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Board Members: Local Secretary—Maggie Klinzman

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Annual Report—Minnesota Mensa


Annual Report

Minnesota Mensa 2011

Board Members:

Local Secretary—Maggie Klinzman:

State Fair

We continue to provide information on Mensa and Minnesota Mensa in the Education Building at the Minnesota State Fair. This year we did not generate as many testing lead as we having in the past. Testing is lower across the nation. We will continue to work on developing our booth, while keeping our costs down. Special thanks go to all of the volunteers who make each State Fair a success.

Regional Gathering

Our Regional Gathering (RG) was held April 1st through the 3rd. Jane Gmur was the Chair and Program Director. Maggie Klinzman was registar and Treasurer and Ken Silver ran Hospitality. We had 80 members and guests registered for the RG. As it was scheduled for the First Friday of April, we had First Friday at the RG with at 86 members and guests in attendance. Our keynote speaker was John Moe, from American Public Radio, who spoke on embracing technology.

First Friday

We started Meet the SIG (Special Interest Group) at First Friday. We bring in SIG members and give them a table to discuss their SIG with other members. The goal is to increase attendance both at First Friday and the SIGs. I am not sure attendance has grown, but it has been nice for members to get to meet other members.


We ended the year with 1347 members which is a decrease of 2%. We were at 1375 on March 31, 2010. The decrease is not a total surprise as testing levels have been down both here in Minnesota, and across the nation. With the high level of renewals and lapsed members returning to Mensa, I hope to see better numbers next year.

First Vice-Secretary—Karen Cyson:

The First Vice-Secretary has two areas of responsibility: The Volunteer Reward Program and the Annual Meeting


2009/10 Mensabuck tallies were tabulated and Mensabucks were distributed at First Friday for 2 months. 2010/11 Mensabuck tallies were tabulated and Mensabucks earned were combined with unclaimed 2009/10 Mensabucks and mailed to volunteers prior to the April, 2011 RG.


The Annual Meeting was held in April, 2010 at St. Francis Cabrini in S.E. Minneapolis. We also held a Leadership Development workshop at that location.


Second Vice-Secretary—(open position):

No report submitted.

Recording Secretary—Sarah Beckman:

As Recording Secretary, I continued to provide support to maintenance the ASIEs, to record the actions of the board and to provide the Annual Report.

Treasurer—Bill Kuhns:

Minnesota Mensa continues to be financially viable, able to support missions such as the scholarship program, Minnesota State Fair participation (our major outreach effort), the award-winning MENSAGENDA newsletter, as well as volunteer –led groups and activities across the state.

Please refer to monthly statements, published in the MENSAGENDA, for details.

Communication Officer—Mathew Rouch:

Here are the things I've worked on over the last year as Communications Officer. 

1. Implemented the automated mailing of electronic newsletters.
2. Send the electronic newsletter mailing every month.
3. Implemented the new Minnesota Mensa facebook page.
4. Implemented the Minnesota Mensa twitter account.
5. Linked updates to the facebook and twitter accounts and post twice-weekly updates of upcoming events.
6. Researched methods of implementing online voting.
7. Set up the standard documents folder on the website.

Past LocSec—Jane Gmur:

No report submitted.


Finance Director—Ken Silver:

Our 7.6% note with Ford Motor Credit which we had for almost nine years was redeemed by the company. In order to get a similar rate of interest in the current market in which interest rates are very low, I have invested in an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) with Barclay Bank that is made up of high-yield bonds. There will be some price fluctuations, but as a percentage of the investment they should be small. The current yield on the fund is 7.5%.

Gifted Children Coordinator—Teresa Manzella:

This has been another busy year for me. I have planned at least one event for each month. I have been focusing on getting the Teen Mensans together about every 2 months, since that group is the most active, and I plan all-ages events more sporadically.

Currently (according to the March report from the national office), we have 96 members of MN Mensa under the age of 18, making ours the largest group of Young Ms in the country (I’ve heard). The number always dips a bit when people are slow to renew, but that is the highest number we have ever achieved.

