the AML Advocate, and Allison Reeves will be joining Palm Beach Area Mensa member Brian Reeves as Co-Chair of the 2019 Annual Gathering (AG) Committee.

The usual Treasurer and Executive Director reports were presented, along with the results of the Local Group Leadership Survey and the launch of Mensa Connect (the Higher Logic project). These reports and more are available on the national website at under the dropdown 2017-12-02 -- Houston, TX.

The next in-person meeting of the AMC will be in Denver, CO on March 3, 2018, with a teleconference meeting scheduled before then on January 16, 2018. The agenda for the teleconference has not been set, but will be posted online at the link above on January 6.

On another topic, the AMC has been discussing the role of the RVCs (Regional Vice Chairmen), given the split duties we perform. In addition to acting as members of the Board of Directors for American Mensa along with the five nationally-elected officers, and serving as voting members on various national committees, we also have particular duties to the Local Groups of our regions that go beyond the fiduciary responsibilities for American Mensa. However, some expectations, both from the national and local point of view, are contradictory. While there is documentation that defines our role as "CEO of the Region", this nevertheless carries with it limited authority. So when I've been asked to intervene in some local group issues over the past few months, there wasn't much that I could do other than to listen to the issue being presented and refer the involved parties to documentation on the website (primarily dispute resolution). The RVCs are working through the existing ASIEs and guidebooks to come up with a consolidated job description so that it will be clearer to future RVCs (and local members) what the real expectations should be.

Finally, I mentioned the Community Services Committee in my column last month, and I have recently been appointed Chair of that Committee. While there are projects going on year-round, the big focus is Mensa Cares!, a project that coincides with National Volunteer Week. This year those dates are April 15-21. Many of our members have mentioned in surveys that this was something they wanted Mensa to be involved in, and the response to last year's efforts was enthusiastic. More information will be forthcoming as the Committee starts planning over the next few weeks.

Until next month (or until I see you online),

Thomas George Thomas
Twitter: @FardleBear

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