NARFE - Chapter 1594
~~~~ Welcome to San Antonio Chapter 1594 ~~~~

2018 CHAPTER OFFICERS

PRESIDENT:  JOYCE ZERR

1st VICE PRESIDENT:  GERARDO (GERRY) RENDON

2nd VICE PRESIDENT:  SHIRLEY SWIFT

TREASURER:  MARGARITA HERNANDEZ

SECRETARY:  CHRISTINE A. CUELLAR

Chapter Veterans Honored and Members Learn About Healthcare Changes for 2019

The National Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE) of San Antonio, Chapter 1594's President Joyce Zerr, welcomed members and guests, to the November 14, 2018 meeting, held at Brookhill Baptist Church, 631 Utopia, San Antonio, Texas. The invocation was led by Chaplain Elevia Gant and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by David N. Cuellar.

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Chapter Veterans: First Row L-R - Maria Montes, Connie Jo Popham, Margarita Hernandez, Odell Tyson, Henrietta Horton.  Second Row L-R - David N. Cuellar, Fred Eddie, Steve Guzman, David A. Cuellar, Earl Harris, Al Dreumont

President Zerr welcomed and introduced Chapter 1594 veterans.

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Chapter 1594 1st Vice President-elect for 2019, Al Dreumont (far right) welcomed guest speakers from Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Mr. Adrian Figueroa, and from Aetna , Ms. Eloise Rendon.

Chapter 1594 hosted a Mini Health Fair. Members of Aetna and Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurance companies were present to provide members timely information regarding their programs, since open season runs November 12 through December 10. First guest speaker from Aetna, was Ms. Eloise Rendon. New to the plan was Vision benefits, which are part of the high-end plans offered. In addition to vision benefits, there is a change in Dental benefits, which includes up to $30,000 in dental benefits. Different Medicare Advantage plans are available to members. Next Speaker was Mr. Adrian Figueroa from Blue Cross and Blue shield. He specifically addressed the benefits for Federal employees provided by BC/BS. He reported that most members who have BC/BS, do not take advantage of the $600.00 reimbursement available for Medicare Part B. He also reminded members that gym membership is available, with 10,000 health clubs to choose from to join. The BC/BS website has a full list of benefits and plans for members to review. Both speakers stayed throughout the meeting to answer questions from the members.

President Elect Gerry Rendon discussed our chapters website and its many features. It is located at www.narfe.org/site/chapter1594.

The Chapter 1594 Christmas party luncheon will be held at the Golden Corral at 1025 SE Military Drive. The luncheon will start at 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on December 12. Guests from Texas NARFE have been invited. Installation of 2019 Officers will take place at the luncheon. Money collected at the luncheon will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project. Our Membership Chair, Ms. Connie Bedock reported that all those who recruited new members between June and December 2018, to our Chapter, are eligible for a $25.00 gift card.

FEHB Open Season: November 12 - December 10, 2018. Sign Up by December 10

The 2018 Open Season runs from November 12 through December 10, 2018. Open Season allows you to enroll in the right health, dental and vision insurance options and find plans that minimize expenses in the coming year. Now is your window of opportunity, as you cannot make changes outside of Open Season unless you experience a “Qualifying Life Event.” For information on the insurance plans available to you, please click on the following link:  https://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/healthcare/plan-information/compare-plans/.

Members Learn About Meals on Wheels Program at October 17, 2018 Meeting

The National Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE) of San Antonio, Chapter 1594's President Joyce Zerr, welcomed 25 members and guests, to the September 19, 2018 meeting, held at Brookhill Baptist Church, 631 Utopia, San Antonio, Texas.  The invocation was led by Chaplain Elevia Gant and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by David N. Cuellar.

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Joyce Zerr presented Certificate of Appreciation to Jim Snyder (Program Manager for San Antonio Meals on Wheels)

President Zerr welcomed and introduced Mr. Jim Snyder, the Program Manager for San Antonio Meals on Wheels.  He noted two points to cover as an organization – current and future potential clients and volunteer services. For 41 years, Meals on Wheels has been providing meals to their elderly clients.  The average client is a widow in her 80’s.  Funding has been through the 1968 Older Americans Act and from the Texas Department of Agriculture. 55% of funds are received through donations.  Staff drivers and volunteer drivers deliver meals over a 1 to 3-hour period.  One of the side benefits to the delivery service is a break in isolation for their clients. Meals are delivered 5 time a week, with extra, frozen meals, provided to clients with special identified nutritional needs.  Meals on Wheels also provide meals for their clients’ pets, once a month. “Friendly Visitors”, is a service that allows for volunteers with extra time, to spend with the elderly.  For care givers, there is a program called “Grace Place”, which provides care for clients with early onset Alzheimer’s, in a safe environment.  There is a $65.00 per day charge for use of this program. There is no charge for placement on the list to receive meals.  For more information, visit their website, mowsatx.org or call 210-725-5115.

