Executive Director’s Message

September-October 2022

Dear Members,

Every county in North Carolina is legally required to provide child protective services. The staff who work in protective services courageously intervene in situations of alleged abuse or neglect of our most vulnerable. The emotional dexterity to stand in a room with an alleged child abuser while simultaneously remaining human enough to nurture a child who has been traumatized makes these public servants more than extraordinary.

Add to that the irregular work hours and the necessity to de-escalate high conflict situations every day, and you can see why many are deterred from choosing this profession. The strength to do this work every day for 30 or more years seems almost superhuman, but I recently had the privilege to speak with a few NCRGEA members who retired from working in child protective services. They are proud of the work they did. Children’s lives were saved. Families were reconnected. Communities were safer. They made a difference.

Though they no longer face the daily conflict of protecting children, they shared with me the fear and anxiety of struggling to make ends meet with minimal COLA increases and the impact of long-term inflation on their home budgets. They want their stories told, so I am dedicating my space in this edition to telling their story.

The commitment these individuals made in their professions is an inspiring legacy of self-sacrifice for the betterment of their communities. The challenges they now face inspire me to do the best I can to make a difference for them and all of North Carolina’s retired public servants in my new role as the executive director of the NCRGEA. There is much work to be done, and I am honored to do it on behalf of so many who worked so hard in ways seen and unseen.

Over the next few months, you will see changes in some key areas of NCRGEA operations. Our board, led by Mike Taylor, is ensuring the NCRGEA’s vision of “being the voice and go-to resource for North Carolina’s retired public servants” is authentic and true.

Here are just a few changes that are either launching or will be launched shortly:

  • A new partnership with AMBA to serve you better. From more accessible enrollment in dental and vision plans to opportunities to save you money with free access to a discount benefits platform.
  • More robust communication channels. In the next 30 days, we will launch a new website that informs, connects, and engages you as members. Equally important, the new design will make finding
  • Strengthened advocacy capacity. As the state’s largest retired public servant association, we are investing in the infrastructure and training required to channel the voices of our 65,000 members. Volunteer leadership, sound legislative agenda strategy, and technology will come together to ensure the value and contributions of retired public servants are known.

On behalf of the board and staff, I thank you for your membership. We look forward to serving you and working alongside you for the benefit of all of North Carolina’s retired public servants.

Tim O’Connell
Executive Director