Honeywell-Garrett Retiree's Club History
Garrett Retirees Group Story by Hal Hazel
Over 140 people had decided to retire from GTEC at the end of the year in 1983. In, November, rumors began concerning changes to the retirement plan. Some of us began meeting during the morning coffee break to share any information we could find about the rumored changes. Early in December, one of the group obtained a brochure which had just arrived from L.A., which indicated that undefined changes were to be made to the retirement plan, effective, January 1, 1984. After several meetings with Personnel, they finally recommended that we all postpone retirement until after the first of the year, because the new plan would be equal to or better than the old one, even though they didn’t have the details at this time. Based on this advice, most of us postponed our retirement until after January 1, 1984.
Even by then the plan details had not been published so a small group held it’s first meeting outside the plant in February, at the Stockyard’s Restaurant. Those in attendance were; Hal Baldwin, Howard Buchner, Lyle Six, Bernie Guenther, Howard Daudet and Hal Hazel. We agreed to keep meeting once a month until we had received the new plan definition. It was finally published late in February, but by this time we realized that we had other retirement concerns that needed to be addressed, so we decided to continue to meet.
We started out meeting at Hal Baldwin’s for a while and then we began rotating it’s location to Six’s, Guenther’s, and Hazel’s houses. From word of mouth the group kept growing. People who were still working at the different Garrett divisions and were thinking of retiring asked if we would change the meeting day from Wednesday to Saturday so they could attend. We changed and have met on the second Saturday of the months of September through May ever since. Finally when 20 people showed up at a meeting, we decided to seek a larger meeting place. Hal Baldwin, contacted a Prudential-Bache broker who invited us to use their meeting room facilities, and we have met there ever since.
In the beginning we met and people asked questions and others told what their solutions were. Later we began to seek specialized help on how to handle our assets, make out wills or trusts, and other retiree concerns, so we invited in professionals to present a program on specific subject. For a long time our 9-month programs were divided between retiree questions and discussions and prepared talks by outside experts.
Our ranks kept growing, and when Charlie Mulkin, joined us, he offered to put our hand written membership list in his computer and print copies. This made it easier on Dick Auker and Hal Hazel who were calling each person before each meeting.
We still had no formal organization, constitution, officers, dues, or even defined program for each 9 month period. At the first meeting in September, 1989, we as a group, decided to define the topics we wanted discussed for the next 8 meetings, and people volunteered to obtain qualified speakers. The program was published and distributed at the next and subsequent meetings and we stopped calling people before meetings. Attached is a copy of the meetings scheduled in the 1991 period.
Recently a Steering Committee has been formed to formalize the organization by preparing a constitution, and nominating officers for the 1991-92 period. The committee members are listed below.
- Warren Koepsal – Chairperson
- Milt Parker – Constitution
- Dick Auker – Nominations
- Dee Marlowe – Phone Committee
- Charlie Mulkin – Membership List
- Bill Orr
- Lenore Force
- Elaise Coffman
- Alex Rathovich
- Dan Hausman
- John Westerhausen
- Hal Hazel
At present, C. Mulkin’s membership list contains over 130 people. We socialize with friends and fellow retirees before and after the meeting’s and commiserated about our aches and pains and past memories about “how it used to be”.
Historical Overview of Garrett Propulsion Engines and Auxiliary Power. A presentation at the Western Museum of Flight by Barry Tyson on March 16, 2013
Presentation Slides and YouTube video of Presentation
Presentation from the Cliff Garrett Gala held March 9, 2013 at the Western Museum of Flight in Torrance Calif. to celebrate the contributions to aviation of Cliff Garrett and the employees of the companies he founded.
Ed Gammill's stories about his experiences at Garrett
- Lab Technician
- GTCP85-4 Project
- The Model 105
- Air Turbine Motors and Drives
- Project 22
- F-15 Project
- GTCP331 Project
- LAVI Project
Evolution of the Garrett Airesearch Retiree's Club by Warren Koepsel
The initial seed for the growth of the retirees' group was planted by Hal Hazel and Hal Baldwin in 1983 when several Garrett employees were contemplating retirement, but had few details of the Garrett retirement plan. The initial grown and direction of the group is written in a paper presented by Hal Hazel in 1991 and is an addendum to this paper.
