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 Executive Summary of Meetings

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July 20, 2012

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Apr. 13, 2012

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Dec. 16, 2011

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July 15, 2011

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July 16, 2010

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December 7, 2007

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July 13. 2007

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January 12, 2007
 


2007 - 2016 NARSE Meeting Minutes

Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, July 14, 2017, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 10:30 a.m. CST

Meeting Participants: Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Walt Hess, Gordon Jones, Leo McCormack, Jim McCurtain, Tom Nally, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Bob Strickland, Lloyd Van Schoyck, Sandra Wheeler, and John White.

Membership and Financials: We are experiencing renewals and revenues attributable to the timing of our newsletter distribution and normal attrition. NARSE is financially sound and all bills are paid.

Summer Issue STRAIGHT TALK: We have received many compliments about the latest issue of our newsletter. One retiree from Louisville, Kentucky told us that this issue was "one of the best and most informative issues every provided." Another retiree from the Chicago area said "Volume 20 issue of the summer, 2017 issue was an excellent analysis. Great job! You sure as hell have put up a great flight."

Another Chicago retiree wrote: "You are doing a greatly needed, but probably thankless job! I for one want to thank you for all your efforts over these many years to give the retirees true, full, honest information and this is deeply appreciated. I know you have done your best under probably very difficult conditions."

June Meeting at Sears Headquarters: Last month's meeting at Sears headquarters in Hoffman Estates was very informative. The Sears executives we met with have invited us to come back. This meeting generated the greatest number of conference call participants that we have ever had.

Illinois Public Media Talk Show: On June 10, Bill Barker, Dick Bruce and Ron Olbrysh appeared on the Illinois radio public media talk show for about 20 minutes to discuss our experiences while working at Sears and our thoughts about the future of the company. We were contacted as a result of the Chicago Tribune article about Sears's retirees that appeared in the Chicago Tribune on June 4, 2017

Oakbrook, Illinois Sears Store: This store will be closing shortly for about a year for a massive remodeling to downsize the Sears space. The remaining space will be leased out to other retailers.

Sears News: We are all hopeful that Sears will survive, but probably in a much smaller format. One analyst suggested that while Sears Holdings may theoretically have a clear path to file for bankruptcy now, Eddie Lampert seems determined to stave off that outcome and is choosing to downsize over bankruptcy, at least for now. Store closures may help the company survive for another couple of years.

Most of the stores Sears is closing are unprofitable. Shutting them down will allow the company to improve its long-term cash flow performance. Sears's management is maintaining that the company is in a process of "operational restructuring efforts" that will ultimately turn the company around and restore it to its former glory. However, this same analyst has predicted that in the long run, downsizing is likely to be a prelude to bankruptcy for Sears, not an alternative.

Another analyst said: "Sears stores are empty and seem like a ghost town to any who would dare wander in. The shelves are empty, the roofs are leaking, and the employees are missing."

Meetings: There is no August meeting. The next NARSE monthly meeting is scheduled for Friday, September 15, 2017.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, June 9, 2017, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 10:30 a.m. CST

Meeting Participants: Bill Barker, Blair Bollow, Dick Bruce, Tom Douglas, Roy Harris, Walt Hess, Gordon Jones, Joseph Jones, Fred Karnatz, Joe McCarthy, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Slothhower, Bill Sterling, Bob Strickland, Lloyd Van Schoyck, and Sandra Wheeler. SEARS PARTICIPANTS: Erin Geraghty, Mgr. Health & Welfare; Terry Rolecek, Head of Shop Your Way Financial Services; Steve Sitley, HR-Operations & Associate Relations; and Bob Phelan, Treasurer.

May NARSE Meeting: While the May meeting was scheduled for May 12, it never took place as a result of technical difficulties with the conference call set-up.

June Meeting at Sears Holdings Headquarters: The NARSE Board was invited to Sears Holdings corporate headquarters at Hoffman Estates, Illinois to conduct its June meeting. The Sears executives joining us were Erin Geraghty, Terry Rolecek, Steve Sitley and Bob Phelan. Their titles are listed above. Following our conference call and joining us for lunch, in addition to the conference call executives, were Jules Ainsworth, Chief People Officer; Mike O’Malley, VP-Compensation & Benefits; and Mark Semisch, VP-Chief Compliance Officer.

Shop Your Way: Prior to the conference call, we saw a power point presentation by Terry Rolecek, head of Shop Your Way Financial Services, introducing a new Shop Your Way program launched February 1 with improved benefits (points) for members. Rolecek said there needed to be a change in the program because of the competitive situation in the marketplace. Chairman Lampert believes that the Shop Your Way platform is a “key priority” for the company.

Retiree Life Insurance: By letter dated January 19, 2017 NARSE Chairman Olbrysh received a letter from Securian Financial Group containing his insurance certificate of coverage for the plan sponsored by Sears Holdings Corporation. This certificate includes personalized information about his insurance coverage and describes the features of this insurance plan. Unfortunately, many retirees never received such a letter from Securian. One retiree said that his beneficiaries need to know such information. Erin Geraghty said that she has a meeting with Securian next week and she will ask them about this mailing and why so many retirees never received it.

Tour Sears Holdings Lab: Following the meeting and lunch, Messer’s Olbrysh, Bruce and Barker toured the Sears Lab accompanied by Tom DeSalva, DVP-Kenmore Product Development. The lab was very high tech and impressive. Many tests are created and performed on Kenmore appliances to meet the high standards required of the company’s appliances. The Sears lab also works with the Consumer Reports lab in developing tests.

Miscellaneous: This meeting at the Sears Holdings headquarters was very informative and gave us the opportunity to meet a number of the Sears senior executives. We were invited to return to hold future NARSE meetings at the company’s headquarters.

July Meeting: The next NARSE meeting is scheduled for July 14, 2017

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, April 14, 2017, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. CST

Meeting Participants: Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Tom Douglas, John Freeman, Walt Hess, Wally Kleinfelt, Leo McCormack, Tom Nally, Ron Olbrysh, Jack Rollins, Mel Schultz, Bob Strickland, Lloyd Van Schoyck, John White, and Sandra Wheeler.

Membership and Financials: We are experiencing renewals and revenues attributable to the timing of our newsletter distribution and normal attrition. NARSE is financially sound and all bills are paid.

Chicago Tribune: Corilyn (Cori) Shrophsire contacted NARSE about an article she is writing for the Tribune on how a Sears bankruptcy will affect retirees. She was unable to attend this month’s meeting but will arrange a time for meeting with members of the NARSE Board to discuss this issue.

Sears Annual Shareholders' Meeting: The SHC Annual meeting will be held on May 10, 2017. Bill Barker, a NARSE Board member will attend. We have invited Erin Geraghty, SHC's Manager, Health & Welfare Administration, to join us for lunch following the meeting. She has replaced Stan Aldis as the retirees principle contact at Sears and will be leading the benefits team at the company.

Earned (Paid-Up) Life Insurance: If Sears declares bankruptcy, the biggest impact for retirees is the loss of their life insurance that is paid for by Sears. As long as Sears exists, this insurance is secure. However, if Sears would liquidate its assets through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, the premium payments by Sears would stop and the life insurance would be cancelled. Under the bankruptcy code, life insurance is considered a "welfare benefit" and is not protected in bankruptcy.

A 2002 court Settlement Agreement stipulated that Sears could not further accelerate former Chairman Arthur Martinez's life insurance reduction schedule that began in 1998 and could not reduce the final insurance amount to less than $5,000. Unfortunately, in bankruptcy this Settlement Agreement is an unsecured claim, meaning that it has no priority if Sears liquidates. The promised life insurance paid for by Sears will be gone.

Many retirees today only have the life insurance promised to them by Sears. If the company does liquidate, Sears will stop paying the annual premiums and the retiree life insurance will be cancelled. And even though the Securian policy contains "conversion rights," the cost of converting will be prohibitive for most retirees.

This retiree earned life insurance was always presented by Sears' management as a benefit in positive terms, as a benefit secure in the future. The possibility that coverage after retirement might be changed or reduced, or eliminated, or that the cost of the coverage would be passed on to the retirees, was never mentioned.

As a result, we are asking Chairman Lampert to honor the long-standing promise to retirees and assure them that their life insurance benefits will be preserved, no matter what happens to Sears Holdings.

Retiree Pensions: We have received many inquires from retirees about their pension benefits. Retiree pensions will be secure under the provisions of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), a United States government independent agency. PBGC's insurance program pays pension benefits up to the maximum guaranteed benefit set by law to participants who retire at 65 ($60,136 a year as of 2016).

Sears News: As reported in Forbes magazine recently, the public acknowledgement by Sears that the company’s future is very much in doubt should surprise no one who has been following the company. The bigger question is: How have they survived this long?

Year after year of dreadful sales performance has led to comparable store sales declining for nearly a decade. One would have to go back to 2007 to find the last quarter with a comparable store increase. Since then, the store base has shrunk from 3,800 units to just over 1,400 combined Sears and Kmart stores.

The Forbes article stated that the company is not imminently closing its door or declaring bankruptcy, but an admission of "substantial doubt" about its future will make ongoing operations much more difficult. Suppliers will be reluctant to ship products without timely payment and credit will be harder to secure. And, as long as sales continue their slide, things will likely get worse before they get better.

June Meeting: The next NARSE meeting is scheduled for June 9, 2017

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, March 10, 2017, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. CST

Meeting Participants:Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Ev Buckardt, John Freeman, Fred Karnatz, Leo McCormack, Tom Nally, Ron Olbrysh, Jack Rollins, Mel Schultz, Dave Silger, Bill Sterling, Lloyd Van Schoyck, and Sandra Wheeler.

Membership and Financials: We are experiencing renewals and revenues attributable to the timing of our newsletter distribution and normal attrition. NARSE is financially sound and all bills are paid.

Lampert's Annual Letter to Shareholders: In his February 27, 2017 letter he said that critics have unfairly targeted SHC, while companies like Amazon, Tesla, and Uber are given special privileges.

Lampert said: "Because of Sears and Kmart’s longstanding history and cultural impact, we are targeted for criticism when our results are poor...But it is unfair to evaluate our approach through the rearview mirror without acknowledging the changing circumstances in our industry as well as our bold attempts to change the way we do business to meet this changing reality."

Lampert went on to claim that Amazon and Tesla get special privileges that have contributed to their growth, while traditional companies like Sears are left to fend for themselves. "Companies like Amazon were able to grow rapidly without having to collect sales tax, while traditional retail companies had the dual disadvantage of having to report profits and to collect sales tax from their customers," he wrote. "The consequence? We are now seeing more and more retail stores shut down."

Regarding Tesla, Lampert wrote: "Some innovative companies like Tesla are heavily subsidized by government policy (either directly or through purchases made by their customers), while existing car companies are forced to comply with mandates to produce cars that people may not want at enormous cost."

Employee Discount: The new Employee Discount Program that went into effect on January 29, 2017 awards points through Shop Your Way loyalty program is for Sears associates only, according to Stan Aldis, Manager of Sears Benefits. The retiree discount benefit remains the same for purchases made at Sears. Just let the Sears associate in the store know that you are a Sears retiree. Show the associate your discount card.

NARSE Website: With our new web administrator we are in the process of cleaning up our site. This is a work in progress. Now, in the center column on our Home Page, we just list the top 12 current articles. The remaining articles for 2017 can be found by clicking on the "View More 2017 News" link following the current articles. You can also view all of the 2017 articles on the "Breaking News" icon in the left column.

Also, when you click on "Find Elected Officials," this will take you to Congress.org. where you can find all members of Congress, current and past legislation, the Congressional record, Committee reports, etc.

Sears News: Sears Holdings reports comparable store sales fell 10.3% in the fourth quarter 2016. Kmart comp dropped 8% driven by declines in the consumer electronics, grocery & household, apparel and toys categories. And Sears's domestic comp slipped 12.3%, due to declines in the home appliances, apparel, consumer electronics and tools categories.

What Do Business Writers Say: Most business writers that followed Sears point to the recession of 1974 as the beginning of the long slide that has overwhelmed Sears. During the early 70s rising inflation, an economic slowdown, and ultimately, lower-cost and nimbler competitors undermined the company. And the CEO at the time blamed the recession, not the company's strategy.

Wal-Mart, started in 1962 wasn’t even on Sears radar screen as a competitor. In 1980 Wal-Mart had just passed $1 billion in revenue. Ten years later it had passed Sears with $32 billion in revenue. This from a company that Sears at first failed to take seriously.

In the mid-1970's, Sears insurance business, Allstate, drained the company's profits, while competition like Montgomery Ward and J.C. Penney, hurt sales. To reverse the slowdown, Sears hired an outside consultant, McKinsey & Company, a first in the company's century of business. Eventually, Sears would prove powerless against the efficiency of Wal-Mart. And Sears pretty much missed the digital revolution altogether. And then along came Eddie Lampert to put the final nail in the coffin.

Miscellaneous: We still do not know the date for Sears Annual Meeting. The Atlanta Retiree Club will be having their next meeting on March 28.

May Meeting: The next NARSE meeting is scheduled for May 12, 2017.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, February 10, 2017, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. CST

Meeting Participants: Bill Barker, Ev Buckhardt, Leo McCormack, Tom Nally, Ron Olbrysh, Lloyd Van Schoyck, Dave Silger, David Slothower, Bill Sterling, Sandra Wheeler, and John White.

Membership and Financials: We are experiencing renewals and revenues attributable to the timing of our newsletter distribution and normal attrition. NARSE is financially sound and all bills are paid.

Winter Issue of Straight Talk: As a result of a digital printing error, the graphic design on the first page of the Winter issue of Straight Talk was not correctly printed on copies mailed to NARSE subscribers. Specifically, the Hour Glass should have shown most of the sand in the lower portion of the Hour Glass with the caption “Bankruptcy.”

Sear Holdings Alumni Newsletter: The Winter 2016 issue of Sears Holdings Alumni Newsletter, which is a publication of Sears Holdings, stated:

"As more of our retirees have greater access to a computer and the Internet, and with printing costs continuing to increase, we are planning to transition the newsletter to our website online at www.searsholdingsalumni.com."

However, the Sears Holdings Alumni Newsletter should not be confused with STRAIGHT TALK, which is a publication of NARSE, an independent retiree organization not associated with Sears Holdings. NARSE will continue to publish and print STRAIGHT TALK twice a year. We are doing this to accommodate our many retirees who no longer have access to the Internet, or, because of age, no longer use a computer.

Sears Replacing Employee Discount Program: Last month Sears Holdings announced that it will replace its associate discount program with a new associates points program that will award points and other perks though the company’s Shop Your Way Loyalty program, effective January 29, 2017.

Under the previous program, a discount was taken on items at the time of purchase. Under the new points program, associates will receive 20% back in points on softlines categories, such as clothing, and 15% back on hardlines purchases, such as home furnishings and appliances.

However, according to Stan Aldis, Manager of Sears Benefits, this new points program only applies to associates, not retirees. Retirees are still entitled to their discount.

Stan Aldis: Stan was initially going to retiree at the end of January. However, he informed us that he would be staying on at Sears until March 31. He said that he has been asked to stay and complete some projects that are coming to an end and allow more time to transition to his replacement. Stan will let us know once the company finalizes his replacement and the transition begins.

Securian Life Insurance: Securian recently mailed to retirees a certificate of coverage for the "paid-up" life insurance plan sponsored by Sears Holdings Corporation. The certificate includes personalized information about the insurance coverage and describes the features of this insurance plan.

According to this insurance plan, Securian may terminate this group policy upon giving retirees 31 days prior written notice. Securian reserves the right to terminate the group policy on the earlier of the following to occur:

(1) 90 days (the grace period) after the due date of any premiums which are not paid; or

(2) 180 days after Securian provides the policyholder with notice of its intent to terminate the group policy.

However, there is a conversion right where the policyholder is able to convert this insurance to a new individual life insurance policy if all or part of the life insurance under the group policy terminates. However, the cost of such new life insurance would be totally born by the retiree.

Class Acton Lawsuit Against Sears Settled: Investors reached a $40 million settlement in Sears Real Estate deal. CEO Eddie Lampert and the company’s board of directors settled a lawsuit alleging that the chief executive benefited from a spin-off real-estate deal involving Seritage Growth Properties, the real estate investment trust established to acquire 235 of Sears Holdings best stores. A Sears’s spokesman said that the lawsuit was settled to avoid protracted litigation. The lawsuit alleged the deal was structured to put the best real estate into Lampert’s hands to the detriment of Sears. The rest of the Sears’ board was alleged to have failed to properly oversee the deal and protect the interests of the company.

Sears Holdings News:

The news is still not good for Sears. As reported by The Motley Fool. "After suffering its 20th consecutive quarterly decline, its clear Sears Holdings is a zombie retailer that is dead but just doesn't know it yet. Because it does still have a relatively valuable real estate portfolio, it many be able to continue shambling along for some time, but it's clear to everyone except CEO Eddie Lampert that there is no hope that it will come back to life."

On February 10 Sears Holdings announced a comprehensive restructuring that will cut a least $1 billion in operating costs a year. The plan involves reducing corporate overhead (although Sears did not specify, job cuts are likely), closer integration of the Sears and Kmart operations and improving its merchandising, supply chain and inventory management.

Next Meeting: The next NARSE meeting is scheduled for March 10, 2017, beginning at 10:00 a.m. Central Time. A conference call will be available at 10:30 a.m.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, December 9, 2016, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. CST

Meeting Participants: Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Ev Buckhardt, Tom Douglas, John Freeman, Dale Gibson, Fred Karnatz, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Bob Strickland, Lloyd Van Schoyck, Sandra Wheeler, and John White.

Membership and Financials: Year-to-date (YTD) renewals are up 2%. YTD revenue is up 8.8%. YTD expenses are down -5%. We are experiencing renewals and revenues attributable to the timing of our newsletter distribution and normal attrition. NARSE is financially sound and all bills are paid.

False Advertising Lawsuit: A participant at our meeting told us that Los Angeles prosecutors sued J.C. Penny, Sears, Kohl's and Macy's over deceptive advertising claims, accusing them of duping shoppers into believing they got bigger discounts than they actually did. Sears, for example, began selling a front-loading Kenmore washer in April showing the washer was on sale at $999.99, down from $1,179.99, even though it was never sold for more than $999.99.

The suit against Sears alleges that, "As time went on, the item had a series of different false discounts." Sears eventually discounted the item down to $649.99 while "falsely advertising a discount from the $1,179.99 false reference price."

The four national retailers declined to comment about the lawsuit.

Sears Holdings News: SHC reported comparable store sales declined 7.4% in Q3. Kmart comp fell 4.4% due to declines in grocery and household, consumer electronics and pharmacy categories. Sears’s domestic comp was down 10%, driven by decreases in the home appliances, apparel and consumer electronics categories.

Steven Mnuchin, 53, a member of the Sears Holdings Board since 2005, left Sears Board to become Donald Trump’s choice for the next Treasury secretary. His first job after graduation was working for Goldman Sachs, where is father, Robert, was a legendary trader. He became a partner in 1994. During his 17 years at Goldman Sachs he accrued a net worth estimated at about $40 million. Like the president-elect, he has talked about lowering taxes and lifting regulations, but mostly without describing specifics. He was also a roommate of Lampert’s while at Yale.

According to a report in the November 29, 2016 issue of Business Insider, hundreds of Sears’s customers are claiming that the company’s home services division is in shambles. The department, which is responsible for home repairs, is failing to fix faulty or broken appliances in a timely manner or at all, leaving many people without hot water, heat, or functioning refrigerators for several weeks at a time, according to hundreds of customer reviews written over the last six months.

Many people have also said it's nearly impossible to reach a customer service representative over the phone, and that calls to the service phone line are frequently and inexplicably disconnected.

According to a Sears's spokesman, "Our members' (that's what customers are now called) satisfaction is a top priority, and we are constantly innovating to improve the customer service experience." He further said that most members rate Sears Home Services "very favorably, giving us an average of 4.4 out of 5 stars based on their experience."

Next Meeting: The next NARSE meeting is scheduled for February 10, 2017, beginning at 10:00 a.m. Central Time. A conference call will be available at 10:30 a.m. This will be a conference call only meeting. There is no January meeting.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, November 10, 2016, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. CST

Meeting Participants: Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Tom Douglas, Fred Karnatz, Wally Kleinfeldt, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, David Slothower, Bill Sterling, Bob Strickland, and Lloyd Van Schoyck.

Membership and Financials: Year-to-date (YTD) renewals are up 1%. YTD revenue is up 10%. YTD expenses are down -4%. We are experiencing renewals and revenues attributable to the timing of our newsletter distribution and normal attrition. NARSE is financially sound and all bills are paid.

Sears Medical Conference Call: On October 18, NARSE joined on an Aetna/Sears Holdings conference call regarding the medical plans for retirees in 2017. Not many changes for next year and the open enrollment period began October 31 and will end this Friday, November 10.

The biggest news coming out of this conference call was that the Sears Retiree Council has dwindled down to about four Council members. In addition, Stan Aldis, Sears Holdings manager of Benefits, confirmed that he is retiring the end of January 2017. The two associates replacing Stan were also on the conference call. They are Erin Garrity and Sonja Burak.

Eddie’s Blog & Rating: Eddie Lampert does not think the company will go belly up just yet. In a post on Sears Holding’s blog, he laid out some of his strategy to revive both Sears and Kmart, pointing to a new partnership with Shop Your Way, Sears Auto Centers, and Uber as an example of how the company is being transformed. He specifically addressed the rumors that Kmart would soon be shut down, calling them "frequent false and exaggerated claims."

It was reported in 24/7 Wall St., that Glassdoor, the fastest growing jobs and recruiting site that holds a growing base of more than 8 million company reviews, CEO ratings, salary reports, interview reviews, and more, that Eddie Lampert is the worst rated CEO in the country.

Sears associates interviewed in the Glassdoor report often complain about the out-of-touch management. One associate at Sears’s headquarters in Hoffman Estates wrote: "Corporate employees are in deep denial about how bad things are and seem content to get a check and babble about 'transformation.'" Critics of Lampert have also chided him for promising "transformation," while by most financial measures, the company has consistently showed signs of continued decline.

2017 NARSE Meetings: Chairman Olbrysh reported that the meeting dates for NARSE in 2017 will be posted on the website soon. As in the past, there will be no meetings in January or August. Social Security: It has been reported in the financial press that come January 2018, a jump in the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment will be 2% or better. This will be significantly more than the 0.3% increase for January 2017.

Sears News: An attorney with Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP in New York City told NARSE that there has been “a lot of chatter” about Sears Holdings filing a Chapter 11 in the first half of 2017. What would filing any bankruptcy mean for our retirees? We should be prepared for the worst, although hopefully Sears can find a way out.

Next Meeting: The next NARSE meeting is scheduled for December 9, 2016, beginning at 10:00 a.m. Central Time. A conference call will be available at 10:30 a.m. This will be our annual Holiday meeting, with lunch being served.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, October 14, 2016, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. CST

Meeting Participants: Bill Barker, Tom Douglas, John Freeman, Fred Karnatz, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Bob Strickland, Lloyd Van Schoyck, and Sandra Wheeler.

Membership and Financials: Year-to-date (YTD) renewals are up 1%. YTD revenue is up 11%. YTD expenses are up 1.8%. We are experiencing renewals and revenues attributable to the timing of our newsletter distribution and normal attrition. NARSE is financially sound and all bills are paid.

Sears News: Sears, once the premier appliance retailer, now ranks three in appliance sales following Lowe's and Home Depot. In addition, J.C. Penney is getting aggressive as it moves back into the appliance market. It is selling three brands of appliances: LG, Samsung, and G.E. (Hotpoint).

A shareholder class action lawsuit was filed against Sears Holdings last Friday in the Delaware Chancery Court alleging the company's plan to sell its prime real estate holdings to a trust controlled by Lampert would strip the retailer of one of its last remaining valuable assets, leaving it a debt-laden, money-losing renter in its own stores.

The lawsuit seeks to stop the proposed transaction, saying the $2.5 billion purchase price is a "paltry" amount that in the face of ongoing operating losses makes imminent insolvency a likely outcome for Sears.

According to Chris Brathwaite, a Sears's spokesman, "The complaint contains numerous factual misstatements and is legally without merit. The company plans to contest it vigorously and believes the proposed real estate investment trust transaction will provide substantial benefits to Sears Holdings and its shareholders."

Robbins Arroyo, a San Diego-based law, bought the suit on behalf of Sears's shareholder John Solak firm.

Last month Sears Holdings said it would begin selling paint again after a four-year hiatus. The analysts responded to this news by stating that any entry into do-it-yourself markets such as paint sales could be a plus for Sears, "However, it may be too late. Unless Sears becomes an all-out hardware superstore, the clock is ticking on this company."

Next Meeting: The next NARSE meeting is scheduled for November 11, 2016, beginning at 10:00 a.m. Central Time. A conference call will be available at 10:30 a.m.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, July 8, 2016, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. CST

Meeting Participants: Bill Barker, Ev Buckardt, Tom Douglas, Michael Glanzer, Gordon Jones, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silgers, Eddy Smith, John Soldark, Bob Strickland, Lloyd Van Schoyck, and Sandra Wheeler.

Membership and Financials: Year-to-date (YTD) renewals are down 2%. YTD revenue is up 10%. YTD expenses are up 3%. We are experiencing renewals and revenues attributable to the timing of our newsletter distribution and normal attrition. NARSE is financially sound and all bills are paid.

Guest Speaker: On the phone with us today was Michael Glanzer with Glanzer & Co. LLC. His firm is located in Brooklyn, New York. He is both an attorney and investment banker. He outlined for us the current situation with Sears and believes that Sears Holdings is "cannibalizing itself" and has "no more financing tricks to be played."

He added that SHC is not operating as a retailer and is being run as a real estate liquidation play. He believes that the decline of Sears Holdings as a viable retailer under the management of Eddie Lampert is particularly troubling in light of the absence of any credible business plan with respect to the operations of the company today.

We then went into Executive Session where he proposed several options including putting us in contact with the law firm of Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones. This firm has substantial experience representing debtors, committees, acquirers, and other significant parties in interest in complex reorganizations and financially distressed situations, both in and out of court. The firm has 65 attorneys located in New York City, Wilmington, Delaware, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Sears News: A recent extensive article in Business Insider said, "Sears has survived two world wars and the Great Depression, but after a decade under the control of Eddie Lampert, the 130-year-old retailer is imploding." The article added that sales have fallen by half since 2007, and the company is burning through cash, closing stores, and slashing jobs in an attempt to stanch the bleeding. Even after it raised $3 billion by spinning off assets last year, it ended 2015 with less cash than it started with.

In the June 30 issue of Forbes, Walter Loeb pointed out why Hudson's Bay, Macy's and Nordstrom will thrive even as many stores lose productivity. Why? Because these companies are run by "talented merchants."

The Motley Fool reported that "the Great Dismantling appears to be entering its final stages as Sears Holdings Corp. contemplates ways to possibly get rid of its lasting remaining noteworthy brands...Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard...It looks like Sears Holdings is slowly swirling around the drain, a zombie retailer that refuses to believe it is dead."

The article added that "Maybe Sears' future is really one of being a brand licensor, which allows someone else to do the hard work of selling its products while it gets paid for the brand names. Whatever it is, though, it's clear it won't be a retailer."

And Elephant Analytics (Seeking Alpha) said, "Although department store retail is a challenging industry, Sears has essentially given up on trying to retain its customers. Under-investing in stores and slashing advertising is not a strategy that will generally result in good sales performance, but that is what Sears has done."

Next Meeting: The next NARSE meeting is scheduled for September 9, 2016, beginning at 10:00 a.m. C.S.T. A conference call will be available at 10:30 a.m. There will be no August meeting.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, June 10, 2016, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. CST

Meeting Participants: Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Tom Douglas, Walt Hess, Gordon Jones, Leo McCormack, Tom Nally, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Bob Strickland, Lloyd Van Schoyck, Sandra Wheeler and John White.

Membership and Financials: Year-to-date (YTD) renewals are up 6%. YTD revenue is up 17%. YTD expenses are down 40%. We are experiencing renewals and revenues attributable to the timing of our newsletter distribution and normal attrition. NARSE is financially sound and all bills are paid.

Summer Issue of STRAIGHT TALK: Chairman Ron Olbrysh reviewed the articles appearing in the Summer 2016 issue of STRAIGHT TALK. The lead article is titled: "Can Retailers Survive in this Age of Amazon." Other articles include "Should Retailers Also Worry About Wal-Mart?", "Will Sears Retain A Clear Identity?", "Finding Profitability Not an Easy Task," and "Can Sears Win the Fight to Stay Alive?"

There is also Art Levin’s obituary, the former president of NARSE; and a 90th birthday celebration piece about Ernie Arms the former national news director of Sears, Roebuck and Co. and past vice president of electronic communications for our organization.

Retailer Satisfaction: According to the J.D. Power 2016 Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction Survey, Ace Hardware ranks highest in customer satisfaction with home improvement retailers for a 10th consecutive year. Coming in second was Menard’s followed by Lowe’s in third place. This study is based on responses from 2,995 customers who purchased home improvement-related products from a home improvement retailer within the previous 12 months. The study was fielded in January and February 2016.

Retailers with Best Customer Experience: According to the 2016 Temkin Experience Ratings, annual ranking of companies based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. customers, Tru Value took the top spot with a rating of 78%, placing it third overall out of 294 companies across 20 industries.