Last summer’s joint picnic with the MN Council for the Gifted and Talented (MCGT) again drew a large crowd. Around 120 parents and children attended. Our new location, at Lebanon Hills Park in Eagan, was a big hit, and there will be another picnic there this year. This year, I intend to plan a Mensa-only event. I will no doubt help out with the picnic in some way, but after doing that for 5 years, I want to try something new for MN Mensa families. I am still working on the idea, and I welcome input.

I continue to write a column each month for the Mensagenda. And I continue to network with MCGT and NAGC (National Association for Gifted Children).This helps maintain a positive profile for MN Mensa more broadly in the Minnesota g/t community. Terry Friedrichs (of MCGT) and I have successfully petitioned NAGC to start a GLBTQ SIG to support gifted youth, their parents, and educators with advocacy and information. I hope to be presenting on this SIG and its importance at the NAGC National Convention in New Orleans in November.

I continue to seek a replacement for the GCC position, but with no success so far. After having done the planning of activities for the last 8 years, and having been GCC for the last 4+, I would like someone with new ideas and energy (and younger children) to take over the position. As I have stated before, I am happy to continue planning Teen M activities and to help train in a new person.

I appreciate the Board’s continued financial support of the GCP, and I plan to continue to put the money to good use.

Historian—(open position):

No report submitted.

Circulation Manager—Gordon Andersen:

A major milestone was achieved this year, as Jane Gmur took on the daunting challenge of learning how to mail Mensagenda.  Classified as a Periodical, our newsletter entails very strict and complicated rules for preparation and mailing.  Jane is now qualified to mail in the event I cannot, and will continue to do so often enough to keep up to date on postal regulations pertaining to our publication.  Our printer also has the capability to mail, but it is relatively expensive and should no longer be needed for the task.


I must also applaud my small mailing crew, without whose dedication I would be up all night finishing the job.  Regulars include Joan Cichosz, Maggie Klinzman, Dave Norman, Richard Carrel, Marcia McCloskey, and Jane Gmur.  My thanks also go to those who come less frequently but who are no less appreciated.  All members are welcome to participate, and no experience is required.

Legal Counsel to the Board—Paul Chamberlain:

No report submitted.

Mediator/Arbitrator—Ken Silver:

No complaints have been brought to my attention during the year.

Membership Officer—Mary Olson Coleman:

My main duties as Membership Officer are serving as the keeper of the membership lists that are sent from the national office every month, responding to membership questions/requests from the website and sending out new member packets. Every month I provide the Communications Officer with the current electronic publication list and the Mensagenda Editor with new member information.  I am always open to expanding my role and welcome any suggestions.

Mensagena Editor—Linda Seebach:

I became Mensagenda editor effective with the May 2010 issue, which was prepared in April 2010. I've just completed a full year. I edit the incoming copy, do the page layout, and send a draft of the issue to Gordy Andersen for proofreading. After his corrections have been incorporated, I make the complete final draft and send it to the printer. Incidental duties include notifying contributors of upcoming deadlines, corresponding with the cover and calendar editors and helping contributors prepare their copy.

We printed seven 28-page issues and five 24-page issues from May 2010 through April 2011.


The Mensaphone was very quiet this year again. Many calls were hang ups or people trying to sell us something, as if this is a personal phone line. The most requested type of information was for testing (9), that including taking our test (five) or if a previous test (four) they took would qualify for membership. The highest total of calls was the twelve miscellaneous calls, which included calls from a school district having an educational fair and wanted Mensa to be there, all the way to someone to calling to cancel their RG registration. Calls regarding children (three), First Friday (one), State Fair (one) and how to join (two). Requests for membership totaled seven calls. Either I returned the calls or I passed them along to a person in Minnesota Mensa that could best help them. For instance, a call about a child, would go to Teresa Manzella, our Gifted Child Coordinator. Total actual calls for Minnesota Mensa this year- 2010/2011 - was 35 calls.

New Member Coordinator—Ken Silver/Teresa Roguski:

Greeting Meeting continues to meet monthly but mostly for the pleasure of the greeters.

PR/Marketing Coordinator—Stan Leino:

No report submitted.

Scholarship Coordinator—Jane Gmur:

No report submitted.

SIGHT Coordinator—Teresa Manzella:

The 2010–11 year has been another fairly quiet one for SIGHT.

