Following is an update for all members who were not at Conference regarding the state of PORAC’s finances. Feel free to contact me with any questions.
PORAC investments: As of a recent conversation with Mark Sikorski, our investments were up around 16%, and that is with 25% of our monies in fixed income/bonds. The S&P for the same period is up 16.88%, which means our accounts are doing very well. Obviously, we would be doing much better if 25% of our monies were in stocks; however, there needs to be some security built into our investments. Since Mark and I began managing these accounts, our reserves have increased from $2.05 million to $9.7 million. About $3 million is segregated for any pension issue that may arise.
The audit: Finance and Administrative Manager Kim Busman was very busy this past year. We realized a savings at the closing of last year’s books, which was welcome news since there were several unexpected expenses along the way. We dealt with the same points of concern as we have in the past — the prominent one being having just one person controlling our finances — but there are security measures in place to prevent fraud. Those security measures are your executive officers, Executive Committee, Board of Directors, Budget and Fiscal Management committees, and the auditors.
Last year the auditors were also concerned about the amount of monies being held by PORAC chapters, with varied methods of oversight. However, they were pleased with the progress made by our chapters in providing better reporting methods to show where and how the money is being spent, along with oversight on their respective funds.
The budget: PORAC’s Budget Committee, composed of Executive Committee Directors Barry Donelan, Randy Beintema, Anthony Sanders, Laren Leichliter and me, has been very busy through this budget cycle. The committee decided to take a look at portions of the budget where it felt the organization could be more efficient. The Budget Committee has taken its fiduciary responsibility very seriously and is not afraid to ask tough questions and make tough budgetary decisions.
That brings us to next year’s budget. Over the past few years, I have presented the members with an unbalanced budget predominantly in the red, but we have always ended up in the black. This year we put together a budget that is in the black right from the outset.
Fiscal Management Committee: Your Fiscal Management Committee (FMC), which is composed of board members from each region, met in May this year to review PORAC’s vouchers from last year’s Conference up to April 2017. Upon review of the vouchers, the Committee did not find any discrepancies as to how PORAC is reimbursing its directors. Besides reviewing the vouchers and contracts, the FMC is in place to deal with any other issues that may arise that affect how PORAC manages your monies. It is the committee tasked with looking at the issues raised by our auditors and finding working solutions to ensure the organization remains fiscally strong.
PORAC assets: The PORAC building continues to show its age. We have had to invest in a few fixes here and there. Unfortunately, due to the current sentiment about law enforcement throughout the nation, we felt the building needed additional security both on the exterior and interior. The Board authorized an extensive capital improvement project. To that end, we purchased a state-of-the-art camera system that provides excellent video security to our building; in addition, we are able to remotely access the cameras.
Last year, we also had to conduct some significant foundation repairs on the PORAC house. The repairs were completed last September. This year we made the cosmetic repairs, since the Board gave Kim and me direction to sell the house and purchase two condos. Kim conducted the lion’s share of the work and within a month had sold the house and purchased two condos. With the money from the house sale, the condos cost around $113,000. They are near headquarters, close to the State Capitol, and should provide very well for the housing needs of our president, vice president and treasurer for years to come.
Headquarters also needed to update its over 20-year-old phone system. The 2017 budget included funds to replace it, which occurred in August. The system is now more user-friendly and has several added features that help serve our members better.
From your Treasurer: Future conferences will be held at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno, Nevada, in 2018; the J.W. Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in 2019; and Disneyland in 2020. We will begin looking at venues to host our 2021 conference in the early part of 2018.
As 2017 comes to a close and we move into 2018, I am, as always, fully committed to being the fiscal watchdog of PORAC’s financial operations. I wish you and your family a safe and wonderful holiday season.