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The Green Bay & Western Historical Society, Inc.

Archived GBWHS News

2015 Election

GBWHS members reelected Ross Rossier and Nathan Dahms, and elected Mark Mathu, to the GBWHS Board of Directors. The votes were tallied and announced at the Annual Meeting in Green Bay on April 25, 2015. Following the meeting, in accordance with the Bylaws, the Board of Directors met and elected officers to these positions:

President: Steven Koth, Sr. (replacing Ross Rossier)
Vice-President: Larry Misiewicz (replacing Steven Koth, Sr.)
Secretary: Robert Schoneman (retaining this office)
Treasurer: Robert Wandel, Jr. (retaining this office)

The next election will be held in April 2016. Click here for more details.

GBW Lines to expand to 20 pages;
annual dues to increase $5

We’re pleased to announce that your GBW Lines magazine will expand from the current 16 pages to 20 pages with the September 2014 issue (Volume 6, Number 3). This will enable us to bring you more GBW articles and photos every year. To pay for the expanded magazine, the annual dues will rise from the current $25 to $30, effective January 1, 2015.

In the membership survey we distributed with the March 2014 issue, we asked you, our members, how you would feel about paying an extra $5 per year for an extra 16 pages in the magazine every year. You told us you were overwhelmingly in favor of this. Of the 74 surveys we received, 69 of them, or 93%, said “yes” to raising dues in order to add pages.

Some folks have asked if we have enough material to support an expanded issue, which is a valid question. As Editor, I am in a better position than anybody to answer. I am confident we will consistently be able to fill a 20-page issue with quality material, particularly more photos. When I became Editor, I established a new feature, a photo section called Green Bay Gallery. The idea was to publish more photos of the GBW, of course, but also to make good use of any extra space in the magazine. But you haven’t seen Green Bay Gallery in a while simply because I haven’t had any extra space!

I really could have used 20 pages with the last two issues. I would have run more photos of the 400 class Mikados to accompany Dan Fiala’s excellent article in the December 2013 issue. And there were a number of photos of C430 315, as well as documents that Ross Rossier lent me, which I was unable to use in the March 2014 because of lack of space. I wish I could have borrowed the 500-ton press from Norwood Shops to cram everything I had into that 16-page issue.

The GBWHS Board of Directors has carefully considered the proposal to raise dues and expand the magazine, and we have examined the financial impact. On May 5, 2014, we voted unanimously to approve this proposal, as outlined below.

Effective January 1, 2015, the GBWHS will have five classes of membership:
Regular Membership, $30 per year.
Family Membership, $30 per year, for groups of people who live at the same address, including spouses and children, as currently specified in Section 3.4 of the GBWHS Bylaws.
Sustaining Membership, $60 per year, for members who wish to offer additional support in helping the GBWHS achieve our goals, including an improved magazine and future preservation projects. A list of Sustaining Members will be published in each issue to recognize them for their support. In addition, the Board of Directors will be happy to hear your ideas for additional privileges and benefits of Sustaining Membership.
GBW Employee Membership, $20 per year, for former GBW employees in recognition of their service to our favorite railroad, and for their friendship and support of the Society. These folks are our living link to the GBW, and they enrich the Society with their experience and memories, so the Board of Directors has long wanted to do something extra for them. Any new member applying as a GBW employee must be verified by a known GBW employee if they are not already known by at least one Director. GBW Employee Membership is effective immediately; GBW employees need not wait until 2015 to join or renew at the $20 rate.
Honorary Membership, awarded by the Board of Directors to individuals for their exemplary support of the GBWHS, as currently specified in Section 3.3 of the GBWHS Bylaws. Currently we have five Honorary Members.

If a regular member wants to join or renew at the current $25 rate, their application must be postmarked no later than December 31, 2014. Any members who have paid their membership more than a year in advance will have their membership honored in full. The Society will not ask any member to pay increased membership fees until their current membership expires.

With this issue, we are introducing two new features.

Questions & Answers is a forum for information about the GBW that seeks to leverage the great wealth of GBW knowledge within the GBWHS. If you have a question about anything pertaining to the Green Bay & Western, send it to the Editor. We will research our archives and ask GBW employees and other GBW experts to find the answer. If we can't find the answer, we will post the question in the magazine and on our website to reach a wider audience and hopefully find somebody who knows the answer. Check it out here.