Under Items of Interest:  Elected NARFE National President is Ken Thomas, who takes office in November 2018.

Chapter 1594 Officer Elections for 2019: Elections were held during the October meeting.  Elected Officers include, Gerry Rendon for 2019 Chapter 1594 President, Al Dreumont elected as the First Vice President, Shirley Click elected as Second Vice President, Margarita Hernandez elected as the Treasurer and Christine Cuellar elected as the Secretary.  Appointed Officer positions were also filled.

Up-coming Events for Chapter 1594: At the November 14th meeting, Chapter 1594 will host a Mini Health Fair.  Members of various insurance companies will be present.  This is timely, since open season runs November 12th through December 10th.  There are also plans to honor our Chapters veterans.

2018 Walk to End Alzheimer's Yields $1,071 in Donations

At the October 13, 2018 Walk to End Alzheimer’s in New Braunfels, Chapter 1594’s team, represented by Gerry Rendon and Idalia Hagamon, received $1,017 in donations.  These donations will be used for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.  Donors to our team were:  Vicki and Jack Lewallen, Cyndy and Rich Farley, Jan and Pat Kidwell, Santa Maria Jones, Gerry Rendon, Annette Ivy, Chapter 1594, Idalia Hagamon, Juanita Zongker, Connie Bedock and Margarita Hernandez. 

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Start of Walk to End Alzheimer's
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Idalia Hagamon and Gerry Rendon at Finish of Walk to End Alzheimer's in New Braunfels

  

 

 

 

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Standing:  Gerry Rendon (Chapter 1594 1st VP) and Dorothy Creswell (Chapter 0672 President and District 12 Representative).  Sitting L-R:  Alice Pullin (Chapter 0672 Secretary and Network Coordinator) and Lynn Geyer (Chapter 0672 Legislative Chair).

 

 

Members Presented with Seminar on Estate Planning and Probate at September 19, 2018 Meeting
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Todd Marquardt with Marquardt Law Firm Conducting Seminar at September Meeting

The National Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE) of San Antonio, Chapter 1594's President Joyce Zerr, welcomed 25 members and guests, to the September 19, 2018 meeting, held at Brookhill Baptist Church, 631 Utopia, San Antonio, Texas.  The invocation was led by Chaplain Elevia Gant and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by David N. Cuellar.

President Zerr welcomed and introduced Attorney Todd Marquardt, with the Marquardt Law Firm, specializing in Elder Law.  He presented a seminar on Estate Planning and Probate.  He reviewed the things that must be done upon death - call the funeral home or police, attend the funeral, secure property, pay the funeral home, probate will, collect income and proceeds, marshalling assets, wrapping up bills, and distributing assets.  Other than dying your will must be reviewed by a judge to determine its validity and the qualifications of the named Executor.  There were seven steps in a Probate proceeding that Mr. Marquardt reviewed.   He reported that 7% of wills are invalid, including a review of the Howard Hughes case which took 34 years to settle.  In Bexar County you have to hire a lawyer.  Mr. Marquardt defined what constitutes a will and what comprises an estate and the stipulations you can place in your will to control your estate.  He also mentioned that money owed to the estate must be paid back.

Next he reviewed what is in a Living Trust - it is created during life, Trusted by banks or other financial institutions, avoids Probate, No judicial supervision whatsoever, and more secure privacy.  There were many questions from the membership, which Mr. Marquardt answered.  At the end of his presentation, Mr. Marquardt was presented with a Letter of Appreciation from the Chapter.

Under Items of Interest:

     1. We collected a total of $210.00 for Feds Feed Families food drive.

     2. Members were encouraged to vote for the September run-off election for NARFE National President.

     3. The Texas Federation Register newspaper- information on the on-going issuance of the Medicare cards which are coming out throughout September for Texas residents and health insurance tips during the upcoming season. 

Gina Ortiz-Jones Guest Speaker at August 15th, 2018 Meeting
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Gina Ortiz-Jones, Democratic nominee for U.S. Representative of Texas 23rd District

The National Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE) of San Antonio, Chapter 1594's President Joyce Zerr, welcomed 25 members, of which three are new members to our Chapter and two guests to the August 15, 2018 meeting, held at Brookhill Baptist Church, 631 Utopia, San Antonio, Texas.  The invocation was led by Chaplain Elevia Gant and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by David N. Cuellar.

President Zerr welcomed and introduced a Democratic candidate for the 23rd Congressional District, Ms. Gina Ortiz-Jones and a member of her Finance team, Mr. Aaron Cartwright.   Ms. Ortiz-Jones gave a brief personal history of her life through service, starting with service in the Air Force.  When she retired from the Air Force due to family concerns, she began with a review of her work history as a Civil Servant for the Defense Intelligence Agency through her work in the Oval Office for President Obama. Ms. Ortiz-Jones was firm in her stance that public officials should serve the public and not the other way around.  Members of Congress are frequently "camera ready" with promises to serve the voting public but then they vote in the opposite way to what they said for the camera.

