Activity Coordinating Committee’s Report

The 2023 Activity Chairman Coordinating Team comprises:

Chick Lowry

Mike Frey









Dennis Mierzwa 

ACC Report for September 2023

  • The ACC has found our Branch Activity web pages are worse off than originally thought; really old photos, too many outdated monthly activity summaries, no AC photo, no contact email/phone #, no current venue info., etc. It is suggested we setup parameters to be followed so that we create a static and consistent presentation across all Activities. 

      A proposed new format will include:

              A/C’s and Co-Chair’s photographs

              A/C’s and Co-Chair’s Email addresses and Phone Numbers

              A short description of the Activity including: Activity Venues (locations, day of                week held and times).

  • The ACC received a request from a member of the Diablo Devils Investment Club requesting help to recruit new members. It was decided to refer them to our $UM’s activity chairman. The $UM’s chairman sent an informational email about DDIC to its members.
  • The ACC team is proposing the integration of A/C information from AMS (via an additional column) into the membership database. Then all the A/C info will be within a single database for historical record purposes.
  • The ACC looked at Branch 146’s presentation of activities on their website. The ACC decided to contact the BR 146 Activity coordinator to understand how they present, manage and document their activity data (i.e. do they have a data system similar to our AMS?)

ACC Report for August 2023

  • The ACC Team continues to work with various Activity Chairs to assist with organizational changes for their groups. We have a potential reduction in Branch activity count under review due to the merger of Duplicate Bridge 1 and 2 into just Duplicate Bridge. We will resolve issues by next report.
  • Mike Frey continues efforts to work with the Hotline folks and Derek to up-date the Activity web links indices and web pages so they all match.  His efforts also include the collection of recent activity event photos for posting in the Hotline and on the State Sir Face book site.
  • The after luncheon AMS training sessions have been halted due to lack of A/C availability. Opportunities have been made available but participation has diminished significantly.  Use of the system continues to be some A/C’s will use it, some won’t.

ACC Report for July 2023  

  • The ACC team has updated the Activity Chair listing for the Third Quarter posting on the Branch Website. The Website opening page index providing links to various activity pages will also be updated to match the A/C Listings.
  • We have reduced our Activity count by 2 to 56 activities, added three Co-Ed opportunities to 41 and Branch shared activities to 22. When combining all Branch 8 and outside Branch Activities the membership opportunities total 64.
  •  The two decommissioned activities are Ron Smith’s Arts, Crafts and Hobbies that might find new vision, but not sure how or when it will occur and Ken Main’s Dine out 1 which will not completely disband as the members have been asked to move over into the Bargain Bites Activity as an alternate event venue.   
  • Requests have been sent to A/C’s asking them to update website pages that have fallen behind with outdated information about the Activity. ACC team members are prepared to assist with helping them to make changes and get new information posted. Efforts will be ongoing.
  • New invitations will be sent to A/C’s in mid July to offer additional AMS Training after monthly luncheons. Previous sessions have been very successful in bringing chairs up to speed on system utilization.
  • ACC assisted Branch 171 with an outing opportunity to join them in an outing to tour The Buehler House in Orinda on August 2nd. They were having problems meeting the required group numbers to make the outing happen. We distributed the invite to our membership and have helped them meet the requirements. More cross branch sharing possibilities.
  • The ACC Team also polled A/C’s to see if photos of their activities were available for posting on the Sir Social Activity Facebook page to promote recruitment possibilities. Any/all were to be sent to Derek Southern. So he could use them for that purpose.
  • In closing, David Bushnell wishes to change the name of his Sirs at the Opera/Ballet to“Opera in the Theaters.”  The ACC supports this change as it better represents the functions of the activity.  Membership applications and data base tables will be adjusted accordingly.


