RFPB Fellows Society
2021 Annual Meeting at NGAUS
13 December 2021
Robert Green, Acting President
Paul Bergson, Board Member At-Large
Al Zapanta, Member
Julie Small, Member
Larry Taylor, Board Member At-Large
Raymond Rees, Member
George Rubesha, Treasurer
Acting President Bobby Green opened the meeting held at NGAUS with all in attendance reviewing the meeting minutes of the teleconference meeting held on 9 September 2020. The minutes were approved.
Bobby mentioned the By-laws quorum requirements for holding a meeting and asked if we had a quorum. George Rubesha responded by stating the Fellows had 13 paid members and the 7 members present had paid their FY2021 annual dues and therefore we had a quorum for the meeting.
The meeting began with Al Zapanta providing a photo of him and Terry O’Connell for the historical record.
Citizen Patriot Award Committee Chair Paul Bergson brought up the Citizen Patriot Award (CPA) nomination process and recommended the Reserve Chiefs be involved. Al expressed the importance of keeping the Reserve Chiefs involved so they will stay interested in the CPA and their own history. He added that the Individual CPA has been more of a political selection whereas the Unit CPA has been based on past and present contributions.
Bobby read the CPA section of the Fellows By-laws and recommended we follow them as written.
Bobby gave a quick review of the Fellows recent annual meetings, stating the last time the CPA was presented in conjunction with the RFPB annual meeting was in 2017. The last Fellows annual meeting was in 2018. There were no CPA nominations or awards presented in 2018 and 2019. The Fellows last formal meeting was via teleconference on 9 September 2020.
Bobby further discussed the RFPB Fellows Society elections. The last formal elections were held in 2017. Since then, Rich Wightman resigned as the RFPB Fellows Society President due to health reasons, Jimmy Stewart left the RFPB Fellows Society due to a potential conflict of interest, and Julie Small resigned as Treasurer due to professional and family reasons.
Bobby mentioned the RFPB has been authorized by the SECDEF to be reconstituted and should be able to hold an annual meeting by September 2022. Larry Taylor stated out of 43 advisory boards, about 1/3 have been authorized to be reconstituted.
Paul recommended we send out an email to our members when the RFPB has a new Chairman; reminding our members the annual dues are $20. Members will likely re-engage with the Fellows once the RFPB is again fully functional.
Elections: Bobby stated he was willing to continue to serve as an elected President but recommended we find a President who is fully retired and who lives in the D.C. area to maintain a closer relationship with the RFPB. Bobby brought up the idea of returning the Fellows Board to 5 positions, stating a 9-member Board is simply too many positions. He recommended we return to the Board composition as stated in our original By-laws.
The motion was made for a membership vote at the next annual meeting to return the Fellows Board composition as originally written in the By-laws. The motion was seconded and approved by a unanimous vote of all those present.
Bobby Green was nominated as President.
Larry Taylor was nominated as Vice-President.
George Rubesha was nominated as Secretary.
Paul Bergson was nominated as a Board member At-large.
Gus Hargett was nominated as a Board member At-large.
A quorum vote was taken for all nominees of the respective Fellows Board positions and unanimously approved.
Julie stated the RFPB Fellows Society membership should continue to receive the RFPB Weekly Update and that the RFPB Fellows Society could stay involved with the RFPB Staff via Zoom. Julie pointed out the advantages of being a member and that adding a Zoom capability should promote easier access to RFPB Fellow Society proceedings, due to health or pandemic considerations.
Paul made the motion to rename the CPA award to the John O. Marsh Award. Paul gave a quick summary of John O. Marsh service in Congress, Vietnam, and the Cabinet. Discussing the motion, Al gave a short history review of why the CPA is presented with the President Truman bust, due to the fact that Truman was responsible for the creation of what is today the RFPB. The conversation resulted with a vote to keep the existing CPA name. There was a compromise possibility of creating a new CPA award for Leadership which would be named after John O. Marsh.
George brought up the idea from the last annual meeting of the Fellows holding an event other than the CPA. Al added that his donation several years ago was for the Fellows to hold two seminar type events. One event was held at the ROA HQ in 2017 and that another, yet to be determined, could be held at ROA or NGAUS. Julie suggested we could tap into the NGAUS annual meeting for that remaining event.
George suggested we go back to presenting the CPA at the RFPB Annual Dinner, as it was done when the RFPB still had an Annual Dinner. Bobby recommended that the concept of the RFPB again holding an Annual Dinner and CPA presentation ceremony was something to be discussed with the RFPB Mil Exec in the future.
The meeting was adjourned for luncheon and the scheduled CPA Awards Ceremony at 1:00 PM.