Questions ranged from concerns about job losses, where CEO's are choosing moving as cheaper and more beneficial to corporations, than paying a living wage to their employees.  Also, concerns about Partisan allegiance was raised.  Ms. Ortiz-Jones said she is open to working with both political parties to accomplish positive change in the lives of her constituents.  She added that the voters need to check and follow what their Representatives say versus what they do.   She reviewed her concerns for the environment and how it can impact health issues and educational opportunities.  Health care was discussed as being a priority for the members.

There were many other questions and concerns raised by the members.  Ms. Ortiz-Jones listed her priorities as health care, the environment, educational opportunities and job development.  That being a Representative is not just a job but a service.  She encouraged the members to vote to make changes happen.

We are continuing to collect funds for Feds Feed Families. $72.00 was collected for August.  $63.00 dollars was collected for the Alzheimer's research fund.

President Zerr reminded the members that Federal Employee Health Benefits open season starts November 12th through December 10th.  Also that the run-off elections for the national NARFE President position is in September.   Ballots will be mailed to the membership through the NARFE magazine.

For the up-coming Chapter 1594 elections, forms listing the positions were circulated to members.

Jon Arnold from Will Hurd's Office Guest Speaker at July 18, 2018 Meeting

The National Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE) of San Antonio, Chapter 1594's President Joyce Zerr, welcomed 22 members and one guest to the July 18, 2018 meeting, held at Brookhill Baptist Church, 631 Utopia, San Antonio, Texas. The invocation was led by Joyce Zerr and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by David Cuellar.

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2nd Vice President Shirley Swift presenting Certificate of Appreciation to Jon Arnold, District Director for Congressman Will Hurd's 23rd District 

President Zerr welcomed and introduced a speaker from Will Hurd's office, Jon Arnold. He is the District Director for Mr. Hurd's District 23. Mr. Arnold discussed the work that Mr. Hurd and he have done to ensure all Federal retirees, including veterans and civilian retirees, receive their benefits and have their benefits protected. Mr. Hurd's district has over 175,000 Federal retirees. Legislative policies that negatively impact retirees were discussed, including the Windfall Elimination Act. Mr. Al Dreumont brought up the problem on legislative voting is based on "Tribal" VS "American" voting. Votes center on "Tribal" party lines and not what is good for the American voters. Mr. Arnold said he would take this concern back to Mr. Hurd.

Our 40th Anniversary, held June 20th, was a great success. All the guests and members were very complimentary about the decorations, provided by Teresa Sanchez and the meal, catered by Grady's BBQ. All our guests praised our Chapter for its activities, especially in recruiting new members. Funds raised for Alzheimer's Research fund totaled $197.00 and $119.00 was raised for the start of Feds Feed Families that runs through the end of August. Thank you cards were distributed to the membership, with a special gift of a box of candy to Connie Bedock, for all she did in making our celebration such a success.

The members were informed of the NARFE National elections. No candidate for the position of the President of NARFE won, so a second election will be held in September to determine the new President. Only 6.77% of eligible Texas NARFE voters submitted their ballot. This is comparable to other national elections.

The membership voted to continue meeting at Brookhill Baptist Church, 631 Utopia.

Legislative issues continue to impact retirees. Since July 2016, retirees paying for Federal long term care insurance saw an increase of up to 83% for their premiums. This was reportedly due to less insurance companies available to purchase long term care and an increase in the charges from long-term care facilities. Medicare has limitations for this care.

There is a Free Senior Expo, sponsored by AETNA insurance, scheduled for July 28th at Shearer Hills Baptist Church on San Pedro Ave. Over 20 vendors are expected.

A review of Chapter 1594 meetings for the rest of 2018 was discussed. August 15th will center on NARFE's Advocacy Month. September 19th will have the members voting on a site for the December 12th Christmas party. Sites are being vetted now. October is scheduled for election of Chapter 1594 Officers. President Joyce Zerr informed the members she will not seek reelection for the 2019 Presidency of Chapter 1594. Her leadership, since 2012 will be missed. Our November meeting will be held a week earlier, on the 14th, due to the closeness to the Thanksgiving holiday. American Veterans will be honored this month and Chapter 1594 will host a "Mini Health Fair". Guest vendors have been scheduled to speak. Our December meeting has also been rescheduled a week earlier, on December 12th. At our Christmas party we will have our installation of Officers and present Christmas gift baskets to our special members with special needs.