ACC Report for June 2023

  • The ACC team continues to work to train Activity Chairs in the use of the AMS system. Additional after monthly luncheon training session will be available for those A/C’s interested in learning more about how it all works to make activity management easier to do. The team will be contacting A/C’s to encourage participation.
  • The suggestion to add activity photos to a Sirs FaceBook page has been sent out to the various A/C’s for collection and posting by Derek Southerland. A part of Branch recruitment may be strengthen by letting prospective members see how activity members enjoy themselves as well as the provided written descriptions We await receipt of activity photos.
  • A request for corrective input for the preparation of the 3rd quarter Activity Listing posted on the Branch 8 Website has been sent to active Activity Chairs. Names and responsibilities change frequently and we need to capture the changes to keep the positing current. Will Activity Chairs please respond with “all OK or the required info updates” by the date noted on the request Email.
  • The ACC team will meet again on June 26 to review and set any required goals for the next month.
ACC Report for May 2023.
The ACC team met on April 24th to review our activity for the next month.
Here are highlights/actions from the meeting:
Mike Frey will coordinate a special meeting with Thom Watkins and Roger Lamm following the May luncheon to provide AMS training they can utilize in their efforts to develop and execute their responsibilities for the Oktoberfest event. The training will take place immediately following the luncheon.
The ACC will resume AMS training for all interested A/C’s in July. We are
developing additional methods for selecting candidates that will benefit most from the training efforts to manage their activities. The scheduling effort has been found to take more effort than originally believed.
Ken will collect the luncheon announcements and deliver them to the group on
May 8th.
Ken will continue to function as an ACC team member through 2023 and then
retire from the position. An Additional member to replace him is currently being
The BEC has developed a communications memo for new COVID protocol
requirements. No further action to perform this task is now required of the ACC
team. We will be available to assist A/C’s with execution of their COVID duties
going forward.
The Activity Chairman’s Handbook has been modified (thank you Mike) and
posted on the Branch Website for use in developing new A/C’s and those who
assume responsibility for existing activities as responsibilities change. Please
have a look and provide suggestions if you feel they are necessary. Mike did a
great job with the updating of the document.
Activity Admin – Tools for Activity Chairmen – Activity Chairman Handbook.
Our next ZOOM ACC team meeting will occur on Monday, May 22nd at 2 PM


ACC Report for April 2023

The ACC Team continues efforts to increase the use of AMS by Activity Chairs. We trained 4 A/C’s last month and got several positive reviews from those who took the time to learn more on how to use the system. We will continue training opportunities for other interested chairs in May.

The distribution of COVID-19 protocol changes received from the State Sir has been delayed. The draft document for announcement to Activity Chairs will be presented to the BEC after additional discussion within the ACC as to who will notify the State of a COVID event. There needs to be a formal Branch process as to how to handle communication transmissions. The ACC is discussing possibilities and will submit them to the BEC for approval. The approved version will then be distributed to the A/C’s.

The ACC requires a list of names along with the number of luncheon participants so we can prepare specific invitations to Activity Chairs for AMS training sessions. The casual invitation process we initially used did not work as well as expected. Manuel was asked for a copy of confirming members, but the documents provided only numbers not names of participants.  We do not need to have the A/C names pulled out, just a list of who has confirmed participation. We can then ID and contact possible AMS training candidates. The plan was to capture the outdoor or large gathering activities first.

Ken Main and Mike Frey are reviewing the Activity Chair Handbook to determine any changes that are required to meet our current Branch 8 requirements. The handbook was created as a guide for new A/C’s when one is introduced or leadership of an existing activity changes. The tool resides in the Activity Admin section of the website and has not been reviewed since 2017. Almost a certainly revisions will be required. We should have changes ready for presentation to the BEC at the May meeting.

Each member of the ACC Team has sent a Don Atwater request for newly created or up-dated Activity Chairman Bio’s for posting on the website. We await a report on request returns.

The ever-changing Activity List is current on the website. Mike Frey and I will do our best to keep it current. Ron Rizzo will be promoting the Mahjong Activity for additional members with an announcement at lunch.

The ACC Team will have its next digital meeting on April 24th, at 2:00 PM to coordinate activity efforts.    

The current Branch 8 Activity Status is:

  • 58 Activities, 38 Co-Ed, including 3 Branch wide events and 2 Community Outreach efforts.
  • 10 Br8 activities are currently available to share with other Branches
  • There are 8 additional other Branch activities available for our membership
  • And 2 that are shared at a State level with all branches, Fishing and Bowling


ACC Report for March 2023

The Branch 8 Activity List has been updated and posted on the website. The ACC will update as needed in quarterly intervals during the year.

