For Your Consideration..........Please Read
As a part of my campaign for the office of Imperial Outer Guard, I truly believe that good communications has to be stressed.  If we are to move to the next level, it is our leaders that must take us there.
 I received the following seven questions from Noble Bill Nelson, Chief Rabban of Sesostris Shriners.  The questions were good, and I would like to share them with you along with my answers.  It is my goal to communicate to you information about myself, and in doing so, give you the opportunity to support the candidate that has displayed the best leadership skills and who possesses the best qualifications for the job.
Imperial Outer Guard Candidate Questions:
As answered by Gary J. Bergenske, P.P.

1.     What prompted you to seek the office? 
Like most Nobles I love the Shrine and what we do.  Over the past six years I have served as a member of my own Divan, the Imperial Membership Executive Committee and the Imperial TRAC Program.  Serving on all three of these at the same time has enlightened me to many of the inner workings of the Shrine. It has helped me to know where we are, and to help me understand where we have to go to become successful.  I feel I have the opportunity to have a running start because of the time I have invested already the past six years.  Because of this I sincerely believe I can be a small part of the solution.

   During your tenure as Potentate, did your Temple experience a gain or loss in membership?  What were your membership goals?  Were you directly involved in membership recruitment?
Unfortunately, our Temple has not had a membership gain since 1989.  I am proud to say, however, that we did have the largest Ceremonial that we have had in the past few years.  We set a goal of at least 50 new candidates for our 50th Anniversary Fall Ceremonial, and we came in with just exactly that, 50 new members.  For the year we had 79, our goal was 100.  I was an active member of the membership committee.  Our committee did an outstanding job on restorations as we restored 55 members during the year.


3.   During your tenure on the Divan of your temple, was strategic planning for the future discussed or actively practiced?  What was your involvement if strategic planning was in play?  If it was in play, what is your view of the successes, if any, of your strategic plan?
I developed the Bahia Futures Committee as Potentate.  This committee met monthly, I was a member and attended every meeting.  We looked at the past, considered where we were currently, and how
the future looked like to us.  After we developed a plan, I put it all into a Power Point presentation
and presented it to the entire Nobility at a Stated Meeting.  I also presented this same program
personally to the Imperial Futures Committee in Tampa.  You can view the program by visiting
my web site, and go to info used by Gary, and by clicking on "Our Shrine
Future.  The plan was very successful and we are doing business differently now as a result of
knowing where we are, and where we need to go.  Please view the Power Point presentation as it
will answer many questions for you.

 What do you see as the future of the Shrine of North America?  Do you support expansion worldwide (i.e. Britain, Europe, etc.)? 
I see hard work, determination, and good Leadership that will bring a bright future for our Shrine.  We have a lot of work to do, and with the right leadership by the right individuals, this can and will happen.  I personally would like to see us expand to every corner of the world one step at a time.  We have a program like no other to offer, we only need the leaders to take us there.

  What do you feel is the most critical issue facing the Shrine today?  Tomorrow?
Leadership will always be number one with me, whether it is today or tomorrow.  We must train and develop our leaders and give them the right tools to work with.  No organization can grow unless its leaders take them there.  Right behind leadership is Masonic Relations, we have to work extra hard at this, as I feel all Masonic Bodies can work closer to help each other.  If we do those two correctly we will experience membership growth as the natural effect of doing them correctly.

 Why should I cast my vote for you?       
For the future of the Shrine.  I have the qualifications and the experience to be an Imperial Officer.  As a member of Imperial Committees for the past six years, I have gained knowledge that will help me to do the job.  Personally, I am committed and passionate to do the job correctly and to the best of my ability to ensure a bright Shrine future.  I am a team player who can communicate, inspire, and lead at all levels.  My wife and family fully support me, and we will all represent the Shrine of North America in a dignified, exemplary manner.

  Other comments you feel are important?
I feel it is most important that all Reps look at the candidates closely, and that they evaluate the candidates' experience and qualifications.  We must now and in the future place the best we have in leadership positions, in order to take us to the next level as quickly as possible.  Our Shrine future depends on responsible leadership decisions, and leaders who are capable of thinking outside the box.  I am proud to say that I created the Shrine Mentor Program and Fez Head Fred, our mascot.  Both of which are now widely used throughout the Shrine of North America to help promote membership and a positive public image with the younger generations.

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I believe all Nobles are ready to go to work, and make a positive impact that will
show measurable results in Leadership, Masonic Relations, and Membership Growth.  I only hope each of you believe in yourselves as much as I believe in you.  Let's take the challenge.  With best wishes and warmest personal regards, I remain, fraternally yours,                      


 Gary Bergenske, P.P.
Candidate for
Imperial Outer Guard                                 


"People forget what you say, and forget what you do,
 but forever remember how you make them feel!"