San Antonio Chapter 1594 40th Anniversary Celebration

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On June 20, 2018, San Antonio Chapter 1594 celebrated its 40th Anniversary at Brookhill Baptist Church.

Fourty-four members and guests were in attendance. Guests included: Dr. John Creswell, President of Texas Federation; Dora Benavides, South Area Vice President; Dorothy Creswell, District 12 Representative; and John Pantoja, NARFE-PAC Coordinator/TF National Legislative Officer.

Joyce Zerr, Chapter President, called the meeting to order at 11:15 a.m. She introduced guests followed by introduction of Gerry Rendon, Chapter 1st Vice President, for the welcome.

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Gerry Rendon (left) presenting Joe Glawson with Certificate of Appreciation

Gerry Rendon welcomed members and guests and gave a brief history of the Chapter. Chapter 1594 was established on June 16, 1978. Sixty-four retired federal employees began meeting and worked together to do all things pertaining to the good of the organization.   Of the 64 founding members, only Joe Glawson is still active in the Chapter. Mr. Glawson recently celebrated his 96th birthday and is an Army veteran and recipient of the Purple Heart. When established, the chapter was known as Fair Avenue Chapter 1594 and meetings were held at the Fair Avenue Apartments meeting room for 32 years. Due to renovations to the Fair Avenue Apartments, the Chapter moved across the street to St. Margaret Mary’s Church Activity Center in 2010. In 2012, meetings were moved to Holy Name Church Activity Center but had to move again due to increasing monthly costs. Meetings were then moved to the present facility, Brookhill Baptist Church. Over the years, chapter Presidents were John Pearce, Clyde Fuller, John Nesloney, Huland McAdams, Emory Palmer, Melvin Luddeke, David Cuellar 1997-1999, Robert Koenig 2000-2011 and our current President, Joyce Zerr, who took office in 2012. Mr. Rendon also recognized Mr. Joe Glawson with a Certificate of Appreciation for his support and contributions to the Chapter over the past 40 years.

Dr. John Creswell, President of Texas Federation, followed by congratulating the Chapter on this milestone. He praised officers and members for their strong support and contributions to the Chapter and presented them with a certificate. He followed by reading a congratulatory letter from NARFE President Richard Thissen. He reminded members who haven’t voted for the upcoming NARFE general election that they had until June 30t. If they were voting by mail, he advised them to mail ballots a week in advance to ensure they were received prior to the deadline.

Dora Benavides, South Area Vice President, followed by congratulating officers, appointed officers and members on the great job organizing the event. She was concerned memberships across NARFE were declining and that chapters had to recruit more members to make up for losses due to attrition. She also congratulated the chapter for their use of email, the web and newsletter in maintaining members informed of what’s going on within and outside the Chapter.

Dorothy Creswell, District 12 Representative, discussed upcoming Fedcon18 Conference being held at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront Hotel, Jacksonville, FL, August 26-28, 2018. She stated this was going to be a fast-paced, two and one-half days of thought-provoking speakers, leadership training, intensive benefit education and the opportunity to engage and connect with your federal colleagues. She also discussed declining membership across NARFE and urged members to continue in their recruitment efforts.

Sam Pantoja, NARFE-PAC Coordinator, thanked chapter for the invitation and updated attendees on the monetary contributions NARFE-PAC had collected throughout the year. He mentioned funds would be used to contribute to congressmen running for office who support and work hard to protect the earned benefits of active and retired federal employees.

Members Learn About Hearing Aids and Other Hearing Aid Equipment at May 16 Meeting
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Pictured left to right:  Gerry Rendon presenting a framed Biography to Al Dreumont who was accompanied by his wife Carmen

President Joyce Zerr called meeting to order at 12:40 p.m.  Twenty-four members were in attendance.

Guest speaker was Rebecca Best from Beltone Audiology and Hearing Aids.  She discussed procedure for obtaining hearing aids and other hearing aid equipment.  A plan of care is made after the client's ears are checked and hearing tests performed.  The plan of care includes obtaining hearing aids or a referral is made to a hearing specialist for further evaluation.  Hearing aids are matched to meet the needs of the client's life style (quiet or active).  It takes approximately two weeks to obtain hearing aids or longer if special adjustments are needed.  Follow-up care and adjustments are provided as part of the initial cost.  Blue Cross Blue Shield currently covers $2500.00 per 3-year cycle, which covers battery and hearing aid warranties.  Other equipment such as amplified telephones are also provided by Beltone.  Questions about hearing aids and services answered by Ms. Best.

Birthday wishes expressed to Exia Duke, Stella Flores, and Sandy Vogel. No Anniversaries this month.

Carmen Dreumont accompanied her husband while Gerry Rendon read his framed biography.  Al thanked his wife for her support throughout his active civil service career.