Transfer Table is a classified ad section, free to society members. If you have any GBW related items to sell – or if you’re looking for them – this is the best way to reach other GBW fans who might want what you have, or have what you’re looking for. Board Member Larry Misiewicz will administer this feature; contact him if you would like to place an ad or if you have any questions. Click here for more information. We think this is a great way to use the strength in numbers of our Society for everybody’s benefit.

We’re also very happy to name Dan Luedke as Assistant Editor of GBW Lines. I have promised him that this does not mean he has to take on any additional responsibilities. Instead, we are doing this to give Dan some recognition for the many ways he helps the magazine and the organization. Besides being our most prolific author, writing a series of articles on his experience as a GBW conductor, among other things, he has made the Mailer-Luedke photo collection available to us. As Editor, I don’t know what I would do without this – or him. Dan has been my right-hand man since I became editor, by answering questions, fact-checking, and chasing down and providing additional information. More than once an e-mail from him has become an article or sidebar in the magazine. We’re happy to have Dan officially on board, although of course he has been back there in the caboose since we left the yard.

While I’m at it, I’d also like to recognize John Hagen for all he did for the magazine. He was our first editor, building the foundation of the GBWHS in its infancy, and keeping the magazine afloat in some difficult times. John still does a lot for the society, in particular providing a presence for the GBWHS with Mark Mathu and others at many railroad shows. And I for one am grateful for his wise counsel on the Board of Directors.

As your Editor, I’m excited about the expanded GBW Lines and the extra photos, articles and features we will be able to devote to our cool little railroad. Thank you for your support, and Highball!

Bill Christopher
GBWHS Editor

GBWHS 2013 Financial Report

The GBWHS’s financial situation at the end of 2013 improved significantly over our situation at the end of 2012. Cash in the bank at the end of 2013 was $2,776, compared with $1,438 at the end of 2012, an increase of $1,338. Our net profit for 2013 of $1,494 increased our net equity to $2,017, compared with $523 last year.

Total income was $8,422, an increase of $3,037 over 2012. Our membership increased significantly, bringing more revenue in the form of dues. Sales of current and back issues of the magazine increased, merchandise sales increased, and revenue from annual meeting fees increased. Two areas of definite increase were sales of the Bob Hainstock estate materials and calendar sales, both of which did not exist in 2012.

Total expense was up only $688 ($6,928 for 2013 vs. $6,240 in 2012), despite a significant increase in the production and mailing costs for the magazine, due to increased membership, and the cost of printing the calendars.

Net income for 2013 was $1,494, compared to a loss in 2012 of $855. Part of the loss in 2012 was a result of some 2011 bills being paid in 2012 without having been set up as payables at the end of 2011.

As Treasurer, I feel we have turned a corner both financially and operationally. Our revenues are growing, and I see some excellent reasons for that growth. First, we have worked hard to maintain and increase our membership, which has grown from 120 paying members at the end of 2012 to 160 at the end of 2013. Second, we are offering a truly desirable magazine, resulting in increased membership and hobby shop sales. Third is our increased sales of merchandise, especially the calendars.

On the expense side, our editor has worked hard to keep the production and postage costs of the magazine and the calendar as low as possible. The Board has done a great job in managing the costs of the annual meeting and event participation.

We do not have very many sources of revenue: we have dues, retail magazine sales, calendar sales, some merchandise sales, and meeting fees. Our expenses are mostly limited to production and distribution costs of the magazine and the calendars, production of the inventory of paper products we sell, and the food and venue costs of the meetings. Clearly, we have done well in increasing these revenues and controlling these costs. We hope our members are pleased with how we are managing their Society.

GBWHS members may obtain a copy of our financial report by contacting our Editor, Bill Christopher, at You must be a GBWHS member to obtain a copy.

Respectfully submitted,
Robert Wandel, Treasurer

Dan Luedke awarded Honorary Membership

Dan Luedke was awarded an Honorary Membership in the Green Bay & Western Historical Society at the GBWHS Annual Meeting in Green Bay on April 27, 2013. Dan, a retired GBW conductor, is only the fourth recipient of this honor. The GBWHS Board of Directors unanimously awarded this honor to Dan in recognition of, and gratitude for, the many ways he has helped the GBWHS and furthered the cause of preserving the GBW’s history.

