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September Newsletter

In this Edition

  • Welcome from the President

  • Update from the Executive Director

  • ORTA Regional Meetings

  • AMBA Webinar - New September Session

Message from the President

Greeting ORTA members, Many people celebrate January 1st as the start of a new year, making resolutions of various kinds to make changes in their life, ostensibly to better their life. However, having spent 23 years as a student and 35 as a teacher it is no wonder that I view September, with the start of the new school year, as the true “New Year’s.” In fact, one of the things I truly loved about teaching, and looked forward to, with the start of each new school year, that feeling of starting anew, with a clean slate, so to speak.

Each new school year brought a feeling of new beginnings, plans, initiatives, colleagues and students, and opportunities to grow and excel. Another chance to get it right. With that being said, we have a new opportunity to start a new chapter in our organization’s 75 year history, in our quest to serve current and future retirees. The first step in making any change is critical reflection and assessment. A look at what we are doing, why we are doing, how we are doing it, and at how well we are doing what we do. As the old saying goes, “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”


Message from the Executive Director

STRS News The STRS board will meet on September 15 this month. Please note this will be the first meeting for the ORTA endorsed candidates that won seats in May of this year. We hope that the new makeup of the board will bring about change at our retirement system. Obviously, the changes will be incremental. The new board members will have to earn the respect of any open-minded board members before their full impact will be materialized. It is good to know that Wade Steen and Rudy Fichtenbaum will not be ‘lone voices’ in the wilderness! Some things that I hope will be discussed in greater detail: Recent Emphasis on Letters to the Editor ORTA has been asking that members reach out to STRS board members and media members to help spread the word that our system is in dire need of a cultural change. This effort has been successful as evidenced by several news paper outlets around the state publishing letters from ORTA members (and other STRS retirees) offering a picture of a system that works in the best interests of its employees at the expense of its contributors. It is important to note that there are ORTA members and other retirees that do not support our efforts to reform STRS. For their own reasons, they are satisfied with the status quo and feel ORTA’s efforts are not well intended. That is what makes our country and society so great. We can disagree and not be disagreeable. I have received many contacts by phone and email for a response to the opinion piece in the Akron paper from an ORTA member that does not think our efforts are justified. I am working on a formal response, however, here are my initial thoughts.

New AMBA Webinar This Month

Join the next Webinar! Date: September 20th Time: 9:00am Topic: How to Protect Your Assets Association Member Benefits Advisors (AMBA) has begun offering webinars to members of the five public pension systems (including ORTA members) on topics of interest to retirees. These webinars are free and very informative. ORTA partners with AMBA as the endorsed benefits advisors for members. Zoom webinar details: Date: September 20th Time: 9:00am Topic: How to Protect Your Assets - Tax Deferred

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