Winter 2015

Handshakes and hugs

Warm greetings from University of Missouri Extension.

The fall meetings proved time for long-time friends and former colleagues to reconnect and share some fun.

We look forward to seeing many of you at the spring Retiree and Friends meetings as well. More details will follow in the spring issue. Save the dates!

April 8 — Nevada
    Speaker: Janet LaFon, “Five Financial Documents Every Retiree Needs”
April 9 — Ozark
    Speaker: Janet LaFon, “Five Financial Documents Every Retiree Needs”
April 17 — Sedalia
    Speaker: Megan Webb, ”A Matter of Balance”
April 22 — Columbia
    Speakers: Michael Ouart, Greetings and an update, and David Baker, “I’m Going to Tell You What I Think”
April 23 — Online meeting, 10–11 a.m.
    Speaker: Vivian Mason, “Quilts, Barns and Money”
April 24 — Jackson
    Speaker: Cynthia Crawford, “Putting the Gold in the Golden Years — What Research Tells Us Makes a Huge Difference”
May 6 — Gallatin
    Speaker: Bev Maltsberger, “When It Rains, It Pours — How to Keep You and Yours Safe in Severe Weather”

Highlights from fall 2014 meetings

Gallatin —

Gallatin was buzzing with handshakes and hugs on Oct. 2, when two dozen retired and active extension people converged in the Lion’s Club building. Bob Teegarden coordinated the details and greeted the group. Dewey Thompson, assistant director of the Missouri Training Institute within the Trulaske College of Business at the University of Missouri was guest speaker. You might know him better as retiree Jerry and Melicent Thompson’s adult son though.

Thompson focused on generational differences among the silent generation, baby boomers, Generation X and Millennials. Bottom line, he predicted there will be greater competition to hire in future years. The baby boomers can’t work forever, so focus should increase on retention and growing leaders within organizations. The challenge for organizations will be to manage the brain drain and change with flexibility and adaptability.

Nevada and Ozark —

photo: Community Development specialist Steve Jeanetta speaks to a group of retirees in Nevada, Mo.

Steve Jeanetta talked with retiree groups in Ozark (shown here) and Nevada about immigration trends in Missouri.

There’s always fun in store at the Nevada retiree and friends gathering. Local arrangements chair Leonard Ernsbarger shared his updates first, and other attendees followed. Carol Parmenter is still spreading joy in nursing homes and hospitals with her therapy ponies. She even takes Cookie the pony up and down the elevator in the VA hospital. Calvin and Emma Lee Jones are splitting wood for the winter heating season.

Tom Hansen is bringing leadership to the Ozark retiree group meetings. Thanks, Tom!

Stephen Jeanetta spoke at both the Nevada and Ozark meetings about immigration in Missouri. He has been researching immigration in Missouri for nearly 10 years — both the experiences of people moving into the Branson, Sedalia and Milan areas and also the experiences of receiving communities. Recently, he has expanded the research to include immigrant farmers and is currently delving into health care access among immigrants.

Latinos primarily come to Missouri for work and for educational opportunities. His research identifies many opportunities for extension, including youth leadership development and weatherization in the Milan area. Branson is looking at a community resource fair. Sedalia is focusing on health programs. Other projects include Alianza’s training for extension faculty and staff and Beginning Farmers classes.

Columbia —

Whether you think of it as annual conference, fall conference or the now formally titled MU Extension Program Conference, Oct. 21 marked the opening day of extension specialists, extension programmers and retirees coming together in Columbia. Norlin Hein and his wife traveled in from Minnesota for the event. Tom Brown called the retirees to order after a nice opening luncheon for all attending the conference. MU Extension Director Michael Ouart greeted retirees.

“Retirees are an absolute treasure of this organization,” Ouart emphasized.

In addition to its treasured retirees, extension is fortunate to have hired more than 100 new specialists in the past year. Cabinet member Joy Millard’s presentation focused on the celebration of 100 years of extension in the United States and Missouri.

The Columbia retiree meeting wrapped up with an update from staff benefits. Although all active faculty and staff had to re-enroll for benefits this fall, retirees did not have to take action unless they want to make changes.

photo: Interim Assistant Vice Provost Joy Millard and Director of Development Cynthia Crawford listen to retirees at the Columbia meeting. photo: Retirees Norlin Hein and Tom Brown reunite at the Columbia meeting.

Above left, Joy Millard (right), interim assistant vice provost, and Cynthia Crawford (left), director of donor education, take time to chat with retirees before Millard’s presentation at the Program Conference in Columbia.

Above right, A highlight of retiree meetings is always an opportunity for people to reconnect. Norlin Hein (left) and his wife made the trek from Minnesota to Columbia for the fall conference. He was happy to be greeted by Tom Brown (right).

Sedalia —

Owen Fox called an enthusiastic group of retirees and guests to order at the Sedalia meeting. C.W. Browning says to let people know he feels better now than he has for two years. After being displaced for several months because of a house fire, George and Linda McCullum look forward to getting settled back in their home.

Megan Webb, nutrition and health specialist based in Pettis County, spoke with the group about Healthy U. It is a life-changing opportunity for people accepted in to the program. They have more than 10 applicants for each one selected. Participants have intensive nutrition and exercise coaching for a year with the goal to get healthy and stay healthy. In addition, hundreds of people benefit in the community as the outreach goes far beyond the participants selected for the intensive program.

Jackson —

The MU Extension Center in Jackson hosted an Oct. 24 retiree meeting. Rick Sparks, local arrangements chair, welcomed the group and introduced Don Ray, a family financial education specialist in the bootheel. He addressed the five essential documents every retiree needs. His stories and wit engaged the audience as he counted down his list similar to David Letterman:

5.  Updated beneficiaries on all documents
4.  Durable financial power of attorney
3.  Advanced directory
2.  Will
1.  Written memoirs and a “to do” list in retirement

Online —

The final retiree meeting was an online format. Retirees were able to log in to a website from the convenience of their home or office and participate. Joy Millard presented about the 100th anniversary and briefed the group on the strategic plan and how it is actively being implemented. There are seven goal groups and a One MU Extension steering committee under Millard’s leadership.

Those participating enjoyed the format and the ease of participating and recommended that online retiree meetings be ongoing.