  Dan Luedke receives GBWHS Honorary Membership

Dan is the most prolific author in our magazine, having written the excellent and still-continuing series on Kewaunee Division operations and carferry history. He owns the most comprehensive photo collection of the GBW (which was compiled by his friend Stan Mailer in the process of producing the definitive history of the GBW), and has helped the GBWHS immensely by making the Mailer-Luedke collection available to us. Dan has promoted the GBWHS at GBW retiree dinners and other events. And, like so many GBW employees, Dan is an all-around great guy. If you’ve ever talked to him, you've learned something you didn’t know about the GBW. He richly deserves this award.

In the photo, Bill Christopher (left), GBWHS Editor, presents the award to Dan Luedke. Mark Mathu photo

Annual Report to Members for 2012

2012 was a challenging year for both the Society and its Board of Directors. The Board of Directors elected at the 2011 annual business meeting was comprised of only six members, of which only five actively participated in the activities of the Board. Additionally, there was a failure to recognize and make use of the strengths, abilities and experiences of the individuals newly elected to the Board. This failure led to a near-year’s delay in getting the Board’s programs launched for the 2011-2013 term of office.

Early into year two of the current term, the former president resigned, and I succeeded to the presidency. Since that time we have added four members to the Board, and the Society has returned to health and vitality. Bill Christopher, who joined the Board in 2012 and became the Editor of our magazine, has brought the publication into a regular schedule, and he has prepared and produced a truly first-class publication. Since the two roles tie together so well, Bill is also our Membership Director. John Hagen, our Editor Emeritus, has rejoined the Board, and we strongly appreciate his input and knowledge about the activities of the prior Boards. John will work with Mark Mathu and others to provide a strong presence at train shows.

Bob Wandel has returned as our Treasurer, and he has worked with the Board in general and with Bill Christopher and Steve Koth in particular to set up an effective accounting and control system that includes a system of checks and balances to ensure that our finances are properly managed. Payments for dues and magazine sales are received and deposited to the bank by Bill Christopher, and all other checks are deposited by Steve Koth, who also writes the checks for payments of approved bills. Bob Wandel keeps the books, audits the deposits and payments, and prepares the financial statements for the Society.

Bob Schoneman is our Secretary, and he keeps the minutes of our meetings, schedules many of these meetings, and keeps us current with the State of Wisconsin corporation filings. Steve Koth is our Vice President, as well as the keeper of the checkbook. He backs me up when needed and is a consultant and advisor whom I use a lot. The two newest additions to the Board, Larry Misiewicz and Bob Welke, bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Board based on their career experiences and history with other organizations.

I have identified the members of the present Board and described their roles on it, to show that the Society has indeed recovered from its challenges and is prepared to move strongly into the next term. In addition to the Board members, we also have the benefit of having Mark Mathu as our coordinator of shows and other public outreach activities. Mark has done an excellent job of coordinating our presence at the shows, as well as personally attending many of them.

Financially, the Society is now quite strong. For 2012 our income was $5,385 and our expenses were $6,240, for a net loss of $855. This occurred because a significant portion of 2011 expenses were not recognized and paid until early 2012. That situation did not occur at the end of 2012, and 2013 is already producing much better results. Our net income for the first quarter of 2013 is $681, and our cash in the bank on March 31, 2013 was $2,164. These encouraging results in 2013 are due to the increased focus on management of the Society’s business.

Dues-paying membership numbers for the recent past are as follows: June 2012 – 104; September 2012 – 107; December 2012 – 120; March 2013 – 128. Our next issue (June 2013) will be sent to at least 142 members. As you can see, our membership is growing. The Society is in good financial health, has good management, and has good direction and planning in place. We expect a very good 2013.

Respectfully submitted,
Ross W. Rossier
President and Chairman of the Board of Directors
April 27, 2013

GBWHS members may obtain a complete copy of the GBWHS 2012 Annual Report, including financial information, by contacting Bill Christopher at You must be a current GBWHS member to receive a copy.

Stanley H. Mailer 1934-2013

Stan Mailer receives GBWHS Honorary Membership from GBWHS President Bob Hainstock  

We bring the sad news that Stanley H. Mailer, who authored the definitive history of the Green Bay & Western (Hundman Publishing Co., 1989), passed away in Dallas, Texas, on April 2, 2013. He was 78. Stan passed peacefully from congestive heart failure probably caused by his bout with Parkinson’s Disease.

