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Houston Police Retired Officers Association
Executive Director
February 24, 2019
                                                                         
                                                                                                   Anthony Kivela
                                                                                                 Executive Director

As your Executive Director, the one-word descriptor that came to my mind after the Board of Directors voted me in, is that I was incredibly humbled. At the same time, I am also thrilled and privileged to have the opportunity to follow in Bill Elkin’s footsteps, our prior executive director of 21 years. Bill and I worked closely with each other in Austin throughout the entire 2019 Session, via his new role as the Legislative Chairman and Legislative Consultant.  I must also recognize the tremendous effort put forth by our Board of Directors and Office Manager, Cathy Buckles, an amazing group of talented people who sincerely care about retirees, and who make our association what it is today. What appealed most to me about the opportunity of becoming the HPROA Executive Director was the opportunity to help the leaders of the HPROA, it’s Board of Directors, move forward by continuing to safe-guard our pension and health insurance, as well as other benefits that have, and will certainly continue, to come under attack. The HPROA is an association unparalleled in reputation that I consider to be the leading police retiree organization in Texas.

The goal is that I will not be thinking alone, but working with an inspiring team. I joined the HPROA well-before I retired, and after seeing what this association does for its members, I immediately knew that it would be a good fit for me. My work with the HPROA has been extremely rewarding, and I am honored to be trusted with this role. Along those lines, I invite and encourage any retiree who is bored or searching for a purpose, to contact any board member or me about opportunities to become more active within our organization that can keep you busy; or conversely, involve you just to a minor degree. 

When I gave my first report to the Board of Directors in January 2019, we discussed getting involved in social media. Yes, it must be carefully moderated, but our Retired Badge paper is published only once every two months, which prevents timely dissemination of information. Our webmaster sends out regular email blasts out each Sunday, and even more often if we need to push out important information. Nevertheless, we may have a void in being able to discuss timely information and obtain near-immediate feedback from our members. Perhaps social media might address that concern for some members – we hope to see. Contact me if you are a social media guru and would be interested in serving on a committee that will study our possible journey into this arena. And, no worries, we are committed to continue publishing our paper and to continue to send email blasts out from our webmaster concerning any important information. For those with limited time to volunteer with the HPROA, social media may allow you to be our eyes, ears, and heart in this “retired world” of ours, and subsequently, our inspiration. 

More information will follow as we look into blasting out information on Federal Legislation concerning the Social Security’s Windfall Elimination Provision and the Government Pension Offset (the dreaded WEP and GPO). Additionally, we have been placed on notice that Houston’s next financial challenge looms with the $2.2 billion unfunded “Other Post-Employment Benefits” (OPEB – the next trigger phrase) that the City of Houston is committed to reforming in order to salvage the city’s credit rating. More information will follow on that topic. I am looking forward to a long and successful relationship with the HPROA board and making a difference to the retirees that we serve. Most of us became police officers to reaching that specific end: serving, and this organization provides a means of enabling us to achieve that end. 

My email is hproa.exec.dir@att.net, and you can additionally connect with me on LinkedIn, FaceBook, or Twitter (@AnthonyKivela).  My cell phone number is in the HPOPS and HPROA Membership Directories and I encourage you to directly reach out to me via any of these connections if there is anything that I can do for you, if you have any suggestions to improve your HPROA, or just to let us know how we are doing. 

Anthony Kivela, HPROA Executive Director