The Friendly Fifth

International Board Messages

Greetings all : Just heard from Ole Hillestad that Tubfrim is closing.

The following is from their website and is the web translation, a little rough in places:

TUBFRIM in Nesbyen has been decided to be closed.
The owner of TUBFRIM, the National Association for Public Health, has decided this week to shut down Tubfrim's operations from the summer of 2023.
The ordinary operations of TUBFRIM will therefore cease from 22. october 2022.
TUBFRIM will continue to accept all used stamps until the New Year 2022/2023, while alternative solutions are being worked on.
The society is digitizing, and the amount of collected stamps has decreased drastically. The last five years, 2017-2021, shows that it will be difficult to produce surplus in the coming years. Therefore, the decision to discontinue operations is necessary.
The large reduction in the entry of stamps, already scaled operations with regard to the number of employees, and costs at a minimum provide very little action opportunities to continue expecting operating profits. With this backdrop, we can no longer defend operations at TUBFRIM without operating on saved up funds. The board of TUBFRIM has therefore decided that the ordinary operations of TUBFRim will cease from 22. october 2022.
Starting on the 24th In three to 4 weeks in October, there will be a one-stop sale with good prices to our loyal customers.
As of today, TUBFRIM has three employees, which constitute approximately 1.5 years' worth.
The National Association for Public Health, the board of TUBFRIM and the staff at TUBFRIM would like to express a big thank you to everyone who has collected and sent stamps to TUBFRIM over almost 100 years. This applies to private individuals, companies, government offices and municipalities. In addition, kilovis of stamps have been cut in hundreds of day centers around the country. This together has contributed to TUBFRIM "turn used stamps into good measures for children and young people".

TUBFRIM was established in 1928 at Nesbyen by postmaster Ditlef Frantzen. TUBFRIM would collect and sell used stamps. The profits should be used for tuberculosis work among children in Norway.
TUBFRIM was transferred to the National Association for Public Health in 1947. TUBFRIM built its own stamp house, Solstad, in 1958. At most, 14 people worked at TUBFRIM. Collection of stamps and other philateli has always been the main activity, although both Telecards and postcards have been additional products in later decades.
There have also been changes to what the profits will be used for. Today, the profits go to health and well-being measures for children and young people in Norway, and to the fight against tuberculosis. From 1928 until 2021 TUBFRIM has distributed NOK 26 million to approximately 2700 good measures.
Contact person regarding TUBFRIM:
Dear Myro, CEO
940 66 126

Sad news indeed.

Mark D. Agerter
International Vice Chair
Sons of Norway

International Board Director - District 5 Report

DISTRICT 5 Sons of Norway International Board

The past year has been quite unusual for most of us, trying to stay safe from Covid-19. Though it has been challenging, the International Board has been working as usual via email and video conferencing. The huge loss is not seeing our friends and colleagues during these past months. Currently, it is not practical to do a PowerPoint report, so here it is in letter form.

The last meeting of the Sons of Norway International Board of Directors was held via video conference on November 16-19, 2020, meeting for over three hours each day. The full board was present along with CEO Chris Pinkerton and Executive Assistant Lonna Hanson. Staff members who gave reports were; CFO Erica Oberg, CIO Dan Seyfried, Matt Roedel (Insurance Sales and Operations Director), Connie O’Brien (Fraternal Development & Marketing Director), Lizabeth Halva (Human Resources & Business Integration Director), Kevin Cassidy (General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer), and David Crabb (Fraternal Engagement Manager). Outside Legal Counsel Dave Ness from Fafinski Mark & Johnson, P.A. also attended parts of the meeting.

Outside professionals are involved with the meetings and all reports are reviewed: investment advisor portfolio reports, IT strategic planning, Anti-Fraud Statues from MN, 3rd Quarter financial statements, budgets, Viking Magazine, 10-year actuarial projections, updates from the American Fraternal Alliance, Human Resource and new building updates, Insurance recruiting and product updates, Code of Ethics review, governance structure, and life insurance logos. SONS Officers and Committees gave reports regarding; the Board Policy Book (ongoing reviews), lodge owned real estate, lodge liability insurance, Finance Committee Resolutions, Audit Committee, board member expenses, document signing authority by home office, 2022 Convention in MN.

Following the meeting there were several staffing changes at the home office. SONS has been operating many years in a regular pattern of business that has not kept up with the latest technology to operate efficiently and effectively. However, even during the past year of difficult times when lodges are unable to meet, membership has grown, and sales of insurance policies are moving upwards. Social media has kept many in touch with their SONS roots, we are optimistic about our future growth and sustainability.

Sons of Norway Foundation Board of Governors

The SONS Foundation Board of Governors has been meeting via video conferencing for the past year. The board last met on Wednesday, January 20, 2021, for a 4-hour meeting. The new board is: Merv Eriksson, chair; Jon Tehven, vice chair; Ernie Fosse, treasurer; and Christy Olsen Field, secretary.
Robin Fossum International Director, District 5 SONS Foundation, Board of Governors Dovre Lodge 5-353, president 630 28th St, Chetek WI 54728 715-642-2414 

I was appointed last year to a two-year term by International President Ron Stubbings. My committee appointment is chair of the Development Committee.

The board participated in a strategic plan workshop hosted by Jaime Rate, Keystone Group. Following the workshop, Committee reports were reviewed; Executive Governance Committee (Merv), District Foundation Directors (Jon), Development Committee “Together We Are the Future” update, (Jon & Robin), Finance Committee (Ernie), Disaster Relief/Extreme Illness (Allison). Ron Stubbings gave a brief International Report, and Connie O’Brien reported on the Foundation general updates. Goals were discussed.

The Development Committee designed the Together We Are the Future campaign for October Foundation month. Our goal was to share awareness of the SONS Foundation and involve members, lodges, Districts, the International Board and Board of Governors, and corporations. We started work with Anne Olson, Foundation Director (resigned) and continued with Connie O’Brien at the Home Office. Our goal was to raise $100,000 for SONS scholarships and Humanitarian funds. As of this week, over $210,164 was brought in from 113 lodges, 837 personal donations. These gifts came from the direct mailing envelope, Viking Magazine article, and personal giving to scholarship accounts.

I personally would like to thank former International President Jon Tehven, Connie O’Brien, and our District 5 Foundation Director Darlene Arneson for all their work and perseverance in completing this successful campaign. We have development a general template for the fund-raising effort, our future goal is to have the Futures campaign annually from October 1 - January 1, to raise awareness for the Foundation.