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Last update: 10-Oct-2018
2018 COMSAT Alumni Social Photos
About 35 people attended the 2018 COMARA Social on Sunday, September 30 at Thats Amore on Shady Grove Road in Rockville. Denis Curtin made arrangements for the venue. Geze Serenyi (treasurer) collected checks from our PO Box, and email notices from PayPal as our members paid for the event.
Paul Schrantz and Ron Garlow took pictures at the event. This album contains 51 photos taken during the event. This One Drive album is provided without charge by Microsoft for any user with an Outlook email account. The owner of the account creates the album, and then uploads copies of the pictures. Microsoft handles the formatting of the photo display for computer, tablet, or smart phone.
Maury Mechanick, COMARA President, conducted a short meeting at the event. Maury introduced Richard Rankin, newly elected COMARA Director.
There was some discussion of the support COMARA members have provided to the National Electronics Museum, located near BWI airport.
Election Results for the 2018 Class of Directors
Thanks to members who took the time to vote.
Pictures from First Wednesday Gathering
Thanks to Ron Johnson for making arrangements for this gathering.
We had 52 members and spouses attend the First Wednesday in December Gathering.
We filled up the place. Lots of good conversation. Ron Johnson received
an heirloom tee shirt.
Paul Schrantz and Geza Serenyi provided these photos from the gathering.
Medicare Open Enrollment Season
October 15 through December 7, 2018
Medicare's Open Enrollment Period runs from October 15 through December 7, 2018. To help you decide if you need to make changes during this time, check out the Via Benefits Advocate - Fall 2018 Newsletter. We encourage everyone who has a funding account or HRA through Via Benefits to review it.
VIA Benefits Online Access
If you had a username and password to access your benefits under Tower's Watson One Exchange,
they should work with the new portal.
Election for Board of Directors
COMARA has a Board containing nine Directors. Each Director serves for a three year term. This provides for continuity in guiding the organization. COMARA has a set of Bylaws that govern a number of the actions. The Board is responsible to provide a list of candidates 30 days prior to the annual meeting.
The three Directors whose term is expiring this year were elected in 2015. These are: Peter Jacxsens, David Lee, and Maury Mechanick. Maury and David have agreed to stand for election is 2018. Peter Jacxsens does not plan to continue.
The results are stored in a table in the online database for the website. Members can vote only once, but can change their votes until two days before the annual meeting.
You can view a copy of the Bylaws .
2018 Picnic Recap
After a dreary week of rain and coolish temperatures thru Saturday, causing much anxiety about the expected weather for yesterday's event, the clouds gave away to bright sunshine and warmer temperatures for the picnic where 69 persons were in attendance out of 79 who RSVPd coming: 57 IRAA, 3 Intelsat, 7 COMARA, and 2 former Intelsat. Once again, everyone had a fun time enjoying the warm camaraderie between friends and former colleagues from COMARA, IRAA, current/former Intelsat staff who reconnected and reminisced with each other.
Ed Stoner, who was a professional photographer for INTELSAT, took a number of photos and has uploaded these to the internet. You can view his photos from Ed Stoner's Picnic Photos
As has been customary, the menu fare consisted of the popular and delicious Crisp n Juicy chicken, along with lots of roasted vegetables and our own grilled Bubba burgers (some with Todd's Dirt, a gourmet seasoning made up with 14 spices/herbs), chipotle black bean burgers and hot dogs. An unexpected delight were the many delicious, homemade cupcakes brought by Linda Marlow.
As usual, big thanks to Alan Olson and his team for organizing the picnic. You can read
additional details from the
IRAA Website Social Events
Have you paid dues for 2018?
So many New Year's Resolutions are quickly broken and forgotten, but one resolution you should work on is to keep up with your annual COMARA membership dues. The COMARA Board of Directors wholeheartedly thanks each of you who are already paid up for 2018.
The Treasurer reports that the number of paid members for 2018 is very low, and at this point is not enough to support our basic expenses. We had 113 members who had paid current year dues by this time in 2017. We currently have only 44 members who are supporting our activities by paying dues.
One of the activities we are currently working on is a complete refresh of the site design. We are working on changes that will enable a member to navigate and view the information on the website using any device - computer, tablet, or smart phone.
Your dues are needed to support COMARA's mission of keeping the COMSAT Legacy alive and paying for this year's operational expenses such as the COMARA web site. COMARA.ORG has lots of wonderful links to legacy materials, membership contact data, and retiree benefits information.
If you cannot remember whether or not you are already paid up,
you can check your dues status by signing in to COMARA.ORG and
seeing if the text at the top left side next to your name
says "Dues paid in current year" or "Future dues paid".
Don't forget you can also pay your dues via the PayPal link at the bottom of the COMARA home page.
The Sun is Rising in Africa & the Middle East
On the Road to a Solar Energy Future
Peter F. Varadi, Frank Wouters & Allan R. Hoffman
Today utilization of solar energy is of interest to everybody but especially
important for government and private sector officials in Africa, the Middle East,
and other regions of the developing world; bankers, investors, and other members
of the financial community interested in solar/renewable energy;
students interested in entering the solar/renewable energy field;
development specialists and students: solar energy students and specialists;
vendors of solar energy equipment
COMSAT Slide Collection
One of the COMSAT Legacy collections is a box containing nearly 1100 slides. Dan DiFonzo recently took on the job of scanning the slides so our members, and the world can share them. This is a gargantuan job. Dan has created a OneDrive album and uploaded the slides to this album. This is a massive collection with a size of about 2GB.
From Dan DiFonzo: As promised, here is the link to view and/or download the 1100 Comsat
slides that I scanned and digitized. These images have been uploaded
to a OneDrive album.
Click the array to view the OneDrive Album
The notation on each slide refers to the drawer that contained the slides
in the 3 across x 6 down set of plastic drawers.
Otherwise, the slides are numbered in the order I scanned them.
Only 14 of the drawers had slides.
Satellite Gallery Opens at National Electronics Museum -- July 10, 2017
The "Satellites: Transforming our Lives" exhibit--after 5 years of fund raising, collecting artifacts, and careful design opened at the National Electronics Museum as of July 10, 2017. It was a long hard slog to raise over $600,000 from some 50 different contributors, to put together the exhibit artifacts including satellites and launchers, create the Arthur C. Clarke mini-theater, display the entire SSPI Hall of Fame--among many other wonderful features. The committee that made this happen are to be congratulated. They include Denis Curtin, Maury Mechanick, Ellen Hoff, Ruth Pritchard-Kelly, Ramesh Gupta, Scott Chase, and Joe Pelton, who has chaired the effort over the past 5 years. The opening will be as of July 10, 2017 and there will be a special gala opening in the Fall for members of the Maryland state government, industry officials, the SSPI, the Hall of Fame and major contributors.
Pictured are in the introductory foyer of the satellite gallery are:
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