State Representative Dr. Philip Cortez Speaks at March 21, 2018 Meeting
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State Representative District 117 Dr. Philip Cortez and NARFE San Antonio 2nd Vice President Shirley Swift

At the group's March 21st meeting, Dr. Philip Cortez, State Representative for District 117, spoke to the group regarding the 85th Legislative Session bills he introduced and that passed. Of most interest to the group’s members were HB 1414 and 970. HB 1414 enables servicemen and women deployed in combat zones to vote via e-mail. This bill affords the state’s military personnel the opportunity to participate in elections while serving our country. HB 970 acknowledges that seniors are affected by a pneumonia causing bacteria. This bill directs the Department of State Health Services to develop and implement a program to conduct health education and community outreach activities to promote public awareness. Dr. Cortez encouraged members to contact his office and their elected officials concerning issues of importance to them.

BC/BS Representative Briefs Members on Two New Programs for 2018

Ms. Laura Mansour (BC/BS FEP representative) briefed members of two new programs rolled out this year by BC/BS. The first is the Medicare Reimbursement Account.  If you have Basic Option, you can get a $600 Medicare reimbursement account if you have Medicare Part A and B.  You must use this account to pay for Medicare Part B premium.  Each member on your contract with Medicare A and B is eligible to earn $600.  To earn the money, you will need to provide proof that you pay 2018 Medicare Part B premiums.  BC/BS will accept the following as proof of payment: Copies of social security checks, bank statements, COLA statement, and cancelled checks or copies of canceled checks.  Additional information on this service may be obtained at fepblue.org/mra.  The second program was TeleHealth.  Under this program, a member has 24/7 access to a doctor via phone or video.  The average wait time is 10 minutes.  BC/BS has board certified doctors available 24/7 to treat cold and flu symptoms, allergies, bronchitis and more.

Pecan Grill Restaurant was Host to December 13th Luncheon/Meeting

Chapter President Joyce Zerr welcomed members and guests to the December's Luncheon/Meeting at Pecan Grill Restaurant.  Guests Dr. John Creswell (Texas Federation President) and Dorothy Creswell (Distrct 12 Representative) brought members up to date on NARFE items of interest.  Dorothy swore in the 2018 elected officers.  Joyce recognized members Guadalupe and Stella Flores and Shirley Click with certificates of appreciation for their long standing support to Chapter 1594.  Jovita Durand won the $25 gift card for her recruitment efforts during the June - December timeframe.  Mr. & Mrs. Chapa (Pecan Grill owners) were recognized with a certificate of appreciation and gifts for their support to Chapter 1594 in allowing us to host the  June and December meetings at their establishment.

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Pictured left to right, Guadalupe and Stella Flores presented with Certificate of Appreciation by Chapter President Joyce Zerr
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Pictured left to right, Shirley Click presented with Certificate of Appreciation by Joyce Zerr
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Pictured left to right, Joyce Zerr presented Jovita Durand with $25 gift card for her recruitment of new members during June - December 2017
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Mr. & Mrs. Chapa were recognized for their support to Chapter 1594
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Swearing in of newly elected officers for 2018 by Dorothy Creswell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1594 Veterans Honored at November 15th Meeting
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Pictured left to right back row: David Cuellar, Jesse Gorden, Abel Hernandez, Earl Harris, Guadalupe Flores, Al Dreumont.  Front row: Margarita Hernandez and Rita Horton

Thirty members were in attendance at meeting. Chapter President Joyce Zerr announced the passing of member Georgia Pilgrim.  Chapter Veterans were honored and presented with Certificates of Appreciation for their service to our country.  They were also presented with a pin and pen.  Representatives from Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield were in attendance at the Mini-health Fair and briefed on upcoming changes for 2018.  During the break, representatives passed out brochures/literature and answered more questions from members.

NARFE San Antonio Chapter 1594 Elects 2018 Officers at October 18, 2017 Meeting

The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) San Antonio Chapter 1594’s President Joyce Zerr opened the Ocobert 18, 2017 meeting with a welcome and prayer.  Twenty-two members were in attendance.  Membership Chair Bedock reported we have 144 voting members and 2nd Vice President Shirley Swift gave the National Legislative Report from Capital Hill.  Several members spoke about their experiences with Breast Cancer and Domestic Violence since October is awareness month.  2nd Vice President Shirley Swift read member Henrietta “Rita” Horton's biography and presented her with a framed copy.

President Joyce Zerr held the election for 2018 Elected Officers. The 2018 slate of officers will be:  President Joyce Zerr, 1st Vice President Gerry Rendon, 2nd Vice President Shirley Swift, Secretary Christine Cuellar, and Treasurer Margarita Hernandez.