The bottom 14 retailers are: RadioShack (55%), Gap (58%), Foot Locker (59%), Old Navy (60%), Kmart (62%), Macy’s (62%), OfficeMax (63%), Marshalls (63%), GameStop (63%), Office Depot (64%), Wal-Mart (64%), Best Buy (64%), Toys ‘R’ Us (64%), and Sears (64%).

Least Engaging Retailers: Five retail chains rank among the top 10 brands doing a poor job when it comes to emotional engagement, a measure of how well brands meet consumer expectations, according to the annual Brand Keys’ 2016 Customer Loyalty Engagement Index survey.

According to the president of Brand Keys, "The fundamental reason these brands were rated so low for consumer engagement is because they were unable to meet the very high—and ever-growing—emotional expectations consumers bring to the marketplace, The 10 brands with the lowest emotional engagement strength according to the survey are:

(1) Volkswagen, (2) Blackberry, (3) American Apparel, (4) Cosi, (5) AAropostale, (6) Sears, (7) kobo, (8) Budweiser, (9) Sports Authority, and (10) Whole Foods.

Sears News: Forbes reported that Sears Holdings, in an attempt to "stop the bleeding" has hired financial advisors to identify ways to wring more value out of the Kenmore, Craftsman, and Die Hard brands. The company has hired Citigroup Globalmarkets and LionTree Advisors to evaluate future partnerships or other transactions that could expand these brands’ distribution. In other words, these iconic brands are for sale.

These exclusive brands made Sears a destination retailer and have stood for high quality products the consumer can trust. According to Forbes, Lampert is giving that up in order to keep the company afloat.

In addition, Sears CFO Robert Schriesheim is stepping down to pursue other career interest, raising further concerns about the company’s outlook.

June Meeting: The next NARSE meeting is scheduled for July 8, 2016, beginning at 10:00 a.m. C.S.T. A conference call will be available at 10:30 a.m.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, May 13, 2016, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. CST

Meeting Participants: Bill Barker, Tom Douglas, John Freeman, Walt Hess, Gordon Jones, Wally Kleinfeldt, Ron Olbrysh, Jack Rollins, Mel Schultz, Bob Strickland, Lloyd Van Schoyck, and Sandra Wheeler.

Membership and Financials: Year-to-date (YTD) renewals are up 5%. YTD revenue is up 16%. YTD expenses are up 14%. We are experiencing renewals and revenues attributable to the timing of our newsletter distribution and normal attrition. NARSE is financially sound and all bills are paid.

Sears Annual Meting: At this year's annual meeting on May 11, Chairman and CEO Lampert told shareholders that he wants to return his money-losing company to profitability this year, after five years of losses. Doing so will not be an easy task. He said this is his intention, not a forecast.

To remain competitive, the company will continue to try new ideas to attract shoppers in its stores and online. One such idea is a smaller appliance store that will be about 10,000 square feet. This initial pilot store, due to open May 27 in Fort Collins, Colorado, will be Sears' first non-specialty store opening since 2005.

Sears said the new Colorado store would carry the same assortment of appliances as in a typical Sears's department store, including the top 10 brands of refrigerators, dishwashers and other products. It will also feature a 122-inch interactive display, which customers can use to see how appliances would appear in various kitchen layouts.

Regarding partnerships, Chairman Lampert stated he would not rule out re-evaluating the corporate structure and establishing more partnerships with other retailers and services in the future. "I think there is going to be a lot more opportunities for retailers to partner with each other outside of outright acquisitions...I think there's a lot of anachronistic thinking in the industry: ‘We don't want to work with our competitors.'" But, Lampert said, that's changing.

Lampert admitted that his Shop Your Way program is not working. The program is not getting people to spend enough money. He said the program has an enormous number of registered members, but many of them are not as active as he would like them to be.

"We've built the platform, we've built the capabilities, (but) we've fallen short on getting (our customers) engaged. Are we really getting the bulk of their purchases? We want to serve our members deeper. If you shop with us 10 times a year and spend $300, we'd like you to shop 100 times a year and spend $3,000," Lampert said.

Lampert also said that in retrospect he should have closed more stores earlier realizing that Sears had too much retail space. In addition, he added that soft lines (apparel) was a losing proposition for Sears and should be brokered out to other retailers with more experience or space in Sears stores leased to such retailers.

About 100 shareholders attended this year's Sears Holdings annual meeting. There were no graphics or products on display in the room. A screen was set up on the stage showing the names of the officers and directors of the company with a list of corporate entities.

Sears News: The company announced it has launched its ninth annual Heroes at Home campaign with Rebuilding Together, a leading national nonprofit in safe and healthy housing, to raise funds and assist military families facing hardship. This year the program will enable critical repairs, improvements or modifications to the largest VFW Post in Colorado and single-family military homes across the United States of decorated veterans of World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, Operation Iraqi Freedom and more.

Heroes at Home, which has raised nearly $20 million over the past eight years via donations from Shop Your Way members, customers and Sears associates, has funded more than 1,600 home rebuilds.

Miscellaneous: NARSE has filed its 2015 Federal Tax Return and also its Illinois Abandoned Property report. It has also renewed its D&O policy.

June Meeting: The next NARSE meeting is scheduled for June 10, 2016, beginning at 10:00 a.m. C.S.T. A conference call will be available at 10:30 a.m.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, April 8, 2016, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. CST

Meeting Participants: Ernie Arms, Bill Barker, Ev Buckhardt, Dick Bruce, Dick Dufton, Walt Hess, Leo McCormick, Ron Olbrysh, Jack Rollins, Mel Schultz, Bob Strickland, Lloyd Van Schoyck, Sandra Wheeler, and Bob White.

Membership and Financials: Year-to-date (YTD) renewals are up 5%. YTD revenue is up 16%. YTD expenses are up 8%. We are experiencing renewals and revenues attributable to the timing of our newsletter distribution and normal attrition. NARSE is financially sound and all bills are paid.

Sears Annual Meting: SHC recently announced that their Annual Meeting would be held at corporate headquarters on Wednesday, May 11, 2016.

Arthur Levin: Art, who was one of our founding members and former president of NARSE, died on March 12, 2016. Art was also a member of the Sears Retiree Advisory Council created by former Sears chairman, Alan Lacey. He was ill for many years. He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Laura. His three daughters, his sister, seven grandchildren and five great great grandchildren survive Art.

New Phone Number for Insurance Questions: Any insurance questions about Retiree Life Insurance or Group Universal Life Insurance should be directed to the Securian Life Insurance Company. Securian is the new provider for the Sears Retiree Life Insurance plan effective January 1, 2016. Their direct phone number is 1-866-483-9975. Your existing life insurance benefits will automatically transition to Securian. The Securian Life Insurance Company is an affiliate of Securian Financial Group, Inc.

Sears Holdings News: Last week Sears Holding struck a five-year forbearance deal to protect its assets with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) that will likely cover almost 200,000 individuals. Among other things, under the deal, the relevant subsidiaries of the company have offered the PBGC a "springing lien" on protected and ring-fenced assets, allowing Sears to pledge its assets to PBGC on certain conditions.

Certain events will cause this lien to take place, including Sears' failure to make obligatory payments to the pension plan, forbidden ownership interest transfers in related business units, and any bankruptcy events tied to the company or any of the involved subsidiaries. The lien will also take place if Sears abandons the plan prematurely.

In other news, David Pastrana, president of Apparel for SHC, responded to an industry trade magazine that alleged Sears was not engaged in the apparel business. Pastrana responded that nothing could be further from the truth. He said that managing and improving the operating performance of Sears apparel business is one of Sears Holdings top priorities in 2016.

Pastrana added that the company is dedicated to having the right product assortment for its members, the right sourcing strategy, and a deep, experienced set of leaders in place to positively impact this business.

Miscellaneous: During the next month, NARSE will be filing its 2015 Federal Tax Return and also its Illinois Abandoned Tax Return. Chairman Olbrysh also wanted to thank Lloyd Van Schoyck for all of his work on keeping our current events on the website up-to-date.

May Meeting: The next NARSE meeting is scheduled for May 13, 2016, beginning at 10:00 a.m. CST. A conference call will be available at 10:30 a.m. CST.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, March 18, 2016, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. CST

Meeting Participants: Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Tom Douglas, Dale Gibson, Walt Hess, Leo McCormick, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Bob Strickland, and Sandra Wheeler.

Membership and Financials: Year-to-date (YTD) renewals are up 55. YTD revenue is up 11%. YTD expenses are up 5%. We are experiencing renewals and revenues attributable to the timeing of our newsletter distribution and normal attrition. NARSE is financially sound and all bills are paid.

Sears Annual Meting: As of today, Sears has not announced the date of their Annual Meeting. Chairman Olbrysh will contact Stan Aldis to determine whether a date has been announced.

Chairman's February 25 Letter: Chairman Lampert opened his letter to shareholders, associates and members by stating: "2015 has proven to be the year where the impact of the changes I have described in the past, has spread more broadly to retailers that had previously proven to be relatively immune to such shifts. Walmart, Nordstrom, Macy's, Staples, Whole Foods and many others have felt the impact of disruptive changes from online competition and new bussienss models."

In discussing SHC's progress toward transformation, Sears Holdings stil reamins focused on it's two core strategic initiatives: Shop Your Way membership and Integrated Retail. In addition, last year the company introduced "Meet With An Expert," a free and first-of-its-kind service that helps online shoppers considering large item purchases in Home Appliances, Magttresses or Lawn & Garden connect with in-store experts.

Lampert then addressed why the company has not invested more in its stores. He said: "I have explained in the past that the investments in our transformation go well beyond our stores, but don't ignore our stores. When we do close stores, in most cases we don't believe that we could have save the stores simply by spending money. We believe that our investments in the Shop Your Way membership platform and our Integrated Retail capabilities were more appropriate ivnestments given the massive shift in how customers are shopping and how competition has evolved."

He concluded by saying that as the compnay learns more about how to serve its members better, the number and size of SHC's stores will change. He added that while he is not predicting that Sears will be opening new stores in the near term, "it is entirely possible that we may opne new, smaller stores in the future."

Sears Holdings News: Most retail analysts are still negative about Sears future. One said that the retail transformation at Sears is "going about as well as Ron Johnson's attempt to transform J.C. Penney." This same analyst added that it is fairly safe to say that the "retail transformation of Sears Holdings is failing and that it would take a miracle to reverse its trajectory at this point... It is probable that Eddie Lampert would have been fired as CEO of Sears long ago if he wasn't the main owner."

An equity analyst who still tracks Sears, Matt McGinley at Evercore ISI, recently said that it is expected that Sears will be able to limp along for the foreseeable future, "but if its cash burn continues...as us widely expected, given management's inability to halt declining sales, a day of reckoning might arrive the following year. We think there's a very low probability of a turnaround."

Shelly Banjo, with BloombergGadfly, says that Eddie Lampert is all talk and no action. "By any financial measure, sales, profit, cash flow, Lampert has done nothing but rip apart the retailer." The company is burning through cash so fast, a number of analysts surveyed by Gadfly give Sears about two years before it's forced to fold.

However, Sears spokesman Howard Riefs rebuts all of the doomsday sayers and states that the company has enough money to not only meet its obligations but to fuel a long-promised turnaround.

April Meeting: The next NARSE meeting is scheduled for April 8, 2016, beginning at 10:00 a.m. C.S.T. A conference call will be available at 10:30 a.m.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, February 12, 2016, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. CST

Meeting Participants: Bill Barker, Walt Hess, Leo McCormick, Tom Nally, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Bill Sterling, Bob Strickland, Lloyd Van Schoyck, and John White.

Membership and Financials: Year-to-date (YTD) renewals are up 15%. YTD revenue is up 22%. YTD expenses are up 6%. We are experiencing renewals and revenues attributable to the timeing of our newsletter distribution and normal attrition. NARSE is financially sound and all bills are paid.

Winter 2016 issue of STRAIGHT TALK Feedbck: We received many favorable comments about the latest issue of our newsletter. One retiree said that she enjoyed this issue and was looking forward to the next one. Another retiree appreciated the work we are doing "and keeping us apprised of current happenings in, what is left of, the once greatest retail leader."

Ernie Arms: On January 16, Ernie celebrated his 90th birthday. He was our VP of communications from almost the very beginning of our existence. His family arranged a surprise birthday party for Ernie and invited former D/703 associates, including Gordon Jones and Kathy Gucfa.

Social Security: Chairman Olbrysh reported that according to a recent Kiplinger Letter, Social Security recipients can look forward to a cost-of-living raise in 2017 of 1.3%. However, inflation will be around 2.3%. The inflation figure is based on the expectation of higher energy prices later in 2016. If gas prices go up before Octobe 1, the Social Security hike could be a half-point higher.

Sears Holdings News: It was recently reported in the press that Fairholme Capital, headed by activist investor Bruce Berkowitz, now owns about 26% of SHC. Berkowitz's continuous boost in the number of Sears Holdings shares seems like an attempt to make himself heard at the company. He has strongly supported Lampert's tactics to spruce up value for SHC. His increased interest in Sears, signals a shift from being just the largest institutional shareholder, to one that indicates his resolve to take up a more activist role.

Another analyst reported that Sears is running out of time and running out of assets it can sell to pay the bills. Persistent comparable-store sales declines are the root of Sears' problems. Comparable-store sales have fallen in each of the past five fiscal years, i.e. 2010 (1.3%); 2011 (2.2%); 2012 (2.5%); 2013 ( 3.8%); and 2014 (1.8%). The downward sales trend has worsened dramatically in the past year. Through the first three quarters of fiscal 2015, domestic comparable-store sales plummneted 10.1% year over year.

In addition to Sears comparable-store sales declines, J.C. Penney recently announced that it will re-enter the appliance market after a 33-year absense. This is just one more threat looming on the horizon for SHC. Penney has only committed to selling appliances in 22 pilot stores and online. But if the test performs well, J.C. Penney will likely add appliance sections to most or all of its roughly 1,000 stores which will cause further contraction for one of Sears' strongest remaining business lines.

Sears also announced that it would accelerate the closing of additional unprofitable stores, including, but not limited to, roughly 50 stores expected to close in the next few months.

March Meeting: The next NARSE meeting is scheduled for March 18, 2016, beginning at 10:00 a.m. C.S.T. A conference call will be available at 10:30 a.m.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, December 11, 2015, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called our annual Holiday meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. CST

Meeting Participants: Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Tom Douglas, Walt Hess, Fred Karnatz, Leo McCormick, Tom Nally, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silgers, Bob Strickland, Lloyd Van Schoyck, Sandra Wheeler, and John White.

Membership and Financials: Year-to-date (YTD) renewals are down 25%. YTD revenue is down 25%. YTD expenses are up 1.8%. However, we are experiencing renewals and revenues attributable to the timing of our newsletter distribution and normal attrition. NARSE is financially sound and all bills are paid.

Winter 2016 issue of STRAIGHT TALK: This issue has been printed and disseminatred and is now on-line. In an effort to increase our paid renewals and new members, the lead article is an "Update On Our Past 18 years." In addition, Retailing Today recently released its 2015 survey on the top 100 U.S. retailers and their trading partners. A summary of this survey appears in this issue. An op-ed article about Sears Holdings titled "The Jury is Still Out on Sears Holdings" reviews what the financial analysts are predicting about SHC’s future.

Miscellaneous: As this is our annual Holiday meeting, we reviewed the past year, both for NARSE and Sears Holdings. It has been a challenging year for both SHC and NARSE. Although Seears is still holding its own, sales, profits and customers have been evaporating. NARSE is also holding its own, although our membership is dwindling, and many of the local Sears retiree clubs have closed. However, we are still strong and surviving with a smaller membership base.

Because of health issues, there have beena number of significant changes in our officer positions. Ernie Arms, VP of Electronic Communications, has resigned and was replaced by Lloyd Van Schoyck. Tom Douglas has replaced Art Levin as President of NARSE, and Bill Barker has replaced George O’Hare as our VP of Media Relations.

As a result of a vote by the Board at the November meeting, there is no January, 2016 meeting. The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for February 12, 2016, beginning at 10:00 a.m. C.S.T. A Conference Call will be available at 10:30 a.m.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, November 13, 2015, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. CST

Meeting Participants: Ernie Arms, Bill Barker, Ev Buckardt, Tom Douglas, Leo McCormick, Tom Nally, Ron Olbrysh, Eddy Smith, Bill Sterling, Bob Strickland, Lloyd Van Schoyck, and John White.

Membership and Financials: Year-to-date (YTD) renewals are down 25%. YTD revenue is down 25%. YTD expenses are up 3%. However, we are experiencing renewals and revenues attributable to the timeing of our newsletter distribution and normal attrition. NARSE is financially sound and all bills are paid. Leo McCormick shared with the attendees NARSE's paid members for the years 2010 -2015.

Winter 2016 issue of STRAIGHT TALK: The next issue of our newsletter will be pritned and disseminated during the first week in December. In an effort to increase our paid renewals and new members, the lead article will update all that NARSE has done since its beginning 18 years ago. As a result of the decline in the number of Sears retiree clubs today, NARSE is the only organization now representing to Sears Holdings the interests of Sears retirees.

A Board member suggested that in 2016 NARSE publish three, rather than two issues of STRAIGHT TALK – the summer issue, an election issue in October, and the winter issue. The publication committee will consider this proposal.

2016 NARSE Meeting Dates: We have just confirmed with the Regus company, our meeting dates for next year. These dates will be posted on our website within the next week. In 2016, there will be no meetings in January or August.

Sears Medical for 2016: Dick Bruce has prepared an Executive Summary of the Sears Medical Plans for 2016 that are now posted on the NARSE website.

Sears News: Sears is taking an exclusive approach to Black Friday this year. For the first time ever, the company will open all of its stores to select Shop Your Way members for a private night of shopping for many of its Thanksgiving/Black Friday doorbusters four days early. Sears will hold its "Members Private Night" event in all stores on November 22 from 6-9 p.m.

Over the past six months Sears stock has performed the worst among those department stores operating in malls across the country. The stock has dropped 30.3%, which is about four times worse than the 7.4% drop in the Dow Jones Industrail Average. In contrast, the shares of J.C. Penney have skyrocketed some 28% in six months time as investors have bought into its turnaround strategy. For Sears, its weak stock price is particularly troubling in light of measures executives have taken this year to raise badly needed cash and shutting under-performing locations.

Website: During the month of October 2015, there were 1,261 visits to the NARSE website representing 628 unique visitors. Two thousand one-hundred sixty-five (2,165) pages were viewed.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for December 11, 2015, beginning at 10:00 a.m. C.S.T. A Conference Call will be available at 10:30 a.m. This is our annual Holiday meeting which includes a luncheon buffet.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, October 9, 2015, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. CST

Meeting Participants: Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, John Freeman, Walt Hess, Leo McCormick, Tom Nally, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Ruth Pilant, Dave Silgers, Bill Sterling, Bob Strickland, Lloyd Van Schoyck, and Sandrea Wheeler.

Membership and Financials: Year-to-date (YTD) renewals are down 24%. YTD revenue is down 25%. YTD expenses are up 1%. However, we are experiencing renewals and revenues attributable to the timeing of our newsletter distribution and normal attrition. While our attrition rate is increasing, we hope that those members who have not renewed yet will do so soon. NARSE is financially sound and all bills are paid.

Retiree Club Update: As previously reported, NARSE has been in the process of updating the retiree clubs we have listed on our website. Currently, we have 45 clubs listed in 21 states. Under the direction of Tom Douglas, President, with assistance from Ruth Pilant (Texas) and Tom Nally (Virginia), the clubs known to NARSE have either been contacted by phone or a letter haa been sent to them

Sears Medical for 2016: Tom Douglas and Dick Bruce participated in the Sears Advisory Council conference call this past week regarding changes in the 2016 medical plans for retirees. There will be a new carrier for the 46,000 retirees with the “paid-up” life insurance. Beginning January 1, 2016, Securian Financial Services will replace the Prudential Life Insurance Company. However, those 300 retirees who still have the Group Universal Life (GUL) policy will continue to be administered by Prudential. A postcard will be sent to retirees during the early part of November about the change in insurance carriers.

All medical and pharmacy plans in 2015 will continue for 2016. Open enrollment period will be from November 9 – 20, 2015. If you do nothing, your current plan will continue for 2016. For post-65 retirees, there will be no change in premiums. For pre-65 retirees, there will be about a 3½% increase.

Stan Aldis, SHC’s Manager of Benefits, announced that he will be retiring in 2016. He has been with Sears since 1968.

Dick Bruce will be preparing an Executive Summary of the medical plans for 2016 which will be posted on the NARSE website in the near future.

NARSE Monthly Meetings: At the September meeing, the Board agreed that in addition to no monthly meeting in August every year, that there would also be no monthly meeting in January every year.

Sears News: Michael Bozic, age 74, died September 30 in a boating accident. Michael began his career at Sears Roebuck in 1963 and over his 28 year career with Sears he rose to become the youngest President and CEO of the Canadian subsidiary and later as Chariman and CEO of the Sears Merchandise Group.

Website: During the month of September 2015, there were 1,069 visits to the NARSE website representing 564 unique visitors. One thousand six hundred twenty-two (1,622) pages were viewed.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for November 13, 2015, beginning at 10:00 a.m. C.S.T. A Conference Call will be available at 10:30 a.m.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, September 11, 2015, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. CST

Membership and Financials: Year-to-date (YTD) renewals are down 24%. YTD revenue is down 24%. YTD expenses are down 2%. However, we are experiencing renewals and revenues attributable to the timeing of our newsletter distribution and normal attrition. While our attrition rate is increasing, we hope that those members who have not renewed yet will do so soon. NARSE is financially sound and all bills are paid.

NRLN: The Board had again on it's agenda the issue of joining the National Retiree Legislative Network. The NRLN was formed in 2002 and it's primary goal is to secure federal legislation to protect retirees' employer-sponsored pensions and benefits in addition to keeping Social Security and Medicare strong. At Chairman Olbrysh's request, Mr. Kadereit, president of NRLN, had recently provided NARSE with a list of their accomplishments. However, even after review this impressive list, the Board still felt that joining NRLN was not in our best interests now.

Retiree Club Update: As previously reported, NARSE has been in the process of updating the retiree clubs we have listed on our website. Currently, we have 155 clubs listed in 36 states. Under the direction of Tom Douglas, presidenet, with assistance from Ruth Pilant (Texas) and Tom Nally (Virginia), the clubs known to NARSE have either been contacted by phone or a letter will be sent to them. Based upon the responses we get, or the lack of a response, will assist us in updating contact information about existing clubs, or culling out those clubs no longer in existence.

It was also suggested that an "e-mail blast" be sent out to all of our members requesting them to verify their address that NARSE has in its database. And, we would also appreciate it if our members could assist us in identifying any local Sears retiree club that they are aware of.

Website: During the month of July 2015, there were 2,314 visits to the NARSE website representing 1,738 unique visitors. Three thousand and three pages (3, 003) pages were viewed.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for October 9, 2015, beginning at 10:00 a.m. C.S.T. A Conference Call will be available at 10:30 a.m.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, July 10, 2015, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. CST

Meeting Participants:
Ernie Arms, Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Tom Douglas, Dale Gibson, Walt Hess, Leo McCormick, Tom Nally, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Bill Sterling, Bob Strickland, Lloyd Van Schoyck, and Sandrea Wheeler.

Membership and Financials:
Year-to-date (YTD) renewals are down 15%. YTD revenue is down 17%. YTD expenses are down 3%. However, we are experiencing renewals and revenues as expected attributable to the timeing of our newsletter distribution and normal attrition. NARSE is financially sound and all bills are paid.

NRLN:
At last month's meeting, Bill Kadereit, president of the National Retiree Legislative Network, joined the conference call to explain the benefits of NARSE joining his organization. The NRLN was formed in 2002 and it's primary goal is to secure federal legislation to protect retirees' employer-sponsored pensions and benefits in addition to keeping Social Security and Medicare strong.

Chairman Olbrysh told Mr. Kadereit that the NARSE Board will consider this matter at it's July meeting and report the results back to him. The Board decided it was not in their best interests to join NRLN for a variety of reasons. One of these reasons was not knowing what NRLN has accomplished since being formed. Olbrysh said he would follow-up with Mr. Kadereit and report back to the Board at it's September meeting.

Sears News:
Bill Barker reported that a favorable article about Sears appeared in the July 1, 2015 issue of Fortune Magazine titled: "Sears Big-Data Stategy? Just A Service Call Away." The article said that Sears recently opened a new technology center in Seattle, Washington to obtain data from the tens of millions of visits that Sears technicians have made to American homes over the decades to more effectively diagnose a problem well before a service call is made.

The upside of this is a reduction in the number of times Seasrs must dispatch technicians, saving the company money and helping to snatch away business from competing repair services. All of this seems to fit well with Chairman Lampert's strategy to revive the company and turn it into more of a technology company.

Retirees' Clubs Update:
Chairman Olbrysh reported that Pesident Tom Douglas will be contacting the retiree clubs we have listed on our website to determine the current status of these clubs and to update contact information. Also, when contacting these clubs, Tom will obtain information about the organization of such clubs including any special events, etc. Photos will also be requestred for possible insertion in a future issue of STRAIGHT TALK.

Website:
During the month of June 2015, there were 2,637 visits to the NARSE website representing 2,006 unique visitors. Three thousand two hundred eighty-nine (3,289) pages were viewed.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for September 11, 2015, beginning at 10:00 a.m. C.S.T. A Conference Call will be available at 10:30 a.m. There is no August meeting.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, June 12, 2015, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. CST

Meeting Participants: Ernie Arms, Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Tom Douglas, Bill Kadereit, Leo McCormick, Ron Olbrysh, Ruth Pilant, Mel Schultz, Bob Strickland, and Lloyd Van Schoyck,

Membership and Financials: Year-to-date (YTD) renewals are down 28%. YTD revenue is down 30%. YTD expenses are up 44%. However, we are experiencing renewals and revenues as expected attributable to the timeing of our newsletter distribution and normal attrition. NARSE is financially sound. All expenses are paid to date.

Class Actiion Lawsuit: A class-action lawsuit was filed in the state of Delaware against Sears Holdings on May 29 by John Solak, a SHC shareholder. The legal action's goal is to block the company's planned sale of 254 Sears and Kmart stores to a real estate investment trust controlled by Shears Holdings and CEO Edward Lampert. Solak said that Lampert would stand to benefit from the store transaction at the expense of the company's sharehyolders. Solak added that he believes shareholders have "a decent shot" at prevailing in what he described as a "David and Goliath" battle.

"The proposed transaction is a financially and structurally unfair deal," the lawsuit says. "Sears and its stockholders would receive a severely inadequate cash payment that the defendant Lampert-controlled company may use to cover operating losses and debt obligations for another year os so, before stockholders are left holding the bag in an insolvency widely viewed as inevitable if the proposed transaction occurs."

Solak noted that the lawsit does not seek money. He said it merely seeks to stop the proposed transaction and "keep those assets where they belong" so they could be used for pension costs or other company expenses. He concluded by saying that he hopes that this lawsit will prove to be a case where "little bitty investors–the smallest fries around–stand up to the billionaire management and say, enough already."

NRLN Presentation: Bill Kadereit, president of the National Retiree Legislative Network, joind us on the conference call to explain the benefits of NARSE joining his organization. Accoring to Kadereit, the NRLN, based in Washington, D.C. is the only nationwide organization solely dedicated to representing the interests of retirees and future retirees. It was formed in 2002 and it's primary goal is to secure federal legislation to protect retirees' employer-sponsored pensions and benefits in addition to keeping Social Security and Medicare strong.

The NRLN is a non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots coalitiion representing more than 2 million retirees who came to the NRLN from 23 retiree associations and as individual members who have retired from 168 different U.S. corporations andpublic entities. NRLN members live in all 50 states and in all 435 Congressional Districts.

The mission of the NRLN is to develop, identify and rally support for federal legislation that guarantees fair and equitable treatment of retirees and future retirees. This organization has a lobbyist and attorney located in Washington, D.C. Their website is: www.NRLN.org.

The NRLN has both a monetary and on-monetary Chapter membership. The monetary membership is $3.00 per year per paid member. The non-monetary membership is the formation of Chapter memberships as a means to expand NRLN's local grasssroots support networks. To become a non-monetary Chapter, such Chapter must submit to the NRLN a list of all of their members, both paying and non-paying.

Chairman Olbrysh told Mr. Kadereit that the NARSE Board will consider this matter at it's July meeting and report the results back to him.

Sears News: Sears lost $303 million in the three months to May 2, compared with $402 million loss a year earlier. Sales fell to $5.9 billion from 7.9 billion a year earlier as the company closed stores, and spun off it's Lands' End clothing business and a stake in Sears Canada.

Despite efforts to improve the business, loses have piled up totaling more than $7 billion since 2011. In the quarter, Sears U.S. sales declined in consumer electronics, apparel, home appliances, lawn care and its auto centers.. The only category the company cited as having a sales increase at Sears was mattresses! At Kmart, sales of appliances increased.

It was recently reported in The Wall Street Journal that Neil Saunders, the chief executive of Conlumino, a research and consulting firm, said that Sears will need to start increasing sales before it can return to profitability. He added that the Shop Your Way program isn't "compelling or differentiated enough to drive comparable sales into positive territory."

