Digressions & Diatribes

by Kort E Patterson, Editor

New Region VII Director

Region VII is starting off the new millennium* with a new Regional Director (RD). Our previous RD, Brewster Gillett, served the two term limit and had to retire. My three year term as RD began the moment the Y2K bug failed to end civilization has we've come to know it.

Now that we've gotten past all of the mud slinging and character assassination of the election campaign, I hope that we can all forgive and forget the harsh and often hasty words uttered in the heat of the moment, and restore a measure of civility to the region. While many of us were utterly exhausted by the whirlwind pace, and left dazed and confused by the trail of carnage and desolation generated by the down and dirty scorched earth election campaign, we can be thankful it wasn't even worse. Just imagine how vicious the election could have gotten if it'd been contested...

Imagine also my disappointment on discovering that, after fighting so hard to win office, and in spite of the impressive title, the position of RD doesn't have any real power or authority. It appears that even as RD, I still lack the power to secede from America and Canada, and create the nation of Intertelia out of R7's 14 states and six provinces. I apparently can't even mobilize R7's members in a bid to conquer the other regions of Intertel. In fact there doesn't seem to be much power and/or glory in this job at all!

Now that I've been elected to the office, I find that the Regional Director is basically supposed to encourage Intertel members to enjoy their organization. Well, if that's the way it's going to be, I guess I'll have to cancel my crown and scepter order, and settle for trying to do a good job as your new Regional Director.

Some of you might be relieved to learn that I don't come to office with a major reform agenda. With the possible exception of contributing some initial naive enthusiasm of the unsuspecting, I expect to largely continue the policies and practices of previous RDs. I've read the goals announced by my predecessor when he was elected to this office, and continue to find them reasonable and honorable. Just as those who have served in this office before me, I see my goals as your RD to be first increasing member participation and retention, followed by increasing the total Intertel membership - preferably within region 7.

While I do have some organizational duties representing our region as a member of the executive board, my efforts as your RD will primarily involve encouraging area coordinators and individual members to arrange local events, facilitating communications between the region's members through our regional newsletter "Port of Call" and other more specialized mailings, and helping to recruit and retain Intertel members.

I will continue to serve as editor of our regional newsletter "Port of Call" - at least until someone else expresses an interest in taking over the job. I like to think that POC is a valued part of Intertel membership, and will continue to try to put out an "interesting read". However, I will also continue to harangue the members of R7 to contribute their thoughts and inspirations (in written form) to their newsletter.

The best issues of the newsletter have always been those containing the most submissions from R7 members. Over the years our newsletter has developed a readership that should be attractive to would-be authors. Please contribute to your regional newsletter - we need your well written interesting and/or entertaining perspectives. Submissions from R7 members have always been given top priority. While I'm technically obliged to reject "unsuitable" materials, this has not been a problem in the past. ("Unsuitable" materials contain personal attacks on the editor or other members, or contain offensive and/or legally actionable content.) Submissions disagreeing with the perspectives of previously published submissions - especially those of your editor - will continue to be actively encouraged.

The first order of business in this new millennium is to recruit area coordinators to fill the vacancies in our region. As you can see on page 2, we have a number of areas that don't have an area coordinator. Please contact me if you're even slightly interested in becoming the coordinator for your area. At this point we're just trying to find an area coordinator for each state and province. We can refine the size of the areas if we get enough people willing to be coordinators.

While I'd prefer that as many events as possible are listed in our regional newsletter, we do have a modest postage budget to allow area coordinators to directly notify members of local events. (And before anyone asks, there isn't any money budgeted for funding local events, nor does the RD get to keep any unspent amounts in the regional budget. Intertel is, after all, a nonprofit organization entirely funded by member dues and contributions. Would you want your hard earned cash ending up in my pocket, or paying for someone else's good times?)

I never expected to become this deeply involved in Intertel when I first joined. But having reluctantly experienced the joys of participation, I'm more than willing to share my new found joys with all those who do not actively resist. Intertel can never be more than what we, the members, make of it. There is very little I can do as RD to unilaterally change the nature of Intertel. However, as RD I can help you, the members, make Intertel the kind of organization in which you want to participate, and in which you can take pride as a member.

* Yes, I know that the new millennium technically doesn't start until next year, but since the whole concept of the millennium is solely an artificial artifact of an entirely arbitrary date system, I've decided to accommodate the pervasive popular misconception.

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