AMS training continues with post monthly Luncheon sessions. A new approach with “hands-on” training provided in small groups is set to commence following the March meeting. We will begin with 6 outdoor related activities chairmen. We will continue training sessions until ALL A/C’s (who currently do not use the system) have been exposed to the importance of the various features AMS provides. A copy of the training elements is included with this report.

We have two activities to present to the BEC this month. One is completely NEW, the Jigsaw Puzzle Exchange, and one is an existing one, MAHJONG, that was not previously promoted to the general membership, but has been listed on the Activity List for some time. Ron Rizzo is the chairman and he and the group who presently enjoy the game are interested is expanding the player membership. A copy of the puzzle activity is included and Ron will speak to his activity during the BEC meeting.

Our ACC Team has also addressed issues regarding the continuation of the Website’s events calendar as a question arose regarding the need to keep it current. It requires continuous updating for some activities and is not utilized by all A/C’s, making it frequently incorrect when changes are made locally by A/C’s and unreported. The Hotline publication also has difficulty when the calendar info is different from the information they receive from various A/C chairmen, as they also use it as an element in the newsletter.

Following some discussion, the ACC believes the calendar should remain in use as it requires minimum resources to keep current and see a need to demonstrate use and importance in the current A/C training processes.

There was a directive from the State Sir Administration suggesting we use a specific format letter regarding response to a COVID exposure event. Several notes passed between BEC members asking questions on how to handle issues of this nature. Is there a resolution to those questions that will allow the ACC to forward the appropriate protocol for handling to all A/C’s?

The current Branch 8 Activity Status is:

  • 58 Activities, 38 Co-Ed, including 3 Branch wide events and 2 Community Outreach efforts.
  • 10 Br8 activities are currently available to share with other Branches
  • There are 8 additional other Branch activities available for our membership

          And 2 that are shared at a State level with all branches, Fishing and Bowling

ACC Report for February 2023

The ACC Team continues to make corrections to the Activity Chair listing so the information posted on the Branch 8 website is as current as possible. Each ACC Team member has been given a number of activities from the list to provide assistance to the chairperson in managing the activity if they request help.

An up-dated list was sent to each activity chair for their review with a request that they report back with corrections or changes in responsibilities. Those responses have already produced corrections to the document. More may be coming. A corrected A/C listing will be posted on the website upon completion. The list will be up-dated quarterly moving forward.

Mike Frey has taken on the responsibilities for cross checking the Branch Activity Management System (AMS) to assure it matches the current activity status. Each ACC team member will learn to perform this action as needed. This will correct the Branch record keeping problems we have been experiencing. Efforts will continue to train the activity chairs in making changes to the AMS data as they occur. Where the chair is not able to navigate the system the ACC team will assist with changes if the chair notifies his ACC team contact of the need.

The team is planning to continue with the after monthly luncheon discussions and training opportunities. The next session will be in March. We hope to see activity chairs who have not been able to attend previous training opportunities in attendance as well as others who can share their experiences of successes and needs in the management of their activities. The intent of the meetings is to make the operation of each activity as easy as possible for the chairs and assistants.

Mike has revised the ACC Team position description to up-date it to match the current required task responsibilities as a team member for future recruitment purposes. Upon approval from the BEC, it will be posted in the appropriate website location.

The team has adopted a suggestion made by David Bushnell to enhance the security of communications between activity and branch members in general of using the BCC addressing process for email communications. A Constant Contact message was sent to Branch 8 members suggesting this process be utilized. The ACC Team is now using the process to help avoid email scammers ability to hack personal information.

There have been a couple of suggestions to add activities to our extensive list. The Square Dancing Activity suggested at last month’s luncheon did not receive much traction and has been put in hold status to see if it finds a following.

Another ‘New’ activity has been suggested for Sirs Giving Back. The activity is associated with the CC Food Bank where Sirs are helping with the food box distribution operation in addition to the current activity we now support. It will be handled as a subset of the current operations rather than an entirely new activity.  As additional activities develop, The BEC will advise as to how they will be listed in our activity portfolio.

Announcements for February 2023 luncheon

Sirs Giving Back – Tom DiGrande has expanded his Food Bank Services to include monthly Food Bank Box Distribution. He put out an invite to add Sir help in performing this service to the community. He successfully filled the needed manpower to perform this service on February 21st.  He will require more assistance as future opportunities are scheduled.