Website: During the month of May 2015, there were 1,679 visits to the NARSE website representing 1,117 unique visitors. Two thousand four-hundred sixty-six (2,466) pages were viewed.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for July 10, 2015, beginning at 10:00 a.m. C.S.T. A Conference Call will be available at 10:30 a.m.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, May 8, 2015, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. CST

Meeting Participants: Ernie Arms, Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Tom Douglas, Leo McCormick, Tom Nally, Ron Olbrysh, Dave Silgers, Bill Sterling, Bob Strickland, and Lloyd Van Schoyck,

Membership and Financials: Year-to-date (YTD) renewals are down 33%. YTD revenue is down 29%. YTD expenses are down 14%. However, we are experiencing renewals and revenues as expected attributable to the timeing of our newsletter distribution and normal attrition. NARSE is financially sound. All expenses are paid to date.

Chairman's Comments: Tom Nally, one of our regional vice-presidents, reported that he was recently contacted by Sears Holdings to ask his permission to publish his Sears retiree club's photo in the next issue of the Sears Holdings Alumni newsletter. This will be the same picture that was in STRIAGHT TALK.

NARSE filed it's annual 990-EZ tax form (Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax) on April 13, 2015.

Sears Annual Meeting: With only about 80 shareholders in attendance, SHC's 2015 annual meeting had one of the lowest attendances in recent history. In contrast, the Atlanta Sears Family (retiree) Club had about 145 attendees at their April 28 luncheon.

Although Sears continues to lose money and market share, Chairman Lampert told the shareholders that "Most of the things we're doing I'm very excited about." Lampert said that one of his regrets is that Sears hasn't had the money to make desired changes fast enough. "While operational performance has been the causse of some of that, pension expenes, the recession and other factors have impactred us as well," he said.

Lampert assured the shareholders that the sell-off of key assets in the last year has given the company the money it needs to speed up its transformation. He added that these moves have given the company the ammo it needs to move even farther away from the passe bricks-and-mortar approach to retailing, to becoming a store that makes much more extensive use of technology and data to sell in a more targeted way to its customers. "By raising such substantial capital in 2014 and 2015, we'll now be able to accelerate our company's transformation," he said.

Summer Issue of Straight Talk: The Summer issue of STRAIGHT TALK will be published the first half of June. It will appear on the NARSE web site at about the same time.

Presidential Election: Chairman Olbrysh submitted to the Board for consideration the name of regional vice-president Tom Douglas as the next president of NARSE. Tom has been a member of NARSE for the past 15 years. He was an active member of the Sears Southern California Retiree Club and served as its president in 2001. That same year he was appointed to the Sears Advisory Council and still is a member of the Council today.

Olbrysh called for a vote and Douglas was unanimously elected president of NARSE. He replaces Art Levin who has been in ill health for some time.

Website: During the month of April 2015, there were 1,408 visits to the NARSE website representing 775 unique visitors. Two thousand one-hundred ninety-two (2,192) pages were viewed.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for June 12, 2015, beginning at 10:00 a.m. C.S.T. A Conference Call will be available at 10:30 a.m.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, April 10, 2015, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. CST

Meeting Participants:
Dick Bruce, Tom Douglas, Dale Gibson, Leo McCormick, Tom Nally, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Bob Strickland, Lloyd Van Schoyck, and Sandra Wheeler.

Membership and Financials:
Year-to-date (YTD) renewals are down 33%. YTD revenue is down YTD expenses are down 12%. However, we are experiencing renewals and revenues as expected attributable to the timeing of our newsletter distribution and normal attrition. NARSE is financially sound. All expenses are paid to date.

NARSE Presentation for Sears Annual Meeting:
This year's Sears Holdings Annual Shareholder's meeting will be held May 6. Most of this meeting was spent with Chairman Olbrysh sharing with the meeting participants the lenthy written comments to be submitted to the company. The participants all felt that the comments were both positive but also realistic. One Board member said that the retiree life insurance section was accurate and well presented. These comments will be sent to the company's Corporate Secretary, Chairman Edward Lampert and to the seven Board members of SHC.

Summer Issue of Straight Talk:
The Summer 2015 issue of STRAIGHT TALK will be published at the beginning of June. It will include, among other things, the NARSE comments to be submitted to SHC at its Annual Meeting, the Evansville, Indiana retiree club, and highlights of the 2015 Sears Annual Meeting.

Nominees for Presidnt of NARSE:
Chairman Olbrysh requested members to submit names for the next presdient of NARSE. The election will be held at the May meeting.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for May 8, 2015, beginning at 10:00 a.m. C.S.T. A Conference Call will be available at 10:30 a.m.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, March 13, 2015, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. CST

Meeting Participants:
Ernie Arms, Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Tom Douglas, Walt Hess, Fred Karnatz, Wally Kleinfelt, Leo McCormick, Tom Nally, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Bob Strickland, and Lloyd Van Schoyck.

Membership and Financials:
Year-to-date renewals and revenue are down 34% YTD expenses are up 17%. However, we are experiencing renewals and revenues as expected attributable to the timeing of our newsletter distribution and normal attrition. NARSE is financially sound. All expenses are paid to date.

Sears Annual Meeting:
This year's Sears Holdings Annual Shareholder's meeting will be held May 6. Chairman Olbrysh is in the process of preparing written comments to be submitted to the company to be made a part of the transcript of the meeting. The Board went into Executvie Session to discuss possible actions SHC could take to perserve retiree's paid-up life insurance if the company liquidated its assets

Next Issue of Straight Talk:
The Summer 2015 issue of STRAIGHT TALK will be published at the beginning of June. David Eager, president of the Evansville, Indiana club will be submitting an article and pictures about his club.

Eddie Lampert's Annual Letter to Shareholders:
Chairman Lampert released his annual shareholder's letter on February 26. Among other things, he said that 2014 was one of massive transformation. For Sears and Kmart, "after years of work at becoming a fully integrated retailer that meets the needs of our members wherever, whenever and however they want to shop, we didn't slow down—we sped up."

In reviewing 2014, Lampert said: "We are primarily focused on profitability instead of revenues, market share and other metrics which relate to but don't necessarily drive profit. This means we will be making material changes in some of the underlying business models that have been challenged for many years, such as Consumer Electronics, where we have experienced significant losses since 2010."

He concluded by addressing his critics: "We remain focused on the long-term transformation of Sears Holdings but we recognize that some observers of the company have been confused by or have misunderstood certain aspects of our financial results and our actions. This has led to incomplete or misleading reports, which have had damaging consequences from time to time with our various constituencies. We have received numerous compliments for the extent of our disclosure and the helpfulness that our blog posts have given to those who are impacted by our operations."

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for February 10, 2015, beginning at 10:00 a.m. C.S.T. A Conference Call will be available at 10:30 a.m.

Post Note: The February 10 meeting was cancelled due to inclement weather.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, January 9, 2015, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. CST

Meeting Participants: Ernie Arms, Dick Bruce, Tom Douglas, Leo McCormick, Tom Nally, Ron Olbrysh, David Silger, Bill Sterling, Sandra Wheeler, and Lloyd Van Schoyck.

Membership and Financials: Membership renewals for 2014 were up 6%; expenses were down 12%; and revenue was up 6%. NARSE is financially sound. All expenses are paid to date.

NARSE NEWS: Cliff Hooks, one of the founding members of NARSE, passed away this past week. Chairman Olbrysh mentioned the television show that Cliff Hooks and several other founding members appeared on during May, 1998 reviewing how the former chairman of Sears, "King Arthur Martinez" took away the promised retiree life insurance.

Olbrysh also mentioned that the annual membership donation to NARSE for 2015 was now due.

National Retiree Legislative Network (NRLN): The NRLN has again contacted NARSE. NRLN represents over 30 retiree organizations and has lobbyists in Washington. In total, these 30 organizations have over 2.3 milliion retirees. This organization focuses on federal legislation improvements for retirees and only on income security, including Social Security, taxes, health care security and the cost of health care, including Medicare. They are headquartered in Dallas, Texas and have been in existenance since 2001. NARSE has made no decision regarding joining this organizarion.

Presecription Drug Coverage: As some retirees have discovered, if you have not specifically cancelled your Aetna prescription coverage for 2015, you will automatically be renewed and your coverage of choice will be cancelled. As we know, beginning this month, the subsidy for drug coverage is cancelled. All retiree's are eligible to enroll in any Medicare RX plan offered by any insurer. Once you have enrolled in another qualified plan Medicare should disqualify you from Atena if you have not cancelled your enrollment. You may only have one Medicare RX insurer.

Sears News: During the conference call, there was spirited discussion regarding the future of SHLD. SHLD is trading at about $40 currently. Speculators think SHLD may be worth +$150 in liquidation. There is much speculation regarding SHLD's future, both negative and positive, mostly negative. Only the time will tell the story. J.C. Penney announces 40 more stores closing. Target is cutting drastically. Few retailers are happy!

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for February 10, 2015, beginning at 10:00 a.m. C.S.T. A Conference Call will be available at 10:30 a.m.

Post Note: The February 10 meeting was cancelled due to inclement weather.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, December 12, 2014, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m.

Meeting Participants: Ernie Arms, Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Tom Douglas, Walt Hess, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Ruth Pilant, Mel Schultz, Dave Silgers, Dave Slothower, Bill Sterling, Bob Strickland, Sandra Wheeler, and Lloyd Van Schoyck.

Membership and Financials: Membership renewals year-to-date were down 10%. Revenue year-to-date was down 11%. Expenses were down 14% year-to-date. We are experiencing renewal and revenues as expected attributable to the timing of the newsletter distribution. NARSE is financially sound. All expenses are paid to date.

Sears Group Life Insurance Plan: Retrirees are very concerned about the loss of their "paid-up" group life insurance if Sears declares bankruptcy. This group life insurance plan was initially insured by Allstate Life Insurance, and was commonly referred to as "paid-up retirement life insurance" by Sears employees.

Effective January 1, 1989, Sears Group Life Insurance Plan became insured by Metropolitan Life Insurance Comnpany. This plan was amended on November 1, 1992, to discontinue providing any life insurance coverage except to retirees and certain disaabled associates. It was then renamed Sears Retiree Group Life Insurance Plan. Effective August 1, 2010, The Prudential Insurance Company of America became the underwirter and administrator of the Plan.

Chairman Olbrysh suggested that if any retiree still has a GUL (Group Universal Life) policy they should keep it. The GUL policy is different from the Sears Retiree Group Life Insurance Plan. The premiums for the GUL policy, that are paid for by the retiree, are very reasonable compared to what other insurance carriers are offering today.

Sears News: At a recent Town Hall meeting with associates, Chairman Lampert explained that he wants to operate the stores both profitably and with excellence. Both, not just one or the other. That is the reason for his decision to close more than 200 Kmart and Sears stores in 2014. Most of these stores were losing money, some for a very long time. Going into 2015, the company will have about 1,700 Sears and Kmart big box stores in operation, representing about 200 million square feet of space. Lampert added that closing non-productive stores results in reduced expenses, improved cash flow, and enhanced productivity of space, which together ends up strengthening the company.

However, in a WallStreet.org blog, titled "Can Sears Holdings Survive its Losses?", it was said: "Sears will be getting rid of 235 stores, and that won't be enough to slow down its downfall. The decision was made to save itself from total demolition. But the truth is that the company faces tough competition from rivals such as Wal-Mart, Target Corp and the mighty Amazon.com. All of these retailers live in the shadow of Amazon, except that Sears is amongst those hitting the rock bottom. It's being eclipsed by rivals in almost every area. Sears Holdings Corp. will look to move its locations to real estate investment trust fund to save some money for itself but doom is imminent."

NARSE.Org Website: The Website had 1,707 visitors in November. Of this number, there were 945 unique visitors. Two-thousand six-hundred sixy-eight (2,668) pages were viewed.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for January 9, 2015, beginning at 10:00 a.m. C.S.T. A conference call will be available at 10:30 a.m.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, November 14, 2014, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m.

Meeting Participants: Bill Barker, Tom Douglas, Fred Karnatz, Leo McCormack, Tom Nally, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silgers, Bob Strickland, Sandra Wheeler, and Lloyd Van Schoyck.

Membership and Financials: Membership renewals year-to-date were down 10%. Revenue year-to-date was down 11%. Expenses were down 16% year-to-date. We are experiencing renewal and revenues as expected attributable to the timing of the newsletter distribution. NARSE is financially sound. All expenses are paid to date.

Aetna Enrollment Package: This enrollment package was mailed to all retirees. Based upon comments already received from retirees it is a real challenge to comprehend what the new plans actually are and the costs. Once you determine what plan might suit you and the cost, you might want to check out some non-Sears insurance options. If you want to continue your existing medical plan, you do not have to reinrole. If you desire to change or cancel your Sears/Aetna plan, you must call the RHA number, 1-800-254-6765 between 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. EST Monday through Friday. Or you can change your plan or cancel by going on the website www.rhagroupexchange.com/Sears.

Sears News: Last week SHC announced it was exploring the conversion of 200-300 of its stores to a real estate investment trust (REIT) and offer it to shareholders through a rights offering to raise cash. As a result of this announcement, Sears stock jumped about 48%, the biggest intraday gain since April 2003.

Sears has been trying to raise cash to get it through the build-up to the year-end shopping season and it has repeatedly turned to CEO Lampert and his hedge fund, which together owns 48.5% of SHC.

If Sears Declares Bankruptcy: Because of continual negative news from the financial community, the question raised by many of our retirees is what would happen to their life insurance if Sears liquidates its assets. NARSE responded as follows: The insurance premium to cover the cost of the "paid-up" life insurance is handled by Sears on an annual basis. As long as Sears exists, this life insurance is secure. However, if Sears would liquidate its assets through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, the premium payments by Sears would stop, and this life insurance will be cancelled. As someone stated at this meeting, maybe the new slogan for Sears retirees should be, "SHOP AT SEARS. SAVE YOUR LIFE INSURANCE!"

NARSE.Org Website: The Website had 1,912 visitors in October. Of this number, there were 1,058 unique visitors. Two-thousand nine-hundred seventy-three (2,973) pages were viewed.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for December 12, 2014, beginning at 10:00 a.m. C.S.T. A conference call will be available at 10:30 a.m. This will be our annual Holiday meeting.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, October 10, 2014, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 10:03 a.m.

Meeting Participants: Stan Aldis, Bill Barker, Ev Buckhart, Dick Bruce, Tom Douglas, Stan Fruman, Ken Johnson, Fred Karnatz, Leo McCormack, Tom Nally, Ron Olbrysh, Ruth Pilant, Mel Schultz, Dave Silgers, Bill Sterling, Bob Strickland, Sandra Wheeler, and Lloyd Van Schoyck.

Membership and Financials: Membership renewals year-to-date were down 10%. Revenue year-to-date was also down 10%. Expenses were down 19% year-to-date. We are experiencing renewal and revenues as expected attributable to the timing of the newsletter distribution. NARSE is financially sound. All expenses are paid to date.

2015 Medical/Retiree Benefits: Stan Aldis, Manager of Associate/Retiree benefits for SHC joined us on our conference call this month to answer any questions we may have about medical and any other retiree benefits. Retirees have already submitted a number of written questions for Stan. As background, Stan has been a "constant force" at the company for retirees and has been with the company for more than 46 years.

Before Aldis was questioned, Chairman Olbrysh made a few observations about SHC. He said that a number of publications, including The Wall Street Journal, reported that SHC's Chairman Lampert and his hedge fund will be lending the company $400 million through the critical holiday season. Then, just last week Sears said it expecxted to raise as much as $380 million by selling most of its 51% strake in Sears Canada to Mr. Lampert and other shareholders in a rights offering. And yesterday, the company's stock fell sharply following a Bloomberg report that a vendor had halted shipments to its stores, and that some credit insurers, which indemnify suppliers against nonpayment, were reducing coverage.

(While Sears appears to have raised more than enough cash to meet its bills ahead of the busy holiday season, any hint that its suppliers and their insurers and creditors are worried will certainly have a pronounced effect on its stock.)

Olbrysh added that while NARSE's primary interest is with retirees, as a result of recent negative financial news about SHC, such news impacts not only retirees but also current associates. He added that the morale at the company today must not be the best. If retirees are concerned, the associates must also be worried. Olbrysh then asked Stan whether he is a bit stressed.

Stan responded by saying that he is in a slightly different possition than most associates since he has been with the company for over 46 years and is nearing retireement. He has to believe that many of the younger associates are concerned about the future of SHC.

A Sampling of Questions for Stan Aldis: An Ohio retiree asked for the company's rational for eliminating the $37 monthly prescription subsidy. Stan responded that Sears is making tough decisions concerning it's infrastructure that should have been made many years ago based on the way customers want to buy. Sears is facing many challenges today and one of its biggest continuing competitive challenges is Amazon who has never reported a profit nor required to pay sales taxes in most locations. SHC's objective is to become a competitve place to shop while realizing this through affordable means. This includes new leadership, emphasis on membership, an integrated retail model, and benefit costs, which are comparable to other companies. To soften the blow of eliminating the subsidy for prescription drugs, SHC has negotiated with Aetna to expand to eight, from four, the number of group medical coverage plans it offers to retirees, and its prescription drug plan to seven, from four, so that retirees have the option of choosisng a plan with lower premiums.

An Illinois retiree asked whether Stan could give any specific details about these new plans. Stan said that the company plans to assist retirees with this complicated decision process by establishing a new Aetna Service Center staffed with Medicare certified professionals to assist retirees in making the appropriate decisions concerning their medical, prescription, vision and dental choices. This enhancement could result in better-informed decisions than in the past, and might actually result in an overall cost savings and balanced coverage for some retirees. This new Aetna Service Center will be available on October 20, 2014 at which time retirees can learn about the specifics and cost of the new plans.

A Florida retiree wrote that during the past two months he had received two letters from Sears Holdings about a new benefit called "Shop Your Way Health". This retiree asked for an explanation of this new benefit. As stated in the letters, Stan said that "Shop Your Way Health" is a digital health superstore where Shop Your Way members can save time and money on health & wellness products and services, plus get access to health information and online health communities. Sears and Shop Your Way Health have partnered with HealthMarkets Insurance Agency to help retirees explore their Medicare options. HeallthMarkets offers access to thousands of plans from 140 national and regional insurance companies. Their service is free. With HealthMarkets you can find coverage that is the best fit for you at a price that fits your budget. In the past three years, HealthMarkets has enrolled Americans in over 1.1 million insurance policies.

A Georgia retiree asked Stan whether the changes for 2015 would have any impact abour his pension or Sears discount. Stan said no changes are being made to pensions or to the Sears discount at this time.

Another Illinois retiree commented that since our benefits hinge upon Sears staying afloat, how are Sears turnaround plans coming along, based upon all of the negative news being reported about SHC? Stan said that bad things always sells newspapers. SHC has taken aggressive steps to transform the company from a predominantly brick-and-mortar retailer it once was to a best-in-class multi-channel integrated shopping experience for our members. If such steps were not taken, Sears would have been stuck on the same path that has claimed retailers like Circuit City, Borders, Radio Chack and others. Transformation takes time but progress is being made. In the future, SHC will be a slimmer, trimmer company.

In response to a NARSE Board members inquiry, Stan said that the retiree changes being made have already been implemented for current associates.

NARSE.Org Website: The Website had 1,756 visitors in September. Of this number, there were 1,017 unique visitors. Two-thousand eight-hundred ninety-nine (2,899) pages were viewed.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for November 14, 2014, beginning at 10:00 a.m. C.S.T. A conference call will be available at 10:30 a.m.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, September 12, 2014, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m.

Meeting Participants: Ernie Arms, Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Tom Douglas, Ken Johnson, Leo McCormack, Tom Nally, Ron Olbrysh, Ruth Pilant, Mel Schultz, Bill Sterling, Sandra Wheeler, and Lloyd Van Schoyck.

Membership and Financials: Membership renewals year-to-date were down 11%. Revenue year-to-date down 11%. Expenses were down 17% year-to-date. We are experiencing renewal and revenues as expected attributable to the timing of the newsletter distribution. NARSE is financially sound. All expenses are paid to date.

2015 Medical Benefits: On August 28, 2014 a Sears Retiree Council conference call was held to dicuss retiree medical benefits for 2015. Stan Aldis, Director of Benefits for SHC, invited NARSE to participate in this call. Stan informed the Council members that SHC will continue to pattner with Retiree Health Access and he asked Aetna to provide an update on the medical coverage changes for 2015 during this conference call.

Dick Bruce and Ron Olbrysh, NARSE representatives, paarticipated in this call. The Council members were informed that while many things were staying the same, there was a major change. Effective January 1, 2015 Sears will no longer provide a subsidy for retiree healath care coverage. However, to alleviate any financial burden this may cause, four new, lower cost medial plan options will be added, in adddition to the four plans currently being offered, collectivbely resulting in more choices with competitive rates to vbestr suit a retirees situation andneeds, according to Aldis.

A few Council members were concerned why NARSE was included in this call. It was stated that since so many of the local Sears retiree clubs were disbanded, that NARSE was the only national independent organization representing Sears retiree interests.

The elimination of the $37 monthly health care subsidy will impact about 14,000 Sears retirees. According to Stan, the elimination of this subsidy will save the company about $6.2 million annually.

What was SHC's rationale for this change? We were told that Sears is making tough decisions concerning it's infranstructure that should have been made much earlier based on the way customers want to buy. Sears is facing many challenges today and one of the biggest continuing competitive one is Amazon who has never reported a profit nor required to pay sales taxes in most locations.

SHC said that its objectivbe is to become a competitive place to shop while realizing this through affordable means. This includes new leadership, emphasis on membership, and integrated retail model, and benefit costs, that are comparable to other companies.

At the conclusion of the conference call, Sears asked the Council members and NARSE to get feedback from retirees on the loss of this ssubsidy.

NARSE Chairman's Response: Shortly after the conclusion of the conference call, Chairman Olbrysh was contacted by the Chicago Sun-Times for his response to this loss of the subsidy. He said, "While $37 per month doesn't sound like a large amount, for many retirees it will be significant. Most of NARSE's members are int their late 70s and 80s and live only on their pensions and Social Security." He also questioned whether the $6.2 million annual cost savings for a company with annual revneue of $36 billion was worth the negative reaction it would likely receive. "It would have been a small cost for Sears not to do that," he said.

October NARSE Meeting: The Board suggested that Stan Aldis be on our October meeting conference call to answer retiree questions about the 2015 medical plan. Chairman Olbrysh said he would contact Stan to determine his availability.

NARSE.Org Website: The Website had 1,380 visitors in August. Of this number, there were 838 unique visitors. Two-thousand two hundred sixty-seven (2,267) pages were viewed.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for October 10, 2014, beginning at 10:00 a.m. C.S.T. A conference call will be available at 10:30 a.m. There is no scheduled August meeting.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, July 11, 2014, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 10:02 a.m.

Meeting Participants: Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Tom Douglas, Walt Hess, Ken Johnson, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, David Silger, Bob Strickland, and Lloyd Van Schoyck.

Membership and Financials: Membership renewals year-to-date were down 7%. Revenue year-to-date down 7%. Expenses were up 7% year-to-date as a result of the publication of the Summer STRAIGHT TALK issue. We are experiencing renewal and revenues as expected attributable to the timing of the newsletter distribution. NARSE is financially sound. All expenses are paid to date.

Sears News: SHC announced on July 7 that Kristin H. Coleman will join the company as senior vice president, general counsel and corporat4e secretary. Coleman most recently served as Brunswick Corporation's vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary. Chairman Lampert said about the appointment: "I am pleased Kristin is joining our leadership team. She is a proven leader with experience managing legal, compliance and corporate governance issues…she brings a breadth and depth of experience to Sears Holdings in litigation and governance, includding mergers and acquisitions, which will serve us well as we continue on our path to transform the company."

Retiree Club News: The Tampa Bay Club, which we believe is now the only Sears rteiree club in the state, is headed up by president Jim McCurtain. This club meets three times a year. The Atlanta Big Club is meeting later this month.

NARSE.Org Website: The Website had 1,358 visitors in June. Of this number, there were 748 unique visitors. One-thousand eight-hundred and eighty-six (1,886) pages were viewed.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for September 12, 2014, beginning at 10:00 a.m. C.S.T. A conference call will be available at 10:30 a.m. There is no scheduled August meeting.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, June 13, 2014, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m.

Meeting Participants: Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Tom Douglas, Walt Hess, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, David Silger, Eddie Smith, Lloyd Van Schoyck and Sandra Wheeler

Membership and Financials: Membership renewals year-to-date were down 7%. Revenue year-to-date down 8%. However, expenses were down 46% year-to-date. We are experiencing renewal and revenues as expected attributable to the timing of the newsletter distribution. NARSE is financially sound. All expenses are paid to date.

Sears Annaul Meeting: As a follow-up to Sears Annual Meeting last month, there was further discussion about Chairman Lampert's turnarounds and transformations. As Eddie said at the meeting, "Looking back at what used to be doesn't give us a chance to transform." And transformation is something the company must do to survive, he added. And responding to a NARSE qustion about retirees, Lampert made a spoken commitment to take care of retirees and said the company made a recent $3 billion dollar infusion to retiree benefits. He also noted that the company would start streaming shareholder meetings in the future.

Sears News: Since large shareholders owning over 10% of a company's stock are mandated to dissclose their sales and purchases with the SEC, Chairman Lampert recently bought 32,720 shares of Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc. He purchased the stock at an average price of $19.97 perchare, for a total transaction of $653,418.40.

It was also reported that recently Lampert sought the advice of Allan Mulally, the chief exeutive officer of Ford Motor Company, on how to turn around the company. Observers in the industry believe that Lampert's meeting with Mulally demonstrated that SHC and other big retailers in the United States are facing difficult problems, particularly in finding executives with experience and skills to match current trends in the industry.

Recrutiters say that most candidates in the retail industry either do not have much experience in e-commerce or lack experience in managing retail chains.

NARSE.Org Website: The Website had 1,557 visitors in January. Of this number, there were 897 unique visitors. Two-thousand three-hundred eighteen (2,318) pages were viewed.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for July 11, 2014, beginning at 10:00 a.m. C.S.T. A Conference Call will be available at 10:30 a.m.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, May 9, 2014, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m.

Meeting Participants: Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Tom Douglas, Dale Gibson, Walt Hess, Leo McCormack, Tom Nally, Ron Olbrysh, David Silger, Lloyd Van Schoyck and Sandra Wheeler

Membership and Financials: Membership renewals year-to-date were down 7%, Revenue year-to-date down 8%. However, expenses year-to-date were down 59%. Year-to-date we are experiencing renewal and revenuses as expected attributable to the timing of the newsletter distribution. NARSE continues to be financially sound, and all bills are paid.

Sears Contact: Chairman Olbrysh sent an e-mail to Stan Aldis, Sears Holdings Manager of Benefits on May 7 requesting a tape or DVD of the Sears Annual Shareholder's meeting to assist us in preparing our lead article for STRAIGHT TALK that will be distributed next month. While Bill Barker is a great reporter, he could not copy all of the information appearing on the slides that Lampert used during his presentation.

Sears Annual Meeting: Bill Barker, who represented NARSE at the May 6 Sears Annual Shareholder's meeting and made a presentation, provided a detailed summary of what took place at this meeting. He said that Eddie (that's what Lampert likes to be called) stood alone for the first time as the company's CEO and majority shareholder. He said that "Looking back at what used to be doesn't give us a chance to transform." And transformation is something the company must do to survive.

Bill was the first to the microphone for the Q&A part of the meeting. He added a personal note that if he were still on Sears payroll he would be celebrating his 56th anniversary with Sears as he joined Sears, Roebuck on May 6, 1958. The entire assembly, including Eddie, punctuated this comment with general applause.

NARSE.Org Website: The Website had 1,422 visitors in April. There were 798 unique visitors who visited the site more than once. 2,230 pages were viewed.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for June 13, 2014, beginning at 10:00 a.m. C.S.T. on the 13th floor Conference Room at NARSE Headquarters, 8770 W, Bryn Mawr Avenue, Ste. 1300, Chicago, Illinois 60631. A Conference Call will be available at 10:30 a.m. Meeting Conference Calls are toll free. PLEASE JOIN US!

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, April 21, 2014, at HQ Office

The meeting was called to order by Ron Olbrysh at 10:00 a.m. Participating in the meeting were Dick Bruce, Dick Cofran, Walt Hess, Ken Johnson, Leo McCormack, Tom Nally, Ron Olbrysh, David Silger, Bill Sterling, Lloyd Van Schoyck, and Sandra Wheeler.

Membership and Financials: YTD revenue is down 8% but YTD expenses are down 57%. We are experiencing renewal and revenues as expected attributable to the timing of the STRAIGHT TALK distribution. NARSE continues to be financially sound and all bills are paid.

"STRAIGHT TALK": The next issue of the "Straight Talk" Newsletter will be mailed during the first part of June. Again, the lead article will be about the Sears Holdings Shareholder meeting of May 6th presentation at the Shareholder Meeting.

WEBSITE: NARSE.ORG Website had 1736 visits of which 977 were unique visitors. 2606 pages were accessed during the month.

SHLD STOCK UP: Sears Stock was up 13%. Tom Trish, a SHLD Investor/Shareholder purchased 325,000 Shares of SHLD Stock @ $32.60 and a few days later purchased another 100,000 Shares @$33.40. The Tish family owns 4% of SHLD Common Stock.

Letter to AARP President: Ron Olbrysh, NARSE Chairman, drafted a letter to AARP regarding their opinion of what the status of Sears Retiree Life Insurance may be if Sears would go into Bankruptcy. It is not anticipated that this will happen, however retirees are concerned should this occur. In the past AARP has been very helpful to NARSE as well as a financial contributor. We expect their opinion shortly.

Atlanta "Big Club" Sears Retiree Meeting: The Atlanta Sears Retiree's had their monthly meeting. 117 persons attended. NARSE welcomes all news, pictures and stories regarding your local Retiree Clubs.

