The Association of Retired Conservationists was organized by a group of retirees from the Wisconsin Conservation Department in the 1960's. By the mid-1970's, the WCD had been combined with the Department of Resource Development to form the Department of Natural Resources, and the retirees group had grown significantly, met monthly for lunch and began inviting speakers to address the group on issues of interest to the members. Today, the organization has more than two hundred members.

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Meeting Minutes

Association of Retired Conservationists

Minutes of January 3, 2018

Maple Tree Restaurant, McFarland


The meeting was called to order at 1 p.m. by President Laurel Steffes. Forty-three members were in attendance. These minutes are provided by acting secretary Bruce Chevis for this meeting.


A moment of silence was observed for friends and family who have passed and for our troops who are serving in harm’s way.


The minutes of the November and December meetings were read and approved as presented.

Financial Report: In absence of our Treasurer, the financial report will be given next meeting.


Linda Netzer was again thanked for all the behind-the-scenes work in lining up and coordinating with the restaurants where we meet.


Guests and New Members:

Member Sheila Ballweg’s mother, Delores, was in attendance.


Steve Holaday (DNR Water Resources and Forestry) attended his first meeting.


Robert Rolley (Wildlife) attended his second meeting and was unanimously voted into the organization and willingly paid his $5 lifetime dues.


Jack Sullivan (Bureau of Research and Science) attended his second meeting and was near-unanimously voted into the organization and willingly paid his $5 lifetime dues.


The Frank & Miller Report was presented by Ed Frank.

ETF pension: Ed reported that, while we don’t have the final numbers to set the rates of our pension payments for 2018, the Core Fund was up 14.7% and the Variable Fund was up 21.5% in the latest reports. Ed’s educated guess is that we should see an increase in the Core pensions by a little more than 2% and the Variable pensions could increase by nearly 15% starting in May.


Social Security payments increased 2% for 2018 but increases in the cost of Medicare taken out of Soc. Sec. checks will likely erase most of that increase.


This year, 2018, is the 10th year of a Bull Market. The market is at its highest level in six years and heading for that anticipated bubble. Ed’s experience and information sources expect one more year of really good stock market increases before any real adjustment to the market.


The State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) is well balanced in its investments with approximately 25% of investments in US stocks. Private sector and global investments account for the bulk of the remainder. SWIB is wisely being a little more conservative in their investments to avoid any big drops like occurred in 2008.


Legislative Report: None.


Old Business: None.


New Business:

Jim Miller thought that Jerry Lapidakis might know of a speaker on the subject of hearing loss.


Ed Frank said that he would send us the name of a possible speaker from AARP on Medicare.



Rudy Nigl (Forestry)

Howard Hoffmeister

Bernie Krueger

Keith Reichenbach



Barb Wolf had surgery in December and is recuperating in Door County and doing well.


Birthdays & Anniversaries:

Ed Frank – 85 years old on January 16th and celebrating his 64th wedding anniversary

Ron Poff has been married 60 years



Grace Cudney took a trip to Taiwan with friends.


Jokes: None of substance.


Election of Officers for 2018:

Laurel Steffes was re-elected to the office of President by a unanimous vote.

It was moved and seconded to split the Secretary/Treasurer office into two positions. That motion was unanimously approved.

Steve Holaday was elected to the new office of Treasurer.

The election to fill the remaining offices of Vice President and Secretary was deferred to the February meeting.


Reminder: Next meeting is at Babes Restaurant which is a good location for giving presentations. If you have a trip or appropriate topic for a presentation to our group, please contact Linda Netzer.


The meeting was adjourned at 1:33 p.m.