Summer is well underway, and the world continues to change faster than I can adjust. That includes your Gentrain Society. The past 15 months of isolation are coming to an end; a new version of Gentrain must emerge from the past. Your responses to the recent survey about future activities include many suggestions for our future. Our challenge now is to shape a new version of Gentrain that blends our traditional activities with new and innovative initiatives. All this brings me to the focus of this column: Service to Gentrain.
Like any healthy organization, the Society thrives on the active participation of you, our members. This is especially true for us, because we have very few resources at our disposal, other than the voluntary service of our members. Members are a great source of fresh ideas, inspiration, and insight into the vast spectrum of issues that are important to many of us. But great ideas are not enough. They generally require considerable time and energy to flesh out and implement. The varied talents of our members make important contributions to this effort.
Please do not think that serving the Society is a burden. It provides opportunities to become better acquainted with each other and to develop new skills. Like any other job well done, a successful project brings satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment. In many cases, I find that the bottom line is the fun that I have in the process.
As the summer unfolds there is plenty to do. Perhaps the most fundamental is to participate in our election cycle for the 2021-2022 year. A paper ballot and instructions for electronic voting are included elsewhere in this issue of the Conductor. Our Board meetings are open to all members of the Society. If you would like an invitation to the Zoom meeting, send email to email@example.com.
We must balance the strengths we derive from long-term service with the advantages of fresh ideas. Some long-time volunteers, including our Treasurer, Webmaster, and MPC Foundation Liaison, are ready to move on to other things. Our Bylaws prohibit me from serving as your President beyond August 2022. We need to build an experience base from which to replace them.
Our standing and ad hoc committees welcome volunteers to help implement projects including a new Faculty Support Program, procedures and priorities for allocating funds from the Esselstyn bequest, reinvention of Wednesday Lectures, lobbying the MPC Bond Oversight Committee, and individual special events.
If you are interested in serving the Gentrain Society in these or other ways, please contact any Board member. Contact information may be found on our website, www.gentrain.org (top of the page, "Contact Us") or on the back page of the Conductor. We hope to hear from you.
Mary Alice Rennick, President
(Why not fill out our membership application and join us now!)