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Pictured left to right, 2nd Vice President Shirley Swift presenting member Henrietta "Rita" Horton a framed copy of her Biography
Federal Benefits Open Season - November 13 to December 11, 2017

The Federal Benefits Open Season, which runs from November 13 to December 11, 2017, gives Federal employees and retirees the opportunity to evaluate their benefits, provider networks, and the 2018 rates for Federal benefits, which include FEHB, Federal dental and vision (FEDVIP), as well as elections for Flexible Spending Account (FSAFEDS) for health care and/or dependent care.  Individuals have the chance to make changes to their coverage within the Open Season dates.

Members Briefed on Fall Prevention and Financial Planning at September 20 Meeting
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Pictured left to right, Chapter Member Guadalupe Flores presenting Edwina L. King Certificate of Appreciation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chapter Member Renee Eschmann Harris (Standing) and Chapter Secretary Shirley Click

 

 

 

George Ramos is Guest Speaker at August 16 Meeting

 

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Pictured left to right, George Ramos from the Office of State Representative Philip Cortez being presented a Certificate of Appreciation by Shirley Click 
Dr. Angela Alvarez with San Antonio American Diabetes Association is Speaker at July 19 Meeting
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Dr. Angela Alvarez (Endrocronologist) with the San Antonio American Diabetes Association is presented a Certificate of Appreciation by Chapter 1594 2nd Vice President Shirley Swift

Dr. Angela Alvarez (Endocrinologist) with the San Antonio American Diabetes Association was guest speaker at this month’s meeting.  She defined a person without diabetes as one in which their body breaks food down into glucose (sugar) and sends it into the blood.  Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps move the glucose from the blood into the cells where it can be used for energy.  In people with type 2 diabetes, the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin, the insulin doesn’t work well, or both. Without insulin, the glucose cannot get from the blood into the cells, so the amount of glucose in your blood goes up.  This is call high blood glucose. When blood glucose gets high enough, it’s called diabetes.  Untreated, diabetes causes problems like nerve damage, kidney or eye problems, heart disease, and stroke.

A major study showed that people at high risk of type 2 diabetes lowered their risk by losing weight through eating less and being more active.  They cut down on fat, ate and drank fewer calories, exercised about 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, usually by brisk walking and lost weight at an average of 15 pounds in the first year of the study.  This plan worked well for both men and women, particularly those aged 60 and older.

Did you know that 2 out of 3 Americans are overweight or obese, nearly 1 in 3 American adults has high blood pressure, nearly 1 in 2 American adults has high cholesterol, and more than 1 in 6 Americans has prediabetes.

How to properly complete NARFE Membership Renewal Form to continue membership in Chapter 1594

Chapter 1594 members who are not enrolled in the NARFE’s Dues Withholding Program are now receiving notices by mail to renew membership.  Members renewing membership must make the proper selection or risk being transferred out of chapter and later having to mail the $7 Chapter membership fee for reinstatement. 

Text bolded below resembles your NARFE Membership Renewal Form and the options you may select from (shaded in yellow and green).  Any selection made from the NARFE column shaded in yellow only renews your membership to NARFE National.  Selection made from column shaded in green allows existing members to continue their membership to both NARFE National and Chapter 1594.    

If you are an existing member of Chapter 1594 and want to continue membership in our Chapter, you will need to check (√) the “Please renew my NARFE membership as indicated below:” block along with one of the three (3) options in the column shaded in green and mail the application form with applicable registration dues to NARFE Member Records.

  _
|_| Please renew my NARFE membership as indicated below:
 
Choose Your Membership Option
 
                    NARFE   or   NARFE & Chapter 1594
                      _                   _
1 Year          |_| $40        |_|  $47
                      _                   _
2 Year          |_| $72        |_|  $86
                      _                   _
3 Years        |_| $102      |_|  $123
 
Creswell's in Attendance at June 21, 2017 Luncheon/Meeting
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Pictured left to right, District Representative Dorothy Creswell and NARFE Texas Federation President Dr. John Creswell
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Pictured left to right, San Antonio Chapter 1594 President Joyce Zerr presenting Certificate of Appreciation to Chapter Service Officer Sandy Vogel
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Pictured left to right, Chapter Secretary Connie Bedock being presented with a token of appreciation by Chapter President Joyce Zerr 
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Pictured left to right, Members Frances Burd and Georgia Pilgrim in attendance at June 21st Meeting

 

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Attendees at June 21, 2017 Luncheon at Pecan Grill Restaurant
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Attendees at June 21, 2017 Luncheon at Pecan Grill Restaurant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sheena Smith with AACOG Briefs Members on Scams Against Seniors at May 17, 2017 Meeting
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Pictured left to right, Sheena Smith with Alamo Area Council of Governments is presented with Certificate of Appreciation by Jovita Durand for her briefing to members on scams against seniors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chapter Service Officer Sandy Vogel providing members information on the TFC Convention held in Austin 3-6 May
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Pictured left to right, Chapter Chaplain Elevia Gant and Exia Duke

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Susan Blevins with AACOG Briefs Members at April 19, 2017 Meeting
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Pictured left to right, Chapter Chaplain Elevia Johnson Gant and Susan Blevins with AACOG

Chapter Chaplain Elevia Johnson Gant presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Guest Speaker Susan Blevins.  Susan is a Care Coordination Specialist with the Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG).