The NARSE meeting was adjourned at 11:34 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for Friday May 9, at 10:00 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at NARSE Headquarters, 8700 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue, Chicago. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. CST.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, February 14, 2014, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m.

Meeting Participants: Bill Barker, Tom Douglas, Walt Hess, Ken Johnson, Leo McCormack, Tom Nally, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, David Silger, Bob Strickland, Lloyd Van Schoyck and Sandra Wheeler

Membership and Financials: Membership renewals year to date were down 10%, Revenue year to date down 11%. Weather conditions throughout the U.S. more than likely have had an effect. NARSE continues to be financially sound, and all bills are paid.

Continued concerns regarding Sears Holdings Share Price: SHLD continues to receive negative reporting regarding sales and customer activity in Sears stores as well as Kmart units. Announcements of more closings continue to make headlines. Weather certainly has a dramatic impact on customer traffic, particularly January through the current date. It appears even Internet sales are effected, and not only at SHLD.

Emory Willams, Former Sears Treasurer died February 13th. Emory was a supporter of NARSE. We will miss Emory.

Sears Annual Share Holder Meeting, May 6th, 2014. NARSE will be represented at the meeting by one of the NARSE Board Members. NARSE invites all of it's members to contact Ron Olbrysh with questions and concerns you may have regarding SHLD's current operations and plans for the future. Questions or concerns such as pensions, health care benefits, life insurance, the future of Sears, etc. NARSE has suggested that SHLD stream the meeting live on the Internet. As of this date, the company has not yet made a decision regarding Internet streaming. That decision should be made very soon.

NARSE.Org Website: The Website had 2,114 visitors in January. There were 1,164 unique visitors who visited more than once. 3774 pages were viewed.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for March 14, 2014, beginning at the NEW meeting time of 10:00 a.m. C.S.T. 13th floor Conference Room at NARSE Headquarters, 8770 W, Bryn Mawr Avenue, Ste. 1300, Chicago, Illinois 60631. A Conference Call will be available at 10:30 a.m. Meeting Conference Calls are toll free.

PLEASE JOIN US!

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, January 10, 2014, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:33 a.m. Participating in the meeting Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Ev Buckardt, Dick Cofran, Walt Hess, Tom Higgins, Ken Johnson, Leo McCormack, Fred Karnatz, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, David Silger, Bill Sterling, Bob Strickland, and Lloyd Van Schoyck.

Membership and Financials: NARSE is financially sound and all bills are paid. Revenue is up 24% year to date. Membership renewals will be anticipated since renewal envelopes were inserted in the mailing of the latest edition of "STRAIGHT TALK."

Sears Holdings Share Price drops: Sharp decline in SHLD stock prices in recent days. Store sales down 9.2% (Sears). Sales at Kmart units down 9.7%. J.C. Penny receives favorable turn-around reports while Sears/Kmart is still getting negative press. Chairman Lampert wrote in a blog post that "The results that we posted are not nearly what we want them to be."

Most comments regarding Sears units regard lack of sales staffing, dull merchandising, and lack of traffic in stores compared to competition. Lampert's hedge fund decreased from $10 billion in 2011 to $6 billion in 2013.

Rumors of Sears Auto Center Sell off? Various financial news reporters are speculating that SHLD may spin off or close its auto centers. Sears operates over 800 attached store units, 50 free standing units and 8 specialty store attached units. Rumors that Sears wants to raise cash by spin off of Lands End and Auto Centers.... time will tell.

One must analyze the shareholder investment vs. returns. Auto Center sales have been structured around tire and battery sales. These lines of merchandise are highly competitive and profit margins low. Auto dealers have taken a large chunk of tire and battery sales, as well as strong Internet and mail order competition. Sophisticated suspension systems, stainless steel mufflers all contribute to more dealer replacement and repair services and longer intervals between replacements of these components.

Sears Retiree Life Insurance: Mel Schultz requests that NARSE look into getting legal answers to the protection of retiree life insurance policies should Sears go into bankruptcy or liquidate. Bill Barker suggested we retain a lawyer for this purpose. Bill Barker questioned if retiree pensions would be protected should such events occur.

Ron Olbrysh will review this matter and have some proposals at the next meeting date.

Shop your way Rewards Program: The "Shop you way Rewards Program" has a goal to reach 80% of customers in Sears Store units. Most comments on this sales incentive program are positive.

NARSE.ORG website: Our website continues to be active even during the holiday rush season! More than 2,275 pages were viewed on the NARSE site.

NARSE HEADQUARTERS LEASE: NARSE leasing agreement was discussed and the Board agreed that the lease rate and fee for rental and services remained acceptable.

The January NARSE meeting adjourned at 11:35 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for Friday, February 14, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. CST, 13th floor Conference Room at the NARSE Headquarters, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, December 13, 2013, at HQ Office

The meeting was called to order by Ron Olbrysh at 9:30 a.m. Particpating in the meeting were Ernie Arms, Bill Barker Dick Bruce, Walt Hess, Leo McCormack, Tom Nally, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Daavid Silger, Bob Strickland, Lloyd VanSchoyck, and Sandra Wheeler.

Membership and Financials: Year to date NARSE membership renewals are up 21%. Revenue is up 24%. Expenses are down 4%. NARSE is financially sound and all bills are paid.

NARSE.ORG Website: NARSE reminds all retirees to visit the NARSE website often for breaking news that concerns all retirees. The website is up to date as of December 13, 2013.

Sears Retiree Council Conference Call: There was a Retiree Council conference call on October 17. It is unknown when the next council meeting or conference call will take place.

December STRAIGHT TALK: Members will find informative articles regarding the Future of Sears. "Can Sears survive in the current retail environment?" Learn about "Sears Reinsurance Company Ltd.", the Crown Jewel!. Read about "The Very, Very Private Edward Lampert." Numerous letters from members express their views on the possible success or failure of Sears future. Only time will tell the story!.

NARSE to update active Sears Retiree Clubs List: Ron Olbrysh presented a plan to update the list of active retiree clubs in all states. NARSE requests that members send their information to cro922@comcast.net NARSE would like to have it's audit of active retiree clubs completed during the first part of 2014.

NARSE MEMBERSHIP RENEWALS: Membership renewal forms/envelopes will be included with the December mailing of STRAIGHT TALK. NARSE could not function without your support. STRAIGHT TALK could not be printed and mailed and our Website www.narse.org would not exist. NARSE board of directors is an all-volunteer group with no paid employees. NARSE monthly meetings are held in Chicago and include a toll free conference call segment available to any retiree in the country. Check the NARSE website for our dates of these meetings and conference call instructions. NARSE is a non-partisan organization.

NARSE CELEBRATES 17th YEAR: Our organization has provided speakers to local retiree clubs, reunited thousands of retirees with former associates and friends and kept our membership up to speed as to what is happening at Sears Holdings and at the federal level that could impact our benefits – benefits such as health care, pensions, Medicare and Social Security changes and the taxation of such benefits. This summer marks our 17th Anniversary!

Home Town Sears Stores Stop Retiree Discount: The reorganization of the privately operated Sears Home Town stores includes the elimination of the Sears retiree discount.

Sears Holdings, Kmart Discount Issues: Sears retiree discount cannot be combined with other discount/savings coupons.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for January 10, 2014, beginning at 9:30 a.m. C.S.T. 13th floor Conference Room at NARSE Headquarters, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue, Ste. 1300, Chicago, Illinois 60631.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, November 8, 2013, at HQ Office

The meeting was called to order by Ron Olbrysh at 9:30 a.m. Participating in the meeting were Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Ev Buckardt, Tom Douglas, John Freeman, Dale Gibson, Walt Hess, Ken Johnson, Frrd Karnatz, Lro McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Ruth Pilant, Mel Schultz, David Silger, Bob Strickland, and Lloyd Van Schoyck.

Membership and Financials: YTD renewals are up 20%. YTD revenue is up 24%. YTD expenses are down 4%. YTD we are experiencing renewal and revenue increases as espected attributable to the timing of the newsletter distribution. NARSE is financially sound and all bills are paid.

Executive Session: Before the conference call the Board went into Executive Session to discuss the status of the NARSE organization if Sears Holdings "goes under."

Retiree Clubs Update: Because of the number of clubs that may no longer exist, Ron Olbrysh asked the Board to update the club information on our website. Beginning this month, each Board member was given a number of states to contact to determine the status of the clubs in these states and to update contact information for each retiree club.

Aetna Plans for 2014: Retiree's should explore the plans offered by Aetna very carefully. Members should consider co-pays and deductible's on healthcare, hospital stays and drug co-pays as well as generic and brand name drug prices. A lower monthly premium is not always the lowest cost when you consider out of pocket fees. Review your medications with your doctor to consider generic versus branded drugs. The savings can be considerable!

NEXT ISSUE OF STRAIGHT TALK: The Winter 2014 issue will be mailed out the first part of December. The lead article will be a company health check for Sears Holdings. In addition, based upon the request in the last issue of STRAIGHT TALK, we will publish a representative sampling of letters received from retirees about the future of Sears. For future issues, we are requesting retirees to send photos of past Sears events, local club happenings, etc. Also, let us know what is happening at Sears and Kmart in your area.

Sears News: Is Land's End up for sale? There is a large number of Sears and Kmart stores closing. Lampert is moving many Sears assets to a nonnguarantor subsidiary, Sears Reinsurance (Sears Re), that protects assets in this subsidiary in the event of a Sears Holdings bankruptcy. Today, Sears Re holds about $35 billion in assets!

This meeting was adjourned at 11:45a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for Friday, December 13, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the NARSE Headquarters, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time. This will be NARSE' annual Holiday Meeting. Refreshments will be served. All members are welcome to attend.

NARSE Board of Directors and Officers thank you for your continued support. We wish you a Joyful Holiday Season.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, October 13, 2013, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:30 a. m. Participating in the meeting were Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Dick Cofran, Tom Doublas, Walt Hess, Fred Karnatz, Art Levin, Leo McCormack, Tom Nally, Ron Olbrysh, Ruth Pilant, Mel Schultz, Bob Strickland, Sandra Wheeler, and Ken Winkler,

Membership and Financials: YTD renewals are up 22%. YTD revenue is up 25%. YTD expenses are down .01%. We are experiencing renewal and revenue increases as expected attributable to the timing of the newsletter distribution. NARSE is financially sound and all bills are paid.

Leo McCormack provided the Board with the following NARSE membership age profile:

Age 61 to 65..........1%
Age 66 to 70..........4%
Age 71 to 75..........17%
Age 76 to 80..........20%
Age 81 to 85..........28%
Age 86 to 90..........20%

The above age profile discloses that 95% of the membership is over 71 and 78% of the membership is over 76. We are an aging organization.

Conference Call Discussion: Sears sold over a dozen Stores in past months to raise cash. Since 2010 over 200 Kmart Stores have closed their doors. Several Analysts have been critical of Lampert stating that Sears's stores are not being updated? Lampert continues to invest heavily in Internet development. Is that the wave of the future for Sears? Of all retailers, Amazon continues to grow!

Life Insurance Update: Most participants at this meeting have not received their Life Insurance Benefit Update, which was to be sent by Prudential starting July 15, 2013. Retiree's should check with Prudential to insure that their Beneficiary (s) are correct. Call PRUDENTIAL @ 1 (800) 778-3827 to verify or establish your designated beneficiary.

Medicare Exchange: Aetna will participate in Medicare Exchange starting November 14th according to Sears Holdings.

Next Sears Retiree Counsel Conference Call: Scheduled for Thursday, October 17. Stan Aldis, manager of Benefits for Sears Holdings, informed the Counsel members that Jeffrey Howell from Aetna will be on the call to provide more details regarding benefit changes for 2014. This year's enrollment period for retirees will begin on November 4, 2013 and run through November 15, 2013.

NARSE STRAIGHT TALK: Update your local "Sears Retiree Club" information. Send pictures; share what's going on with your club. Send NARSE your favorite Sears experience. Who was your favorite Manager, Supervisor? Why?

NARSE Website: For the month of September there were 1,508 visits to the website representing 725 unique visitors who viewed 2,418 pages. Log on to narse.org for daily updates on Sears, the retail industry and what the federal government is doing regarding your benefits.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:39 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for Friday, November 8th , 2013 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the NARSE Headquarters, 8770 W Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, September 13, 2013, at HQ Office

The meeting was called to order by Ron Olbrysh at 9:30 a.m. participating in the meeting were Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Tom Douglas, Fred Karnatz, Leo McCormack, Tom Nally, Ron Olbrysh, Ruth Pilant, Mel Schultz, David Silger, Lloyd VanSchoyck, and Sandra Wheeler.

Membership and Financials: YTD renewals are up 22%. YTD revenue is up 24%. And YTD expenses are up .07%. YTD we are experiencing renewal and revenue increases as expected attributable to the timing of the newsletter distribution.

Future of Sears: Several letters were received regarding the future of Sears Holdings. Various news media reports have prompted concerns. The "picture" is unclear for Sears Holdings. Many Analysts have varied views regarding Sears and Kmart sales and profitability. Sales have declined in both Sears and Kmart stores. A number of units are slated to close in 2014, although the number is not firm at this time. The closings affect unprofitable units. Sales performance is down in almost every retail chain operation so Sears does not stand-alone. Lampert is aggressive in building the Internet sales at both Sears and Kmart. Internet sales have and will be a major part of retail sales and profits. Few retail chains have the product that Sears Holdings offers, both in sales and merchandise services.

Retiree Life Insurance: Comments NARSE has received from Retirees show that many have not received the explanation of benefits from Prudential as of September. Retirees may call the Sears Holdings Retiree Help Center and request information regarding their Life Insurance. NARSE members who have called the Help Center had no problem securing the information they requested. Some Retiree's may need to update their Beneficiary(s). When Prudential took over the Life Insurance account from MetLife it appears that the designated Beneficiary did not carry over. Retiree's may call Prudential direct at 1-800-778-3827.

NARSE.ORG Website: NARSE reminds all Retiree's to visit the NARSE website often for Breaking News that concerns all Sears Retiree's. During the month of August there were 1,628 visits to our site representing 764 unique visitors. During August, 2,511 pages were viewed.

The September NARSE meeting adjourned at 11:35 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for Friday, October 11, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the NARSE Headquarters, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a. m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, July 12, 2013, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. Particpating in this meeting were Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Tom Douglas, John Freeman, Walt Hess, Ron Olbrysh, Ruth Pilant, Bob Strickland, Lloyd Van Schoyck, and Sandra Wheeler.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Year to date Membership renewals are up 21%. Revenue is up 26%. Expenses YTD are down 34%. We are experiencing renewal and revenue increases as expected attributable to the timing of the newsletter distribution.

STRAIGHT TALK FEEDBACK: The Summer 2013 issue of STRAIGHT TALK was well received both in Chicago and in the Field. Our readers told us that they found the lead article about Sears 2013 Annual Meeting very informative. Again, retirees would like Sears to consider streaming live over the internet the entire Sears Holdings annual meeting. As Bill Barker, NARSE's representative at this meeting told Mr. Lampert, "Such action would go a long way to improving corporate transparency to the extent that the company's actions are observable to all interested sharholders."

FUTURE OF SEARS: There has been an abundance of negative comments about Sears Holdings from many retail analysts. Are these analysts correct? Or are they wrong about predicting the demise of Sears? We are asking all of our members to submit their comments about the future of Sears. We are planning to publish a representative sampling of these letters in the next issue of STRAIGHT TALK. Retirees who submit comments will only be identified by their city and state.

J.C. PENNEY: Has the death spiral at Penney's stopped? According to some analysts, since Mike Ullman has returned to Penney's as CEO things have improved although the company is still on "life support." The question for investors and shoppers is whether or not Ullman can make J.C. Penney healthy again.Although Ullman may not be the guy to lead the company into the next generation, his job is stabilizing JCP and laying our a five-year plan that will attract a new CEO over the next 18 months.

NARSE WEB SITE: The Web site had 1,585 hits representing 797 unique visitors during the month of June.

SEARS RETIREE COUNCIL: Tom Douglas reported that there was no recent activity regarding the Retiree Council.
The meeting ended at 11:15 a.m.

The next NARSE meeting is scheduled for September 13, 2013 at 9:30 A.M. CST. 13thfloor conference room at the NARSE Headquarters. 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue, Chicago. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 CST.

THERE IS NO AUGUST MEETING.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, June 14, 2013, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. Particpating in this meeting were Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Walt Hess, Leo McCormack, Dorothy Moore, Tom Nally, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, David Silger, Bob Strickland, Lloyd Van Schoyck, and Sandra Wheeler.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS:
Year to date Membership renewals is up 43%. Revenue YTD up 51%. Expense YTD down 50%. NARSE is financially sound and all bills are paid.

SEARS HOLDINGS ANNUAL MEETING:
Ron Olbrysh sent a letter to Stan Aldris suggesting that future Annual Shareholder Meetings be streamed via the Internet. A response was received stating the subject was under consideration but no decision yet has been made.

SEARS HOLDINGS PRODUCT SERVICES:
Various rumors have been circulating about Sears putting Sears Product Services up for sale. Currently Sears services all major brands of Appliances.

STRAIGHT TALK:
The next issue of STRAIGHT TALK will be mailed the end of June. This issue will include, among other things, a summary of William Barker's presentation who represented NARSE at the Sears Annual Shareholders Meeting this past May.

NARSE WEB SITE:
The Web site had 1,568 hits representing 768 unique visitors during the month of May.

SEARS GROUP LIFE INSURANCE:
Stan Aldris, Manager of Sears Benefits, has informed NARSE that updates of retiree life insurance coverage for retiree's will begin mailing the week of July 15, 2013. Mel Schultz suggested phone numbers be posted in future issues of STRAIGHT TALK for life insurance and other retiree benefit contacts. This information is currently on Sears Holdings web site, and was previously published in a past issue of STRAIGHT TALK.

THE BIG STORE:
One of the meeting participants suggested retiree's should review the book by Donald R. Katz, "The Big Store - Inside The Crisis and Revolution At Sears" which covers the progression of Sears from 1978-87. The author, Mr. Katz, was invited into the very center of the corporation by its then chairman, Edward Telling, and allowed to chronicle the company's decline and rebirth from the inside, with no strings attached. As stated in the book, the tale Mr. Katz tells is about managers, not management. Its pages teem with memorable characters like Jumpin' Joe Moran, the Lord Chesterfield of the Sears Tower; young Phil Purcell, the mandarin management consultant turned corporate revolutionary; Ed Brennan, whose life and family Sears literally was; Chairman Telling, the self-described country boy with the right stuff; and many, many more.

SEARS PROFIT SHARING:
Does anyone remember profit sharing? Mel Schultz suggested that a future STRAIGHT TALK issue could include an article about the history of Sears Profit Sharing and any recent Sears Holdings morale surveys.

SEARS RETIREE COUNCIL:
Tom Nally reported that there was no recent activity regarding the Retiree Council. No future dates have been set for meetings.

The meeting ended at 11:45 a.m. The next NARSE meeting is scheduled for July 12, 2013 at 9:30 A.M. CST. 13th floor conference room at the NARSE Headquarters. 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue, Chicago. A Conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 CST.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, May 17, 2013, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. Participating in this meeting were Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Fred Karnatz, Tom Nally, George O'Hare, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, David Silger, and Bob Strickland. Ron Olbrysh asked that information be forwarded to him regarding activity of recent local Sears Clubs, particularly Atlanta, which is one of our largest retiree clubs. The request will be repeated in the upcoming Straight Talk newsletter.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Year to date renewals are up 45%. Revenue up 51%. Expense is down 55%. NARSE is financially sound. All expenses are paid.

SUMMER ISSUE OF STRAIGHT TALK: The Summer "Straight Talk" issue will focus on the May Sears Holdings Annual Shareholders Meeting, as well as recent press reports regarding "Sears".

SEARS GROUP LIFE INSURANCE COVERAGE: Ron Olbrysh reported that Stan Aldis of Sears, has said that updates of Retirees Life Insurance will be mailed to Retirees beginning mid-July.

NARSE.ORG: Our Web Site had 1573 visits in May.

NARSE PRESENTATION AT SEARS HOLDINGS SHAREHOLDER MEETING:
Bill Barker attended the annual Shareholder Meeting and made a presentation representing NARSE. Mr. Lampert thanked Bill for his presentation.

OBSERVATIONS DURING THE SHAREHOLDER MEETING:
Mr.Lmpert commented that Sears Holdings has no financial issues until perhaps 2018 if then. Sears Holdings has "Holding Power" to sustain itself through the difficult times all retailers are experiencing. Sears Holdings is committed to funding Pensions.

Lampert commented that sales from Internet up 17%. However, Amazon.com is still the leader in Internet sales.

Mr. Lampert said that Sears Holdings has no desire to close stores other than is necessary to fix the business. There is much focus on research to improve the Internet merchandising and sales. Sears Holdings has its own "in house" real estate crew reviewing Sears real estate assets. Mr. Lampert commented the company was well ahead of the implementation of "ObamaCare". Lampert is reviewing all options to "fix" the business, including licensing of product brands.

OBSERVATIONS FROM NARSE BOARD MEMBERS:
Bill Barker reported that Sears Holdings is seeking tenants for eight Chicago stores. The plan is to recycle them for Internet Data Centers. On a recent visit to Atlanta Bill noted that a large store in that area was closing.

George O'Hare commented that there are reduced sales personnel available during his store visits. David Silger commented that the test store at Springhill Mall in West Dundee, Illinois has recently repositioned their Cash/Wrap Service areas off aisle, into the various Departments in soft lines. Center Aisle Cash/Wraps remain in Hardware.

The next NARSE meeting is scheduled for Friday. June 11 at 9:30 a.m. CST. 13th floor Conference Room at the NARSE Headquarters, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue, Chicago. A Conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. CST.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, April 12, 2013, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. Participating in this meetring were Dick Bruce, Tom Douglas, Dale Gibson, Walt Hess, Fred Karnatz, Leo McCormack, Tom Nally, Ron Olbrysh, Ruth Pilant, Mel Schultz, David Silger, Bill Sterling, Bob Strickland, and Lloyd Van Schoyck.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Year to date renewals are up 45%. Revenue up 53% and expense down 16%. NARSE is finaancially sound, and all bills are paid.

NARSE 15th ANNIVERSARY: Leo McCormack suggested we use/develop YOU TUBE presentations on the NARSE website showing the Development and History of NARSE.

SEARS GROUP LIFE INSURANCE COVERAGE: NARSE sent an EMail update to all members who have furnished an E-Mail address the first week of March. Stan Aldis of Sears Holdings responded to the letter sent by Chairman Ron Olbrysh requesting information regarding Sears Group Life Insurance Coverage recently. Stan Aldis stated that an update on the status of retiree Life Insurance would be sent to all active participants in the near future.

RECENT FIVE YEAR FORCASTS OF RETAILERS: News Media Analyst has predicted several retailers that may be out of business within 5 years. Among those were Sears, J.C. Penny, Radio Shack, Barnes and Noble, Staples.

SEARS HOLDINGS ANNUAL SHAREHOLDER MEETING: Bill Barker will make a presentation representing NARSE. Ron Olbrysh suggested in his recent letter to Sears, that they consider broadcasting the Shareholder Meeting live on the Internet. There is no indication at this time that that will happen.

PROFILE OF NARSE DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS: Ron Olbrysh once again requested that all Directors and Officers submit to him a brief profile of their Sears/NARSE history.

EMPLOYEE/RETIREE DISCOUNT POLICY: Meeting particpants noted that the Sears Employee/Retiree discount policy is different from years past. Many sale items do not accept the discount and exclude it from a further reduction in the price of the item offered.

NARSE WEB SITE: NARSE.ORG continues to have activity comparable to the same period last year.

NARSE "STRAIGHT TALK NEWSLETTER": The next publication date of the newsletter will be the latter part of June. Retirees should send any items of interest they would like included in the publication/future publications to Ron Olbrysh, 624 E. Central Avenue, Lombard Illinois 60148. Pictures are a "Hugh" plus!

The meeting was adjourned at 11:59 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for Friday, May 10 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the NARSE Headquarters, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, March 8, 2013, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. Meeting attendees included: Bill Barker, Dick Cofran, Tom Douglas, Walt Hess, Fred Karnatz, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silger, Bob Strickland, Lloyd VanSchoyck, and Sandra Wheeler.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Year-to-date renewals are up 46%; revenue up 53% and expenses up 11%. NARSE is financially sound, and all bills are paid.

SEARS GROUP LIFE INSURANCE COVERAGE: As reported last month, a letter was sent to Robert Lyter, Director of Benefits and HR Policy at Sears Holdings, relating to our suggestion on verification of life insurance coverage for retirees. In the meantime, Mel Schultz reported that he had contacted Prudential Life Insurance about this issue and he received a letter from Prudential setting forth a "Summary of Benefits" confirming his coverage under the Sears group policy. Mel suggested that if other retirees contact Prudential about this matter they should refer to Group Policy Number 50555. He was very pleased with the response from Prudential.

CHANGES TO SEARS PENSION PLAN: As set forth in Sears Annual Report, several amendments to made to the Sears Holdings Pension Plan. Among other things, the Pension Plan was amended to:

"Create a temporary window during which a newly defined group of 'eligible participants.' who were not eligible to receive their pension benefit in the form of a lump sum prior to September 17, 2012, could voluntarily elect to receive their pension benefit in the optional lump sum form of payment (among other forms) as of December 1, 2012, with an 'eligible participant' defined as a participant who terminated employment from Sears Holdings (including any subsidiary or affiliate) before January 1, 2012, was not previously eligible for the optional lump sum form of payment, and had not yet begun receiving his or her pension benefit as of September 17, 2012..."

SEARS ANNUAL MEETING: The 2013 annual meeting of Sears Holdings stockholders will be held at the Company's headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Ill, on Wednesday, May 1, 2013. NARSE intends to make a presentation at this annual meeting. The Board discussed sending a letter to Sears suggesting that the company stream the meeting live over the Internet so that all interested shareholders can view the proceedings. Ron Olbrysh said that he would send such a letter to Chairman Lampert.

WEBSITE: During the month of February, 662 people visited our site 1,448 times and viewed 2,231 pages.

MISCELLANEOUS: (1) Leo McCormack provided a draft for review of NARSE's 2012 990-EZ Federal Tax Form. It must be filed by May 15, 2013; (2) Chairman Olbrysh against requested those officers and directors who had not yet done so to mail their profiles to him as soon as possible; (3) It was reported that Sears pulled their online ads running on SNL as a result of a mock movie trailer appearing on the program February 16 depicting Jesus Christ returning to Rome to exact revenge in the gory fashion of Quentin Tarantino; and (4) The Sears Holdings Chairman's letter, dated February 28, 2013 is now posted on the Sears website.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:45 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for Friday, April 12, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the NARSE Headquarters, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, February 8, 2013, at HQ Office

The meeting was called to order by Ron Olbrysh at 10:30 a.m. Due to inclement weather, the meeting was held via our conference call line.

Conference Call Participants: Bill Barker, Dick Cofran, Tom Douglas, Walt Hess, Ken Johnson, Fred Karnatz, Leo McCormack, Tom Myers, Tom Nally, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silger, Bob Strickland and Lloyd VanSchoyck.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: January membership renewals were up 169 over last January. NARSE is financially sound, and all bills are paid.

AMENDMENT TO BYLAWS: Article 7.4 of NARSE's Bylaws state: "In the event or upon the dissolution of the Association, any assets remaining after providing for debts and obligations of the Association shall be distributed to those organizations supportive of retirees' interests and benefits, and exempt from taxation under Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code, as may be designated by the Association's Board of Directors."

It was proposed that an additional distribution proviso be added to include: "…or to such causes that are determined to be worthy" as may be designated by the Association's Board of Directors. This could include charitable entities.

After discussion, a motion was made by Ken Johnson, and seconded by Leo McCormack to approve the additional distribution provision. The motion passed unanimously.

SEARS ANNUAL MEETING: By Press Release dated January 24, 2013, Sears announced that the 2013 annual meeting of stockholders would be held at the Company's headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Ill, on Wednesday, May 1, 2013. NARSE intends to make a presentation at this annual meeting. Of major concern from our members is a verification of their life insurance coverage. If any members have a question or concern they would like addressed at the Shareholder's meeting they should contact Ron Olbrysh, NARSE Chairman.

LETTER TO SEARS: Last June, members of NARSE's Board of Directors met with representatives of Sears, including Robert Lyter, Director of Benefits and HR Policy. Among other matters, the issue of retirees' life insurance coverage was discussed at length since many Sears retirees are unsure of the status of their retiree life insurance. We suggested that Sears mail a verification of each retiree's life insurance coverage along with updated instructions of who to notify at the appropriate time. Sears indicated they would take this suggestion under advisement.

Since we have not received any communication from Sears relating to this issue, a letter was sent to Robert Lyter requesting to know Sears intention relating to our suggestion on verification of life insurance coverage, prior to the Sears Annual Meeting on May 1, 2013.

WEBSITE: During the month of January, 841 people visited our site 1,791 times and viewed 2,837 pages.

MISCELLANEOUS: (1) Our Director's and Officer's liability insurance will be continued with the same insurance company, but a new agency will handle the renewal next May; (2) Leo McCormack said that if you want to view old Sears commercials go to YouTube and search "old Sears commercials." (3) Ron Olbrysh requested that all current and past NARSE officers and directors send him a profile outlining their education, employment history (before, during and after Sears), family data, etc. before the next NARSE monthly meeting on March 8; (4) Art Levin has a new e-mail address. Ron will send this to the meeting participants this weekend; (5) the next issue of STRAIGHT TALK will be published after Sears Annual Meeting; and (6) Leo McCormack advised that the date for out Federal tax filing is May 15, 2013.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:01 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for Friday, March 8, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the NARSE Headquarters, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, January 11, 2013, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, and Dave Silgers.