I, Warren Koepsel, had attended several of the meetings held at a Prudential Bache conference room at 44th Street and Camelback and helped get speakers to come to the meetings. The room was small, probably held 30 to 40 people, crowded and stuffy. I made the comment to Hal that he should get the group formally organized, and he said to me "do it". As a result, I organized the Steering Committee with the members listed in Hal's document.
The Streeing Committee met over a period of several months to create various committees, programs, "operating Guidelines", and a location for the group to meet monthly that provided adequate space. We met with the Motorola Retirees Club president to get tips on proper organization.
Bill Orr was a member of the constitution committee and strongly recommended that we keep the constitution simple. As a result, we created "Operating Guidelines" which gave us flexibility., but yet a sense of a firm organization. The "Operating Guidelines" have only been revised to recognize the retirees from the various name changes of the parent company.
Finding a place to meet for the growing numbers of Garrett retirees was no easy task without significant charges to our treasury. We settled on a small room at the Scottsdale Senior Center only slightly larger than the Prudential Bache conference room, but with poorer ventilation. We packed this room with up to 100 people. This move allowed us to get in line for the dancing room which was then used by the Motorola Retirees group which was out-growing the room and would be moving to another location. The room is large enough to seat up to 400 people and we are currently nearing its capacity.
The first officers elected to The Club on September 14,1991 were:
- Warren Koepsel - President
- Milt Parker - Vice President
- Bill Flanagan - Treasurer
- Dee Marlowe - Secretary
- Charlie Mulkin - Membership Committee
- Don Bell - Hospitality Committee
- Hal Hazel - Retirees' Club Mentor
All of the Club's organizers and committees meet once a month under the Club's umbrella called the Executive COmmitte. This committee still meets monthly and is a requirement of the Operating Guidelines. Most of the initial officers served their position for two years which is the maximum permitted. Milt Parker was the longest serving officer with two years as Vice President, two years as President, and two years on the Executive Committee.
The Club was initially formed to provide information which would be of value to its members. Social events were then also planned which would not conflict with the normal nine monthly meetings per year. The extra social events formed were the now annual spring picnic with the Yavapai and Rim Clubs. The event also had its growing pains with respect to the large enough and convenient location for all. We now hold this at Rock Springs. Other annual events are the Octoberfest and Christmas luncheon. The club also has a historian to record all of these events.
The Club is now a healthy, vibrant organization contributing to the need of the Garrett AiResearch retirees by providing them with pertinent information and a social outlet. The monthly meetings are a great opportunity for fellow retirees to discuss their own individual concerns with one another. Gil Witsoe has been an unrelenting member working to get club members active in benevolent activities. Continued support of these activities is an important outlet to keep the club health. Diane Bennett has taken on the task of Membership Committee Chairperson for many years after having served as Club Secretary. She is also serving as the club travel committee, organizing trips for club members to all parts of the world. This committee serves at the pleasure of the club President in accordance with paragraph 5.2.5 of the club's Operating Guidelines. The Club has been able to attract major speakers included AlliedSignal divisional presidents, Sheriff Arpaio, Mayor Drinkwater, financial planners, medical technicians and many others of like credentials.
Many people have contributed many hours to make the Club successful and provide a needed organization for the AlliedSignal/Garrett/AiResearch retirees. As of this writing the following people have served as presidents of the Club:
- Hal Hazel - Club Mentor
- Warren Koepsel - First President
- Milt Parter - Second President
- Al Finkelstein - Third President
- Doug Culy - Fourth President
- Wil Danesi - Fifth President
In addition, there have been many supportive people to serve as vice-president, treasurer, secretary, members of standing committees and special committees. The club has a hospitiality committe to assure that the meeting room has been set-up and refreshments are avilable. Current paid membership now stands at 498 with club mailings going to 726 retirees. Membership fees were originally $5.00 per year, but were increased to $7.00 per year beginning with dues paid in the year 2000.
Written by Warren Koepsel 1 Feb 2000
Addendum written by Hal Hazel June 1991