 

Don't Fall for a Fake Retirement Scam

Retirement Information Center

Be on the Alert for an aggressive phone scam that targets Federal annuitants: The scammer claims to be an OPM employee. The scammer threatens to end the annuitant’s retirement, threatens that a “magistrate” will criminally prosecute, and demands an immediate payment. This is a government impostor scam – Do not send money.

Any communication of this type is NOT from an OPM official. OPM will not make such calls. Scams like this one are carried out by skilled impostors, who may sound convincing. They may use real names and titles – and they may know a lot about their targets, including personally identifiable information. The scammers may alter the caller ID to make it look like OPM is calling. Scammers may also attempt to use email to “phish” for more information. Finally, these impostors may leave an “urgent” callback request.  Don’t fall for it. 

Signs of a SCAM (and these are actions OPM does NOT do):

  1. Call to demand immediate payment.

  2. Demand that you pay a debt first before any appeal.

  3. Request that you pay using gift cards, prepaid debit or credit cards, wire transfers, Western Union, MoneyGram, or PayPal, etc.

  4. Request for credit or debit card numbers over the phone or by email.

  5. Threaten referral to a Magistrate, the police, or law enforcement.

If you suspect the caller is an impostor:

  • Do not engage with the callers. Simply hang-up.

  • Note the date and time of the call, as well as the caller’s phone number.

  • Report it to OPM’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG), https://www.opm.gov/our-inspector-general/

San Antonio Chapter 1594 Meeting - March 15, 2017
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Left to right, Chapter President Joyce Zerr presenting Certificate of Appreciation to Membership Chair Connie Bedock
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NARFE District 12 Representative Dorothy Creswell briefed members on upcoming NARFE Texas Federation Convention scheduled May 3-6 in Austin
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TFC South Texas Area Vice President Dr. John Creswell

 

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Left to right, President Joyce Zerr, Service Officer Sandy Vogel and Secretary Shirley Click

 

 

  

 

National Association for Retired and Active Federal Employees (NARFE) Chapter 1594 met March 15, 2017.  Chapter President Joyce Zerr welcomed twenty-two members and guests.  Elevia Gant opened the meeting with prayer.  Abel Hernandez and David Cuellar led the Pledge of Allegiance.  The first guest speaker was NARFE District 12 Representative Dorothy Creswell from New Braunfels,TX.  She updated members on the importance of the upcoming NARFE Texas Federation Convention May 3-6 in Austin, TX.  The second guest speaker was TFC South Texas Area Vice President Dr. John Creswell who expressed his desire to be nominated and elected as the next NARFE TFC President.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1594 Hosted NARFE 2017 Districts 12 and 15 Convention

The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) held their Districts 12 and 15 Convention in San Antonio on February 20, 2017.  San Antonio Chapter 1594 was the host chapter.  The convention was called to order by Chapter 1594 President Joyce Zerr.  Forty-four members and guests were present.  Abel Hernandez led the Pledge of Allegiance.  The guest speakers were Texas Federation of Chapters (TFC) President Philip Kraus, TFC Secretary Frances Hiner, Alzheimer’s Coordinator Betty Kraus, TFC South Area Vice President Dr. John Creswell, TFC Editor Sandy Vogel, NARFE-Pack Chapter 0672 Betty Niven, and District 12 Representative Dorothy Creswell.  Convention Secretary was Shirley Click.  San Antonio Chapter President Joyce Zerr presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Chapter 1594’s Secretary Shirley Click, Abel and Margarita Hernandez and Lupe and Stella Flores.

Chapters who attended were: San Antonio Chapters 1594 and 1320, Boerne Chapter 0778, Fredericksburg Chapter 2111, New Braunfels Chapter 0672, Austin Chapter 228 and Lone Star Chapter 2354.  A total of $567.00 was collected during the convention for the NARFE Alzheimer’s Fund.  NARFE Alzheimer's Fund is an ongoing project.

San Antonio Chapter 1594 next monthly meeting will be March 15, 2017 at Brookhill Baptist Church, 631 Utopia Ave., San Antonio, TX.  If you are a Federal Retiree or a current Federal Employee, you are welcome to attend our meetings.  For more information, please contact Joyce Zerr, 210-523-0770.

 

Convention Pictures

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December's Christmas Luncheon/Meeting at Pecan Grill Mexican Restaurant
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Christmas Luncheon/Meeting at Pecan Grill Mexican Restaurant
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Left to right, President Joyce Zerr presenting a donation to Lt. Charlise Godwin with the Salvation Army.