I received a request for hosting for late June of last year. RJ Erhardt and I worked together to host a woman from Michigan for several days while she participated in a conference in Minneapolis. It worked out very well to share the hosting, so each of us only had a few nights. Our guest was at the AG as well, so we got to reconnect there.

Currently, there are no SIGHT requests in the works.

Testing Coordinator—Paul Jensen:

No report submitted.

Webmaster—Karen Kuntz:

No report submitted.

Duluth/Superior Area Coordinator—Amy Wicklund:

The Northern Brights is the Duluth-Superior Area Mensa Group. We hold monthly activities with attendance between two and 11 people. I became coordinator in late 2010. In March, 2010, we met for food and conversation in a private home. In April, we went to a local comedy club for dinner and a comedy show. In May, we met at a new local restaurant for lunch. In June, we had an outdoor picnic potluck. In July, we met downtown for lunch. In August, we met at a member’s home for an evening gathering. In September, we met for an afternoon of jazz music at a local club. In October we went for a hike on the Superior Hiking Trail. In November we met at a new local restaurant for dinner. In December we held a holiday potluck at a private home. In January, 2011, we were treated to an African safari adventure at a member’s home. In February we had a board game night. In March we enacted a Mardi Gras murder mystery dinner at a local restaurant. In April we plan to have an optional roller derby bout, to see a member play, in addition to our official event of learning about a member’s competition-winning terrazo art floor at the new Amsoil Arena.

I have been working on outreach, inclulding publishing our events in the Mensagenda and the WiscoM, so both Minnesota and Wisconsin area residents can know about the Northern Brights events. I am also planning to improve our current email interest list to reach as many people as possible.

Lake Pepin Area Coordinator—Shirley Porrazzo:

Highlight of the year was a meeting at the Pickle Factory in Pepin, Wisconsin. Ellen Voie (Wisconsin LocSec) and Ed Carmo (Wisconsin Deputy LocSec) made the trek up to the event. Our group meets regular with anywhere from six to eight participants from a variety of areas around the Lake Pepin Area. We have also expended out the areas to incorporate a wider variety of individuals.

Mankato Area Coordinator— (open position):

No report submitted.

Northfield Area Coordinator—Bill Kuhns:

The Northfield / Cannon River Area group of Minnesota Mensa has met monthly in various outdoor venues, except when weather was expected to be bad enough to favor meeting indoors.

The area has relatively few members, and attendance has been spotty, but people in attendance have been enthusiastic and well-received by one another.

Children, members from other areas, and guests of members, have always been welcomed.

Red River Area Coordinator—Ron Kreienkamp:

Our events consisted mostly of lunch and dinner meetings in the Fargo-Moorhead area. I coordinate meeting events with the North Dakota Mensa southeast Area Coordinator to ensure widest information dissemination.  All our events are also published in the North Dakota Prairie Dawg.

I write a personal letter to each new or returning member to the “Red River” area as I am notified. I currently have 34 Red River-area members.


I sponsored 18 social events plus the National Testing Day and one other testing event. In spite of notifying three newspapers, no one tested in October. The other testing event will be March 26th and at least one person is scheduled to participate.


Attendance at events is, at best, minimal.

Central Minnesota Area Coordinator—Karen Cyson:

Central Intelligents meet monthly, usually on the first Wednesday of the month, at a local restaurant. Well-Read Women book group meets monthly, following the dinner, in a private home. Dinner attendance ranges from 4-14; book group ranges from 3-6.


Southeast Minnesota Area—Carolyn Jukich:

The South East Minnesota Mensa met the second Saturday at the Old Country Buffet in Rochester. Sometimes we played Trivia games and other times we just visited. Our conversations are always interesting! Also, Jane Norell presided at two testing dates here in Rochester. Also, Jane Norell presided at two testing dates here in Rochester.

Jerry Dubin and I shared the job of coordinator.
St. Croix Area Coordinator—Hank Drews:

St. Croix area Mensa will meet at 7pm May 12th in the Gallery of the Stillwater Library with a program of Freelance communication then and now. Join us.

Willmar Area Coordinator—Bill Hagen:

We have a small group of Mensans that meet once a month in Willmar. Members include retired math and English h.s. teachers; former newspaper publisher & his wife, a former hospital cafeteria cashier and me. One of our members, Karen Halling, administrates the Mensa test every October.

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