The next regularly scheduled Food Bank volunteer activity is on Wednesday, 3/8 from 1 to 3 pm. That activity will include a tour of the facility starting at 12:30, if you have not viewed the completed facility; this is an excellent opportunity to see how efficiently the Food Bank provides outstanding service to the community.

Don’t forget to donate to the food barrels provided at each of our luncheons.

Details and sign up information is available on your lunch tables or in the SIR Hotline Newsletter.

Thanks for your continuing support of the growing Community Outreach – SIR Giving Back program & activities.

 If you have the time to give please contact Tom or Phil to sign up to help.

Tom  or Phil

Ladies Day Luncheon – June10th – it’s time to get your reservations planned for the Western themed June LDL. The sign up info will be posted on the website and in the Hotline soon, so watch for it.

It’s time to get it on your calendars.

Questions: Contact Buck Chieshire for answers.

ACC Report for January 2023

The ACC team has been busy putting the after luncheon Activity Chair meeting where Dan Weller will review once again the importance of using the AMS program to manage their activities. Mike has the meeting room and AV equipment set to enhance AMS knowledge. The agenda includes an AMS training session followed by open discussion as to how the ACC team can assist them with their programs.

The team is also reviewing the ACC member’s job description for presentation to candidates for addition to the committee. We have a couple of possibilities we plan to talk to. Mike is reviewing the document and will make recommendations for changes/additions at a future BEC meeting.

Ken has worked up the details for expanding the shared activity list with Bob Lucido and Chick will revise the Activity listing for BEC approval and posting on the Branch 8 website. The BEC will forward our approved activity list to the State organization.

We have 7 activities ready to share opportunities with other Branches:

  • Astronomy or Science On-line
  • Internet Games
  • Heads Up walkers
  • Pickle ball
  • Rubber Bridge
  • Sir’s at the Opera
  • Woodpeckers

Branch 171 – LA Morinda will share

  • Stamp and Coin
  • Historical Adventures

Branch 146 – Pleasant Hill will share

  • Cycling
  • Explore and Eat
  • Men’s Hearts
  • Theater

Continuing as shared activities are Fishing – Area Wide and the State Bowling activity

A new approved Activity list will be posted on the Branch 8 website with links to all shared activities.

Luncheon Announcements for January 9th

$UMS in Retirement: $UMS in Retirement will again join Branch 128’s (San Ramon) Investment Group Zoom meeting on Wed Jan. 25 at 1:30 PM.  The presenter will be Prof. Fred Fuld of SIR Branch 19.  He will discuss leading future industries including lists of companies (and their charts) that are representative of these. Fred retired from the financial services industry where he worked for over 30 years, working as an investment advisor, market maker at the Pacific Stock Exchange, and vice president of an investment management company.

Community Outreach-SIR Giving Back:  Will continue to be scheduled to volunteer at the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano the 2nd Wednesday of the month for the 2023 year. 15 members needed.

Our next Food Bank activity is on this Wednesday, 1/11- 1 to 3pm.

On Wednesday, 3/8/2023 – we have scheduled a tour of the Concord Food Bank facility, prior to our activity.

Signup sheets are on your tables or contact Tom DiGrande or Phil Scimonelli.

The Community Outreach program will be expanding to other opportunities this year, including Food Bank distribution events and “soup kitchen “ participation.

We want to invite and encourage all spouses to participate in our activities!!

Donations of a can, bag or box of food for our barrels at the monthly luncheons, would be appreciated.

Giving back doesn’t require inordinate commitments of time or talent, you can do what you want, when you can, and still reap the rewards of Volunteering.


Tom and Phil

Writing Your Life Story:  WYLS kept meeting through COVID via Zoom. This year we’ve been meeting in person. Join our monthly lunch meetings; write a fun memory to share and save it so your grandkids will know who you were.

Call Tom Hodgson 925-818-1533

Duplicate Bridge (4th Friday)  We will start our New Year Duplicate Bridge on 1/27/23 at Round Table Pizza in Pleasant Hill.  Save the date.  Further news in January. Thanks, Bud

Ladies Day Luncheon:  The June Spring luncheon will have a western theme. So have your boots, jeans and hats ready for good country music and dancing. Served with great food, wine and prizes.

Contact Buck Cheshire – Chairman, Ladies Day luncheon

last updated on 05/25/23 by SM.