Conference Call Participants: Tom Douglas, Walt Hess, Ken Johnson, Fred Karnatz, Walter McDade, Tom Myers, Tom Nally, Bob Strickland, Lloyd Van Schoyck and Sandra Wheeler.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: NARSE is financially sound with all bills paid, including the cost of the Winter 2013 issue of STRAIGHT TALK.

STRAIGHT TALK FEEDBACK: The Winter 2013 issue was well received by our members. Many favorable comments were received. As an example, a retiree from North Carolina wrote: "Thanks to all officers and directors for a great job keeping us all informed of new events." An Illinois retiree told us: "Glad you had a meeting with Sears representatives last summer. I hope the lines of communication between NARSE and Sears will remain open." A Minnesota retiree told us: "Keep up the good work you and the Board are doing. Much appreciated." And a Georgia retiree simply said: "Good newsletter!"

GROUP LIFE INSURANCE: Many retirees are still concerned about their Group Life Insurance. We received a letter from an Ohio retiree who asked: "Would you please tell me how much life insurance I have?" As a result of the continual inquiries we receive from retirees about their group life insurance coverage, the Board requested that a letter be sent to Sears requesting that the company send a letters to all retirees setting forth their group life insurance coverage. We had discussed at a meeting with Sears representatives last summer and they said it would be taken under advisement. The NARSE Board wants an answer from Sears before the company's May 1 Annual Meeting.

In reviewing the company's Form 5500, the Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan, no mention is made of the group life insurance. Retirees want to know where are the figures for this item.

MEMBERSHIP INCENTIVE: The NARSE board went into executive session again to receive a report from Mel Schultz and Dave Silger about the membership incentive project.

WEBSITE: During the month of December, 876 unique individuals visited our site 1,678 times and viewed 2,693 pages.

MISCELLANEOUS: (1) Dave Silgers was appointed corporate secretary for NARSE; (2) Louis D'Ambrosio announced that he is stepping down as CEO of Sears Holdings effective February 2, 2013. The company said that Lou will maintain his position on the Board until the company's next annual meeting of stockholders in May and will be available to assist with a smooth transition.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:25 p.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for Friday, February 8, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the NARSE Headquarters, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, December 14, 2012, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

In Attendance: Dick Bruce, Ken Johnson, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, and Mel Schultz.

Conference Call Participants:
Ernie Arms, Dick Cofran, Tom Douglas, Walt Hess, Tom Myers, Tom Nally, Ruth Pilant, Bob Strickland, Lloyd Van Schoyck and Sandra Wheeler.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Leo McCormack reported that while revenues are down year-to-date 10%, year-to-date expenses are down 27%. The fluctuation of year-to-date figures can be attributed to the timing of the newsletter distribution. NARSE is financially sound with all bills paid.

STRAIGHT TALK ANNIVERSARY ISSUE: The Winter 2013 issue of STRAIGHT TALK is completed and will be mailed December 17. Our members should receive it before Christmas. In addition, this issue will appear on our website next Monday. The Board reviewed this issue and complemented the staff on a job well done!

Leo McCormack was asked last month to look into providing a postage-paid envelope with STRAIGHT TALK. However, a business reply permit has a number of complexities, including fees, required deposits, and thus it is not worth pursuing for our organization at this time.

MEMBERSHIP INCENTIVE: The NARSE board went into executive session again to receive a report from Mel Schultz about the membership incentive project.

WEBSITE: During the month of November, 881 unique individuals visited our site 1,722 times and viewed 2,555 pages.

MISCELLANEOUS: (1) Last month we received an inquiry from a retired Kmart associate requesting to join NARSE. (2) We received an e-mail from Camille Debevetz, Tony's wife informing us of his health issues. She includes by saying: "Thanks for all you do for the retired people of Sears." (3) This meeting was our annual Holiday Meeting with food, beverages and good cheer for all present. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Great New Year!

The meeting was adjourned at 12:15 p.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for Friday, January 11, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the NARSE Headquarters, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. This will be our annual Holiday Meeting. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, November 9, 2012, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Joseph Sawukaytis, and Dave Silgers.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Dick Cofran, Lloyd Van Schoyck and Sandra Wheeler.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Leo McCormack reported that NARSE is financially sound with all bills paid.

SEARS NEWS: Sears Holdings announced on November 6 that it expects to release its financial results for the Company's fiscal 2012 third quarter after the market closes at 4:15 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, November 15, 2012. The company will also host a call to discuss its recent publicly announced Sears Hometown Stores and Sears Canada transactions, financial position, operating results and other actions under way to transform the company. The conference call and audio webcast will be held on November 15, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Lou D'Ambrosio, chief executive officer and president, and Rob Schriesheim, executive vice president and chief financial officer, will lead it.

STRAIGHT TALK ANNIVERSARY ISSUE: We are now working with our printer in designing this 15th Anniversary issue. There will be numerous photo pages highlighting significant events in our history. The lead article will tell the story of how NARSE began.

MEMBERSHIP INCENTIVE: In conjunction with our 15th anniversary, for the past month or so, NARSE board members, Mel Schultz and Dave Silgers have been researching a way to recognize our members and thank them for their past service to Sears, Roebuck. Because we are in the very early stages of this project, the NARSE Board went into executive session to further explore the options and the feasibility of pursuing this matter.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:20 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for Friday, December 14, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the NARSE Headquarters, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. This will be our annual Holiday Meeting. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, October 12, 2012, at HQ Office

Leo McCormack called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

In Attendance: Leo McCormack, Bill Barker, and Dick Bruce.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Dick Cofran, Tom Douglas, Walt Hess, Ken Johnson, Tom Nally, Ron Olbrysh, and Lloyd Van Schoyck.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Leo McCormack reported that while revenues are down slightly, year-to-date expenses are down 31%. The fluctuation of year-to-date figures can be attributed to the timing of the newsletter distribution. NARSE is financially sound with all bills paid.

SRC CONFERENCE CALL: The Sears Retiree Council had their conference call on Wednesday, October 10. The call was for the purpose of discussing the changes in the retiree medical benefits for 2013. Joining Sears representatives on this call was Paul Maher from Aetna who provided more details regarding the benefit changes for next year.

It was reported that this year's enrollment period for retirees would begin November 5, 2012 and run through November 16, 2012. Stan Aldis, Sears Benefits manager, said that Aetna will again have representatives available for retirees to contact with questions regarding the coverage and representatives in the Retiree Service Center will be available to process any changes or enrollments retiree's need to make.

Stan said that the medical benefits news for 2013 "will be very good for most of our retirees." In summary, everything basically stays the same for 2013, including the premiums and the subsidy. Also, any retiree who either previously suspended or cancelled their Sears medical insurance can still obtain Sears medical insurance if they had other medical plan coverage.

STRAIGHT TALK ANNIVERSARY ISSUE: The Winter issue of STRAIGHT TALK will be our 15th Anniversary issue and will be published in December. It will include a history of NARSE, both in words and pictures. This significant anniversary is an excellent time to reflect on our origins and where we are going. However, our beginnings were the result of the actions of one individual, Arthur Martinez and his company cohorts. The Sears Holdings management today had no part in the insurance debacle 15 years ago.

This winter issue will also include an obituary for Keith Tice, who passed away last August. Keith was on our Board of Directors and our corporate secretary for many years. We are still in need of additional articles for this issue, including club news.

MISCELLANEOUS: (1) Ron Olbrysh reported that Mel Schultz and Dave Silgers were researching possible incentives for joining or renewing one's NARSE membership. This would be in conjunction with our 15th anniversary. More about these incentives at our next meeting.

(2) While George O'Hare has not been at our meetings for some time, a Board member recently talked to him and he is now doing much better after health problems involving his wife and himself.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:15 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for Friday, November 9, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the NARSE Headquarters, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, September 14, 2012, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

In Attendance: Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, and Dave Silger.

Conference Call Participants: Bill Barker, Dick Cofran, Tom Douglas, Tom Meyers, Tom Nally, Ruth Pilant, Lloyd Van Schoyck, and Sandra Wheeler.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Leo McCormack reported that year-to-date we are experiencing a revenue decline of 8%. However, year-to-date expenses are down 31%. The fluctuation of year-to-date figures can be attributed to the timing of the newsletter distribution. NARSE is financially sound with all bills paid.

KEITH TICE: On August 16 we lost our dear friend and colleague, Keith Tice, who was the Board's Secretary for many years. His friendly disposition and insightful comments will be missed at our meetings. The last meeting he attended with us was July of this year. Our thoughts are with Sharon, his wife of 49 years, and his daughter Kristine.

Replacing Keith on a temporary basis as our secretary will be Leo McCormack.

STRAIGHT TALK NEXT ISSUE: Our next issue of STRAIGHT TALK will be our Winter newsletter and also our 15th Anniversary issue. It will probably be published during December. The specifics about this issue will be on our agenda for the October monthly meeting.

SRC: The next conference call with the Sears Retiree Council is scheduled for Tuesday, October 9. The 2013 Sears medical plans will be the primary topic of discussion.

MISCELLANEOUS: (1) Sears Holdings, after our July meeting, reported Second Quarter revenues and comparable store sales. Revenues decreased $671 million to 9.5 billion for the quarter ended July 28, 2012. The decline in revenue was primarily due to lower domestic comparable store sales for the quarter and the effect of having fewer Kmart and Sears full-line stores in operation. (2) In discussing our 15th anniversary, the seed money that AARP gave us was mentioned. (3) The current president of AARP, Robert Romasco, was our keynote speaker for our 10th Anniversary meeting in Atlanta, Georgia in 2007. Bob was on AARP's Board of Directors in 2007. You can find a recap of his presentation in Volume 11, Issue 1, Fall 2007 of STRAIGHT TALK.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:25 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for Friday, October 12, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the NARSE Headquarters, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, July 20, 2012, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Fred Karnatz, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, and Dave Silger.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Tom Douglas, John Freeman, Walter Hess, Lloyd Van Schoyck, and Sandra Wheeler.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Leo McCormack reported that year-to-date we are experiencing a revenue shortfall of 2%. However, year-to-date expenses are down 9%. The disparity of year-to-date figures may be attributed to the timing of the newsletter distribution. NARSE is financially sound with all bills paid.

NARSE LUNCHEON WITH SEARS EXECUTIVES: On Wednesday, June 20, a number of NARSE's Board, including Ron Olbrysh, Leo McCormack, Ken Johnson, Bill Barker, Mel Schultz, and Dave Silgers had a luncheon meeting with several Sears Holdings management officials including Stan Aldis, Benefits Manager, Dean Carter, Chief Human Resources Officer, and Robert Lyter, Director of Benefits and HR Policy. It was a productive meeting from the standpoint of opening up the lines of communication between NARSE and Sears Holdings.

We provided the Sears executives with the latest issue of STRAIGHT TALK. We discussed the number of retiree clubs in the country disbanding. NARSE is now the primary channel of communication for retirees and our organization represents the largest number of retirees.

Also discussed at length was the issue of retirees' group life insurance coverage since many Sears retirees are unsure of the status of their life insurance coverage. We suggested that Sears mail a verification of each retiree's life insurance coverage along with updated instructions of who to notify at the appropriate time. Sears indicated they would take this suggestion under advisement. The last time Sears communicated the amount of retiree life insurance in effect to each retiree was in a March, 2007 letter. However, NARSE is still receiving inquiries from retirees and their benefactors as to the amount of life insurance they have.

STRAIGHT TALK FEEDBACK: The Summer issue of STRAIGHT TALK was well received by the recipients of the newsletter. Many comments were received about the comprehensive reporting on the Sears Annual meeting last May.

SRC: The next scheduled SRC call is Wednesday, July 25 at 2 p.m. CST. In Stan Aldis's e-mail setting up this conference call he said: "Some of you may already be aware, but we recently met with the Board from the NARSE group and provided them a tour of the Hoffman Estates complex. This was the first meeting we have had with them and it was very informative for both the NARSE group and Sears Holdings Management. One of the issues discussed is the decline in Retiree Clubs. This is a valid concern and as we know (that) several (clubs) over the last few years...could not maintain their membership and were forced to terminate. Therefore, we can discuss the current state of the Council and the strength of your clubs."

MISCELLANEOUS: (1) The Atlanta Retiree Club will be holding their Sears Family Luncheon on Tuesday, July 24 at Oak Grove UMC in Decatur, Georgia. They are expecting over 100 reservations. (2) It was reported in the press that Sears Holdings is in the process of laying off an unspecified number of IT workers while creating other jobs to support the company's new integrated retail strategy.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:45 a.m.

There is no August meeting. The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for Friday, September14, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the NARSE Headquarters, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, June 8, 2012, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:34 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Fred Karnatz, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, and Dave Silger.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Dick Cofran, Tom Douglas, Tom Nally, Ruth Pilant, and Lloyd Van Schoyck.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Leo McCormack reported that our expenses are down 48% over a year ago and that NARSE is financially sound with all bills paid.

SEARS GROUP LIFE INSURANCE: This issue is the number one concern of our retirees. Our retirees want up-to-date information on the exact amount of life insurance they are entitled to under the group life insurance plan. Over the past 15 months we have received many comments and questions about the Sears Group Life Insurance and how the litigation settled in 2002 impacted such insurance.

The last time that Sears notified retirees about the amount of their coverage was during March, 2007.

NEXT ISSUE OF STRAIGHT TALK: The Summer issue of STRAIGHT TALK will be distributed next week and will be available on our web site at the same time.

SRC: No news to report from the Sears Retiree Council.

MISCELLANEOUS: (1) The Board agreed that it wants to restore retirees' loyalty to Sears. This will not be an easy task as a result of all of the negative press about the company. Among other things, we want to know what Sears Holdings is doing to generate sales. (2) It was reported that Art Meadow, a former assistant general counsel of Sears, Roebuck is 95 and in good health. (3) Because of the age of Sears retirees, it was again stated that the special discounts available during the company's Friends & Families events should be available all day long and not just after 6 p.m. We have raised this concern to Sears Holdings many times.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:35 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for Friday, July 20, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the NARSE Headquarters, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, May 11, 2012, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:32 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silger and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Dick Cofran, Tom Douglas, Walt Hess, Tom Nally, Ruth Pilant, Brenda Turpin, Lloyd Van Schoyck and Sandra Wheeler.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Leo McCormack reported that NARSE is financially sound with all bills current.

SEARS ANNUAL MEETING: NARSE attended and made a presentation at this year's Sears Annual Meeting on Wednesday May 2. Bill Barker made the presentation. Among other things, Bill told Sears that "Retirees and their families are vitally concerned about Sears Holding's success and future growth. This is no doubt due to self interest, but is also the honest expectations of retirement after a working life invested in Sears."

Bill went on to state, "...retirees are rightly concerned about the security of their pensions, medical and health care, paid-up life insurance, merchandise discounts and other benefits they earned during their long and dedicated service to the company." He concluded by telling Chairman Lampert that "We may have retired, but we are alumni and we care about our company."

NEXT ISSUE OF STRAIGHT TALK: The Summer issue of STRAIGHT TALK will be printed during the month of June. It will highlight the Sears Annual Meeting according to Chairman Lampert. In addition, since the Sears retiree Group Life Insurance plan is so important to our retirees, Dick Bruce has authored an article about the history of the group life insurance plan.

SRC: No news to report from the Sears Retiree Council.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:25 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for Friday, June 8, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the NARSE Headquarters, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, April 13, 2012, at HQ Office

The meeting was called to order by Ron Olbrysh at 9:40 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silger and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Dick Cofran, Tom Douglas, John Freeman, Walt Hess, Tom Myers, Tom Nally, Lloyd Van Schoyck and Sandra Wheeler.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Year-To-Date renewals are up 7%, and Year-To-Date revenue is up 11% over the same time period of 2011. Expenses YTD are down from last year 70%. NARSE is financially sound, and all bills are paid.

EXPRESSION OF SYMPATHY: Bud Defano, one of the original NARSE board members, has passed away. Fond memories of working with Bud at Sears were shared by all attendees. He will be missed.

MARCH SPECIAL NARSE MEETING: Ron Olbrysh gave a summary report of our meeting with Bob Lyter last month. Discussions included the status of the Sears Retiree Life Insurance Program including the "paid up" life insurance and the Group Term Life Insurance provision referred to as GULP. Metlife is the insurer of the replacement life insurance program, and Prudential is the insurer of the "paid up" life insurance. Additionally, we discussed how NARSE and Sears Headquarters might work together in the future by providing information to Sears about retirees' concerns as well as assisting Sears in communicating helpful information to our members. It was a productive meeting and hopefully will open up a dialogue with Sears. Subsequently, Mr. Lyter has invited NARSE to hold one of its future meetings in Headquarters, which the NARSE Board will discuss at a future monthly meeting.

NARSE BOARD AND OFFICER NOMINATIONS: The slate of candidates for the various Board of Director and officer positions was presented by Chairman Olbrysh. These nominations will be voted on during our May 11 meeting.

SRAC UPDATE: The Sears Retiree Advisory Council is now known as the Sears Retiree Council. A conference call from Sears Headquarters is scheduled for April 17.

SEARS HOLDINGS ANNUAL MEETING: The annual shareholders meeting will be held May 2 at the corporate Headquarters in Hoffman Estates. NARSE will be represented by Bill Barker and Dave Silger, and the basic points of the presentation were discussed in detail. After developing the outline it was decided that Ron would take all the comments and suggestions, put together a rough draft, and submit it for final review to the Board.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:45 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for Friday, May 11, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the NARSE Headquarters, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, March 9, 2012, at HQ Office

The meeting was called to order by Ron Olbrysh at 9:35 a.m.

In Attendance: Dick Bruce, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silger and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Bill Barker, Dick Cofran, Tom Douglas, Walt Hess, Tom Nally, George O'Hare, Ruth Pilant, and Lloyd Van Schoyck.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: NARSE experienced a 166% increase in February renewals and a 179% increase in revenue, which was anticipated with the December delivery of Straight Talk to the membership. NARSE is financially sound with all bills current. .

STRAIGHT TALK: The next issue of Straight Talk will be distributed in during June after the annual Sears Holdings Shareholder meeting. In addition to the coverage of the annual meeting, there will be featured articles on various Sears retiree clubs and a medical coverage update.

SRAC UPDATE: Council members reported that a conference call with Stan Aldis is expected to take place before the Sears Holdings annual meeting. The actual date is not finalized at this time.

NARSE TO HOST SEARS BENEFITS DIRECTOR: Mr. Bob Lyter, Director of Benefits and Human Resource Policy was asked by Mr. D'Ambrosio to work with NARSE on setting up a get-acquainted meeting. Dave Silger has been in contact with Mr. Lyter, and a tentative date of March 29th has been suggested for NARSE and Mr. Lyter to meet. Details of the meeting place and time were discussed and finalized at this meeting.

SEARS ANNUAL MEETING: The annual meeting of Sears Holdings shareholders is scheduled in early May. NARSE will be represented by Dave Silger and Bill Barker. Ron Olbrysh has asked Dave to work on a rough draft for our group to review at next month's meeting and make any suggestions and/or comments.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:25 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for Friday, April 13, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the NARSE Headquarters, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, February 10, 2012, at HQ Office

The meeting was called to order by Ron Olbrysh at 9:35 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silger and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Dick Cofran, Tony DeBevetz, Tom Douglas, John Freeman, Walt Hess, Tom Nally, Ruth Pilant, Brenda Turpin, Lloyd Van Schoyck and Sandra Wheeler.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: NARSE experienced a 200% increase in January renewals and a 210% increase in revenue, which was anticipated with the December delivery of Straight Talk to the membership. NARSE is financially sound with all bills current. .

SRAC UPDATE: Council members reported that there are no scheduled conference calls or meetings with Sears Headquarters.

RETIREE GROUP LIFE INSURANCE STATUS: Ron shared his letter of inquiry to the Vice President and General Counsel of MetLife about the status of the Sears Retiree Group "paid up" life insurance. Along with providing a detailed history of the events leading to the settlement, he asked several questions regarding the security of the life insurance should Sears go into bankruptcy or cease to exist.

NARSE MISSION AND GOALS: In our continuing assessment of what our mission statement and goals are as an organization, one of the strategic tactics is to communicate information about retiree issues and concerns to the membership. Ensuing discussion centered on how to better utilize our E-Mail system to get these messages to the members more quickly.

CHIEF EXECUTIVE LOU D'AMBROSIO VISIT: Dave Silger reported on his contact with Bob Lyter, Director of Benefits and Human Resource Policy, who was asked by Mr. D'Ambrosio to work with Dave on setting up a possible meeting with NARSE. This is being pursued and hopefully can be accomplished soon.

RETIREE CLUB NEWS: A reminder to send NARSE pictures and news stories of the various activities of retiree clubs around the country was made so that they can be shared in future editions of Straight Talk.

SEARS ANNUAL MEETING: The annual meeting of Sears Holdings shareholders is scheduled in May. NARSE will be represented by Dave Silger and Bill Barker. Ron Olbrysh asked Dave to work on a rough draft for our group to review at next month's meeting and make any suggestions and/or comments.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:20 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for Friday, March 9, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the NARSE Headquarters, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, January 13, 2012, at HQ Office

The meeting was called to order by Ron Olbrysh at 9:35 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Ken Johnson, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Tom Douglas, John Freeman, Walt Hess, Tom Myers, Mel Schultz, Lloyd Van Schoyck, Sandra Wheeler and Penny Williams.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: While the month of December ended with a membership renewal increase of 174 over last December and a revenue increase of 117 per cent, year-to-date renewals for 2011 declined continuing to reflect the effect of prepayment of 2011 dues during the Fourth Quarter of 2010. However, NARSE is financially sound, and all bills are paid.

SRAC UPDATE: Council members reported that they have not received any news or information from Sears Headquarters concerning any retiree issues or concerns.

SEARS DIRECTION: Sears announced between Christmas and New Year's the closing of up to 120 stores due to poor holiday sales results. Obviously, this has prompted discussion about what Sears direction for the future might be. A Forbes Magazine article by Robert Lenzner was shared which suggested some interesting strategies: 1) Get leaner, but make an investment in the remaining stores; 2) Focus on men; 3) Help customers buying clothing know how to put together the right outfits, such as the old childrens' Garanimals program and 4) aggressively pursue the service business.

STRAIGHT TALK FEEDBACK: Ron shared with the attendees that he had only received positive letters on the Winter Issue of our newsletter. Special mentions were made concerning the lead-off article on Sears commitment to the military.

RETIREE GROUP LIFE INSURANCE STATUS: With all the negative news about Sears Holdings Corporation (SHC) including closing stores, possible bankruptcy, dismal sales, etc., many Sears retirees have contacted NARSE concerning the safety of their "paid up" group life insurance. It was decided to have Ron contact MetLife and get an update on the safety of the program.

RETIREE CLUB NEWS: A reminder to send NARSE pictures and news stories of the various activities of retiree clubs around the country was made so that they can be shared in future editions of Straight Talk.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:20 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for Friday, February 10, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the NARSE Headquarters, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, December 16, 2011, at HQ Office

The meeting was called to order by Ron Olbrysh at 9:31 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silger and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Walt Dade, Tom Douglas and Lloyd Van Schoyck.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: November membership renewals and revenue were less than last year as a result of early payment of 2011 dues in the fourth quarter of 2010. NARSE is financially sound, and all bills are paid.

STRAIGHT TALK: The winter issue of Straight Talk has been mailed within the last week. The lead article is about the great commitment of Sears Holdings Company to support its associates serving in the armed forces. What a great story! The next issue of Straight Talk is planned for distribution in after the Sears Annual Meeting next May.

SRAC UPDATE: Members of SRAC reported that no future conference calls have been announced as of this date. Communication from Headquarters to the Council has been "hit and miss".

MISCELLANEOUS: (1) Discussion about the possibility of Sears Headquarters leaving Illinois if no tax incentive is granted from the state; (2) Discussion about our objective(s) for 2012 was held; and (3) An attempt will be made to get the latest update on the timeline for HealthCare Reform changes to take place in the years 2012 and 2013.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:26 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for Friday, January 13, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the NARSE Headquarters, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, November 11, 2011, at HQ Office

The meeting was called to order by Ron Olbrysh at 9:25 a.m.

In Attendance: Dick Bruce, Bud Defano, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silger and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Dick Cofran, Tom Douglas, Walt Hess, Blair Holden, Tom Myers, Ruth Pilant, Lloyd VanSchoyck and Sandra Wheeler.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Monthly membership renewals and revenue declined for the month of October as a result of prepayment of 2011 dues in the fourth quarter of 2010. NARSE continues to be financially sound, and all bills are paid.

STRAIGHT TALK: Topics for inclusion in the next issue (Winter Issue) were listed and discussed. It was decided the lead article should play up the Sears commitment to the military. Among many other things, Sears has committed to making up the difference between employees' civilian salaries and military pay in addition to continuing job benefits such as health and life insurance. This article will highlight the various military programs and initiatives Sears and Sears Holding have instituted to assist the troops and their families.

This issue will additionally feature the Lansing MI retiree club, an article on the future growth potential of Sears featuring the thinking of several retail analysts, a retiree's personal story, and an article about the possibility of Sears moving its headquarters out of Illinois.

SRAC UPDATE: The last information session was delivered by a conference call held on Wednesday, October 12. Discussion was about medical insurance programs for 2012.

2012 MEDICAL PREMIUMS: Significant discussion on the cost of medical insurance for the next year took up a major portion of the meeting. Many attendees and conference call participants reported difficulty in comparing the new rates of the various programs. Great consternation was expressed regarding rate increases which, at this point in time, ranked from 40 per cent up to as high as 244 per cent compared to 2011 and continuing the same program.

NARSE MEETINGS FOR 2012: All monthly NARSE meetings for 2012 will be held on the second Friday of each month except August, when there is no planned meeting.

NEW WEBMASTER: Ron announced that we have a new web administrtor, Rachel Campbell, who will be maintaining the NARSE website. We welcome her and look forward to working with her.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:35 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, December 16, 2011 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the NARSE Headquarters address, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, July 15, 2011, at HQ Office

The meeting was called to order by Ron Olbrysh at 9:33 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Bud Defano, and Ron Olbrysh.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Tom Douglas, Walt Hess, Blair Holden, Tom Meyers, Tom Nally, Mel Schultz, Sandra Wheeler and Penny Williams.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: In Leo McCormack's absence, Ron Olbrysh reported that NARSE continues to be financially sound, and all bills are paid.

STRAIGHT TALK: Ron reported that the Summer 2011 issue of STRAIGHT TALK is now at the printers and will be in the mail later next week. At last month's meeting, a number of articles to be in this issue were revealed. In addition, while humor is very subjective, this issue will also report on some possible headlines for the year 2041. It is hoped that these predictive headlines will make the reader smile.

It was again emphasized that we are in need of articles and photos from our retiree clubs around the country. Retirees like to know what others are doing and they also enjoy seeing their pictures in print.

BRANDS THAT WILL DISAPPEAR: 24/7 Wall St. regularly complies a list of brands that are going to disappear in the near term. Last year's list proved to be prescient in many instances, predicting the demise of T-Mobile and Blockbuster among others.

This year's list of The Ten Brands That Will Disappear in 2012 takes a methodical approach in deciding which brand would walk the plank. The major criteria were as follows: (1) A rapid fall-off in sales and steep losses; (2) Disclosures by the parent of the brand that it might go out of business; (3) Rapidly rising costs that are extremely unlikely to be recouped through higher prices; (4) Companies which are sold; (5) Companies that go into bankruptcy; (6) Firms that have lost the great majority of their customers; or (7) Operations with rapidly withering market share.

Each of the ten brands on the 2012 list suffers from one or more of these problems. And the report states that each of the ten will be gone, based on their definitions, within 18 months. Sears is one of the ten on this list.

24/7 Wall St. believes that Sears is in a lot of trouble. Total revenue dropped $341 million to $9.7 billion for the quarter which closed April 30, 2011. The company had a net loss of $170 million.

The report states that since the March 24, 2005 merger of Sears and Kmart, the operations have been a disaster. The company has tried to run 4,000 stores which operate across the U.S. and Canada. Neither Sears nor Kmart have done well recently, but Sears domestic locations same store numbers were off 5.2% in the first quarter and Kmart's were down 1.6%. Last year domestic comparable store sales for Sears declined 3.6%.

New CEO Lou D'Ambrosio recently said of the last quarter "we also fell short on executing with excellence." He further said that the company cannot control the weather or economy but "we can control how we execute and leverage the potent set of assets we have." The report said that D'Ambrosio needs to pull a rabbit out of his hat soon. Shares are down 55% during the last five years.

D'Ambrosio's only reasonable solution to the firm's financial problems is to stop supporting two brands (Sears and Kmart), which compete with one another and larger rivals such as Wal-Mart and Target. The cost to market two brands and maintain stores, which overlap one another geographically, must be in the hundreds of millions of dollars each year. Employee and supply chain costs are also gigantic.

The path D'Ambrosio is likely to take is to consolidate the two brands into one – keeping the better performing Kmart and shuttering Sears.

In addition to Sears, it was also predicted that the following nine brands will disappear: Nokia, Soap Opera Digest, MySpace, Kellogg's Corn Pops, Sony Ericsson, American Apparel, Saab, A&W, and Sony Pictures.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:48 a.m.

