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Saturday, August 26, 2017
Back in July of 2015, WSNIMA Secretary, John Mangiantini was at the International Moose Convention in Nashville. He ran into Grand Chancellor Barbara McPherson. They got to talking about the General Laws and how they permit WOTM Chapters to join Associations. The General Laws provide no detail about the process, so John asked her what it would take to ask the Chapters to join. At that time, she didn't know, but said she would look into it and get back to him.
In July of 2016, John and Barbara connected again in St. Louis and they talked a bit more about how WSNIMA works and how many women were already doing work on behalf of the Association. Barbara told John that the leadership at Moose International was working to iron out the details of a pilot program where the WOTM would be asked to join WSNIMA.
In January, 2017, Barbara contacted John and told him that the leaders at MI had devised and the Supreme Council had approved a pilot program and process where the WOTM could join WSNIMA. The process was defined as follows: 1) WSNIMA would take a straw poll of the men in attendance at the 2017 Mid-Year Conference in Pasco. If that was favorable, things would move to step two. If not, it was dead there. 2) Barbara would instruct the Chapters to hold special meetings to vote on whether to join or not between May 1, 2017 and August 1, 2017. If the majority of chapters were in favor of it, the process would move to step three. If not, it was dead there. 3) The members of WSNIMA would vote on the by-laws changes making the WOTM joining possible at their 2017 annual Convention in Wenatchee.
As most of you already know, the process passed every stage of this process and the WOTM are now full-fledged members of WSNIMA with all rights and privileges. What does that mean? The rest of this article will tell you what that means based on what we know today.
First, WOTM members are now members of not only the Association but the district that represents their chapters. For example, a Chehalis WOTM member is now a member of WSNIMA District 3. She has the ability to make motions and seconds, and vote. She can also hold district office. The same holds true at the Association level as long as she is a qualified delegate and/or she is qualified for the open office at the Association level.
Second, WOTM members will have all of their training costs funded by WSNIMA including Exec Session and 2-HOTT. The first class that will be funded by WSNIMA is being offered in October.
Third, yes, there are per-capita dues of $1.00 per member per quarter to be paid. WSNIMA will use that money to provide training and services to the chapters just as they have for the LOOM for the last 70 years. The great news about this is that WSNIMA money is no longer men's money. It is now OUR money and WE will decide as a joint group how it will be used. To give the Chapters time to find a way to fund the dues, the WSNIMA Membership voted to delay the start of per-capita billings to the Chapters until the first quarter of 2018. Chapters will not get their first bill until April of 2018 as a result.
This is the first time since the early days of the Moose Legion that we have one fraternal unit composed of men and women that we are true equals in every way. It is no longer men and women. At the Association level, there will be no more personal pronouns like I, me, and mine. It is we, us, and ours.
There are still many details to work out. To work on those and provide advice and direction to the Board of Officers, WSNIMA has formed an implementation committee composed of John Mangiantini and Suzanne Dinning as co-chairs, with membership consisting of Heather Morgan, Kathy Burton, Rebecca Hoffarth, Duane Lusby, Rob Burton, and Paul Taylor. If you have any questions, please email John Mangiantini at johnmangiantini@hotmail.com and/or Suzanne Dinning at suzdinwa@comcast.net. If they don't have the answers, they will pose the question to the committee, which will work on the answer.
Many people have said that the eyes of the fraternity are upon WSNIMA. They truly are. While that might make some associations nervous, it shouldn't us. We were chosen for this because we already work well together and the leadership felt that we had the chops to see this through. We will put policy in place that will not only make this work, it will make WSNIMA and our lodges and chapters thrive.
Hang on for an interesting, but very transformative ride. In two years, we will look back and wonder why we waited this long to do it.

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