The gathering of 100+ members and guests of RPEN at our annual convention is drawing near! The convention opens Tuesday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. September 17 at the Fiesta Henderson Hotel/Casino/Resort, hosted this year by our Henderson Chapter led by Chapter President Mary Ella Holloway. A brief meeting of our Executive Committee kicks off the convention that afternoon with a slate of workshops being held most of the morning on Wednesday, September 18 followed by our first general session of our Board of Directors who’ll be considering a long list of bylaw changes and corrections including a proposed increase in our monthly dues to offset our monthly loss of 20-30 members who “age-out” of PERS or stop their membership for other reasons. But as our operational costs have risen substantially through the years, the continual loss of members without enough new members to off-set the monthly loss, we have no choice but to raise dues to cover our costs. RPEN, since its’ inception in 1976 has always operated on member dues alone. We are a 501 (c) (4) federally tax exempt organization. In our early years we had substantial member gains, but when the internet exploded in the late 90’s and continual advancements since then, information is only seconds away, rather than pre-1990’s when our quarterly newsletter was one of the only ways for our members to learn what was going on with NV PERS and PEBP. And so, we, like many other non-profit organizations, have really had to think out-of-the-box, and we need to keep looking for new ways to reach prospective members to alert them to the threats that will continue to come at NV PERS every legislative session. No one wants to see PERS, a leader among its’ peers, go from a “defined benefit” pension plan to some sort of “hybrid/401K” pension plan for new hires. If that were to ever happen, it could lead to a collapse of the plan thus leading to negative impacts potentially for those currently employed in the public sector as well as those new hires hoping to have a healthy retirement to look forward to. And so, this membership concern is something RPEN will be looking at in years to come, and it will take all of us to solve because there is no magic solution.
So there will be a lot of business to be done next month in Henderson, including a Legislative Panel Discussion Thursday morning moderated by our Legislative Advocate Marlene Lockard. It’s not all business though, as there will be some fun to be had as well. “Marriage Can Be Murder”, an interactive dinner show will be featured for our attendees Wednesday night, and our Thursday night Awards Banquet is another highlight.
Our convention will conclude Friday, September 20, with a memorial service conducted by our Las Vegas Chapter to remember those members lost since our September 2018 convention. In addition, the Henderson Chapter is planning a presentation to the Giving Life Ministries, an independent, non-denominational Christian Church in Henderson who seeks donations of non-perishable items, slightly used clothing, socks, bus passes etc. (including cash/check donations) to help those in need in the community they serve. Attendees at the convention who want to participate can bring these items with them. For more information on the Giving Life Ministries donations, please contact Mary Ella Holloway via email at firstname.lastname@example.org .”