There is no scheduled August meeting. The next regular NARSE meeting is set for Friday, September 16, 2011 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the NARSE Headquarters, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, June 17, 2011, at HQ Office

The meeting was called to order by Ron Olbrysh at 9:31 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Bud Defano, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, and Dave Silger.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Dick Cofran, Tom Nally, Lloyd Van Schoyck, Sandra Wheeler and Penny Williams.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Monthly renewals continue to increase, and factoring in prepaid 2011 dues in the fourth quarter of 2010, NARSE is up 10 percent in renewals and 39 percent in revenue. NARSE continues to be financially sound, and all bills are paid. .

SEARS ANNUAL MEETING: As a follow-up to Dave Silgers presentation and discussion with CEO D'Ambrosia at last month's Sears Annual Meeting, the CEO has not changed his mind about coming to one of our meetings. Dave is still trying to work out an acceptable time for him with his executive administrative assistant.

STRAIGHT TALK: The summer issue of Straight Talk will be going to the printer within the next several weeks. The lead article will report on Sears Annual meeting. There will also be articles about companies cutting their health plans, an ObamaCare legal precedent, a feature, with pictures about the Atlanta-Big Club April meeting, fact and fiction about Medicare's premium increases, and a news clipping from AARP that it has not changed its position on Social Security.

RETIREES' CONCERNS: Retirees have many concerns, but some of the key issues include (1) The total lack of a vast in-house talent pool that the company can draw upon to move Sears forward in the right direction; (2) The future of health insurance and prescription drug coverage; (3) The value of Sears brands since the company is permitting third parties to sell some of Sears biggest brands; and (4) As a result of point 3, has Sears written off its store business?

MISCELLANEOUS: (1) Leo McCormack reported that 75% of our membership is over the age of 75. (2) The Board wanted to know whether Sears is still contributing to associates' 401K. A Board member suggested a name to be contacted to answer this question.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:26 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for Friday, July 15, 2011 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the NARSE Headquarters, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, May 13, 2011, at HQ Office

The meeting was called to order by Ron Olbrysh at 9:45 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Bud Defano, Leo McCormack, Mel Schultz, Dave Silger and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Dick Cofran, Walt Hess, Walt McDade, Tom Myers, Tom Nally, Ruth Pilant, Sandra Wheeler and Penny Williams.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Monthly renewals continue to increase, and factoring in prepaid 2011 dues in the fourth quarter of 2010, NARSE is up 11 percent in renewals and 37 percent in revenue. NARSE continues to be financially sound, and all bills are paid. .

SEARS ANNUAL MEETING: Dave Silger, who represented NARSE at the Sears Holdings shareholders meeting on May 5, shared his notes from the meeting. The new CEO D'Ambrosia did most of the talking and came across as a merchant. His remarks stressed the importance of merchandising opportunities and developing sales. He highlighted the fact that Sears has 4088 units and 300,000 employees. Opportunities discussed included the advantages afforded by in-home services, the "Loyalty" and "Rewards" programs, the importance of brands that Sears owns, and the reinstatement of Lay Away. The Lay Away program last year developed 22 million visits to the stores making payments, pick-ups, etc. Sears largest asset seems to be the store locations and the ability for customers to get satisfaction on their experience in the store, on line or in the home.

After the meeting, Dave had the opportunity to talk with Mr. D'Ambrosia. He introduced himself as a member of the NARSE Board, and briefly told him of our monthly meetings and that Sears might benefit from taking advantage of the resources of NARSE. Mr. D'Ambrosia indicated that he would like the opportunity to attend one of our meetings.

Discussion ensued regarding setting up a date for the new CEO to attend an upcoming meeting, and Dave Silger was asked to follow up on that possibility.

STRAIGHT TALK: The summer issue of Straight Talk is scheduled for the latter part of June. Chairman Olbrysh asked for information about local retiree clubs' activities and personal Sears stories that could be shared in the newsletter.

MISCELLANEOUS: The possibility of Sears moving out of Illinois was reported by various radio stations and in the Chicago newspapers. This move would involve 16,000 people/jobs.

The Kardashian clothing collection will make its debut in August at 400 Sears stores.

WEBSITE VISITS: Due to the death of Penny Williams' husband, who manages our website, no report was available at the time of this meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for Friday, June 17, 2011 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the NARSE Headquarters, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, March 11, 2011, at HQ Office

The meeting was called to order by Ron Olbrysh at 9:40 a.m.

In Attendance: Tony Debevetz, Bud Defano, Leo McCormack, Mel Schultz, Dave Silger and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Bill Barker, Tom Douglas, John Freeman, Walt Hess, Art Levin, Tom Myers, Tom Nally, Ruth Pilant, Lloyd Van Schoyck and Penny Williams.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: February renewals as expected came in considerably below last year due to prepayment of 2011 dues in the 4th quarter of 2010. NARSE continues to be financially sound, and all bills are paid. .

STRAIGHT TALK: The next scheduled edition of Straight Talk is in the month of June. A tentative lineup of subjects and articles was discussed. The feature article of the newsletter will be on the Sears annual meeting. Also planned are articles related to the new health law plan commonly referred to as "Obamacare" and other interesting news articles about Sears.

SRAC UPDATE: A conference call is scheduled for April 28 at 1:00 P.M.

SEARS ANNUAL MEETING: The Sears Holdings shareholder annual meeting is scheduled for May 3. NARSE will be represented by Dave Silger and Bill Barker. Ron Olbrysh distributed a draft for our group to review and make any suggestions and/or comments. The goal is to finalize the presentation by our next meeting scheduled for April 15.

WEBSITE VISITS: Penny Williams reported a total of 9,136 visits during the month of February with 3,105 unique visitors. Forty-two percent of the visitors went straight to the Home Page, and thirteen per cent of the visitors accessed Breaking News..

The meeting was adjourned at 11:15 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for Friday, April 15, 2011 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the NARSE Headquarters, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, February 11, 2011, at HQ Office

The meeting was called to order at 9:30 a.m. The meeting was chaired by Leo McCormack as Ron Olbrysh was not in attendance.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Bud Defano, Leo McCormack, Mel Schultz, Dave Silger and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Ev Buckhardt, Dick Cofran, Tom Douglas, Walt Hess, Art Levin, Walt McDade, Tom Nally, George O'Hare, Ruth Pilant, Lloyd Van Schoyck, Penny Williams and Ken Winkler.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: January renewals, as expected, were considerably less than last year due to the pre-payment of the 2011 dues during the last quarter of 2010. Expenses for the month were 6% less than one year ago, and NARSE remains financially sound with all bills paid.

GUL INSURANCE CARRIER SWITCH: An e-mail response from Stanley Aldis, Manager Associate/Retiree Benefits, was reviewed which related details concerning the switch in carriers of the Group Universal Life insurance from MetLife to Prudential. Various references were made in his response to "under 77", "over 77" and "age 77 and more" suggesting the question as to why this age level? Some retirees have indicated that there is a freeze in premiums at age 77. NARSE has been asked to verify whether this understanding is correct. Further details of the rationale for the carrier change are given in the Spring 2011 Straight Talk.

STRAIGHT TALK: Seven pages of the newsletter planned for distribution later this month were presented and reviewed. A twelve page newsletter is planned, and the subjects to be presented on the other five pages were discussed. Topics for inclusion were the philosophy of General Robert Wood, a summary of recent new company executive personnel appointments, the Sears Holdings 2011 Annual letter by Mr. Lampert and retiree volunteers news.

WEBSITE VISITS: Penny Williams reported a total of 11,604 visits during the month of January with 3,554 unique visitors. Forty-nine percent of the visitors went straight to the Home Page, and fourteen per cent of the visitors accessed Breaking News.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:10 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for Friday, March 11, 2011 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the NARSE Headquarters, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

 

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, January 14, 2011 at HQ Office

The meeting was called to order at 9:30 a.m.

In Attendance: Dick Bruce, Bud Defano, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silger and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Dick Cofran, Tony Debevetz, Tom Douglas, Jack Dowling, Walt Hess, Ken Johnson, Art Levin, Tom Meyers, Tom Nally, Ruth Pilant, Sandra Wheeler and Penny Williams.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Paid membership renewals for the year 2010 were up 62% compared to the year 2009 results. Revenue for the same period increased 76% while year-to-date expenses compared to 2009 are down 25%. It is believed that some of the December renewals were early 2011 renewals. NARSE continues to be financially sound, and all bills are paid.

SEARS OPTIONAL LIFE INSURANCE: As reported in our December meeting, Chairman Olbrysh has received a number of e-mail complaints about the Sears change of group universal term life insurance plan carriers from Metlife to Prudential. Last month, NARSE sent a letter to David Works, SVP & President, Talent & Human Capital Services for Sears Holdings Corporation, concerning this issue. While NARSE has not yet received a response from Mr. Works, Stanley Aldis, who is the Manager of Associate Benefits, Sears Holdings Corporation, sent an e-mail to members of the Sears Retiree Advisory Council advising that there have been premium billing errors by Prudential, and that Prudential will be sending all impacted retirees a letter of apology for the error and advising the retiree of the correct premium amount for their GUL coverage. These letters will be mailed early next week.

STRAIGHT TALK: The next edition of Straight Talk will provide information about the GUL insurance and the Estate Tax, Sears news, reader comments on the last issue, and retiree club news. Chairman Olbrysh reiterated the need for retiree club news and pictures to be sent in to NARSE headquarters for inclusion in the next edition.

SRAC UPDATE: A conference call is scheduled for January 22 in which additional information about the Aetna health and prescription drug insurance programs will be discussed along with the Prudential GUL life insurance program.

WEBSITE VISITS: Penny Williams reported a total of 11,112 visits during the month of November with 3,552 unique visitors. Forty-four percent of the visitors went straight to the Home Page, and eight per cent of the visitors accessed Breaking News.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:20 a.m.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, December 17, 2010, at Headquarters Office

The meeting was called to order at 9:35 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Bud Defano, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silger, Bob Thompson and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Dick Cofran, Walt Hess, Blair Holden, Art Levin, Ruth Pilant, Sandra Wheeler and Penny Williams.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Membership renewals for the month of November were up 138 compared to November 2009 results. November year-to-date membership renewals have increased 58%, and year-to-date income has increased 73%. Year-to-date expenses compared to 2009 are down 9%, and NARSE is financially sound with all bills paid.

SEARS OPTIONAL LIFE INSURANCE: Chairman Olbrysh has received a number of e-mail complaints about the Sears change of group universal term life insurance plan carriers from Metlife to Prudential. This insurance is wholly paid for by Sears retirees without any Sears subsidy, and many participants in the plan have reported that the Prudential rates will be substantially higher than Metlife. A letter detailing our retirees' concerns along with a request for the rationale for making the costly change was reviewed and discussed. It was decided to send this letter to David Works, Senior Vice President & President, Talent & Human Capital Services, of Sears Holdings.

SEARS PERSONAL STORIES COLLECTION: Bob Thompson shared some personal Sears stories that have been collected the last several months in our effort to prepare a booklet of these interesting employee experiences. We are encouraging our members and web site visitors to send in their favorite Sears stories for possible inclusion in the booklet.

Chairman Olbrysh reiterated the need for retiree club news and pictures to be sent in to NARSE headquarters for sharing in the next edition of Straight Talk.

WEBSITE VISITS: Penny Williams reported a total of 14,806 visits during the month of November with 3,980 unique visitors. Forty-two percent of the visitors went straight to the Home Page, and eleven per cent of the visitors accessed Breaking News.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:20 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting is scheduled for Friday, January 14, 2011, at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the NARSE Headquarters, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, November 12, 2010, at Headquarters Office

The meeting was called to order at 9:30 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Bud Defano, Fred Karnatz, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silger and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Dick Cofran, Tony Debevetz, Tom Douglas, Walt Hess, Art Levin, Tom Myers, George O'Hare, Lloyd Van Schoyck and Penny Williams.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: October year-to-date NARSE membership renewals have increased 46%, and income has increased 61%. Expenses over the same time period are down 11%, and NARSE is financially sound with all bills paid

SRAC UPDATE: Sears Holdings is planning to convene the 18 members of the Sears Retiree Advisory Council via a conference call in January 2011. The last conference call, held on July 28, was devoted to discussion of the Aetna medical plan changes for 2011. These changes were highlighted in the Fall issue of Straight Talk distributed in October. Additionally, mention was made that 2011 would mark the 125th anniversary of Sears, and several commemorative anniversary items would be highlighted as part of the celebration

MEDICAL PLAN 2011. There was much discussion about the Sears/RHA plan and the fact that retirees are required to make their medical plan and prescription drug plan decisions by November 19th. Complicating that decision is the lack of information about premiums and formularies for the various medical and drug plans, much of which will not be available by the response date.

SEARS OPTIONAL LIFE INSURANCE: Consternation was expressed concerning the Sears change of life insurance plan carriers from Metlife to Prudential. This insurance is paid for by Sears retirees without Sears subsidy, and many participants in the plan reported that the Prudential rates will be substantially higher than Metlife and while term insurance rates are at some of the lowest in years. It was decided that Chairman Olbrysh should put together a letter detailing our retirees concerns and request a rationale for making this costly change.

STRAIGHT TALK: The next issue is planned for February 2011 distribution and will include some of the retiree letters received following our last issue. Generally, the comments included high marks for the informative reporting on important retiree issues. Narse is committed to looking out for retiree interests and reporting any impact of Federal Government decisions along with any Sears Holdings changes in the remaining retiree benefit program.

Chairman Olbrysh encouraged all participants of the meeting to send in retiree club news and pictures and to share personal Sears stories for inclusion in the newsletter.

WEBSITE VISITS: Penny Williams reported a total of 18,393 visits during the month of October. Unique visitors reached 4,168, and 46.9% of the visitors went straight to the Home Page. Eleven per cent of the visitors accessed Breaking News.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:20 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, December 17, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the new NARSE Headquarters address, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, September 10, 2010, at Headquarters Office

The meeting was called to order at 9:40 A.M.

In Attendance: Ron Olbrysh and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Bill Barker, Dick Cofran, Tom Douglas, Art Levin, Tom Myers, Tom Nally, Lee Numbers, Ruth Pilant, Mel Schultz, Dave Silger, Lloyd Van Schoyck and Penny Williams.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: NARSE membership renewals through August have increased over one year ago by 9%, and income is ahead 23%. Expenses are down 34% for the eight months of 2010, and NARSE is financially sound with all bills paid.

STRAIGHT TALK: We reviewed the lineup of articles to be included in the Fall Issue scheduled for distribution in October. The opening pages will deal with term limits proposals for members of the U.S. Congress and some possible fixes to improve the legislative process. Other articles will include some memorable Sears stories, a history of Social Security cards and how Obamacare impacts Medicare. Chairman Olbrysh encouraged all participants to share retiree club news, events and pictures that could be a part of the newsletter.

SRAC UPDATE: A conference call was held on July 28 to discuss changes that will impact retirees, the national Retiree Newsletter and Medicare changes that will influence medical coverage for 2011.

WEBSITE VISITS: Website visits for August were 24,668 with 47% going to the home page followed by 10.7% visiting breaking news. Interestingly, there have been 129 downloads of the Summer Issue of Straight Talk the last two months.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:35 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, October 15, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the new NARSE Headquarters address, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

 

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, July 16, 2010, at HQ Office
 

The meeting was called to order at 9:30 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Bud Defano, Fred Karnatz, Mel Schultz, Dave Silger and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Tony Debevetz, John Freeman, Walt Hess, Art Levin, Tom Nally, Lloyd Van Schoyck and Penny Williams.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: NARSE membership renewals through June are down slightly from one year ago; however, income is up year-to-date 2%. The delivery of Straight Talk should provide an increase in members and revenue during July and August. Last year the newsletter was mailed in May. Expenses are down 36% for the six months of 2010, and NARSE is financially sound with all bills paid.

STRAIGHT TALK: Many good comments were made concerning the summer issue of Straight Talk which was distributed the last week of June. Frequent mention is being made about the wealth of information in the article showing the health care law implementation timeline. The next issue will be in October.

SRAC UPDATE: A conference call has been scheduled for July 29 to discuss some changes that will impact retirees, the Retiree Newsletter and Medicare changes that will impact medical coverage for 2011.

WEBSITE VISITS: Penny Williams reported a continuing high number of visits with 30,414 hits for June. The home page and breaking news were the top two pages visited.

Discussion ensued about any enhancements or changes that might need to be made on the home page of our website. Our focus in having the website is to provide our readers a wealth of information on issues and subjects that concern Sears retirees. The discussion centered around the access to all the information and making sure that every visitor could navigate the website easily. The result of this conversation is best summarized by one of the conference call participants, "leave it alone."

The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, September 10, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the new NARSE Headquarters address, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, June 11, 2010 at Headquarters Office

Ron Obrysh called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Bud Defano, Fred Karnatz, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Tony Debevetz, Tom Douglas, John Freeman, Walt Hess, Tom Myers, Tom Nally, Ruth Pilant, Mel Schultz, Lloyd Van Schoyck, Dave Silger, Sandra Wheeler and Penny Williams.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: NARSE continues to receive membership renewals each month which has generated a revenue increase of 2 per cent year-to-date through June. Expenses are down 36% for the six months of 2010, and NARSE is financially sound with all bills paid.

STRAIGHT TALK: The summer issue of Straight Talk was reviewed by Chairman Olbrysh. Featured were remarks from the Sears Holdings annual meeting made by Chairman Edward Lampert and W. Bruce Johnson, interim president and CEO. Other articles included a timeline for the new health care reform law implementation, state lawsuits against Obamacare, the trademark origins for Dunlap and Craftsman (by Robert Thompson), merits of NARSE membership, Sears Headquarters response on possible health subsidy outside of Retiree Health Access and the Evansville IN retiree club. Distribution of this issue is scheduled for the last two weeks of June. The next issue will be in October.

A suggestion was made on the conference call that we place important health care law implementation dates on the website.

SRAC UPDATE: While quarterly conference calls with Headquarters have been discussed, the Sears Retiree Advisory Council reported that there have been no conference calls scheduled.

FAVORITE SEARS STORIES: The compilation of favorite Sears Stories into a booklet for distribution is ongoing. We are still soliciting those stories from any Sears retiree for inclusion in the booklet and encourage the participation of our members in this effort.

WEBSITE VISITS: Penny Williams reported 31,752 visits for May; which is the sixth consecutive month that the website visits have increased and an all time record for a month.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, July 16, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the new NARSE Headquarters address, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, May 14, 2010 at HQ Office

Ron Obrysh called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

In Attendance: Dick Bruce, Bud Defano, Fred Karnatz, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Tom Douglas, John Freeman, Walt Hess, Tom Myers, Tom Nally, Ruth Pilant, Mel Schultz, Lloyd Van Schoyck and Penny Williams.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Year-to-date through May we have experienced an increase of 6% in paid memberships while revenue has increased 19 per cent. NARSE has been able to hold down expenses by 22% and is financially sound with all bills paid.

SEARS HOLDINGS ANNUAL MEETING: Mel Schultz and Dave Silgers each prepared written reports on the May 4 annual meeting of Sears Holdings, which they attended, and Dave made a presentation on behalf of NARSE. There were only two Sears retirees present. Edward Lampert, W. Bruce Johnson (interim president and CEO) and Dane Drobny (General Counsel) were the three people on stage with Messrs. Lampert and Johnson making any presentations. The meeting room, which was filled to capacity, had merchandise displays along the outer walls. The thrust of the meeting was digital technology and how it was shaping the shopping experiences of retail customers. Of special interest was the discussion of offering Sears brands, such as Craftsman to Ace and other competitors. Mr. Lampert said that this is a test and remarked that Nike was originally exclusive, then reached out to competition, and now Nike product is sold by many retailers.

STRAIGHT TALK: The next issue is planned for distribution in early June and will have as its major focus articles on the Sears Holdings annual meeting. Additional articles will feature Sears news, highlighting of Sears retiree clubs, and a health care reform timeline with other health care changes resultant from the recent health care bill signed into law March 23.

WEBSITE VISITS: Penny Williams reported 26,343 visits for April; which is the fifth consecutive month that the website visits have increased and an all time record for a month. Unique visitors, those who opened the website one time, totaled 5,908, and 98% of the visitors have the website bookmarked.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:20 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, June 11, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the new NARSE Headquarters address, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, April 16, 2010
, at HQ Office

Executive Summary National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc. Friday, April 16, 2010

Ron Obrysh called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Bud Defano, Fred Karnatz, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silger and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Tom Douglas, Walt Hess, Tom Myers, Tom Nally, Ruth Pilant, Elaine Russell, Sandra Wheeler and Penny Williams.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Year-to-date through March we have experienced an increase of 5% in paid memberships with an attendant 7% increase in revenue. NARSE is financially sound with all bills paid.

SRAC STATUS: The Sears Retiree Advisory Council reported that there has been no communication from Sears Headquarters concerning any upcoming conference call or meeting.

STRAIGHT TALK: The next issue will be distributed in early June and will have as its major focus articles on the Sears Holdings annual meeting. During the conference call Ron asked the participants to send any retiree club news and pictures to him for inclusion in this next issue.

WEBSITE VISITS: Penny Williams reported 15,117 visits for March; which is the fourth consecutive month that the website visits have increased. Unique visitors, those who opened the website one time, totaled 4,265.

SEARS HOLDINGS ANNUAL MEETING: Since it was decided that NARSE would make a presentation at the 2010 annual meeting of stockholders on Tuesday, May 4, the board of directors went into executive session to discuss and finalize the presentation to be made.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:40 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, May 14, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the new NARSE Headquarters address, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, March 12, 2010, at HQ Office

Ron Obrysh called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

In Attendance: Tony Debevetz, Bud Defano, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silger and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Dick Cofran, Walt Hess, Art Levin, Tom Myers, Tom Nally, George O'Hare, Elaine Russell, Lloyd Van Schoyck and Penny Williams.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Year-to-date through February paid memberships have increased 6% with an attendant 9% increase in revenue. NARSE is financially sound with all bills paid.

SEARS HOLDINGS ANNUAL MEETING: The 2010 annual meeting of stockholders will be held on Tuesday, May 4, 2010, at 9:00 A.M. in the Sears Holdings General Sessions Room at the Hoffman Estates Sears Headquarters. Following discussion of the normal annual meeting agenda, the NARSE board of directors went into executive session to discuss and prepare the NARSE presentation to be made at the meeting.

SRAC STATUS: The Sears Retiree Advisory Council reported that there has been no communication from Sears Headquarters concerning any upcoming conference call or meeting.

WEBSITE VISITS: Penny Williams reported 9,532 visits for February; which is the third consecutive month that the website visits have been increasing. Unique visitors, those who opened the website once, totaled 2,606.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:10 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, April 16, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the new NARSE Headquarters address, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, February 12, 2010 at HQ Office

Ron Obrysh called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Tony Debevetz, Leo McCormack, George O'Hare, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silgers and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Dick Cofran, Tom Douglas, Walt Hess, Tom Myers, Tom Nally, Ruth Pilant, Elaine Russell, Sandra Wheeler and Penny Williams.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: In the month of January we experienced an increase of 3% in paid memberships and an attendant 8% increase in revenue. All bills are paid and NARSE continues to be sound financially.

STRAIGHT TALK: Feedback from readers of the winter issue of Straight Talk continues to be positive, which underscores the importance of producing a newsletter full of information on interests and concerns of seniors. An often-mentioned informational piece was the feature article on the proposed health care reform legislation. To further our continued focus on assisting seniors through this media, it was decided that the spring issue would include a retiree survey to update and solidify areas of concern in seniors' everyday lives. THE "GOOD OLD DAYS": The winter issue of Straight Talk began a kickoff soliciting stories of happenings at Sears across the years, which always surface when Sears people get together for any occasion. These stories not only strengthen retiree relationships, but they also may preserve some special Sears history. The idea is to collect these Sears stories and put them together in a book for printing and distribution. Chairman Olbrysh has begun receiving a few of these stories in the mail and is continuing the pursuit of additional ones.

SRAC STATUS: The Sears Retiree Advisory Council reported that there has been no contact made from Sears Headquarters concerning any upcoming conference call or meeting. An opinion was expressed by the council that SRAC is in limbo.

It was noted that Sears Holdings appears to be encouraging membership in local retiree clubs and publishing club information in subsequent issues of the Sears Holdings Alumni Newsletter. Editor Katie Regan made a request for retiree club information in the recent winter issue.

SEARS HOLDINGS ANNUAL MEETING: It was decided that NARSE should plan on making a presentation at the upcoming annual meeting. A major portion of the March meeting will be devoted to development of that presentation.

WEBSITE VISITS: Penny Williams reported 7,670 visits for January, bringing the total hits since inception of the website to slightly over 400,000. Unique visitors, those who opened the website once, totaled 2,553. The winter issue of Straight Talk was downloaded fifty-six times, and the spring issue was downloaded 26 times.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:40 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, March 12, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the new NARSE Headquarters address, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

 

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, January 15, 2010 at HQ Office

Ron Obrysh called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Tony Debevetz, Bud Defano, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silgers and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Nancy Bentz, Tom Douglas, Walt Hess, Tom Myers, Tom Nally, Ruth Pilant, Elaine Russell, Lloyd Van Schoyck, Sandra Wheeler and Penny Williams.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Year-to-date through December we have experienced an apparent attrition rate of 34 per cent in membership renewals. However, the delivery of the newsletter normally provides an increase in renewals the following month. Membership renewals received in January will reflect the vitality of the organization. NARSE is financially sound and all bills are paid.

STRAIGHT TALK: The winter issue of Straight Talk was distributed in December. Feedback from readers has been positive, especially regarding the feature article on the proposed health care reform legislation.

SRAC STATUS: The Sears Retiree Advisory Council reported that there has been no council news or new information disseminated from Sears Headquarters.

RETIREE HEALTH ACCESS SUBSIDY: Chairman Olbrysh had written a letter to Mr. Lampert regarding possible distribution of the Company-provided medical insurance subsidy directly to the retirees. (The letter is printed in the Winter Issue of Straight Talk and can be accessed on the NARSE web site.) He read a letter of response from David Works, Senior Vice President of Talent & Human Capital Services. This letter stated that the medical coverage subsidy was meant to assist those retirees who participated in one of the medical plans available through the Company's retiree medical program, and that the retirees must participate in that program in order to receive the subsidy. The Company made the determination to continue the retiree medical program under the Sears program, and in 2006 began offering the retiree medical program through Retiree Health Access.

NARSE FOCUS FOR 2010: In addition to communicating information about topics that impact retirees, NARSE will focus on the subjects of social security taxation and social security annual cost of living increases during the upcoming year. It is our intent to work through various legislators to develop and pass legislation that will change the current taxation program and formalize appropriate annual increases in the benefits paid to retirees.

WEBSITE VISITS: Penny Williams reported 6,201 visits for December 2009. Forty-five per cent of the visitors went to the Home Page, and eighteen per cent visited the Breaking News page.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:40 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, February 12, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the new NARSE Headquarters address, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, December 11, 2009 at HQ Office

Ron Obrysh called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Tony Debevetz, Bud Defano, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silgers and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Dick Cofran, John Freeman, Walt Hess, Art Levin, Tom Myers, Tom Nally, Ruth Pilant, Lloyd Van Schoyck and Penny Williams.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: NARSE is sound financially and all bills are paid.

STRAIGHT TALK: The winter issue of Straight Talk is being distributed now. The opening five pages focus on the national health care reform effort with highlights of each of the latest House and Senate bills being worked on in Congress and what some of the current proposals will mean if passed in legislation. Coverage was also given to the ongoing expansion of Sears Holdings' use of online retailing. Pictures and highlights of the activities of four retiree clubs were also included in this issue.

Since there are usually a few overruns available on each issue Chairman Olbrysh suggested that we consider sending those out to the larger retiree clubs for distribution at their local meetings, to which this was agreed.

SRAC STATUS: The Sears Retiree Advisory Council reported that there have been no conference calls from Sears Headquarters, and none are scheduled.

WEBSITE VISITS: Penny Williams reported 6,290 visits for November 2009, which was 550 less than the month of October. Repeat visitors numbered 2,500.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, January 15, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the new NARSE Headquarters address, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.
 

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, November 13, 2009 at HQ Office

Ron Obrysh called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Tony Debevetz, Bud Defano, Rich Kostra, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silgers, Bob Thompson and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Dick Cofran, Tom Douglas, Walt Hess, Art Levin, Tom Myers, Tom Nally, Lee Numbers, Ruth Pilant, Lloyd Van Schoyck, Penny Williams and Ken Winkler.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Year-to-date expenses are 39 per cent less than last year, and NARSE continues financially sound with all bills paid.

STRAIGHT TALK: The next issue of Straight Talk is scheduled for distribution in early December. Articles will include information about Sears health care offerings, national health care reform legislation proposals and retiree club news.

There was great discussion regarding the Sears health care offerings for 2010. Some of the participants attended Aetna-sponsored meetings where an Aetna representative presented the plans with no pricing. In some cases the Aetna information presented was different from the Sears offerings. As in past years, there is confusion generated by plan changes, increases in premiums and national health care reform proposals.

SRAC STATUS: The Sears Retiree Advisory Council reported that there have been no conference calls and no news from headquarters. Casey Goddard is the new contact at Hoffman Estates for SRAC.

MISCELLANEOUS: Bob Thompson presented an idea to the group to strengthen retiree relationships and preserve some special Sears history. Our Sears careers were filled with great "family" relationships which often resulted in sharing stories of happenings at Sears. The idea is to collect a lot of these Sears stories and put them together in a book for printing and distribution. It was agreed that we should pursue this collection, and we would begin by soliciting these stories in the winter issue of Straight Talk soon to be distributed.