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Left to right, 2017 Treasurer Margarita Hernandez, Secretary Shirley Click, 2nd  Vice President Shirley Swift and President Joyce Zerr being sworn in by Texas Federation of Chapters District 12 Representative Dorothy Creswell.
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Left to right, Chapter 1594 Net Coordinator Annette Ivy and President Joyce Zerr.
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Left to right, Lt. Charlise Godwin with the Salvation Army and Carmen and Antonio "Al" Druemont.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On December 21, 2016, Chapter 1594 had it's Christmas Luncheon/Meeting at the Pecan Grill Mexican Restaurant on Southcross Blvd.  Thirty-one members were in attendance that included new member Antonio “Al” Dreumont and his wife Carmen.  We were also honored to have in attendance Dr. John L Creswell, South Texas Area Vice President, and his wife Dorothy Creswell, Texas Federation of Chapters District 12 Representative.

Lt. Charlise Godwin with the Salvation Army gave a briefing on this organization's mission.  During the luncheon, $212.00 was collected and presented to her as a donation to help them continue doing the wonderful things they do for our communities.

 

November 16, 2016 Meeting
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Pictured left to right, Paul Premack, Certified Elder Law Attorney, being presented Certificate of Appreciation by Joyce Zerr, Chapter 1594 President
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Pictured left to right, Laura Mansour with Blue Cross/Blue Shield being presented with Certificate of Appreciation by Joyce Zerr, Chapter 1594 President
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Pictured left to right, Ana Vieyra with Aetna being presented with Certificate of Appreciation by Joyce Zerr, Chapter 1594 President

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Members present at the November 16 meeting at Brookhill Baptist Church Center enjoyed a short briefing by Paul Premack, Certified Elder Law Attorney, on estate taxes, planning for incapacity, and probate.  He cautioned members who have Wills that may be over 10 years old, to check with an attorney to insure they are current with existing law.  He also added that the more specific and detailed a will is written, the less problems that could surface upon an individual passing.

Ms. Laura Mansour with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Texas and Ana Vierya with Aetna briefed on upcoming changes in 2017.  They answered members questions and passed out brochures during the mini-health fair.

 

Matthew Haskins, Legislative Director, Will Hurd (R-TX23) was Guest Speaker at October 19 Meeting
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Pictured left to right, Mr. Matthew Haskins presented with Certificate of Appreciation
by Chapter 1594 2nd Vice President Shirley Swift

Mr. Matthew Haskins, Legislative Director, Office of Will Hurd in Washington D.C., was guest speaker at the October 19 meeting.  He discussed the vast area District 23 encompasses and briefed the various house bills Representative Hurd has introduced in congress since being elected. 

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Pictured left to right, Shirley Rushfeldt and Chapter President Joyce Zerr

 

 

What to do in case of a Data Breech

This is a video of what to do in case of a data breech.....this would apply to more than just our OPM breech - it would be for any others that occur:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2TlfMaoMlM&feature=youtu.be .

 

Sandy Vogel, Service Officer
NARFE Chapter 1594
 
Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts

Information for Taxpayers From IRS Website

Surge in Email, Phishing and Malware Schemes

The IRS saw an approximate 400 percent surge in phishing and malware incidents in the 2016 tax season.

Scam emails are designed to trick taxpayers into thinking these are official communications from the IRS or others in the tax industry, including tax software companies. These phishing schemes can ask taxpayers about a wide range of topics. Emails can seek information related to refunds, filing status, confirming personal information, ordering transcripts and verifying PIN information.

Variations of these scams can be seen via text messages, and the communications are being reported in every section of the country.

When people click on these email links, they are taken to sites designed to imitate an official-looking website, such as IRS.gov. The sites ask for Social Security numbers and other personal information, which could be used to help file false tax returns. The sites also may carry malware, which can infect people's computers and allow criminals to access your files or track your keystrokes to gain information.

Prior Meeting Minutes

April 19, 2017

March 15, 2017

January 18, 2017

December 21, 2016

November 16, 2016

October 19, 2016

October 12, 2016 Executive Board

September 21, 2016

 

Southside Reporter Articles

Click here for SSR Article, 2 Aug 17

Click here for SSR Article, 28 Jun 17

Click here for SSR Article, 31 May 17

Click here for SSR Article, 3 May 17

Click here for SSR Article, 29 Mar 17

Click here for SSR Article, 28 Feb 17

Click here for SSR Article, 8 Feb 17

Click here for SSR Article, 21 Dec 16

Click here for SSR Article, 2 Nov 16

Click here for SSR Article, 5 Oct 16

Click here for SSR Article, 31 Aug 16