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Fw: National President's Message - November 20, 2009

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  • Phelps Hobart
    Navy League President s Message ... From: Dan B. Branch, Jr. To: nlsac@cwo.com Sent: Friday, November 20, 2009 7:14 AM Subject: National President s Message -
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 20, 2009
      Navy League President's Message
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Friday, November 20, 2009 7:14 AM
      Subject: National President's Message - November 20, 2009

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                                                                                                                                  November 20, 2009
      Dear Fellow Navy Leaguers, 
      As we begin another chapter in our proud 107-year history, it is an honor for me as the 45th National President to take the helm as we move forward together during a period of challenge and opportunity.
      This message is the first of regular e mails to the membership at-large. I think it is important that you are kept informed regularly about what our Navy League “family” is doing.  And I want to regularly share what is going well, our best practices, and what councils and members are doing in the field in support of the mission.  In turn, I would like all of our members to keep the leadership team updated with similar kinds of information.  We have outstanding individuals who are part of the Navy League team.  Their names and areas of responsibilities are listed on the national website at http://www.navyleague.org/about_us/national_officers.php.  I encourage you to get to know them and to work with them.  The headquarters staff is organized to assist you day to day in support of our mission. 
      For this message, I will highlight a few things and make you aware of the areas I plan to emphasize over the next two years:
      Our Staff:  We are fortunate to have a professional staff providing us excellent support. They did a great job at the October, 2009 Corpus Christi convention and I am proud of their efforts. Please take time to thank them for their hard work and dedication for the many events they handle throughout the year.  The new Executive Director joined the staff on November 19, 2009.  Jeffrey K. Sapp is a retired naval officer who commanded surface ships during his 30 year career.  He also was an All American football player at the Naval Academy graduating in 1977.  I know he is eager to get settled in the job and to get to know our members.  He can be reached at 703-312-1550 or jsapp@....
      A sample of great work in the field …:  So many of our Councils are doing phenomenal work in the field everyday to support our men and women of the sea services and their families.  I will mention a few here, and I would like to do this regularly in future messages.    
      San Diego Council:  A superb job on the commissioning of USS Makin Island (LHD 8) on Oct. 24, 2009.  Visit their website for photo highlights.  Bravo Zulu for a job well done!
      New York Council:  Another superb job on one of the most highly publicized navy ship commissionings – USS New York (LPD 21) Nov. 7, 2009.  I had the privilege of attending this inspiring and wonderful ceremony.  And amidst the planning for the commissioning, the council hosted the very successful Navy League Conference-Terrorism, Prevent, React and Recover on Oct. 28, 2009.  Congratulations and Well Done to commissioning committee co-chairman Bob Ravitz, his commissioning team members, and to everyone involved in both events.
      Puerto Vallarta Council:  It’s that time of year again when the Council rolls out the carpet to support the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots campaign.  If there is ever a Council that works this program like a well-oiled machine, Puerto Vallarta is the one. 
      Central Jersey Council:  Central Jersey has begun its Angel Toy Program where members collect and wrap toys for the children of service members at Naval Weapons Station Earle as well as service members assigned to all the Coast Guard cutters, shore commands and air stations in Coast Guard Sector New York.  This is no small task and it takes big hearts.
      European Region Councils: The European Region held another very successful region meeting in September, and the Madrid Council hosted a dynamic conference commemorating the 60th Anniversary of NATO and the 10th Anniversary of NATO Headquarters in Madrid.  The overseas Councils have some unique challenges but they are doing a stellar job in finding their niche. You can read more about the events in the December issue of SEAPOWER.  Visit the Madrid Council’s photo album of the NATO conference if you can.
      Many Councils sponsored and hosted Navy and Marine Corps Birthday Balls recently and they are thanked for their involvement.  There were, as well, many monthly and quarterly recognition ceremonies for outstanding service members and Naval Sea Cadets.  I know our service members and cadets appreciate the recognition and celebration of their service.
      Major Thrusts:  As I mentioned at the October Convention, the major thrusts I am pursuing are our Financial Health, Education, and Communications. These will be the areas of emphasis on which I will focus during my tenure.  I will elaborate on each in more detail in the months to follow and I will periodically share with you our progress in each area.
                  Financial HealthWe’ve lived through tough times financially for the past several years and the current economic market continues to present challenges. Fortunately I think, we are beginning to turn the corner and starting to see financial improvement.  But we will continue to be prudent in our expenditures, mindful of our resources, and efficient in program execution.  Since the financial “seas” are still unpredictable, we must continue to operate with a watchful and conservative mindset.  Financial health subsets are Membership and Fundraising.  These are fertile areas for us and I welcome everyone’s input for how to move forward here.  We have experienced declining membership for over 8 years to 53,400 active members.  While there is strength in numbers, our true strength lies in consistent, effective activism.  It is not only important to recruit and retain our members to support our mission financially, but it is equally important to recruit people who are going to be actively involved in executing the mission and being passionate and committed about what we do. So I would ask all of us to put on our marketing hats and to regularly sign-up new members and work to retain more of our members. 
                  CommunicationsThe subsets are Internal and External communications.  Good organizations effectively and successfully operate with robust communications.  Lets all examine our communications with our members.  The days when organizations rely on costly snail mail are quickly coming to an end.  It is too expensive and slow to have that as the primary delivery method.  I will lead the charge by using more electronic messaging; but, I do need your assistance.  Today, less than half of our members have email addresses on file in our database.  Please pass the word on to your fellow members to provide the membership team at headquarters current email addresses.  Please also forward or separately provide this email as widely as possible to all members.
                   Education:  The subsets are Legislative Affairs and Public Education.  Since I have been personally involved in Legislative Affairs for five years, I know first hand how important it is to brief our Senators and Representatives on the need for sufficient funding to have strong and effective sea services.  Our message to build the Navy fleet to 313 ships continues, requiring several times more annual funding than has been provided by congress in recent years.  If you would like to join the team briefing members of congress, contact Legislative Committee Chairman Jim Bras at jimbras@....  Similarly, we need to get our message to the American public through letters to the editor, Op-Ed pieces, and speaking engagements with civic groups.  If you would like to get involved, contact Vice President Doug Crawford at Doug@....
      Next week our nation celebrates the great American holiday - Thanksgiving.  It will be a time when families like mine and yours, here and abroad, stop to reflect and give thanks for the blessings that we too often take for granted.  Tens of thousands of our brave sea services men and women will be separated from their families during this and the upcoming holiday season as our nation continues the fight in Iraq and Afghanistan against global terrorism.  Thousands more who are home and elsewhere in the world “standing the watch” for peace and providing humanitarian assistance around the globe.  Please remember them and their families as you give thanks for your personal and family blessings. We continue to benefit from their unselfish sacrifices to maintain the freedoms and security of this great nation.
      Thank you for participating in, and actively supporting the Navy League of the United States. Our focus will continue to be on our mission. 
      With best regards and Happy Thanksgiving,
      Dan Branch
      Daniel B. Branch, Jr.
      National President
      Navy League of the United States
      Navy League of the United States

      This message was sent from Dan B. Branch, Jr. to nlsac@.... It was sent from: Navy League of the United States, 2300 Wilson Blvd. Ste. 200, Arlington, VA 22201.


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