I’ll start off this message by thanking my family, friends, Lodge, and all the Brethren who have supported my Masonic journey over the past seventeen years. This has truly been the journey of a lifetime!
As a businessperson who has had a long career in the corporate world, I look at and evaluate everything that we do through a lens of “how can we do this better?” Our fraternity does many things extremely well – like taking care of our Brethren, working to improve our communities, and providing charitable relief to those in need.
So, what are the things on my mind for this year as Grand Master? The primary focus over the coming year is
MEMBERSHIP: making new Masons, helping current members realize the benefits of belonging, and welcoming back those who have lost contact with their Lodges.
We plan to give our Lodges the flexibility to make new members through expanded options for Grand Master’s Classes and multi-candidate degrees that augment traditional initiations. We are supporting improved member communications. We are improving our prospective member inquiry process. We are providing an improved background check system. We are also promoting closer cooperation with the appendant bodies because data shows a positive correlation to membership retention.
In all this, our Lodge, district, and Grand Lodge leaders are a key part of the solution… and I am anxious to hear their views and ideas on how our challenges can be addressed. We need their continued, dedicated focus on making Masons.
Your Grand Lodge officers will continue to drive the goals and objectives of our ongoing Grand Lodge long-range planning. We will focus on the integration of technology and processes into the day-to-day operations of the Grand Lodge office, our Blue Lodges, and our appendant bodies. We will also continue our efforts to develop, implement, and optimize programs to improve our corporate agility. The pandemic has taught us we need to incorporate contingency planning into our thinking and introduce succession planning at all levels.
We must move faster to adapt to the world around us – as the next generations of men will demand an updated and more modern Masonic organization.
Brethren, Ohio Masonry is at a fork in the road. Where do you want Ohio Masonry to go? Do YOU want to continue doing what we have been doing? Or do YOU want to make the needed improvements, streamline our processes, optimize our programs — and grow? The choice is yours over the coming year – and the years that follow.
In closing, I ask that you Dream Big, Think Big, and Execute Big. My theme for the year is “Reflect on Freemasonry.” REFLECT on where Masonry has been, and more importantly, REFLECT on where and how you want to move this great fraternity into the future. Everyone has a role to play in the success of our fraternity, and I ask you, “What is your role?”
Thank you, and God bless you all!
Timothy S. Wheeland
Grand Lodge of Ohio