Several comments were made about the length of Sears VIP and Friends Night (three hours) compared to the duration of the Kmart Family Day (all day). A suggestion was made that perhaps there would be more retiree business generated at Sears with longer hours, which would facilitate more retiree attendance to the stores because of daylight access.

WEBSITE VISITS: Penny Williams reported that visits for October 2009 were 6,842, which is 600 more than September. Forty-three per cent visited the home page, and sixteen per cent hit the breaking news page.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, December 11, 2009 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the new NARSE Headquarters address, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, July 17, 2009 at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:35 a.m.

In Attendance: Tony Debevetz, George O'Hare, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silgers and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Tom Douglas, Walt Hess, Claude Ireson, Tom Myers, Ruth Pilant, Elaine Russell, Sandra Wheeler and Penny Williams.

FINANCIAL: The financial condition of NARSE is strong, and no bills are outstanding. Membership statistics for June were not available.

SRAC UPDATE: The Sears Retiree Advisory Council participated in a conference call earlier this month. Headquarters participants were Gina Turner, new vice president of Human Resources, Katie Regan and Rob Harlem, who reported that home appliances and home entertainment are growing market share while apparel is struggling. Part of the discussion centered around the 2010 retiree health insurance program information. Aetna is planning to have conference calls with SRAC to discuss the 2010 health insurance offerings, and the Sears printed information will be distributed on the same schedule as last year.

Future plans include at least quarterly meetings or more frequently as necessary. The council was asked to include Kmart retirees. Katie Regan has been charged with producing a retiree newspaper, the next issue to be September or October, another in December, and then quarterly issues thereafter.

WEBSITE VISITS: Visits for June 2009 were 2,842. Only the first visit of each visitor is counted each month. Total visits year to date are 10,344. Twenty-six visitors downloaded the Winter 2009 Straight Talk.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, September 18, 2009 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the new NARSE Headquarters address, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time. There is no meeting in August.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, June 12, 2009 at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

In Attendance: Tony Debevetz, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silgers and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Bill Barker, Tom Douglas, Walt Hess, Blair Holden, Art Levin, Tom Myers, Tom Nally, Ruth Pilant, Elaine Russell, Lloyd Van Schoyck and Sandra Wheeler.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Member renewals in May are down by 8% from 2008 due to the release date of STRAIGHT TALK that contains membership application and renewal forms. YTD expenses are down by 29%. Finances are solvent with all bills paid..

STRAIGHT TALK: The Spring 2009 issue of Straight Talk with its emphasis on the Sears Annual Meeting and taxation of social security benefits has been well received by our readers. The next issue most likely will focus on health care and the Sears retiree 2010 insurance program.

RETIREE CLUB UPDATE: Recent reports of declining size and activities of a few large retiree clubs prompted the need to update our database of retiree clubs. Since the last week of May, various officers have been attempting to contact every club to confirm the contact person, officers, membership, meeting frequency and any special events sponsored by the various clubs. Results to date indicate the clubs are mostly social in nature with some interest in Sears. There is not much internet involvement by the contact people, and some of the clubs listed in our current database are not able to be located. Straight Talk is frequently mentioned and appreciated for its reporting on Sears and retiree issues of concern.

SRAC UPDATE: The Sears Retiree Advisory Council is to have a conference call with Stan Aldis on July 7 or July 8. The supposition is that the subject will be about a meeting to discuss the 2010 retiree health insurance program information. The Council may be a resource for Aetna to communicate its offering to the retirees.

WEBSITE VISITS: Ron Olbrysh reported that visits for May 2009 were 2,995 with the largest percentage of hits coming to the home page followed by the breaking news page. Twenty-three visitors downloaded the Winter 2009 Straight Talk, and nine visitors downloaded Summer 2008 Straight Talk.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, July 17, 2009 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 13th Floor Conference Room at the new NARSE Headquarters address, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

 

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, May 15, 2009 at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

In Attendance: Dick Bruce, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silgers and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Richard Foulke, John Freeman, Art Levin, Tom Myers, Tom Nally, Ruth Pilant, Lloyd Van Schoyck, Sandra Wheeler and Ken Winkler.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Member renewals in April YTD are down 21% from 2008 due to the release date of STRAIGHT TALK that contains membership application and renewal forms. YTD expenses are down 57%. Finances are solvent with all bills paid.

SEARS ANNUAL MEETING: Mel Schultz and Dave Silgers represented NARSE at the Sears Holdings annual meeting May 4, 2009 and presented a written report of their experience and impressions. The approximate 45 minute business portion of the meeting was handled by Interim Chief Executive Officer and President W. Bruce Johnson and included a slide presentation of Sears performance and the election of Directors. Chairman Edward Lampert presided over the comments and questions/answers portion of the meeting, which lasted for more than two hours. Dave was the second stockholder to speak, and his presentation was acknowledged without comment from Mr. Lampert.

The promotional theme of the meeting seemed to be "Sears Life. Well Spent" with great emphasis on "shopping your way." Mr. Lampert's comments in response to many of the questions he fielded kept coming back to "hybrid forms of shopping", "the shopping experience" and "interactive media" portraying the opportunities for today's shoppers to shop anytime, anywhere and find more selection, name brands, service and trust.

STRAIGHT TALK: The next issue of Straight Talk is near completion and set for distribution later this month. Primary emphasis is being given to the Sears Annual Meeting and taxation of social security benefits. Illinois Senator Richard Durbin's response to Chairman Olbrysh' s letter regarding social security benefits taxation will be printed in the newsletter along with the AARP position on the subject. Retiree club news will also be featured.

RETIREE CLUB UPDATE: Recent reports of declining size and activities of a few large retiree clubs has suggested the need to update our database of retiree clubs. It was decided to contact every club to confirm officers, contact person, membership, meeting frequency and any special events sponsored by the various clubs. These contacts may also help us discover if there are any other retiree clubs in existence near our current clubs.

SRAC UPDATE: The Sears Retiree Advisory Council has had no formal contact from Sears Headquarters. There is growing concern on the part of some of the Council that the SRAC may be on its way to dissolution.

WEBSITE VISITS: Ron Olbrysh reported that visits for April 2009 were 2,900 with the largest percentage of hits coming to the home page followed by the breaking news page. Fifty-three visitors downloaded the winter Straight Talk, and 27 visitors downloaded the Summer 2008 Straight Talk issue.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:45 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, June 12, 2009 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 8th Floor Conference Room at NARSE Headquarters. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.


 

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, April 10, 2009 at HQ Office

Ron Obrysh called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Tony Debevetz, Bud Defano, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silgers and Keith Tice. 

Conference Call Participants:   Ernie Arms, Dick Cofran, Tom Douglas, Richard Foulke, Walt Hess, Art Levin, Lee Numbers, Ruth Pilant, Lloyd Van Schoyck, Sandra Wheeler, Penny Williams and Ken Winkler..     

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS:  Membership renewals in March reflected an increase of 317 members compared to March 2008.  Revenues for the year 2009 are up 67 per cent, and year-to-date expenses are down 62 per cent.   

SEARS ANNUAL MEETING: Dave Silgers will represent NARSE at the Sears Holdings annual meeting May 4, 2009.  A major amount of time was spent working on the official NARSE presentation for the meeting.  With the time constraint of two minutes allowed for our representative to speak, it was necessary to carefully craft our statement to maximize our impact.  A copy of that presentation will appear in our next issue of Straight Talk

STRAIGHT TALK: The next issue of Straight Talk is planned for mid to late May.  A synopsis of the Sears Annual Meeting will be a major focus of the issue and will include a copy of the presentation made by NARSE at that meeting.  Retiree club news will also be featured in this issue along with other subjects of concern for seniors, such as the taxation of Social Security benefits.  

UPDATE ON SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS TAXATION: Chairman Olbrysh reported that under the name of NARSE a version of the REPEAL letters highlighted on our website December 30, 2008 was sent to Senator Harry Reid, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Illinois Senator Richard Durbin on that same date.  An e-mail follow-up was sent on March 16.  Since no response was received, Mr. Olbrysh sent certified letters to each of the three leaders on April 2. As of this meeting date no certification responses have yet been received. 

The national board of the AARP has been advised of the REPEAL campaign to garner their support in bringing attention to the Social Security benefits taxation issue.  With so many of the AARP membership are not yet receiving Social Security benefits and the pressures of the economic downturn, AARP has honed its focus to healthcare. 

WEBSITE VISITS:  Visits for March 2009 averaged 100 per day and totaled 3,099 according to Penny Williams.  Ninety-eight per cent of the visits came from bookmarks, and 34% visited the home page followed by 16% hitting the breaking news page.  Twenty-eight visitors downloaded the winter Straight Talk, and 24 visitors downloaded the Summer 2008 Straight Talk issue. 

SRAC UPDATE:  The Sears Retiree Advisory Council members participating in today's meeting reported that there has been no contact from Sears Headquarters.  Additionally there has been no SHC retiree newsletter issued for quite some time, and SRAC members are expressing concern that SRAC may be on its way to dissolution.   

The meeting was adjourned at 11:35 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, May 15, 2009 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 8th Floor Conference Room at NARSE Headquarters.  A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, March 13, 2009 at HQ Office

In Ron Olbrysh's absence, Leo McCormack called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Bud Defano, Leo McCormack, Mel Schultz, Dave Silgers and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Dick Cofran, Tony Debevetz, Tom Douglas, Richard Foulke, Walt Hess, Tom Myers, Tom Nally, Ron Olbrysh, Ruth Pilant and Penny Williams.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Membership renewals in February were almost twice the number that the organization had in February 2008. Revenues for the year are up 254 per cent. All financial obligations are current, and the organization is healthy financially.

REPEAL CAMPAIGN UPDATE: The REPEAL campaign – Retirees Exert Pressure Energizing All Legislators, officially launched with the Winter 2009 issue of Straight Talk. Additionally, an article on the taxation of Social Security benefits was placed on the NARSE website home page. The emphasis of the article was to encourage our membership to write Congress urging them to repeal the taxation of benefits. Three suggested letters were included as a part of the website article. We would like to hear from our members regarding any responses from Congress to their letters.

Chairman Olbrysh reported that under the name of NARSE a version of the letters was sent to Senator Harry Reid, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Illinois Senator Richard Durbin on December 30, 2008. As of this meeting date no responses have been received. Mr. Olbrysh is attempting to follow up with phone calls to Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi. Tony Debevetz will contact Senator Durbin. In spite of not receiving responses, discussion followed that it is our duty to let Congress know how we as citizens feel on issues of concern.

The national board of the AARP has been advised of the REPEAL campaign. We are awaiting their response concerning any support and assistance they may be able to give in bringing attention once again to the Social Security benefits taxation issue.

WEBSITE VISITS: Penny Williams reported that February 2009 visits to the NARSE website were 3,006 compared to 3,297 in January and 3,475 in December 2008. The top page visited is the home page followed by the breaking news. Ninety-eight per cent of the visits came from bookmarks.

STRAIGHT TALK: The next issue of Straight Talk was planned for the end of April, but after discussion surrounding the May 4,2009 Sears Holdings annual shareholders meeting, it was decided to delay the next issue into May so coverage of the shareholders meeting could be included. NARSE will be represented and will have a prepared statement to present at the meeting. The April meeting will devote time to preparation of our remarks.

SRAC UPDATE: The Sears Retiree Advisory Council members participating in today's meeting reported that there has been no contact from Sears Headquarters concerning any future retiree events or information dissemination. Concern was expressed that the SRAC is now "marginalized."

The meeting was adjourned at 11:17 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, April 10, 2009 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 8th Floor Conference Room at NARSE Headquarters. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, February 13, 2009 at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

In Attendance: Tony Debevetz, Bud Defano, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, and Dave Silgers. Inclement weather prevented more members from attending in person.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Bill Barker, John Freeman, Art Levin, Leo McCormack, Tom Myers, Tom Nally, George O'Hare, Ruth Pilant, Elaine Russell, Lloyd VanSchoyck, Sandra Wheeler, Penny Williams and Ken Winkler.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Leo McCormack sent e-mails to those members whose newsletter was returned as non-deliverable in an attempt to lessen the mailing costs. He received some replies and corrected the addresses. Dues received for the month of January reflected a 30% increase over last year and the organization is still financially healthy, with all financial obligations current. 111 members sent in no dues stating they could not afford to pay the dues but would still like to receive the newsletter. We will continue to send the newsletter to these members. The newsletter is also available as a download on NARSE's website.

Past years' membership results has demonstrated that the distribution of issues of Straight Talk greatly influences paid membership. The winter issue was mailed in late December, which generated a significant increase in the January renewals.

WEBSITE VISITS: Penny Williams reported that January 2009 visits to the NARSE website were 3,297. Again, the Home page and Breaking News continue to be the most frequent viewed sites on our website.

SPRING ISSUE OF STRAIGHT TALK: The proposed Spring issue of Straight Talk was discussed. In this issue, all officers and board members will be listed. Again, Ron requested news from the local retiree clubs to be included in the Spring issue. Since the Sears Annual Meeting will be on May 4, 2009 at the company's headquarters, a notice will shortly be put on NARSE's website requesting any comments or questions retirees would like to ask Sears since NARSE will be speaking at the meeting.

SOCIAL SECURITY TAXATION: The chairman reported that, to date, there has been no response from Senators Durbin & Reid and Representative Pelosi, or any other member of Congress regarding this taxation issue. He will follow up with another contact, possibly e-mail, certified letter or phone call.

SEARS RETIREE ADVISORY COUNCIL: The Council has received no word from Sears about when their next meeting or conference call will take place.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:40 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, March 13, 2009 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 8th Floor Conference Room at NARSE Headquarters. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
 Friday, January 16, 2009

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:35 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silgers and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Tony Debevetz, Walt Hess, Art Levin, Leo McCormack, Tom Myers, Tom Nally, Ruth Pilant, Elaine Russell and Penny Williams.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Year-to-date renewals for 2008 declined 41% from 2007, and revenues for the year were off 45%. Expenses for the year were down by 33% leaving the organization still healthy financially with all financial obligations current.

Past years' membership results has demonstrated that the distribution of issues of Straight Talk greatly influences paid membership. The winter issue was mailed in late December, which should generate a significant increase in the January renewals.

WEBSITE VISITS: Penny Williams reported that December 2008 visits to the NARSE website were 3,475 reflecting an increase of 219 over November and an increase of 512 over October. The home page and breaking news continue to be the most frequent viewed sites on our web.

SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS TAXATION: The REPEAL campaign was officially launched with the winter 2009 issue of Straight Talk. REPEAL – Retirees Exert Pressure Energizing All Legislators – is a major campaign to eliminate the tax on Social Security benefits. Chairman Olbrysh reported that the NARSE position article was posted on the website December 30th along with three suggested letters that could be used to contact our federal legislators asking them to sponsor a bill to eliminate taxes on Social Security. The lead article in Straight Talk was devoted to a discussion of the issue and a call for our members to contact Congress asking them to repeal the taxation of benefits. A request was made to our attendees and participants to share with the chairman any responses from Congress to any letters written.

Chairman Ron Olbrysh and George O'Hare met with Bob Gallo, Senior State Director of the Illinois chapter of AARP, to discuss the REPEAL campaign and encourage some national support from AARP. AARP has done some work on this issue, and Mr. Gallo will discuss our campaign with the national board and report back at a later date.

STRAIGHT TALK: The Winter 2009 issue of Straight Talk was mailed the last week of December. The issue received several good comments during the meeting and generated a great deal of discussion about the impact of the economy on retiree finances. A great amount of concern was expressed about the future viability of retiree benefits.

As we look toward future issues, a request was made for any retiree club news to be forwarded to Chairman Olbrysh.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:25 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, February 13, 2009 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 8th Floor Conference Room at NARSE Headquarters. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
 Friday, December 12, 2008 at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:28 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Tony Debevetz, Bud Defano, Leo McCormack, George O'Hare, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silgers and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Dick Cofran, Richard Foulke, Blair Holden, Tom Nally, Elaine Russell, Sandra Wheeler, Penny Williams and Ken Winkler.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: While paid membership is down 31% numerically, compared to one year ago because of the publication dates of STRAIGHT TALKK, organization expenses are down 33%, and the organization remains healthy financially with all financial obligations current.

WEBSITE VISITS: Penny Williams reported that November 2008 visits to the NARSE website were 3,256. The home page and breaking news continue to be the most frequent viewed sites on our web. November visits were 250 greater than October.

ACTION PLAN FOR RETIREES: With the major economic downturn in progress, Social Security benefits are more important than ever to retirees. Since the NARSE organization is dedicated to preserving and protecting retirement benefits, it was decided that we should sponsor a major campaign to eliminate the tax on Social Security. The campaign is named REPEAL – Retirees Exert Pressure Energizing All Legislators. The lead article in the Winter 2009 issue of Straight Talk will be devoted to the discussion of repealing the tax on Social Security benefits, and will be our kickoff to the REPEAL campaign. Chairman Olbrysh will also develop a summary article on the repeal of this tax to be posted on the Breaking News tab of the NARSE website.

Retirees will be asked to contact their elected Congressional representatives and request that they sponsor and support a bill to repeal all of the taxes on Social Security benefits. As a part of the Breaking News article to be posted on the website, we will include some model letters for the retirees to use in contacting their representatives and senators. These format letters can be personalized to fit the situation of the particular letter writer or used as they are presented on the website. Efforts will also be made to get press coverage on our push to repeal this tax.

Additionally, investigation will be made on the cost to develop and print labels encouraging the contact of members of Congress and urging them to repeal the Social Security benefits taxation. These labels would be provided to NARSE members for promoting the REPEAL effort to their retiree friends.

STRAIGHT TALK: The Winter 2009 issue of Straight Talk is still planned for December distribution, and the contents will be finalized in the next few days. In addition to the lead article on repealing the tax on Social Security benefits, articles will include the September SRAC meeting, excerpts from Chicago Tribune and Dow Jones newswire reports on Sears sales and earnings results, retiree club news and excerpts from the December 2008 issue of a MONEY magazine article "Can My Retirement Be Saved."

As discussed earlier this year, distribution of this issue will be made to paid members and Congressmen only.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:42 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, January 16, 2009 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 8th Floor Conference Room at NARSE Headquarters. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, November 14, 2008 at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Tony Debevetz, Bud Defano, Leo McCormack, George O'Hare, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silgers and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Tom Douglas, John Freeman, Walt Hess, Tom Myers, Tom Nally, Ruth Pilant, Elaine Russell, Lloyd VanSchoyck, Penny Williams and Ken Winkler.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: While paid membership is down 18% from a year ago only because of the timing of the publication of STRAIGHT TALK, organization expenses are down 33%. The organization remains healthy financially with all financial obligations current.

WEBSITE VISITS: Penny Williams reported that October 2008 visits to the NARSE website were 2,963 with 45% of the hits going to the home page and 18% hitting the breaking news. October visits were 688 less than September.

SEARS RETIREE ADVISORY COUNCIL: A summary of the September 23 and 24 SRAC meeting held in Hoffman Estates was shared with today's meeting participants. Much discussion was held concerning the retiree medical coverage plan for 2009 and its resultant pricing. Several concerns were expressed about the short time frame given in which to respond to the Retiree Health Access (RHA) mailing, especially when the marketplace enrollment is open until December 31 vs. the RHA enrollment due date of November 25. Several SRAC meeting attendees expressed positive remarks concerning the information that was presented at the September meeting.

STRAIGHT TALK: The Winter 2008 issue of Straight Talk is planned for early December distribution. Possible articles will include the September SRAC meeting, American's financial crisis, Sears news, retiree club news and the taxation of social security benefits.

Chairman Olbrysh gave a report on the letter regarding taxing social security benefits sent to presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama. No response was received from Mr. McCain. A response was received from Mr. Obama thanking NARSE for its letter, but indicating that under campaign law he was not allowed to address the question of changing legislation to eliminate taxes on social security benefits at this time.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:40 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, December 12, 2008 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 8th Floor Conference Room at NARSE Headquarters. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, October 10, 2008, at HQ office

In Ron Olbrysh's absence, Leo McCormack called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

In Attendance: Dick Bruce, Tony Debevetz, Bud Defano, Leo McCormack, Mel Schultz, and Dave Silgers.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Bill Barker, Tom Douglas, Walt Hess, Art Levin, Tom Myers, Tom Nally, Ruth Pilant, Lloyd Van Schoyck, Ken Winkler, Sandra Wheeler and Penny Williams.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Paid membership was up by 15.8% over a year ago to date. The organization remains healthy financially with all financial obligations current.

STRAIGHT TALK: A Board member suggested that the Sears health plan be explored and/or discussed in the next issue.

SEARS RETIREE ADVISORY COUNCIL: The Sears Retiree Advisory Council met at the Marriott Hotel in Hoffman Estates on September 24 and 25. One of the major agenda topics was an overview of the retiree medical plan information for 2009. On the evening of September 24, a number of the NARSE Board members met with nine of the 13 Sears Retiree Advisory Council members who attended the session for an informal discussion about what took place during the day's meetings with Sears and Aetna. Those who attended the session had a very positive feeling about the company gathering.

MISCELLANEOUS: (1) Mel Schultz suggested that NARSE contact our Congressional members to ascertain exactly what type of medical plan they have and the costs involved; (2) It was also suggested that NARSE's Mission Statement be reviewed to ascertain whether any updating is warranted; and (3) The next issue of STRAIGHT TALK should include a listing of the recently elected officers of NARSE.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, November 14, 2008, at 9:30 a.m. CST, 8th Floor Conference Room at NARSE Headquarters. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, September 12, 2008, at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:29 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Tony Debevetz, Bud Defano, Leo McCormack, George O'Hare, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silgers and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, John Freeman, Walt Hess, Art Levin, Tom Nally, Elaine Russell and Penny Williams.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Paid membership remains steady even though individual months' renewals fluctuate. The organization remains healthy financially with all financial obligations current.

WEBSITE VISITS: Penny Williams reported that August 2008 visits to the NARSE website were slightly under 4,000. The largest hit is the home page followed by breaking news.

SEARS RETIREE ADVISORY COUNCIL: The Sears Retiree Advisory Council is scheduled to meet at the Marriott Hotel in Hoffman Estates on September 23 and 24. One of the major agenda topics is an overview of the retiree medical plan information for 2009. Plans were finalized to meet with the SRAC attendees on Wednesday night, September 24, at 8:30 p.m. at the Marriott and share information from the meeting as well as discuss various retiree concerns.

PRESIDENTIAL RACE: The Presidential Candidates' views on retiree concerns were discussed at length. In addition to the shaky economy and rising health care costs, taxation both at federal and state levels is a major concern. It was decided to write both candidates asking them to make social security a tax-free benefit for seniors as a part of their campaign for change. The closing of that letter would ask for their responses concerning our proposal.

STRAIGHT TALK: The Summer 2008 issue of Straight Talk was distributed in late August. Comments regarding its contents were solicited during the meeting, and many positive statements were made concerning the timeliness and good informational value of the various articles. A request was made for more retiree club news to be sent to NARSE Headquarters to be included in the Winter 2008 issue.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, October 10, 2008 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 8th Floor Conference Room at NARSE Headquarters. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.
 

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, July 11, 2008 at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:45 a.m.

In Attendance: Tony Debevetz, Bud Defano, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Tom Douglas, Art Levin, Tom Myers, Tom Nally, George O'Hare, Ruth Pilant, Elaine Russell, Lloyd VanSchoyck, Sandra Wheeler and Penny Williams.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: June membership renewals were 29 compared to 33 one year ago. Year-to-date renewals are 1,048 versus 1,104 through June, 2007. Paid membership remains steady even though individual months' renewals fluctuate due to differences in timing of the distribution of Straight Talk. The organization remains healthy financially with all financial obligations current.

WEBSITE VISITS: Penny Williams reported that June 2008 visits to the NARSE website were 4,956 compared to 5,300 visits for May and 5,297 visits for June 2007. The biggest hit is the home page followed by breaking news.

NARSE OFFICERS ELECTED: Election of president, secretary, treasurer, vice presidents and regional vice presidents was conducted during this meeting. The results are as follows: President – Art Levin; Secretary – Keith Tice; and Treasurer – Leo McCormack. Vice Presidents: Coalition Relations – Lloyd VanSchoyck; Club Relations – Bill Barker; Electronic Communications – Ernie Arms; Legislation – Tony Debevetz; and Media Relations – George O'Hare. Regional Vice Presidents: Tom Douglas, Richard Foulke, Blair Holden, Walter McDade, Tom Myers, Tom Nally, Ruth Pilant, and Ken Winkler. These officers will serve a three-year term.

The NARSE Board was also elected for a three year term. The chairman is Ron Olbrysh and the other board members include: Dick Bruce, Bud DeFano, Tony Debevetz, John Freeman, Claude Ireson, Ken Johnson, Leo McCormack, Elaine Russell, Mel Schultz, Dave Silgers and Sandra Wheeler. The Executive Committee of the Board consists of Ev Buckardt, Ken Johnson, Art Levin, Claude Ireson, and Ron Olbrysh.

SEARS RETIREE ADVISORY COUNCIL: No information was available from Sears Holdings Corporation concerning an annual SRAC meeting date or location. Phone conversation with Headquarters contact Stan Aldis indicated that the company has been focused on a new company structure and travel is minimized. As of this date, no SRAC meetings have been scheduled for the year 2008. However, this is subject to change.

The last SRAC conference call was in October 2007, and no future conference calls are scheduled at this time. According to Stan, a Sears Retiree Newsletter will be sent out in August.

STRAIGHT TALK: The Summer 2008 issue of Straight Talk is planned for mid August distribution. Feature articles will include recognition of Chuck Harrison for winning the 2008 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award, letters from readers concerning the Spring 2008 issue, retiree club news and pictures.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, September 12, 2008 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 8th Floor Conference Room at NARSE Headquarters. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time. No meeting is scheduled for August.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, June 13, 2008,
at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Tony Debevetz, Bud Defano, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Dave Silgers and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Ev Buckardt, Tom Douglas, John Freeman, Walt Hess, Claude Ireson, Art Levin, Tom Meyers, Ruth Pilant, Elaine Russell, Lloyd Van Schoyck and Penny Williams.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: May membership renewals were 78 compared to 108 one year ago. Paid membership renewals year to date were 1,019 compared to 1,071 for the same period in 2007. The differences reflect the publication dates of STRAIGHT TALK. All financial obligations are current.

NARSE ANNUAL MEETING: The eleventh annual meeting of NARSE will take place during our regular monthly meeting July 11. A slate of nominees for officers and directors was presented by Chairman Ron Olbrysh and approved. These nominees will stand for election during the annual meeting next month.

WEBSITE SURVEY: A survey linked to the NARSE website during May requested responders to rank the following issues in order of importance: Economy, War in Iraq and Afghanistan, Healthcare Costs, Gas Prices, Federal Income Taxes, State Income Taxes and Tax on Social Security. Forty-nine responders ranked the Economy number 1, Healthcare Costs number 2, Gas Prices number 3, the War in Iraq and Afghanistan number 4, and the Tax issues received the balance of the rankings. It was decided to keep the survey on the website another month but highlight it in order to gain additional input.

STRAIGHT TALK: Suggested topics for the Summer 2008 issue of Straight Talk were discussed and included an analysis of the May and June issues survey, retiree club news, the National Design Award bestowed upon Chuck Harrison, letters to the editor, Sears Holdings news and the Wall Street Journal article on "The Golden Casket", a report on the many benefits heirs receive when a CEO dies in office.

WEBSITE VISITS: Penny Williams reported that 80% of the 5,297 visits to the website in May 2008 went directly to our home page. The May visits were 497 more than April, and 111 downloaded the Spring 2008 issue of Straight Talk.

SEARS RETIREE ADVISORY COUNCIL UPDATE: No SRAC meetings have been scheduled yet for this year. Earlier conversations with Stan Aldis indicated the possibility of a meeting in Chicago in September to discuss the retiree medical insurance program for 2009. At this time, however, no date or agenda has been announced.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:45 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, July 11, 2008 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 8th Floor Conference Room at NARSE Headquarters. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, May 9, 2008 at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

In Attendance: Tony Debevetz, Bud Defano, Ken Johnson, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silgers and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Bill Barker, Tom Douglas, Richard Foulke, John Freeman, Art Levin, Tom Myers, Ruth Pilant, Elaine Russell, Lloyd Van Schoyck, Sandra Wheeler, Penny Williams and Ken Winkler.

Membership and Financials: Leo McCormack reported that membership renewals remain steady even though individual months' renewals fluctuate due to differences in timing of the distribution of Straight Talk. The organization is healthy financially, and financial obligations are current. The Year 2007 NARSE standard income tax form and IRS report as a non profit was filed in April as required.

Sears Holdings Corp. Annual Meeting: Bill Barker, Mel Schultz and Dave Silgers attended the annual meeting held at Hoffman Estates on May 5 and reported some of the proceedings. There was no visual presentation or financial numbers given, and no merchandise displays were present. After very long opening remarks by Mr. Lampert, attendees who wished to speak were given the opportunity. Dave Silgers was first and spoke on behalf of Sears retirees and the NARSE organization. Mr. Lampert commented that he appreciated the retirees and acknowledged that there was a need to embrace retirees on a greater basis and bring them into the fold. An interesting observation was made that the majority of the attendees were very young.

