January 2017 – MRTF President’s Message

Greetings to the entire “MRTA/MRTF Family”. CHRISTMAS will be over and we will be well into the NEW YEAR OF 2017 by the time you receive this edition of “MRTA In Motion”. The Missouri Retired Teachers Foundation Board of Directors would like to wish everyone a HAPPY, HEALTHY, AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR.

I would like to begin by saying this will be my last article as Foundation Board President. I stepped down as President of the MRTF Board, Board Member, and MRTA Board Member on December 13, 2016. Please allow me a few moments to talk about this decision. I retired from the Nevada R-5 School System in 1999, joined the Vernon County Retired Educators in Nevada, and joined MRTA. Gail and I attended a few MRTA State Meetings over 4-5 years. These meetings were a wonderful learning experience as to what MRTA was all about and the progress being made for retired educators across the state. What a pleasure it was to watch the leadership of Rosemary Bane, Jane Fullerton, Ron Marsch, Fred Price, Veronica Hambacker, Eleanor Howell, Larry Beal, Maggie Elder, Jan Powers, Garland Hamilton, Owen Jackson, Betty Beal, Ron Schlimme, Don Wyss, and SO MANY MORE over those years. Remember it was 2003 that the MRTA Board of Directors hired the first full-time Executive Director, Jim Kreider. ONE OF THE BEST DECISIONS MADE SINCE I RETIRED, IF NOT THE BEST, WAS IN 2005. I decided to try and get involved at the leadership level with MRTA. (2006-Region 6 VP)(2010-MRTA State President)(2011-Foundation Board member)(2012-Foundation Board President).

I mentioned this involvement for one simple reason. MRTA/MRTF gave Gail and me the opportunity to drive many miles across the state—see places we had never seen—make many trips to Jefferson City—attend many MRTA Region meetings on behalf of MRTA and MRTF—and attend many Local Unit meetings. Here is the best part. THE ACQUAINTANCES AND FRIENDSHIPS MADE HAVE TRULY BEEN A BLESSING TO BOTH OF US. WHAT A WONDERFUL AND FANTASTIC GROUP OF PEOPLE RETIRED EDUCATORS ARE IN THE STATE OF MISSOURI.

A few remarks about the Missouri Retired Teachers Foundation (MRTF). First, A BIG THANK YOU to the Office Staff and Jim Kreider for their help over the years, Second, A BIG THANK YOU to the Foundation Board of Directors for their support of Foundation activities the past several years. Third, A BIG THANK YOU to the MRTA Family across the state for their financial support of Foundation activities (the Office Facility, the Elevator, Silent Auction, Year End Letters, and the Classroom Grant Program). Hats off to everyone who has given to these efforts. Fourth, A BIG THANK YOU to KAREN MILLER and JACK POSTON for stepping up to Leadership positions on the Foundation Board of Directors. The Foundation Board and Leadership will be in very good hands. Karen will do a super job as Foundation President and Jack as Vice President. Fifth, AGAIN THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH AND PLEASE CONTINUE TO SUPPORT the fundraising activities of the Foundation. The Classroom Grant Program is growing in awareness and popularity across the state. The program does so much good for teachers and hundreds of students across the state. The program will also pay huge benefits to MRTA in membership for years to come.

Finally, it is time to step down and for Gail and me to direct our full time attention to other things. I will continue to support MRTA/MRTF to the fullest and LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING EVERYONE IN THE FUTURE at Annual Meetings. REMEMBER, the battle will continue and it will take all of us to fight the “Bad Folks” in the state legislature.



Walter Cochran
MRTF President

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