LAISSEZ LES BONS TEMPS ROULER (Let the Good Times Roll)! The Florida State Elks Association (FSEA) is in full stride. Our membership team is at full speed, set for a landmark year. We will need each of you to finish the year strong. Bring your friends into your lodge and help them become members. It is exciting to see our order with more than 67,200 new members year to date and thousands awaiting initiation. Be Loud, Be Proud and Be Visible. You are the FSEA.
Our new Grand Lodge programs are performing as designed to assist lodges in effective operations. The new billing system is efficient and cost-saving and helps reduce our number of delinquent members. The financial reporting system (FRS) is helping the lodges and District Deputies circumvent potential financial issues. Take advantage and put them to work. Our Elks National Foundation has increased its grants programs to allow you to make people’s lives better. It is great to be an Elk.
Your state staff is a dedicated group working to support you and your lodge and helping the FSEA be the best in our order. Nick Miller, Florida Elks Youth Camp Director, and his staff hosted a full summer of youth and provided them with a lifetime of great memories. Colleen Gallant, Director of Florida Elks Children’s Therapy Services, and her staff are now treating more than 600 children a week. Jen Scott, Event Services Manager, is managing events in the Smith Center and doing an excellent job. Dan Masi, Development Director, is promoting the FSEA throughout the state, including the annual Autism Gala. Rachael King, Florida Elks Magazine Editor, continues to set a higher level of product at every printing. Supporting and directing all of the staff is our COO/State Secretary, Carl Seibert, and his staff in the headquarters office. He continues to keep a close eye on details. Wow, what a talented team. Show your thanks when you see them or drop them a note.
It was nice to see so many of you in St. Petersburg at our midyear convention. It was a very nice event. Your next opportunity to come learn and visit with friends is at our February quarterly meeting. We will be hosting our Grand Exalted Ruler, Bruce Hidley, and first lady Helen. They are a great couple to be around and exemplars of ambassadors. Come join the fun. We are planning some special entertainment for Friday night. Don’t miss it. Please mark your calendar to come to beautiful Minneapolis in July for our national convention.
State Co-sponsor Bob Grafton, PNP and Sandra and I hope your holidays were merry and that your new year is the best ever for you and your family. May God bless all of us, our nation and our world.
Michael F. Smith, PNP
Florida State Elks Association