NARSE Annual Meeting: The next annual meeting of NARSE will be held July 11 during our regular monthly meeting. Election of officers will take place at that meeting.

Website Survey: Dave Silgers suggested that perhaps the NARSE website could be used as a means to recruit members. Discussion ensued about how we could best accomplish that goal. Out of that discussion it was decided to try to develop a survey on a monthly basis with perhaps ten questions each month, asking for responses and then publishing the answers.

Straight Talk: Suggested topics for the Summer 2008 issue of Straight Talk were discussed. The June 13 meeting will finalize the contents.

Website Visits: Penny Williams reported that April 2008 visits to the NARSE website were 4,814, which were 550 less than the March visits. The Home Page is the number one hit with 95% of the visitors having the site bookmarked.

Sears Retiree Advisory Council Update: Sandra Wheeler reported that Stan Aldis was attempting to bring the Advisory Council to Chicago during the summer but no date or agenda has been announced. Art Levin also reported that the Council may come to Chicago in September to discuss the retiree medical insurance program for 2009. At this time, however, no SRAC meetings have been scheduled for the year 2008.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, June 13, 2008 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 8th Floor Conference Room at NARSE Headquarters. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
April 11, 2008 at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:29 a.m.

In Attendance: William Barker, Bud Defano, Tony Debevetz, Leo McCormack, George O'Hare, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, and Dave Silgers.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Ev Buckardt, Dick Cofran, Tom Douglas, Richard Foulke, John Freeman, Claude Ireson, Tom Meyers, Tom Nally, Ruth Pilant, Elaine Russell, Lloyd VanSchoyck, Penny Williams, Sandra Wheeler, Penny Williams and Ken Winkler.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Paid membership remains steady even though individual months' renewals fluctuate due to differences in timing of the distribution of Straight Talk. Leo McCormack read several letters from unpaid members who really appreciate the newsletter and NARSE, but cannot afford the dues. NARSE will continue to send Straight Talk to these retirees. The organization remains healthy financially with all financial obligations current.

STRAIGHT TALK: The next issue of Straight Talk is planned for early summer. In keeping with our mission of providing NARSE members timely information, the Summer 2008 issue will hopefully feature the Presidential candidates' views on issues that affect retirees. Regarding the recently published Spring 2008 issue, Ron shared with the Board several letters from retirees stating how great the newsletter is and the information keeps the retirees in the loop. They all appreciated and agreed with the Basic Retailing 101 4-page article on how to turn around the company. This article has received the greatest number of comments from retirees than any other article ever published in Straight Talk.

LETTER OF RESIGNATION: Ron shared with the Board a letter from Gordon B. Muschett informing NARSE that he is resigning as an officer of the organization for "personal reasons." Gordon will be missed for his dedication and outstanding service to NARSE over the past eleven years.

SEARS HOLDINGS NEWS: Ron reported the names of the new Sears Holdings officers for Tools & Lawn and Garden, and Appliances. Discussion followed pertinent to the new presidents named and the additional appliance store openings. Also, Ron reported on the departing Sears Holdings executives and their big payouts.

SEARS HOLDINGS ANNUAL MEETING: A draft statement that will be read by Dave Silgers at Sears Holdings May 5 meeting was shared with the Board. A discussion followed with various suggestions for the statement. The statement is very positive.

WEBSITE VISITS: Penny Williams reported that the March web site hits were up by 1,100 over March, to 5,383.

SEARS RETIREE ADVISORY COUNCIL: No new information was reported to the Advisory Council from Sears Holdings. Sears has arranged no meeting dates or conference calls with the Council at this point in time.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:15 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, May 9, 2008 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 8th Floor Conference Room at NARSE Headquarters. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
March 14, 2008 at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:31 a.m.

In Attendance: Dick Bruce, Bud Defano, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silgers and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Bill Barker, Richard Foulke, Art Levin, Tom Meyers, Tom Nally, George O'Hare, Lloyd VanSchoyck, Penny Wheeler, Penny Williams and Ken Winkler.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: February membership renewals were 58 compared to 92 one year ago. Paid membership remains steady even though individual months' renewals fluctuate due to differences in timing of the distribution of Straight Talk. The organization remains healthy financially with all financial obligations current.

STRAIGHT TALK: The next issue of Straight Talk is planned for early summer. In keeping with our mission of providing NARSE members timely information, the Summer 2008 issue will hopefully feature the Presidential candidates' views on issues that affect retirees.

SEARS HOLDINGS ANNUAL MEETING: The annual Sears Holdings shareholders meeting will be held May 5. It was decided that NARSE should be represented and present a prepared statement at this meeting.

WEBSITE VISITS: February 2008 visits to the NARSE website were 4,221 compared to 5,123 visits in January. Forty per cent of the visits went to the Home Page, and 25 per cent hit the Breaking News site.

SEARS RETIREE ADVISORY COUNCIL: Various members of the SRAC council reported that they had not been contacted by anyone from Sears Headquarters for the previous three months. Stan Aldis was said to be working on a program, but at this point there was no one in place who could authorize any plans. To date, no SRAC meetings have been scheduled for the year 2008.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:15 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, April 11, 2008 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 8th Floor Conference Room at NARSE Headquarters. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Thursday, February 14, 2008 at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

In Attendance: William Barker, Dick Bruce, Tony Debevetz, Bud Defano, Leo McCormack, George O'Hare, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Ev Buckardt, Tom Douglas, Richard Foulke, John Freeman, Ruth Pilant, Elaine Russell, Lloyd Van Schoyck, Penny Williams and Ken Winkler.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Paid membership remains steady even though individual months' renewals fluctuate due to differences in timing of the distribution of Straight Talk. The organization remains healthy financially with all financial obligations current.

STRAIGHT TALK: The Spring 2008 issue of Straight Talk is planned for early March. Continuing the January meeting discussion about distribution quantities for each issue, it was decided to distribute this issue to all names in our database. In an effort to maximize our reach and efficiency, this issue will state that future 2008 issues will be sent to those who are current paid members only unless we hear from them.

The leadoff pages will focus on Sears restructuring plans announcement and responses from many of our retiree members concerning ideas to restore Sears' prominence in retailing. These responses came in as the result of Chairman Olbrysh's e-mail request sent to those NARSE members with whom we have computer access. Additionally, the newsletter will continue highlighting the activities of retiree clubs around the country and contain obituaries of Charles Bacon and Ed Brennan.

WEBSITE VISITS: Penny Williams reported that January 2008 visits to the NARSE website were 5,123 compared to 4,529 visits for December. The tenth annual NARSE meeting video was the number one site visited in January.

SEARS RETIREE ADVISORY COUNCIL: During the September 2007 SRAC meeting held in Florida, a suggestion was made by the Council to have a marketing person make a presentation at the next SRAC meeting. This was promised for December or January, but according to Stan Aldis, is now rescheduled for April or May due to the recent restructuring plans announced.

At the time of this meeting no information was available from Sears Holdings Corporation Headquarters concerning an annual meeting date or location. No SRAC meetings have been scheduled for the year 2008

The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, March 14, 2008 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 8th Floor Conference Room at NARSE Headquarters. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, January 11, 2008, at HQ office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

In Attendance: Bud Defano, Leo McCormack, George O'Hare, Ron Olbrysh, and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Ev Buckardt, Dick Cofran, Tom Douglas, Richard Foulke, John Freeman, Walt Hess, Claude Ireson, Art Levin, Tom Myers, Tom Nally, Ruth Pilant, Elaine Russell, Dan Sills, Nancy Weston, Sandra Wheeler, Penny Williams and Ken Winkler.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Membership renewals in December totaled 605. Paid membership remains steady even though individual months' renewals fluctuate due to differences in timing of Straight Talk. Additionally, attrition takes its toll as each year goes by. The organization remains healthy financially.

WEBSITE VISITS: Penny Williams reported that December visits to the NARSE website were 4,529 which is over 200 higher than in the month of November. Visits to the website not only provide great breaking news stories, but also provide four interesting videos covering medical insurance decisions for 2008, the tenth annual NARSE meeting, and short glimpses of two remarkable Sears retirees.

STRAIGHT TALK: The Spring 2008 issue of Straight Talk is planned for late February distribution. This issue will continue highlighting activities of retiree clubs around the country and contain a memoriam on Charles Bacon and Ed Brennan.

Distribution quantities were discussed at length. Paid membership will continue to receive all mailings. Minimizing the amount of complimentary copies could be an option after the distribution of one issue per year to everyone currently on the distribution list has been accomplished. The Spring issue will make reference to the fact that future issues for the year will be limited to paid membership, and those members who communicate their desire to continue to receive hard copies of Straight Talk.

MEDICAL PROGRAM ENROLLMENT: Some confusion does exist concerning a decision to choose a non-Sears medical plan. It is important to suspend the Sears coverage and not cancel the Sears coverage. When the retiree suspends coverage, no additional action is required unless the retiree wants to resume Sears retiree coverage. They do not, however, receive any election information until they request it, and they are not required to confirm their suspension status each year.

According to Ron Olbrysh, Stan Aldis of Sears is planning to put out a letter to retirees describing in detail how the suspension procedure operates.

SEARS RETIREE ADVISORY COUNCIL: No SRAC conference calls for the year 2008 are scheduled as of this meeting date according to the SRAC members participating on the NARSE meeting conference call. Also, there is no word concerning the annual meeting date.

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: In an effort to be of assistance to our retirees, the role of NARSE in regard to the presidential candidates' positions on retiree issues was discussed. It was decided that we would send a survey to each candidate asking for their positions on senior concerns and then publish their responses in the summer issue of Straight Talk.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:40 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Thursday, February 14, 2008 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 8th Floor Conference Room at NARSE Headquarters. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, December 7, 2007 at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:45 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Tony Debevetz, Bud Defano, Claude Ireson, Leo McCormack, George O'Hare, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Steve Doubeck, Don Giles, Walt Hess, Art Levin, Tom Myers, Tom Nally, Elaine Russell, Lloyd Van Schoyck, Nancy Westmont, Sandra Wheeler, Penny Williams and Ken Winkler.

MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIALS: Membership renewals in November increased 430 over last year with a corresponding revenue increase compared to November 2006.

WEBSITE VISITS: Penny Williams reported that visits to the NARSE website were about 4,300 during the month of November and topped 300,000 visits made since ten years ago. Visits to the website not only provide great breaking news stories, but also provide four interesting videos covering medical insurance decisions for 2008, the tenth annual NARSE meeting, and short glimpses of two remarkable Sears retirees.

STRAIGHT TALK: The Spring 2008 issue of Straight Talk will feature the Seattle retirees club with articles about its long, colorful history and final meeting. Distribution is planned for March.

Positive feedback about the special November issue on Medicare Part D prescription drug insurance was reported by Ron Olbrysh. Dissemination of that information again in the future was suggested in the meeting.

SEARS RETIREE ADVISORY COUNCIL: The Council participated in a conference call with Colleen Belker on December 4 discussing the Sears retiree medical program for 2008. Highest numbers of calls to the Retiree Health Access center are on Monday and Tuesday. Ms. Belker emphasized that quicker responses could be achieved by calling on Wednesday through Friday. Most of the questions to date were run of the mill; many callers were uneasy about the new private fee for service plan offered by Aetna, which is not being pushed.

MEDICAL PROGRAM ENROLLMENT: Many NARSE members have expressed concern about the short enrollment period especially with all the changes in the 2008 program compared to the current program. As a result, Chairman Olbrysh wrote Karl Koneg, Senior Vice President of Benefits, expressing these concerns and requesting a possible extension. To date there has been no response from Sears Holdings.

CONCLUSION: The highlight of the year for NARSE was most likely the Atlanta tenth anniversary annual meeting. Additionally, many good comments and feedback about the information provided our members through the website and Straight Talk have been received over the last several months. Our goal as an organization must continue to be to represent the Sears and Sears Holdings retirees in preserving their remaining benefits and be a source of educational assistance in achieving retiree financial independence and well being.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:45 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, January 11, 2008 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 8th Floor Conference Room at NARSE Headquarters. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, November 9, 2007 at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:07 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Dick Bruce, Tony Debevetz, Bud Defano, Leo McCormack, George O'Hare, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silger and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Dick Cofran, Steve Doubeck, Tom Douglas, Richard Foulke, Walt Hess, Blair Holden, Art Levin, Tom Myers, Tom Nally, Ruth Pilant, Elaine Russell, Sandra Wheeler, Penny Williams and Ken Winkler.

SPECIAL ISSUE OF STRAIGHT TALK: A special issue of Straight Talk will be published during November, 2007 and mailed to all paid subscribers. The primary emphasis will be on making the proper prescription drug insurance choices and will highlight an article written by Chicago Sun-Times columnist Terry Savage. Ms. Savage has written an article "Prescription for Medicare Part D" which details a step by step process for determining the best prescription drug insurance plan that has the lowest total estimated annual cost based on individual prescriptions. The process she writes about is the Medicare Plan Finder, and she describes how to use it.

The Terry Savage Medicare Part D article was also placed on our website, which was agreed to by Ms. Savage via e-mail response to Ron Olbrysh.

WEBSITE VISITS: Penny Williams reported that the visits to the website continue to be very strong. Visits in October were 450 higher than September reaching almost 4,000 for the month. As of this date 142 visitors have viewed the video for the 10th annual meeting.

MEDICARE INFORMATION MEETINGS: Much discussion took place regarding the Sears Holdings meetings covering the medical insurance changes for 2008. Sears Holdings and Aetna have begun conducting meetings in eighteen selected cities to review the Medicare plan information provided in the Retiree Health Access (RHA) enrollment kit. The kits are scheduled to begin mailing around November 14.

The two meetings in Atlanta GA and Oakbrook IL, each with about 100 people present, were the basis for the discussion. In Atlanta the big stumbling point was the lack of information on the 2008 billing. Both meetings' attendees were concerned about what to do if insured by AARP currently, and how to proceed if they enrolled in the new RHA program. Concerns were also expressed about the short enrollment period and what would happen if the enrollments were received at RHA after the enrollment deadline. Additionally, Medicare says in their "Medicare and You" 2008 booklet that the Part D enrollment period is open until December 31.

It was decided that Ron Olbrysh should address these concerns in a letter to Karl Koneg, Senior Vice President-Benefits.

Because concerns were expressed about the timely receipt of the enrollment kit packages, everyone involved in this monthly meeting was encouraged to e-mail Ron when they received their individual packages. It was also suggested that a special medical insurance meeting be held on November 26 to discuss any further developments concerning the enrollment kit mailing and its offering.

MEMBERSHIP: Paid memberships in October 2007 compared to last October were up 566.

The meeting was adjourned at 11: 30 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, December 7, 2007 at 9:30 a.m. CST, 8th Floor Conference Room at NARSE Headquarters. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

 

Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, October 12, 2007 at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:10 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Tony Debevetz, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silger and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Ev Buckardt, Steve Doubeck, Tom Douglas, Richard Foulke, Walt Hess, Ken Johnson, Art Levin, Tom Nally, Ruth Pilant, Elaine Russell, Lloyd Van Schoyck, Penny Williams and Ken Winkler.

FINANCIALS AND MEMBERSHIP: Leo McCormack reported that the organization's financials and membership are stable.

WEBSITE VISITS: Visits to the website for September were down about 8 per cent for a total of 3,480. Accessing the Home Page now provides opportunity to view a streaming video of highlights of the 10th Annual Meeting of NARSE held in Atlanta. The video is viewable in four parts.

SEARS RETIREE ADVISORY COUNCIL UPDATE: The council met in Deerfield, Florida the latter part of September. A great deal of discussion was devoted to the Sears 2008 medical plan. The Retiree Health Access (RHA) has expanded to about 20 member companies with a focus of getting the best possible coverage for retirees. Robert Luce is on the board of directors of RHA. The Sears enrollment period is from November 19 to December 7.

Stan Aldis, the Headquarters contact person for the Council, has not indicated any further activity scheduled for the Council as of this date despite several contacts by the members of the council.

NEXT ISSUE OF STRAIGHT TALK: The next issue of Straight Talk will be published during November 2007.

NARSE PROMOTIONAL LEAFLET: This NARSE marketing brochure was first disseminated at the 10th Annual Meeting in Atlanta this past August. It was very well received. In addition, copies were sent to all of NARSE's regional vice-presidents for distribution.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:10 p.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, November 9, 2007 at 9:00 a.m. CST, 8th Floor Conference Room at NARSE Headquarters. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, July 13, 2007 at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:07 a.m.

In Attendance: Tony Debevetz, Bud Defano, Ken Johnson, Leo McCormack, George O'Hare, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Bill Barker, Tom Douglas, John Freeman, Art Levin, Gordon Muschet, Tom Myers, Tom Nally, Ruth Pilant, Elaine Russell, Lloyd Van Schoyck, Sandra Wheeler, Penny Williams and Ken Winkler.

WEBSITE VISITS: Penny Williams reported that the visits to the website continue to be very strong. Top entry pages are: Home Page – 29%, Breaking News – 16%, Guest Book – 8.5% and Merger – 3.6%. As of this date 111 visitors have downloaded the August 7 annual meeting agenda and 52 have downloaded the reservation form.

10th ANNUAL MEETING UPDATE: The 10th annual meeting to be held in Atlanta, Georgia August 7 will begin at 9:30 a.m. with guest introductions and a video history of the NARSE organization during its 10-year existence. Robert "Bob" Romasco, a member of the AARP's Board of Directors, is scheduled to deliver the keynote address. His presentation will include a discussion of Medicare, Social Security and pension reform and AARP's position on these issues. A question and answer session will follow.

Upon conclusion of the discussion there will be a "meet and greet" time with the Atlanta Big Club. Lunch will follow during which one of the top 100 outstanding stand-up comedians in the country, Dick Gregory, will be speaking. His familiarity with Sears because of a 40-year friendship with George O'Hare, a NARSE Vice President, will undoubtedly flavor his comments.

In addition to videotaping the keynote and luncheon speakers, a photographer will be present to take pictures. It was suggested that NARSE make these videotapes available to the Sears retiree clubs around the country.

NEXT ISSUE OF STRAIGHT TALK: The next issue of Straight Talk will be published during September, 2007. Primary emphasis would feature the 10th Anniversary Annual Meeting and related details. There was some discussion about including a synopsis of current benefits with emphasis on the retiree life insurance.

SEARS RETIREE ADVISORY COUNCIL UPDATE: Stan Aldis, the Headquarters contact person, has not indicated any further activity scheduling for the council as of this date despite several contacts by the members of the council.

NARSE PROMOTIONAL LEAFLET: A draft of a marketing piece prepared by Mel Schultz describing who NARSE is, what the organization has to offer, and what has been accomplished was reviewed and approved with a few minor changes for publication by the Board.

The meeting was adjourned at 11: 30 a.m.

The next regular NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, September 14, 2007 at 9:00 a.m. CST, 8th Floor Conference Room at NARSE Headquarters. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.


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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, June 8, 2007 at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:08 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Tony Debevetz, Bud Defano, Leo McCormack, George O'Hare, Ron Olbrysh, and Mel Schultz

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Tom Douglas, John Freeman, Art Levin, Tom Myers, Tom Nally, Lee Numbers, Ruth Pilant, Elaine Russell, Lloyd Van Schoyck, Sandra Wheeler, Penny Williams and Ken Winkler.

FINANCIALS & MEMBERSHIP: Our financials and membership are stable. More than 90% of the dues we collect are used for communication purposes. The remaining amount pays for our office expenses, including the monthly charge for the conference room where our meetings are held; charges for the monthly toll-free conference calls; and the maintenance of our web site. NARSE has no paid employees.

10th ANNUAL MEETING UPDATE: The 10th annual meeting to be held in Atlanta, Georgia August 7 will begin at 9:30 a.m. The agenda will include a video history of the NARSE organization during its 10-year existence. The keynote speaker will be Robert "Bob" Romasco, a member of the AARP's Board of Directors. He is a prolific speaker and his presentation will include a discussion of Medicare, Social Security and pension reform, and AARP's position on these issues. His presentation will be followed by a question and answer period

Our luncheon speaker has been listed by Comedy Central as one of the top 100 outstanding stand-up comedians in the country. He is an activist, philosopher, anti-drug crusader, comedian, author, recording artist and nutritionist. He was the first comedian to appeal to both black and white audiences. We are pleased to have DICK GREGORY as our luncheon speaker who will share his wit and wisdom with the group. Gregory has been a close friend of George O'Hare, a NARSE Vice President, for the past 40 years.

We have a photographer to take still pictures at the Annual Meeting. In addition, we will be videotaping the keynote and luncheon speakers. The Board suggested that NARSE make these videotapes available to the Sears retiree clubs around the country. Ron Olbrysh suggested that an edited version be made available for distribution on a request basis.

And finally, a press release will go out to the media near the end of July, about our Annual Meeting in Atlanta. George O'Hare will disseminate the release.

NEXT ISSUE OF STRAIGHT TALK: The next issue of Straight Talk will be published during September 2007. It will include pictures and articles about our Atlanta 10th Annual Meeting, in addition to the latest news about Sears and any updates on the life insurance issue.

RETIREE LIFE INSURANCE: Many retirees are concerned and/or confused about whether replacement life insurance terminates at the end of the 10-year reduction period. The Board suggested that Sears be contacted about this issue. Ron will contact Sears.

NARSE PROMOTIONAL LEAFLET: A marketing piece describing who NARSE is and what the organization has to offer was shown to the Board. Mel Schultz prepared it. The leaflet was designed as a handout rather than a mail-out. The only Board suggestion was to include NARSE's accomplishments. Ron will provide these accomplishments to Mel who will include them in this marketing brochure.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:43 p.m.

The next NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, July 13, 2007 at 9:00 a.m. CST, 8th Floor Conference Room at NARSE Headquarters. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, May 11, 2007 at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:05 a.m.

In Attendance: Bill Barker, Bud Defano, George O'Hare, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, Tom Douglas, Richard Foulke, Art Levin, Tom Myers, Tom Nally, Ruth Pilant, Elaine Russell, Lloyd Van Schoyck, Sandra Wheeler, Penny Williams and Ken Winkler.

FINANCIALS & MEMBERSHIP: Due to vacations, no report was available.

WEBSITE VISITS: Penny Williams reported that there were 4,071 visits to the website in April continuing the trend of monthly visits in excess of 4,000.

10th ANNUAL MEETING UPDATE: The 10th annual meeting to be held in Atlanta, Georgia August 7 will begin at 9:30 a.m. and be in session until approximately 11:15. The meeting will open with a video history of the NARSE organization and introduction of the founders of the organization. A keynote speaker from AARP will be a special feature of the meeting. Following the annual meeting, the Atlanta "Big Club" Sears retiree group will join us for lunch, where "senior" comedian Dick Gregory will address both groups during the luncheon. At the conclusion of the luncheon, the "Big Club" will convene their meeting. As plans are finalized, further information will be made available on the NARSE website.

NEXT ISSUE OF STRAIGHT TALK: Tentatively, the next issue of Straight Talk will be eight pages and be distributed in July. Primary emphasis would feature the 10th Anniversary Annual Meeting and related details. A big issue later in the summer would cover the Atlanta meeting and contain many pictures of the event.

RETIREE LIFE INSURANCE: In late March, 2007 retirees received a cover letter advising the final value of the Sears Retiree Group Life Insurance, the current value of the Retiree Replacement Life Insurance and a Summary Plan Description (SPD) for the Sears Retiree Group Life Insurance Plan and Replacement Plan. Because of the language "right to change or terminate the Plan at any time and for any reason" which appeared in the SPD, Chairman Olbrysh wrote the Plan Administrator asking for clarification and correction of this statement. In addition, a request was made that the retirees receive an official notice that the company will not modify, amend, suspend, or terminate the insurance plan at any time as stipulated in the court-approved Stipulation of Settlement.

At meeting time, no answer has been received. However, there is still one more day before the answer has to be back to NARSE. The stipulated response time to written questions was thirty days according to the SPD.

SEARS RETIREE ADVISORY COUNCIL UPDATE: A one-hour conference call on April 26 with Stan Aldis, the Headquarters contact person, Bob Luce and Mike McCullogh gave council members updates on Sears and K Mart year 2006 results, the pension plan, life insurance and the medical coverage for 2008. It was reported that the pension plan is 90% funded, life insurance is as promised and the medical coverage plan for 2008 is being developed. Additionally, there will be quarterly conference calls with the council and three Retiree News newspapers will be published and distributed over the next year. Consideration for a week of September 24 SRAC meeting in some yet to be announced location was also announced as a part of the conference call.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:20 a.m.

The next NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, June 8, 2007 at 9:00 a.m. CST, 8th Floor Conference Room at NARSE Headquarters. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, March 9, 2007 at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:10 a.m.

In Attendance: Dick Bruce, Tony Debevetz, Bud Defano, Leo McCormack, George O'Hare, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silgers and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Ernie Arms, William Barker, Richard Foulke, Art Levin, Tom Nally, Ruth Pilant, Elaine Russell, Lloyd Van Schoyck, Nancy Weston, Sandra Wheeler, Penny Williams and Ken Winkler.

FINANCIALS & MEMBERSHIP: Due to differences in timing of the printing and mailing of Straight Talk, there were some negatives in finances and paid members. February paid members totaled 92, which was down from last year's membership increase of 696. This is attributable to the newsletter mailing in November, 2006 versus December, 2005, which influenced February, 2006 membership results.

WEBSITE VISITS: Penny Williams reported that there were 4,205 visits to the website in February continuing monthly visits in excess of 4,000.

10th ANNUAL MEETING UPDATE: The 10th annual meeting to be held in Atlanta, Georgia August 7 will begin at 9:30 a.m. The agenda is being developed and will include a video history of the NARSE organization. Following the meeting, the Atlanta "Big Club" Sears retiree group will join us for lunch. NARSE's keynote speaker will address both groups during the luncheon hour. At the conclusion of the luncheon, the "Big Club" will convene their meeting. As plans are finalized, further information about the meeting will be made available on the NARSE website.

NEXT ISSUE OF STRAIGHT TALK: The next issue of Straight Talk planned for distribution the week of March 12 will feature articles on the 10th Annual NARSE meeting, proper procedure for suspending or canceling health insurance from Retiree Health Access, retiree club news, an Advertising Age article on fixing Sears, the Sears SEC filing report by Mr. Lampert, and some "Dear NARSE" letters.

RETIREE LIFE INSURANCE: Information on the amount of paid-up life insurance benefit was to be distributed to all participating retirees during the month of January, 2007. However, as of this date none of the meeting participants had received any mailing. No further information about the mailing was available.

SEARS RETIREE ADVISORY COUNCIL UPDATE: No further information has become available concerning future activities of SRAC, and no conference calls are scheduled. As of this date no SRAC meeting has been scheduled for this spring.

NARSE PROMOTIONAL LEAFLET: A marketing piece describing who NARSE is and what the organization has to offer is being developed to solicit Sears retirees and working associates for membership. The leaflet is being designed as a handout rather than a mail-out.

SEARS HOLDINGS ANNUAL MEETING: The Sears annual meeting is scheduled to be held at the Hoffman Estates headquarters on May 4, 2007.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:05 p.m.

The next NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, April 13, 2007 at 9:00 a.m. CST, 8th Floor Conference Room at NARSE Headquarters. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

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Executive Summary
National Association of Retired Sears Employees, Inc.
Friday, January 12, 2007 at HQ Office

Ron Olbrysh called the meeting to order at 9:10 a.m.

In Attendance: William Barker, Bud Defano, Leo McCormack, Ron Olbrysh, Mel Schultz, Dave Silgers and Keith Tice.

Conference Call Participants: Dick Bruce, Ev Buckardt, Dick Cofran, Tony Debevetz, Richard Foulke, Walt Hess, Gordon Muschett, Tom Nally, George O'Hare, Ruth Pilant, Elaine Russell, Lloyd Van Schoyck, Sandra Wheeler, Penny Williams and Ken Winkler.

FINANCIALS & MEMBERSHIP: Through December 31, 2006, paid membership is up 1,265 members over last year for the same period. Revenue is up 48.4 per cent over last year.

WEBSITE VISITS: Penny Williams reported that there were 4,078 visits to the website in December continuing monthly visits in excess of 4,000.

10th ANNUAL MEETING: The 10th NARSE Annual Meeting will be held in Atlanta, Georgia on August 7, 2007. Following lunch the Atlanta retirees "Big Club" meeting will convene. A part of the annual meeting agenda will be a video of the NARSE organization history. Additionally, a prominent guest speaker will address the meeting covering several topics of interest to our retirees. As plans are finalized, further information about the meeting will be made available on the NARSE website.

NEXT ISSUE OF STRAIGHT TALK: The next issue of Straight Talk is planned for distribution during March. Articles on The Pension Protection Act of 2006, the Sears retiree whole life insurance program, proper procedure for suspending or canceling health insurance from Retiree Health Access, annual meeting details and retiree club news will be a major focus. Continuing efforts are being made to ascertain and include more information about Sears results and future plans.

RETIREE LIFE INSURANCE: Information on the amount of paid-up life insurance benefit is to be distributed to all participating retirees during the month of January, 2007, according to Clara Hughes, Manager of Policy and Benefits Compliance.

SEARS RETIREE ADVISORY COUNCIL UPDATE: No further information has become available concerning future activities of SRAC, and no conference calls are scheduled. One of the council members reported that they had called headquarters prior to this meeting, and no primary contact has been named.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:45 a.m.

The next NARSE meeting will be held on Friday, February 9, 2007 at 9:00 a.m. CST, 8th Floor Conference Room at NARSE Headquarters. A conference call will be available for those not able to attend in person at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.

 


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