“Stan and I had a 30 year friendship and we went on a lot of photo trips on the GBW and also to upper Michigan in the 1970s and ‘80s,” recalled retired GBW conductor and GBWHS member Dan Luedke. “Although the GBW was the road to go to for Stan, he had a great interest in the Omaha, DSS&A, LS&I and other roads. The smaller the better it seemed. So reread his GBW and Omaha books and enjoy his many photos. He would be pleased.”

Stan Mailer (seated) receives his Honorary Membership from the late Bob Hainstock, GBWHS President, at the GBWHS Annual Meeting in Green Bay on April 28, 2007.
Bill Christopher photo

GBWHS Revises its Bylaws

By Bob Wandel, Treasurer and Board Member
on behalf of the GBWHS Board of Directors
February 18, 2013

As the GBWHS has matured over the last several years, the Board of Directors discovered several weaknesses in our Bylaws. At the direction of the Board, the author crafted new Bylaws for the GBWHS, borrowing heavily from the bylaws of the Pennsylvania Railroad Historical and Technical Society (which were drawn up by an attorney). After much discussion and some modification by the Board, the new Bylaws were approved and became effective on February 7, 2013. You can read them or download a PDF copy here.

Why the change? The former Bylaws did not adequately define membership and did not specify which members were entitled to vote at the Annual Membership Meeting. They did not allow the Society to discontinue members who failed to pay their dues. They contained no provisions for removing members who commit acts detrimental to the organization. They did not adequately deal with filling vacancies on the Board or removing Directors from the Board for acting in bad faith. The former Bylaws established the positions of officers for the Society, but they did not provide a mechanism for selecting and electing the officers. The powers and duties of the President included many activities that should have been the responsibility of other officers. The former Bylaws failed to specify the timing and location of the Annual Membership Meeting. And they did not allow members to participate in revising or amending the Bylaws.

The former Bylaws required every Board Member to serve identical two-year terms. This is a significant problem because at any election the Society could have a complete turnover of Board Members, which would deprive the Society of the prior experience and knowledge from the outgoing Directors. This problem is compounded by the three-term limit in the old Bylaws. If all the Board members had been elected at the same Annual Membership Meeting and all had served 6 years, then a complete board turnover would be mandated.

The new Bylaws specifically state that members have the right to vote at the Annual Business Meeting and any special Membership Meetings. Members who are more than 90 days late with their dues shall have their membership discontinued; they can reinstate it at any time by paying their dues. A process for expelling members for bad conduct has been provided. The new Bylaws require that the four principal officers (President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer) also be Directors, and they more clearly spell out these officers’ responsibilities. And the new Bylaws allow the membership to override the decisions of the Board in revising or amending the Bylaws.

The new Bylaws specify that the Annual Membership Meeting will be held the last Saturday of every April in Wisconsin. (Click here for more information.) The date may be moved if circumstances require, but the meeting must take place in Wisconsin. The new Bylaws create a staggered system of electing and re-electing Directors, similar to the United States Senate. The new Bylaws establish a nine-person Board of Directors with three-year terms. Three Director positions are open for election each year at the Annual Membership Meeting. Another three Director positions are up for election the following year, and the last three positions on the third year. Directors may serve only for three terms (nine years) before they must sit out a three-year period; after that, they may again stand for election to the Board.

Since the new Bylaws take effect this year, you will be electing nine persons to the Board at our Membership Meeting in Green Bay on Saturday, April 27, 2013 (click here for details). Three directors will be elected to one-year terms that end at the Annual Membership Meeting in 2014; three will be elected to two-year terms that end in 2015; and three will be elected to three-year terms that end in 2016. After that, all Directors will be elected to three-year terms. Starting next year, only three Directors will be elected to the Board each year, and those new Directors will have the benefit of working with the six experienced Directors who are not standing for election. The Board of Directors may fill a vacancy on the Board, but that seat will come up for election at the next Annual Membership Meeting to fill the remainder of that seat’s term.

We, the Board of Directors, hope this explains why we developed and approved new Bylaws for the GBWHS. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of the Directors. Thank you.

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